I teach an Early College high school class in an urban area that has been hit hard by COVID-19. It’s been extremely painful for me to receive emails from those students who are struggling to get online to access our classroom platform and our Zoom class. Emergency remote teaching was supposed to be the answer – “just go online.” But for many students and teachers the digital divide opens up glaring injustices that were silently hidden while students were coming to school for technology.
Early College High Schools are schools designed to give equal access to students who want to go to college. The school and its donors remove the financial burdens of community college while the teachers, administrators, and college professors work tirelessly to keep students engaged in high school while simultaneously taking college courses. It’s hard work for everyone, but we do it because we want to see these students succeed. Only now, the digital wall makes us all feel like our plans for equal opportunity education was a false idea.
What plans do we have to overcome this? Which of our state and educational leaders will step up? Staring us in the face is only one of the many consequences of this devastating public health emergency, but we can not ethically ignore what has happened. The question that arises: what kind of educators do we want to be as we come out of this crises?
I don’t assume to have the quick answers but know we can not begin solving the problem until we recognize it.
Owner/Operator Broad Star Tutoring, LLC