I don’t agree on much politically with Ned Lamont, who’s the Democrat governor of Connecticut. So when he appeared Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” I didn’t expect much at all. But the way he spoke about the current, dire situation the students in his state are facing could have come from a conservative Republican governor.
Host Margaret Brennan pressed him on how the state would handle a possible return to remote learning, pointing to the fact that when the schools in his state implemented distance learning in the spring, an astounding number of students – 143,000 – didn’t bother to log on to complete assignments.
“It’s a tragedy,” he said of the children who failed to sign on. “We made it available to everybody we could, but again, requires parental supervision, requires a lot of effort to make sure everybody logs in. Right now, we’re going to have a telephone back up, better coordination, I think, with parents. But it’s by no means perfect.” [emphasis added]
Later, Lamont pushed back — hard — against the voices insisting we keep everything closed… until there’s a vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus. That, he said, would lead to his students having “a lost year of education”:
“I do not want a lost year. When everybody says, ‘Let’s not go back to school until it is perfectly safe, until we have a vaccine, until 100 percent of the people are vaccinated,’ I worry that could be a lost year of education.”
“I don’t want a lost year,” Connecticut @GovNedLamont says about his state’s approach to education amid the #CoronavirusPandemic. He says CT is taking steps like expanding access and wifi for students
Last school year, 143K kids did not log on for remote learning in the Spring. pic.twitter.com/FC3RibVZaY
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) August 9, 2020
But Gov. Lamont will likely have to defer to the state’s largest school districts, New Haven and Danbury, after the former voted last Wednesday to do all-remote learning, as NBC Connecticut/ WVIT reported late last week:
The state originally pushed for all districts to begin in-school classes this fall, but later acquiesced that the task may be impossible for some, especially crowded districts like New Haven and Danbury.
The superintendent will now petition the state Department of Education for approval.
I’ll say this: When the world has gone so crazy that people are spending time debating whether students should be allowed to wear pajamas during distance learning sessions, hearing common sense like this from a politician of any stripe comes as a welcome relief.
You can watch the full interview below, via CBS News: