Over the last 100 years the United States public education system has changed to fit the needs of the citizens. One of the most recent changes which I personally feel will create new policies is how education has been mandated to give as well as receive: online. While homeschooling is not a new concept, it is in the minority of chosen education formats. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not an option, but a necessity. Every school across the nation has been forced to close. Every school across the nation has sent their teachers and professors home to do something that many of them have never done before, provide online instruction. In higher education, while there are still more in-seat students than not, this is not a new concept. For those children in Kindergarten, however, this is a fast changing whole new world. Where small children were just beginning to make new friendships at the start of the year, learning new social cues, and what exactly is the color red, the lives of millions of children all of the America have been changed and possibly forever. It is my belief that because of this abrupt necessary change with children of all ages now receiving their education online, that new policies will put in place to allow for this continued format for those that choose it. Parents, students, and the educators have all answered the call to continue work as usual from the comforts of their own homes while protecting each other from further spread of COVID-19. The grading is another story.
News outlets and papers everywhere are reporting that in higher education the call to give either a pass or fail is necessary. Students have even demanded it. Universities and colleges have begun to concede. For elementary, middle and high school the path is not so clear. Schools are sending students to already established online public schools. But, whether they can receive credit for the work is still uncertain. The need for data is clear, but how soon can the data provide a clear picture to help educators map out the next steps? With COVID-19 death tolls rising, no one is even clear if the brick and mortar schools will even be able to open back up next fall. However, even if schools stay closed longer than anticipated, we may find that parents have to go to work before children do, but how can they? I think this will also bring a wave of changes where we may have to look at providing financial welfare benefits to parents that stay home much like what is done in the Netherlands (please note that my source is my “sister” who is from the Netherlands and lives in Rotterdam – she has told me about something that could be called a child benefit – welfare).
It is my belief that many things in our nation will change as result of COVID-19, the most obvious being education, welfare reform, and healthcare. For these changes to not only take place with a permanent option, so must policies be amended and or created.