Wisconsin Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) criticized distance learning saying that it’s “not a substitute” for in-person learning. Gallaher made the comments about distance learning following the announcement that Milwaukee and Madison schools reverted to online schooling for the first several days back after Christmas break.
Rep. Gallagher: "We cannot shut down schools again. This was our biggest blunder and shame on us if we repeat it again. Remote learning is not a substitute for being in the classroom…it's a euphemism for school shutdowns and that is a recipe for student failure." pic.twitter.com/pvYvCQ6RHh
— Rep. Gallagher Press Office (@RepGallagher) January 3, 2022
Gallagher said, “We cannot shut down schools again. This was our biggest blunder and shame on us if we repeat it again. Remote learning is not a substitute for being in the classroom…it’s a euphemism for school shutdowns and that is a recipe for student failure.”
Some Madison parents are angry at the lack of notice from the Madison School District regarding the closure of in-person learning after the school district announced on New Year’s Eve that school openings would be pushed back from January 3 to January 10.
Bridget Duffey, a single mother who has kids in the Madison School District, told the Wisconsin Daily Journal that for some families she knows the move will be detrimental.
Duffey said, “They’re now going to have to miss a week’s worth of wages because of this. A lot of [child care] places were closed last week because of the holiday and the New Year and they’re still scrambling.”
Gallagher appeared to agree with that sentiment, saying that online learning disproportionately impacts low-income families who cannot afford to take more time off work or don’t have the resources to support extended online learning.
He asked that if the people of Wisconsin could agree “at a minimum” that schools “have to stay open.”
“We can’t live in fear and we cannot allow this fear to mess up our kids,” the representative said. “Going back to the top down, shutdown, lockdown strategy, that failed before, will fail again. There’s no federal solution for COVID at this point, and for most things in our lives… We need to take charge of our own health, our own lives, and our own children.”
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