Matthew Hennessey, writing in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal commented extensively on the current Wuhan Virus (my term, not his) situation and its impact on education, specifically the forced switch to a measure of home schooling.
Many families have found themselves running pop-up homeschools. Most students will return to traditional classrooms when the crisis passes. But some families—perhaps many—will come away from this involuntary experiment with a new appreciation for home-based education. They may even decide that homeschooling is not only a plausible option, but a superior one.
It’s that last bit, coupled with the article’s subheadline, that drew my attention. That subhead was
Education has long been resistant to change, but it can’t dodge the pandemic.
Education can’t dodge the pandemic any more than any of the rest of us can. But it isn’t education that’s resistant to change. The rapidly increasing demand for voucher schools, charter schools, straight-up homeschooling, and other variants to providing education for our K-12 children demonstrates the error of that claim.
It’s the parents who are pushing for those changes, and they’re supported by a few politicians and a few State and local governments who are, if not pushing for these changes, at least are staying out of their way.
It’s many other State governments and especially teachers unions who are actively opposing these changes. It’s the managers of education systems who have been long resistant to change, and remain so. The consumers of education systems, and especially their parents, are clamoring for these and an unfettered expansion of these changes.