Education Officials Should Be Held Accountable, Not Adored

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Posted: Dec 02, 2020 9:30 AM

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There never was evidence or scientific data that in-person schooling presented an elevated virus threat for students, faculty, or staff warranting schools’ prolonged closure – no evidence whatsoever. In fact, it was clear even before the traditional school year’s start that children and young adults were far less likely to be infected with COVID or to be severely impacted if they became infected. 

So, was the response by teachers’ unions and bureaucratic school administrators to reopen but with common-sense health and safety measures in place, so students were not kept away from teachers, classmates, and all the other benefits in-school learning provides? Of course not. Their response was to put on blinders, ignore common sense and hard evidence, and remain…closed.

There does now seem to be a glimmer of hope that this close-mindedness is softening slightly. The New York City public school system, for example, plans to open soon for in-person classes, at least for elementary students. The timing of this about-face, and whether it actually will remain in-place, are questions still on the table, and parents should continue to demand to know why it took the teachers and school administrators so long to admit what everyone else knew months ago. Even more important, parents should demand accountability, including firing teachers and bureaucrats for the waste of money caused by their bad decisions, and for the damage inflicted on the students as a result.

Waiting for any apology by those self-serving public officials would be a waste of time. As with other fear-driven public policy decisions made in response to the pandemic, refusals to open schools for in-person teaching were nothing more than partisan footballs to be kicked around by the National Education Association and its state affiliates, hoping President Trump and Republican governors who wanted to open schools sooner rather than later would look foolish. 

Students, not politicians, of course, have been the real victims in this debacle, as partisan politics overrode their interests and those of their parents, many of whom struggled to keep their jobs while overseeing children forced to stay at home “learning” in front of a computer screen.

The problems resulting from this partisan short-sightedness are not trivial. It is estimated that delayed school openings this year will cost the average student seven months of learning; even more for black students and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. For all the pre-COVID talk about how increased school funding is needed to close the “educational gap” between students from poor and wealthy backgrounds, the decision to keep schools closed will cause lasting, if not permanent, damage to students who already are the most disadvantaged. This problem has been well-known in academic circles, but in the current context is simply ignored by Democrat school administrators and unionized teachers because it does not fit their partisan agenda. 

Now, when outrage from parents can

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World Forum of Unicorn Companies held at South China University of Technology

GUANGZHOU, China–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The World Forum of Unicorn Companies was held at the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, China, on November 19. Highlighting the theme of “leading the way with technological innovation and entrepreneurship in the new era”, the forum invited several front runners of technological innovation enterprises from different industries, and created an occasion for them to share experiences, achievements, and pioneering views of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Du Lan, Senior Vice President of iFlytek, said in her speech that the development of artificial intelligence technology has entered the stage of mass application. She believed that among all the benefits brought by the artificial intelligence industry, what matters most is to use technology to “meet the rigid needs of human beings”, and that is why artificial intelligence is making history.

Liu Daofu, Vice President of Cambrian Technologies, gave his opinions on how smart chips might bring new possibilities to traditional industries such as healthcare, finance, automobiles, electric power, or retail, and how his company will be committed to boosting social and economic development with key technological innovation, making machines better understand and serve the mankind.

After that, Du Shangbiao, Vice President of iShansong, and Nicolai Peitersen, Executive Chairman and co-founder of Wikifactory, introduced the business patterns of their companies in promoting logistics by technological innovation and advancing manufacturing transformation and upgrading.

When discussing about the trend, opportunities, and challenges of technological innovation and entrepreneurship, the guests of the forum showed full confidence in China’s business environment. They believed that the country has laid a solid foundation for developing entrepreneurship in many aspects, including policy support, funding sources, infrastructure, and human resource reserves.

The event, as part of the 6th China International College Students’ “Internet+” Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, was held during the finals of the competition to inspire young college students to participate in innovation and entrepreneurship.

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