In states across the country, students are receiving more failing grades as remote learning continues to be widespread amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Karen Townsend of Hot Air gathered reports from multiple states showing students are struggling to learn from home.
“It can be scary for parents who worry about children potentially being exposed to the virus by classmates or school staff. It can be of concern to teachers, too, who fear that children will bring the virus into their classrooms. But, according to teaching professionals and parents who are seeing the results of a long shutdown, evidence of the lack of success by students receiving online education outweighs an abundance of caution from adults who do not feel ready to get back to a somewhat normal routine. Brick and mortar schools need to re-open and allow students to thrive in their studies,” Townsend wrote.
Nearly half of students at North Thurston High School in Lacey, Washington, a suburb of Olympia, have a failing grade in at least one class, Q13 Fox reported. The school’s principal made the announcement at a school board meeting last week. Several students told the news outlet that they weren’t surprised by the claim.
“That sounds shocking but it’s not very surprising at all,” said Timberline High student Natalie Scott. “Online is showing the deeper divide of students.”
Another student, 18-year-old Samir Amin, said the lack of social interaction is affecting students. “The social interaction is so limited I don’t feel like a normal high schooler,” he said.
In Mineral Wells, Texas, WLTX reported that the school district has found many students are failing due to remote learning. The district sent a letter to parents saying “many remote learning students have not been successful at all.” The district required students to return to in-person learning last week.
“Several [students] have never logged in or communicated at all in six weeks,” the district letter said. “These students are falling desperately behind and if we do not act quickly, they may never recover.”
Students who have been successful while remote learning are allowed to continue.
The remote learning problems in Texas have gotten so bad that Judson Independent School District in San Antonio is now granting “any exceptions” to students to get them to pass. These exceptions include letting students make up work or even drop assignments, The Texas Tribune reported.
“Cathryn Mitchell, principal of Austin ISD’s Gorzycki Middle School, sent an email in early October, obtained by The Texas Tribune, alerting all staff to a ‘campus-wide dilemma.’ Almost 25% of students were failing at least one class, including 200 failing more than one subject. She attributed the failures to steep technology learning curves, lack of access to devices and Wi-Fi, shifting reopening guidelines and anxiety over the health risks of on-campus learning,” the outlet reported.
Washington and Texas are not the only states with cities seeing issues with remote learning. ProPublica wrote about the struggles of students in Baltimore, Maryland. The Gothamist covered struggles in New York.