We’ll often have contrasting headlines on a given issue here in the Chronicle, as various people and groups get their chance to speak to the public through our pages. Yet few point to such stark differences as a pair we’re running this week.

“Kids look forward to the classroom” reads one, while another, maybe right next to the first depending upon which edition you’re reading, blares, “Educators campaign against reopening.”

The first story is full of anecdotes from kids in first grade through high school saying they want to be in school this year. The other is about two factions within the United Federation of Teachers union that oppose reopening schools, with one of them threatening an illegal strike or rolling sickouts if necessary.

Teachers apparently are not essential workers on the same level as the doctors, nurses, bus drivers and supermarket cashiers who rightly have been hailed for manning the front lines during the coronavirus crisis. But their job is very important to the children, who need at least some in-person teaching in order to learn.

The city’s plan for blended learning stands on the edge of a knife. It could quickly fail if, for example, enough schools see the two cases of COVID-19 that could shutter them. It would be tragic if politicized teachers keep it from even getting off the ground.

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