The coronavirus has closed thousands of schools across the country, resulting in a massive pivot to online learning, but many students – including almost a third of those who attend Chicago Public Schools – lack access to computers, tablets, and wifi, creating an unprecedented learning barrier, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
“Bottom line, the first day of remote learning is no different than any other – another day of the status quo for low-income people of color in our city,” said Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates. She added that computer and internet access should always be guaranteed, and the district should provide families more help to “navigate this traumatic and unprecedented period in time.”
Chicago is making efforts to minimize this access gap, and recently distributed 11,000 of a planned 100,000 computing devices to students.
Chicago Public Schools chief Janice Jackson and chief education officer LaTanya McDade acknowledged that “we won’t be the first to say that this has been a difficult school year.”
Read more about Chicago Public Schools confronting the technology gap amidst at home learning here.