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What The Science Says About How To Reopen Schools47:04
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Wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID19, elementary school students walk to classes to begin their school day in Godley, Texas. (LM Otero/AP)
Wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID19, elementary school students walk to classes to begin their school day in Godley, Texas. (LM Otero/AP)

The back to school debate rages on amidst the pandemic. While some large school districts reopen for in-person learning, some say we’re not ready. Will new guidance from the CDC change the conversation?  

Guests

Matt Barnum, national reporter covering education policy and research for Chalkbeat. (@matt_barnum)

Benjamin P. Linas, infectious disease physician and associate professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Medicine. (@BenjaminLinas)

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. (@rweingarten)

Also Featured

Chris Guerrieri, life skills teacher at Palm Avenue Exceptional Student Center in Jacksonville, Florida.

Quentin Washington, music teacher at Sadlowski Elementary School in Chicago.

Christine Kratt, third grade teacher in the San Diego Unified School District.

From The Reading List

Chalkbeat: "New CDC guidance: Vaccinate teachers, but don’t wait to open schools" — "Highly anticipated new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says schools don’t need to wait for staff to be vaccinated to reopen. Students should return full-time where spread is low or moderate, and with regular testing, the CDC says schools can open for some in-person instruction even when community spread is high."

Vox: "I’m an epidemiologist and a father. Here’s why I’m losing patience with our teachers’ unions." — "Millions of students across America have now been stuck in remote learning for nearly a year. This situation, which has hurt learning and widened gaping disparities, is in large part because many teachers fear returning to the classroom in person. But in this past year, we have also learned how we can keep schools open safely."

Washington Post: "Opinion: The CDC’s latest demands will keep millions of kids out of school unnecessarily" — "The new report on schools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should be a wake-up call to parents everywhere: If they’re not back already, your kids are not going back to school full-time this year."

New York Times: "Missing in School Reopening Plans: Black Families’ Trust" — "For Farah Despeignes, the choice of whether to send her children back to New York City classrooms as the coronavirus pandemic raged on last fall was no choice at all."

Wall Street Journal: "Opinion: Randi Weingarten Replies to Riley on Unions" — "Jason Riley wonders out loud ('Have Teachers Unions Finally Overplayed Their Hand?,' Upward Mobility, Feb. 10) if teachers unions are losing public support, and twists a quote from a recent New York Times profile to illustrate his point.'"

This program aired on February 17, 2021.

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