With remote learning, we’re witnessing a crisis in education

Thank you to the Globe for bringing the catastrophe of remote learning to light in the article “With remote learning, a disconnect” (Page A1, Oct. 18).

Naomi Martin captures the frustrations of children and parents, the unsustainability of this practice, and, most important, the inequities in education exacerbated by having students out of school.

However, the larger question is: Why is this model being allowed to operate in cities and towns across the state, many of which have low transmission rates of the virus? It appears that unrealistic demands from teachers unions and inaction by local school committees have created this poor attempt at education.

Recent research from Brown University has documented that schools are not the spreaders of the virus once feared. In an article this month in The Atlantic, Emily Oster, an economist at Brown, states that data have shown that “schools do not, in fact, appear to be a major spreader of COVID-19.”

Private and parochial schools are open, many in towns where the public schools are not. Many of these private schools are in older buildings. How is it that they are operating successfully?

It is time for Governor Baker and Education Commissioner Jeff Riley to direct our public schools to reopen more fully. Where is the urgency to meet this crisis in education? Depending as we have on the patchwork of cities and towns to do their own thing has done immeasurable harm to our students.

Christine Beagan


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