Mayor de Blasio deserves our thanks for insisting from the beginning of the Covid crisis that kids get back into school as much as possible as soon as possible. The process has been full of fits and starts ever since, thanks to everything from poor management to the teachers union’s intransigence, but de Blasio has done his best. And this week he made the announcement we’ve been waiting for: School will be open in September. Real school. No online nonsense. No options.
It’s welcome news because virtual learning is a literal disaster. No class can function online as it can in person. The vast majority of students have suffered academically no matter how hard they’ve tried to adjust, and they’ve all endured setbacks in social development as it’s just not normal for them to be cut off from their friends. In the suburbs, kids have been back in class for more than a month. It’s time for city students to join them.
Of course, they’ll be forced to wear masks, despite being such poor transmitters of the virus. They should take them off at their desks and only put them on when moving around the school, as when changing classes. But whatever the rules, it’s time to cut the cord on remote learning and return to the real deal. One more thing: Get snow days back on the calendar, too.