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After reading this article, I’m even more passionate about my project. Overall, my program is centered around bridging the opportunity gap in the education system. The article represents how COVID-19 has further deepened the disparities in the schooling system, particularly in regards to going back to school in Fall 2020. It explained how two different elementary schools in Hawaii, one public and one private, are approaching their future plans with going back to school. It explained how with the private school’s autonomy, tuition, low student-to-teacher ratio, large campus size, hefty donations, new infrastructure, and so forth, it has the ability to go back to school in a few weeks. As for the public school, it has students with a variety of needs to cater to, less flexibility, fewer funds, larger class sizes, along with many more complications. If classes were remote, chances are students from private schools would still adapt. These families have more financial capital to pay for tutors, technology, and take time off at work, unlike their families involved with public schools. Regardless of how schools adapt to COVID-19, it is clear that private schools have the upper-hand, much like they do in other areas.

The article did a great job of reminding the reader of the unfortunate inequities plaguing our schooling system. It is a classic example of how the higher class remains unscathed in moments of turmoil. It pointed out how 90% of US families are in the public schooling system. That means 90% of families are forced to scramble over how they’re going to financially support remote learning for their kids, or the potential health repercussions if their children are forced to go to school. 

Honestly, I am still conflicted on the best way to go forward. While granting families autonomy in deciding their children’s schooling plans is ideal, it’s clear we no longer have this option. Obviously this situation is only further exacerbated by our country’s incompetence and failed leadership. Chances are, if we took this pandemic seriously in the first place, we would not put families in this dire situation. BUT, because we are led by a collection of headstrong and often uninformed individuals, we are forced to think about the unthinkable. 

I wish the article talked a little bit more about why we are in this situation, and went into the depths of the politics behind it. It briefly touched on how if we prioritized saving our schools “the same way we’ve saved airlines and banks, then this is a problem we could solve.” It also recounted the logical plan the Durham public school system created, and explained how they have been coordinating their plan of action since April. Both of these anecdotes represent part of the reason we are so behind on our Fall schooling plans: failure to plan, and a disproportionate amount of planning towards certain topics. If leaders planned earlier like Durham, or in greater depth like they did on other matters, we would have more clarity on how to move forward.