'The Stakes Couldn't Be Higher.' Here's How Experts Say Joe Biden Could Fix Pandemic Schooling
November 17, 2020
President-elect Joe Biden’s acceptance speech offered U.S. teachers a bit of cheer in what has been an undeniably dismal year. “For American educators, this is a great day for you all. You’re going to have one of your own in the White House,” a beaming Biden said, referring to the next First Lady, Jill Biden, a community college professor and member of the National Education Association.
With that, Biden opened the door to educators’ hopes that his administration will take a hands-on approach to help schools manage through the pandemic, as new COVID-19 cases delay in-person learning and threaten the futures of a generation of kids. But with hope comes expectations and pressure to do more than just get children back inside classrooms. The pandemic has brought into full view an unequal educational system that existed long before anyone had heard of COVID-19, and experts say this is a chance to fix it.
“The stakes couldn’t be higher for kids. It’s their futures that are on the line. And the projections around learning loss are staggering, and we know they won’t be evenly distributed,” says Robin Lake, director of the nonpartisan Center on Reinventing Public Education. “What that means for kids is their future job opportunities and ability to be successful in life will be sacrificed if we, the adults, don’t pull it together for them.”