Baker Too Quick to Cancel School [OPINION]
When there is a crisis, elected officials seem to need to say or do something regularly to show that they are in charge and on top of things. Governor Andrew Cuomo's daily press briefings are a perfect example. Sometimes their actions can be baffling and excessive.
Governor Charlie Baker on Wednesday announced that schools in Massachusetts will remain closed until at least May 4 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. Why? Baker's original order called for schools to be shuttered through April 7, which is still a week and a half away.
Baker's office says “this extension will allow school administrators and educators added planning time to ensure students can complete course requirements, as well as provide teachers with time to expand remote learning opportunities.” How does canceling school for another month give kids more of an opportunity to complete course requirements?
If you ask a teacher, you will find that picking up on a Monday morning from where you left off on Friday afternoon is challenging enough. These kids have been off for weeks and are now looking at being out until May at the earliest. How do we expect educators to pull off such a Herculean task with mere weeks before students are sprung for summer recess?
There was no need to extend the cancelation of classes for an additional four weeks. If Baker felt it was too soon to re-open schools on April 7, he could have extended the closure by a week and reassess each week going forward. There is no reason to project that far out.
This is the education of our children we are talking about here. Let's take it a bit more seriously.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.