## Sunday, January 24, 2021

### Reflections2

Reflections2

February 2021

We shall miss you, Rush, 70, 2-17-21. God-speed!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness... Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

Reflections2 is continued on Inkings1.

1877: First Grade in 1877 was far different from 1st Grade today. In 1877, Kids learned to read and master the classic curriculum of arithmetic. "In America's one-room schoolhouses, Ray's Arithmetic was used alongside the McGuffey Readers." 2-19-21

Ray's Primary Arithmetic (© 1877) for Grades 1 and 2 was a tiny 4.5" x 7.25"  book that had 94 pages and 89 Lessons. Primary Arithmetic "covers all four basic functions: addition, subtraction, multiplication, & division in single digits with word and money problems." Below is a typical addition word problem from Lesson XXIII. Students had to be able to read the word problems and use arithmetic to answer the questions. Also, there are many drills in the 1st-2nd grade compact book. Ray's Primary Arithmetic was arithmetic, not reform math. 2-19-21

1st Grade: Ray's Primary Arithmetic, Lesson XXIII

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Scale Up (?): I do not think my algebra program for little kids can scale up to other schools. It is more complicated than that. Algebra has deep roots in basic arithmetic, not reform math. Progressive teachers in K-5 find it challenging to change from reform math ideology to prioritizing basic arithmetic, which involves memorizing math facts, learning rules, practicing standard algorithms, and writing and solving equations, all for retention in long-term memory via drills and flashcards. In short, just because something works in one school doesn't mean it will work in other schools. Teachers are different. Still,  educators tend to chase after any fad that comes along. 2-18-21

Many schools are adopting so-called "Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards." I guess teaching children the fundamentals is no longer the goal. How will they get a job later if they can't read, write, or do arithmetic well?

Woke schools claim that getting the "right answer" or "showing your work" to get the right answer is "evidence of white supremacy." How stupid! The algebra program I present to 1st-grade through 4th-grade at a Title-1 urban school, which is 90% minorities, requires students to get the right answer and show how they got the correct answer. Mathematics is based on facts, not woke opinion. I think most woke teachers hate math. Learning arithmetic well is hard work. Memorization and practice have fallen out of favor in woke classrooms. 2-18-21

Progressive educators are wrong! Critical thinking skills are not independent of domain knowledge. Students who study math should develop a toolkit of facts, procedures, rules, and cases in long-term memory. These fundamentals are the knowledge required for critical thinking in math (aka problem-solving). There are no shortcuts. Moreover, in math, problem-solving (deductive, based on factual statements), no one disputes 0 + 1 = 1 or 1 + 1 = 2, is far different from problem-solving in science (observation/inference process). The interpretation of measurements can change over time with new observations. Today, all matter is made of elementary particles: electrons, photons, quarks, and gluons. This idea of fundamental particles is different from saying that all matter is made of atoms.

Frank Wilczek writes, "The basic laws of physics are universal. They hold everywhere and for all times." I wish that were true in education. In my opinion, the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic are not universal in our schools. After 8-years of Common Core reform math, only 24% of 12th graders are proficient in math (2019 NAEP), not a favorable statistic. Based on national and international tests, I have concluded that learning the basics has not been a top priority in progressive schooling. If it was, then scores would match the math scores of top-performing nations. Given the amount of money spent on K-12 education in the United States, we are not the best or close to being the best. For decades, we have imported talent from the Asian nations because not enough had developed here. Furthermore, many students who enroll in community colleges are typically placed in remedial math (high school algebra). Students who have trouble with algebra are the same students who had difficulty with basic arithmetic, especially fractions, ratio/proportion, and percentages. Unfortunately, many have not mastered the x-table and have been weaned on calculators since elementary school. 2-18-21

Remote and its variants have been costly (\$\$\$\$\$) and plagued with tech problems. Remote is inferior to in-person classroom teaching. Does remote learning hurt children's health? Many pediatricians think so. Also, in-person safety measures for opening schools are "ludicrous," says Dr. Scott Atlas. "We are off the rails." Atlas explains, "We have children, young children, wearing masks, being separated, thinking they are an infection vector for everyone and that everyone is a danger to them ... It is almost insane." 2-16-21

It is an age of foolishness. (Charles Dickens)  What are we doing to our children? Also, there is "gap chasing" and a "fallacy of fairness." Still, I am optimistic! Things will get better.

The achievement gap hasn't closed. Are we chasing after the wrong goal? Sandra Stotsky thinks so because reforms have not worked. (Stotsky, The Roots of Low Achievement, 2019) For example, achievement in math has stagnated ever since states adopted Common Core in 2011. Stotsky observes, "They [the teachers] may teach less content to higher achievers to equalize achievement between higher and low achievers or ignore what college teaching faculty say college readiness means." Thomas Sowell points out that "equalizing ... by lowering those at the top ... is a fallacy of fairness." Lowering the bar has not been an answer.

In the real world, academic ability widely varies, so all students can't possibly attain an identical level of achievement. Even with the same inputs, the outcomes will differ. Also, educators have not figured out how to change low achievers to high achievers. It must be magic! Today, the idea of equity is to keep all students at the same level of achievement, which is wrong. No student gets ahead. It is low expectations in the guise of equity! But, improving the curriculum for all students is a start in the right direction, as Stotsky points out

The content that high achievers learn should be far different from the content low achievers learn. Schools should accelerate the best students, not hold them back, but acceleration seldom happens at the K-8 level. Why are elementary school children in the talented and gifted programs learning the same grade-level math as the regular kids? (Equity?) In teaching algebra to K-4, I found many minority students who achieved at high levels. We spend too much money on the bottom students who have the limited academic ability and not nearly enough on the other students. We need to level the funds. 2-15-21

Special: How I shoot photos. Click LT's Photo Page
 Many Kids Are Frustrated With Online Schooling!

Online school has been a disaster for some students due to problems with connectivity, district websites, devices, and software. What could possibly go wrong? Many students are failing. It is a frustrating situation. Kids are upset. Parents are upset. Teachers know their students are not learning enough. Online is substantially inferior to in-person. All schools should have opened full-time before Thanksgiving of 2020, in my opinion. Kids are behind in their studies because of online schooling and substandard curricula. It's the worst of times for children. Get kids back to school first, stop the reform math foolishness, and return to basic arithmetic that all children need to learn to advance.  2/11-12/2021

The math curriculum, which was built on Common-Core-like state standards, is not world-class math. Common Core ignored many of the well-established, international benchmarks in arithmetic and pushed algebra to high school. I wonder why states adopted Common Core so quickly, knowing this? (It was all about the money, money!) The gap between the content that Singapore 1st-grade students routinely learn and the content that U.S. 1st-grade students learn widens up the grades. Thus, by the 4th or 5th grade, our students, on average, are about two years behind their peers from top-performing nations, but no one seems to care that our kids are being out-educated. We are told that it is not that bad, but it is.  2-9-21

Schools tend to pass everyone regardless of competency in math, reading, writing, science, and history. It's okay that students cannot do arithmetic or algebra well--pass them anyway. In my opinion, some schools are more interested in inflating grades and graduation rates than boosting academics to a higher standard. And, it has been that way for some time. Students aren't learning as much as they should in the remote mode, and many dedicated teachers are frustrated because they can't do anything to change it. Incidentally, bold ideas are not always good or workable ideas. Ideas are a dime a dozen. 2-9-21

Singapore 1st-grade students memorize addition and some subtraction facts and practice formal algorithms (i.e., standard algorithms). They also learn multiplication and write and solve addition, subtraction, and multiplication equations based on word problems. What do most U.S. 6-year-olds learn? Not much! 2-9-21

After eight years of Common-Core-based reform math, a meager 24% of 12th graders were proficient in math (NAEP 2019), an awful statistic. Remote makes it worse.

It's the same old junk!
Heather C. Hill (at Brookings) writes about reforms to improve math instruction: "These reforms ask teachers to forgo presenting mathematics as a set of facts and procedures and instead help students to make sense of mathematics conceptually, and also to engage students in mathematical practices such as explanation, argumentation, and modeling." Really? It is math without knowing math in long-term memory. It's the same old NCTM nonsense-- understanding at the expense of content knowledge required for problem-solving in mathematics and science. In my view, you don't understand something you cannot do or apply, such as the Pythagorean theorem. Even then, it takes years as understanding grows slowly only after lots of problems are solved. 2-8-21

Notes: Math instruction won't get better until K-8 teachers significantly improve their mathematical knowledge and change their progressive teaching methods, which are ineffective (e.g., group work, discovery learning, project-based, etc.). Indeed, arithmetic and algebra consist of many facts and procedures that must be mastered, explains Ian Stewart, a mathematician. He writes, "Mathematics happens to require rather a lot of basic knowledge and technique." Daniel Willingham, a cognitive scientist, points out, "Factual knowledge must precede higher-level thinking." You cannot think about something that isn't there. 2-9-21

You can't teach math that is based on facts like you teach social studies. Math is absolute, and its foundation rests on true statements that don't change. In contrast, science is based on observation and inference. Every theory in science, including Darwin's theories, can be modified with the advent of new measurements (data) or observations. "You don't know anything until you have practiced," explains Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. Oh, did I mention that there is no such thing as a consensus of opinion among scientists?

Ian Stewart: Teach HOW First, not WHY.
Kids are novices, not little mathematicians. Ian Stewart contradicts the teaching of math in progressive classrooms. Teachers are obsessed with the why instead of the how. He points out, "One of the biggest differences between school math and university math is proof. At school, we learn how to solve equations or find the area of a triangle; at university, we learn why those methods work and prove that they do." Explaining how things work in math through carefully chosen worked examples is an effective way to teach arithmetic and algebra in K-8.  2-9-21

Note: Stewart also takes issue with educational psychologists by asserting that practice does not cause talent. There has to be something there (DNA) to begin with. Practice does not make perfect; it causes improvement. Also, the idea that "anybody can achieve anything provided they undergo sufficient training" is bogus. 2-9-21

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"Ability does not guarantee achievement, nor is achievement proportional to ability," writes Leonard Mlodinow. While effort and persistence are up to the individual, "don't underestimate the role of chance."

Study hard enough to become smart enough. (S. Korean Motto)

Achievement gaps exist because the academic ability of students widely varies. Kids are not the same, but "equalizing downward by lowering those at the top" has been an awful, "crazy" idea and a "fallacy of fairness" taught in progressive education schools, writes Thomas Sowell

Memorization, flashcards, and retrieval practice are good for kids!
Since when has googling become an alternative for learning or a replacement for knowledge? "Thought without content [in long-term memory] is empty." (I. Kant)

5 ÷ (1/2) = 5 x 2
Fraction operations must fit experience.
I teach 3rd and 4th-grade students that if you take 5 oranges and split them into halves (divide by 1/2), you get 10 halves, so 5 ÷ (1/2) = 10, which is the same as 5 x 2 = 10. Both 1/2 and 2 are reciprocals of each other, i.e., their product is ONE. Thus, 5 ÷ (1/2) = 5 x 2, by transitivity (10 = 10) and leads to the idea of invert and multiply. With fractions, I teach reciprocals, not invert and multiply. Divison is multiplying by the reciprocal. Thus, 12 ÷ (1/3) is 12 x 3 or 36, etc. Don't confuse it with 12 ÷ 3, which is 4. (2-6-21)

Math content downgrading started in the 1970s. Content has slowly melted away. Since 2011, math achievement has stagnated (NAEP). "Do you want to build a snowman?" (Frozen)

Sandra Stotsky (The Roots of Low Achievement, 2019) writes, "There are thinking skills to be developed in every subject in K-12 but not at the expense of the basic knowledge that becomes the basis for thought."

If students develop a growth mindset or high self-esteem, then the achievement gap will melt away. Really? It must be magic!

Using tech often hides poor instruction as kids learn very little! In short, the way tech has been used does not improve learning, much less cost-effective. If the teaching online were right, then kids would be learning heaps of arithmetic and algebra. They are not. Also, without proper testing, teachers don't know what content has been retained, if any. What a blow, especially with the super hype that tech would revolutionize education. Remote, hybrid, flipping, personalizing, discovery (group work), and variants are inefficient methods for learning mathematics, in my opinion.

Remote has permeated K-12 education for nearly a year. It's not practical, so it's time for teachers and students to return to the classroom full timeSince when has googling become an alternative for learning or a replacement for knowledge? Even adults often can't tell the difference between genuine information and misinformation or nonsense, much less young students. Kids can't determine if the "googled information" is authentic or correct because they don't have the proper background knowledge. Much of the "information" posted on the Internet has not been written by experts. It's not like in the 1950s when experts wrote entries, articles, and biographies for the World Book Encyclopedia, "a trusted research and content source for 100 years." (Clarifications made on 1-30-21, 2-4-21)

Note: Tech and software for the classroom haven't upgraded achievement either or transformed education. Indeed, achievement in math and reading has stagnated for the past decade. The curriculum and instructional methods (e.g., reform math) have not worked as expected. The math curriculum is not world-class math. Kids stumble over simple arithmetic. In short, basic arithmetic has not been taught well (i.e., for mastery). Online stuff hasn't changed that. Remote makes it worse. 2-2-21

Reform math is bad math because the results are bad. Also, I am not sure teachers know how to teach basic arithmetic. Reform math has replaced basic arithmetic. After eight years of Common-Core-based reform math, a meager 24% of 12th graders were proficient in math (NAEP 2019), an awful statistic. 2-2-21
 Kids stumble over simple arithmetic. Multiplication facts and standard algorithms should be practiced and learned no later than 3rd grade to prepare for higher-level math. (Model: Alyssa)

Note: While I had success teaching algebra to primary children at a Title-1 urban school, with almost all minority students, I don't think my Teach Kids Algebra (TKA) program that started in 2011 can scale up unless I teach it. My success at grades 1 and 2, then 3 and 4, does not mean TKA should be introduced to all kids in the district's elementary schools or elsewhere. K-8 teachers are ill-equipped to teach Common Core math well, writes H. Wu, a mathematician at UC-Berkeley who has given summer classes for teachers for decades. But, acquiring more math knowledge has not changed the landscape much. It's a start.

Likewise, in my opinion, I do not think K-5 teachers know enough arithmetic and algebra to teach TKA well. TKA is not Common Core math or reform math. And it doesn't follow the state or district standards. It is STEM math for elementary school students. I thought about making videos, but students would not be able to ask questions. The videos would also not allow individual help and answering questions. The practice sheets with my feedback make TKA work. I can't imagine teaching TKA without providing on-the-spot feedback to students.

Teaching algebra by fusing it to basic arithmetic (TKA) helps young children better understand arithmetic, starting in 1st grade. Arithmetic needs to be practiced repeatedly through retrieval and review, so it sticks in long-term memory for problem-solving in math. Algebra (e.g., studying equations, building tables, and graphing simple functions) is easy compared to arithmetic. Algebra also shows students that a solid background in arithmetic is essential. Kids who are good in arithmetic also shine in algebra. 2-1-21

I diverge
As a contrarian, I often challenge conventional thinking (i.e., progressivism) in education. I diverge from Common Core's one-size-fits-all prescription, its scope and sequence, and interpretation through the lens of NCTM reform math. Simply, math has been taught poorly in K-12. Here is some evidence

After eight years of Common-Core-based reform math, a meager 24% of 12th graders were proficient in math (NAEP 2019), an awful statistic. Richard Feynman would have a fit! For decades, education in the U.S. has become a "fortress of progressivism," writes Rick Hess. And, the leader of the reform revolution, in my view, has been Jo Boaler. By 4th or 5th grade, reform math has put our kids at least two years behind their peers from high-performing math nations. In my 2011 analysis of Common Core and Singapore standards, the gap begins in 1st grade. Singapore students learn multiplication in 1st grade, etc. Today, American schools are more tech-rich than content-rich. We are told that tech in schools is just as important, if not more, than learning actual content. For example, under today's progressive agenda, children don't need to memorize multiplication facts. They can always use calculators. What a colossal error! The use of tech hasn't helped.

Learning Math is Hard Work

(It's not always fun until you get good at it through practice-practice-practice and review-review-review).

In math, flashcards work because they force you to recall, which takes cognitive effort. "The least-fun part of effective learning is that it's hard." You have to force yourself to recall a fact or procedure in arithmetic or algebra. Your mind is lazy and doesn't want to think! You must force yourself to think and remember. "To learn something is to remember it," writes Mark McDaniel (Make It Stick, 2014). Also, if nothing has changed in long-term memory, then you haven't learned anything. Kirschner, Sweller & Clark ("Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work") observe, "Learning is defined as a change in long-term memory." Students should quiz themselves at home to learn. Parents should help younger children. Likewise, teachers should frequently quiz students on new content and basic factual and procedural knowledge needed to do the math. If a student cannot recall how to apply the Pythagorean theorem, solve a proportion using the cross-product property of proportions, or use the distributive property, the student hasn't learned it. If a student cannot instantly recall 8 x 7 = 56, they haven't learned it. Indeed, good math students are a product of training at school and home.

Teach BASIC Arithmetic for Mastery
Memorizing multiplication facts is essential no later than 3rd grade, so is the standard multiplication algorithm. Practicing the long-division algorithm should start the 2nd semester of 3rd grade.

In 2021, we need to return to a bold pursuit of educational excellenceProgressive ideology and policies, fads, computers/tablets, Common Core reform math, and minimal guidance methods have sidetracked us. Educators should teach standard arithmetic for mastery but don't. Instead, they substitute reform math for standard arithmetic. Children need explicit teaching via worked examples--not group, discovery, or project work, much less six different ways to multiply, and eight so-called mathematical practices.

Fractions
Mathematician Morris Kline wrote, "The operations with fractions are formulated to fit experience."

If I have 5 apples and cut them into halves (i.e., divide by 1/2), then the number of halves would be 10. They are easy to count, even for K children. Thus, the equation 5 ÷ (1/2) = 10 must be true to fit experience. We end up multiplying 5 by 2 to get 10: 5 x 2 = 10. Therefore, the two equations are equal by the transitive law: 5 ÷ (1/2) = 5 x 2. It justifies the idea of "invert and multiply," but kids must know reciprocals. (1/2 and 2 are reciprocals of each other because their product is 1.)

Note: If two things are equal in value to the same thing, they are equal (transitivity). In my 1st grade self-contained class in the early 1980s, I stressed that 7 can replace 2 + 5. Also, if 3 + 4 = 7 and 10 - 3 = 7, then, by transitive logic, 3 + 4 = 10 - 3 or 7 = 7 (True). Even in 1st grade, it is important to stress the mathematical idea of equal (=). Students in my 1st-grade algebra program (TKA) can determine whether an equation is true or false by applying the idea of equal. For example, 3 + 4 = 12 - 7 is a false statement. The left side is 7, but the right side is 5, and 7 5. The  inequality symbol means "not equal to." Therefore, the equation is false. First graders used the inequality symbol

There is a relationship between dividing by (1/2) and multiplying by 2; that is, (1/2) and 2 are reciprocals because their product is 1. Thus, to divide a number, multiply by its reciprocal. Students need to learn the idea of reciprocals. Division becomes multiplying by reciprocal. Also, the fraction bar is a division symbol: 4/5 means 4 times the unit fraction 1/5 or 1/5 + 1/5 + 1/5 + 1/5. Taking 4 and dividing by 5 (long-division), you end up with a terminating decimal: 0.8. Additionally, 8/2 means 8 x the unit fraction 1/2. (To divide by 2 is to multiply by 1/2, the reciprocal of 2.) One-half of eight is four (8 divided by 2) and makes perfect sense:  8/2 = 4.

Inverse
I would give undo problems like this for 3rd-grade students to solve:
6 ÷ 3 x 3 = 6.  Follow the order of operations (left to right rule)The idea of inverse operations is vital for solving equations using algebra techniques beginning in 3rd grade.
(4/5) ÷ 234 x 234 = (4/5).

I introduced simpler equations for 1st and 2nd graders, such as 8 - 4 + 4 = x, as addition and subtraction are inverse operations and undo each other. By applying the inverse or undo idea, students could figure out equations like
235 + 34 - 34 = x by sight. Equations like this should be practiced almost daily. Students can calculate 45 - 15 + 12 using standard algorithms that show place value. Note: Subtracting 15 and adding 12 do not undo each other, so students need to calculate--start with 45, subtract 15, then add 12 to the result. Use standard algorithms as needed.

***** If you think of the fraction bar as a division, then the fraction
4/4 is 4 ÷ 4 or 1

Algorithms are formulated to fit experience, but they must also be very efficient and always work. Students must know the standard algorithms, which should be taught first. They stress place value. They are efficient and always work.

Issac Newton said that his new calculations were a good fit for the results of his experiments. His calculations or calculus always worked.

The preparation for higher-level math starts with 1st-grade arithmetic. Many students are underprepared because of inadequate instruction and inferior methods. Arithmetic should be taught for mastery but often isn't. Memorizing math facts, drills, and mastering standard algorithms have been cut back in many schools, a colossal blunder by progressive reformists who argue from ideology, not evidence.

Some of the educationist solutions to low math achievement include: teach less content, increase funding, inflate grades (self-esteem), block scheduling, extensive group work, technology, Common Core and state standards based on CC, NCLB/ESSA, state achievement tests, flipped classes, etc. All have failed when scaled up. Sandra Stotsky wrote that educationists have not figured out how to change low-achievers into high achievers unless content is "equalized" down by diminishing it. She also thinks that closing the gap should not be an educational goal. Stotsky writes, "Gap closing as an educational goal has had damaging effects on teachers as much as on their students. It cloaks in deceptive language strategies." The same for math strategies over essential content, such as memorizing the x-tables or learning the standard algorithms first. Instead, students are taught pedagogy in disguise, such as six different ways to multiply, e.g., the lattice method. No one uses a lattice to multiply, yet reform math advocates say it helps kids understand multiplication better. Really? It's pedagogy, not content. Is it any wonder kids stumble over basic arithmetic? Reform math has replaced it. (Note: I often reference Sandra StotskyThe Roots of Low Achievement, 2019)

We know that one-to-one tutoring by a math expert, not a so-called "math educator" from a progressive education school, will move the student forward via standard arithmetic and algebra.

Science and facts are frequently ignored when they don't match or fit the leftist narrative, agenda, opinion, or progressive ideology. As a result, radical ideas, often camouflaged as standard or best practices, have infiltrated education, such as "one size fits all" (e.g., Common Core or Common-Core-based state standards), group work, the self-esteem movement, learning styles, dumbed-down academics, etc. No child gets ahead. By the time students reach 4th or 5th grade, they are, on average, two years behind their peers from top-performing nations in math.

There is little incentive for individual students to achieve or excel in math when A-students and D-students are given the same grade of "pass." It boils down to socialism in disguise. Student competition and independence are discouraged. The "group" or "state" counts, not the individual. Dependency on government and more government in education count, not family, individualism, and self-reliance. Many popular politicians believe that big government, big tech, hefty taxes, and ample funding will solve most of our education woes and "enforce equality for all people in all respects," a socialist utopian. They have crossed over to the dark side.  2-7-21

Note: One of "the greatest obstacles to the progress of liberalism is Christianity," writes Dr. Benjamin Wiker.  Religion and prayer were purged from public schools and elsewhere by leftist radicals. The radical left has propagandized education. The good intentions of liberal extremists are not good enough and seem to escape prudence, science, and facts. In my opinion, we should fear big government intrusion in education, big tech, and big media as well.  2-7-21

SAT Changes
The College Board SAT drops the optional essay test and subject tests like chemistry. Sixty years ago, I took the SAT chemistry subject test that qualified me for advanced chemistry courses in college; however, it did not satisfy the science course requirement. In my opinion, AP classes are not always equivalent to actual college-level courses. Moreover, I think the switch from subject tests to AP may be financially motivated as AP is expanding. High school rankings are partially based on AP courses offered.

In contrast, one parent expressed to me that the AP courses were a bunch of junk for her child. Also, the quality of AP teaching often varies. AP is overhyped and pushed by the College Board. Still, there is a substantial difference between AP calculus in high school and the calculus at the University of Texas for STEM students. Richard Rusczyk, the founder of the Art of Problem Solving (AoPS), writes that AP calculus is for average high school students who are prepared. However, the "AoPS Calculus text is written to challenge students at a much deeper level than a traditional high school or first-year college calculus course." In short, AoPS Calculus is for truly advanced high school students, not average students.

Teacher unions want billions and complete safety to reopen schools.
Remote and its variants have been costly (\$\$\$\$\$) and plagued with tech problems and little learning!

The tactics of the teacher unions have stalled the reopening of schools with in-person teaching full-time. Many teachers refuse to work in their classrooms. Full-time, in-person instruction may not take place until next fall unless union demands of absolute safety and money are met. Yet, there is no such thing as complete safety. The unions and educationist leaders do not put children's education first, even though they say they do. It's one excuse after another, in my opinion. Don't expect schools to fully reopen soon.