According to the advertisement, “Six families with rising second-grade students have gotten together to form a micro-school. All 6 students are enrolled in CMS and will be actively engaged in remote learning during the day. … We are looking for someone to make sure they can stay engaged, answer questions.”
The recent Facebook advertisement posted by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ associate superintendent for student assignment and school choice shared on social media highlights the inequities in schooling.
For decades education experts have talked about the learning loss students experience over the summer when they’re not in the classroom. That learning loss has been exacerbated by closing schools and moving to remote-only learning. One study found that students who remain enrolled in schools and take virtual classes through January 2021 could lose three to four months of instruction. That learning loss will be greater for low-income students and students of color.
The overwhelming expert consensus is that school closures disproportionately impact at-risk students from lower-income households or difficult family circumstances. Well-off families can hire tutors, but less fortunate families cannot. Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) has called for public schools to provide parents with the option of full-time in-person instruction, just as parents have the option of full-time remote learning.
The post also illustrates why school choice is important — it allows parents the ability to choose the instruction that is best for their child’s education. The ability to choose the best education for a child shouldn’t be reserved just for families that can hire private tutors to supplement their child’s virtual learning.
Regarding the advertisement, Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga) said, “I appreciate this public school administrator’s care and attention to students’ education, but where are her efforts to help low-income students get the same opportunity? Well-off families can afford to keep their kids on track by hiring private tutors for neighborhood ‘micro-schools,’ as the CMS associate superintendent appears to be advertising. But kids from tough homes don’t have that chance, which is why allowing them into school buildings for in-person instruction is so important.”