While some families, especially those with financial means, have been able to mitigate school disruptions through in person options such as homeschooling, private schools, charter schools, and innovative models like microschools and “learning pods,” for many families, their children’s residentially assigned public school remains their only financially available option. Unfortunately, more than 50 percent of all public-school students in the United States began school remotely this fall. These children, including those with special needs, are being underserved due to the public education system’s failure to provide in-person learning options.
Students whose families pay tuition for their education are also facing significant hardships due to the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic.
A nonprofit organization that advocates for families is accusing Fairfax County teachers union officials of violating Virginia law that prohibits public-sector strikes when the union organized with hundreds of teachers to take a mental health sick day in October.
According to Virginia law, a public-sector employee is deemed to have terminated his or her employment if the employee refuses to perform his or her duties as a means to obstruct, impede or suspend an operation of the government employer in concert with two or more employees. The law states such a person will not be eligible for employment by a public agency for 12 months after the strike.
Citing the “detrimental effects” of the educational status quo, Fairfax GOP Chairman Steve Knotts is calling for the county’s government-run schools to reopen their doors — or give out vouchers so families can find alternatives.
“For too many students, virtual learning has been a disaster,” Knotts said today. “Sadly, the detrimental effects of long-term school closures are not confined to academics — the mental health consequences of social isolation are very real.”
Allowing families to choose schools that are more suited to their children may play a key role in improving student mental health, including reducing adolescent suicide rates, suggests new research published in the peer-reviewed journal School Effectiveness and School Improvement.
The study is the first of its kind to examine the relationship between U.S. school choice policies and teen suicide and mental health issues.
In response to another year where a miniscule number of Black and Hispanic students were admitted to the incoming class at Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology (“TJ”), Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Scott Brabrand is proposing to scrap the entrance exams and teacher recommendations and admit 80% of TJ’s students by lottery. The other 20% would be admitted on vague criteria
Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology (TJ), ranked as the nation’s #1 high school by U.S. News and World Report, is in the crosshairs of the Virginia Secretary of Education, Atif Qarni, and Fairfax County Public School Superintendent, Scott Brabrand. Lamentably, yet again, a miniscule number of Black and Hispanic students were admitted to TJ’s freshman class.
Over the summer, Secretary Qarni convened a secretive “task force” to sketch out their preferred solutions.
Fairfax GOP Chairman Steve Knotts was on Thursday’s Mornings on the Mall program, to discuss the myriad issues now plaguing Fairfax County Public Schools. “When the school board makes national headlines for the disaster they put in front of us, it’s just really disheartening,” Knotts lamented.
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos slammed Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) on Tuesday. “A choice of two days per week in the classroom is not a choice at all,” DeVos said in a call with the nation’s governors.
The secretary reiterated her message on Tucker Carlson’s national television program. “They had an absolute disaster this spring,” DeVos said of FCPS. “And now this fall they’re suggesting that as a way to start school again, you can choose zero days a week for your child to be in school, or two days a week. That’s not a choice — that’s a pretense of a choice.”
The sharp decline in civic knowledge among America’s youth is a growing concern. The violent turmoil of recent weeks, including the destruction of statues and memorials, has made it an urgent issue.
Justice can only be achieved if America remains a nation governed by the rule of law, committed to the founding belief that all men are created equal. But ignorance of America’s founding among today’s youth has led many of them to seek justice in ways that will lead to tyranny.
John Schilling, President of the American Federation for Children, was on Thursday’s Ingraham Angle to discuss the current “debacle” in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).
“This is a school district that proved incapable of delivering online learning when the pandemic shut down schools,” Schilling noted. “It took them five weeks to even start online learning; the day that it started, the system crashed.”