Millions of students - and their teachers - embark on vast experiment with distance learning
August 19, 2020
Moving beyond pitched debates about whether kids should be in school or not, California schools are participating in a giant experiment never attempted in the state - or anywhere in the world for that matter.
By Labor Day, nearly 6 million public school children will be taking all their classes online, along with hundreds of thousands more in private and parochial schools.
So far, half of the state's 30 largest districts have started the school year in distance learning mode, and the rest will do so in the next two weeks. Yet to be revealed are the extent to which teachers are prepared to deliver instruction remotely, whether they will be able to hold students' attention for weeks or months, and how much students will learn compared to being in a regular classroom. Also at issue is whether students who are already struggling will fall further behind, and whether achievement gaps will widen.