Apr 20, 2020
Millions of students around the country are shut out of school, and so forced into “distance learning.” Schooling in a class society is inherently unequal—this “distance learning” is even more so.
“Distance learning” requires access to the internet. Working class and poor students usually have spottier internet—or no internet access at all. In Chicago, ComCast stepped forward to say it would offer two months of internet for free, to bolster the public schools’ efforts to engage students remotely. But some families found out that they could not use the program if they had a balance with the company—and so are effectively shut out of school!
It goes like this across the board: working class students are less likely to have a quiet place at home to be able to work. They often have to help out with childcare for siblings—particularly if their parents are “essential workers” and still working. Many middle class students can take advantage of educated parents who are also working from home—a class advantage. Students with unstable housing situations could benefit from the same schooling environment when in an actual school. But such students often find it difficult or impossible to take part in “virtual school.”
“Distance Learning” is inferior to regular education for almost all students. But, as with all things in this crisis, the problems are magnified for students from the working class. This society, and the people that run it, are fine with discarding the education of working class kids.