The Senate Education Committee today approved a bill that would suspend for two years the implementation of any new educational standards in an effort to ease burdens on students and teachers who have experienced severe disruptions due to the coronavirus and long-term school closures.
“At this point, we are all familiar with the pain and hardship that school closures have
caused students,” said Education Committee Chairman Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes). “Suspending the implementation of new standards will allow parents, teachers, and students to catch their breath and recover from the worst side effects of Covid.”
There is widespread agreement about the impact distance learning is having on students:
- The American Association of Pediatrics has said, “The AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with the goal of having students physically present in school. The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020.”
- UNICEF has warned of a ‘lost generation’ and found school closures are ineffective. “Even with the promise of a vaccine on the horizon, a new report by UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children, warned that “the future of an entire generation is at risk,” with the threat to children increasing. Studies cited in the report showed “no consistent association between school reopening status and COVID-19 infection rates.
- The Sahan Journal found the pandemic has had a “devastating” impact on communities of color in St. Paul Public Schools.
- CBS reported on a U.K. education watchdog that found kids have seriously regressed due to Covid-19.
The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee, where it awaits a hearing.