The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

What Does this School Year Hold?

Aug 16, 2021

We’re well into back-to-school season—the second during this Covid-19 pandemic. And now we find ourselves in the midst of the Delta surge.

The debate raging around the country is whether masks should be required in schools. It’s a debate over a false choice—between safety and a better educational experience, when children obviously need both. And it’s a distraction from the utter failure of this society to educate its children in the face of the pandemic.

To provide an education safely during this pandemic, massive resources would be needed. Money for masking, cleaning supplies, custodial staff. Additional teachers and support staff, additional space so that students would have room. Upgrades to ventilation, to prevent the spread of this airborne illness in school spaces. This has been known—it’s obvious. And yet none of it was done.

Instead, students were thrown onto remote and “hybrid” learning, doing everything on the computer—even for those who got back into a school building. A parent of a five year old noted “the children now know very well how to navigate a computer. But did they learn anything?” The answer for too many is NO.

Parents find themselves stuck, without options. Out of frustration, many parents have pulled their children out of the public schools—perhaps more than a million all over this country. It’s true, this society did not provide an education through the schools, particularly for the youngest students. But there was no other answer at hand—unless you had a lot of money to spend.

This society was able to hand billions: to the banks, to the pharmaceutical companies. But it could not and did not lift a finger to maintain the education for the working class. They keep repeating “we’re all in this together.” It’s just that we’re not!