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I am a New York City public high school student. The situation is beyond control (reddit.com)
538 points by prawn 12 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 747 comments





Freddie de Boer just wrote something on his Substack about this - https://freddiedeboer.substack.com/p/many-kids-dont-have-a-w...

The quick takeaway is that school is that for the most vulnerable kids, school is about a lot more than education. Taking school away from those kids can be much more damaging than many people realize.

It seems to me like that right strategy would be to just say something like:

    We encourage all kids to stay home, but if you can't, that's ok. You can come to school and have a warm, quiet place to spend the day, and we'll provide free lunch to everyone who comes.
Forget about the education piece for a while, just provide the (very important for some people) day care part.

It will be year 3 of covid and this is 100% the fault of the same people who have created every other problem in the education system: the administrators. There is no perfect way to open schools, that much is certain after looking at other countries. But looking at the state of things, it doesn’t even seem like people are trying.

Japan has students come in on alternate days, so that the school can operate at 50% capacity. Mask mandates, social distancing and temperature checks are enforced strictly. Sweden has kept its schooling open (although it has had covid outbreaks, but the numbers were similar to Finland where the schools were closed). Uruguay opened up schools early for its most vulnerable kids. The point being, there are different ways to solve the problem, but only in America, can we be stuck with the worst way to do it.


I don't fault any schools for struggling from March 2020 to June 2020, being thrown into the pandemic and remote learning with no warning. But I was absolutely astonished to see that most administrators took the summer of 2020 off, assuming that everybody would be back in school that fall and things would be normal. They wasted several months of time that could've been spent planning contingencies and how remote learning might work better than just pure zoom.

I always thought that schools should have considered something I saw done at a SANS training course once. While there were ~20 people in attendance, there were also several people attending virtually. Those virtual attendees had a surrogate in the room, whose job was to monitor chat/messages from the virtual attendees and raise his hand to ask a question to the instructor - as if they were there in person. This allowed the instructor to teach the course as he normally would, using a full projection screen, white board, and other materials.

This surrogate method would have allowed teachers to be in their classrooms drawing on blackboards, using charts, posters, and other instructional aids they've spent years building, instead of having to pivot completely to PowerPoint. It's a shame to see absolutely no creativity or thinking outside the box among school administrators.


Where are you going to get a few million surrogates? A lot of solutions shared here fail to realize that the majority of US public school teachers are routinely spending their own money on basic classroom supplies.

Just. Stop. You’re hurting kids by spreading the myth that school funding is the problem, because it allows the real problems to continue festering. US public schools are among some of the best funded in the world: https://www.statista.com/chart/amp/15434/the-countries-spend...

Plus, schools have tons of unused covid relief money: https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/05/politics/school-federal-covid...


New York City spends close to $30k per public school student. They should be able to afford anything with this kind of spending.

I'm inclined to believe this. I was in a discussion about this yesterday with friends and a clear statistic would have helped. But the chart you've got there --- I know it's not the fulcrum of your whole argument, I'm not sniping --- doesn't really make the case you make in your comment. It says that we spend 0.1% more than the OECD average on primary/secondary schools, but are boosted in the overall rankings by spending way more than any other country on tertiary schools (unsurprising).

I usually take the G7 as the benchmark—what oil emirates like Norway or banking havens like Switzerland spend aren’t a relevant comparison to a big diversified economy like the US. We spend a bigger percentage of our economy on K-12 than all but one other G7 country. And since our GDP per capita is so high, that share of GDP represents 20%+ more purchasing power than other G7 countries. That should be more than enough. We need to stop acting like money is the problem in education.

Isn't money spent on education mostly teachers' salaries? So high GDP per capita just makes education more expensive, not less expensive. If education spending was mostly electronics, then higher GDP per capita would have been good for education.

My wife is a teacher. We spend our own money every year.

Maybe you should stop. Let the system fail enough such that the pain that you're preventing will start to affect the people who can actually fix things. If you can't fix it, let the wheel squeak. You're not the parent or savior of those children, so don't allow your high levels of empathy and life choices to be exploited by bureacrats. They know exactly which buttons to push and how to manipulate the type of people teachers are.

Stop playing the game where you spend money to cover up incompetence or corruption. Don't be a reliable patsy. Some problems only get better if you force the ones responsible to fix it.

Use a classroom to audit their own supplies and needs, and see where money intended for education actually goes. The information should ask be public.


The problem is that people who can actually fix things generally send their kids to private schools.

Then solve that problem, and stop subsidizing incompetence and corruption.

On what? Do you buy textbooks with them?

American teachers spend a lot of time, as my Asian mom would always complain, on “arts and crafts.” The volume of construction paper and pipe cleaners and other junk my kids bring home is truly astonishing.

These expenses are symptomatic of curricular problems—and the solution isn’t to allocate more money for craft supplies. It doesn’t cost that much to have kids drill their times tables.


Many teachers spend their money essentially replacing the role of 1) parents and 2) administrators.

I know a lot of teachers spending money on hygiene products:tampons, deodorant ect, because it is distracting if students are bleeding at their desks and smell like garbage.

2) they also spend money on basic supplies, pens pencils, as well as heaters and coolers for the room because the administration blew the funds on some bs like a marble facade for the school


Although I sympathize with the student's issues, it is not taxpayer's fault that these issues occur.

For (1) the government already gives housing assistance, food stamps and a bunch of other welfare programs, so the parents can easily afford basic hygiene products and they should be paying for it, not the school.

For (2) it is the administration's malice or incompetence that is burning away the money. We shouldn't increase the budget even more, we should hold the administration and the parents accountable.


I don't disagree, but this is the situation teachers are in. The parents should be buying the hygiene products, but aren't so teachers are trying to fill the gaps. It is a inefficient solution to a problem that should be addressed by someone else, but they are the ones that have to deal with it in order to do their regular job.

Sure schools are well funded in comparison to others. Doesn't mean most teachers aren't routinely spending their own money on supplies. The “Just. Stop.” attitude from anyone who hasn't spent time in the US public school system, and just looks at the numbers doesn't address this. The US is rapidly losing experienced teachers, something which has only accelerated in the last two years.

https://www.epi.org/publication/u-s-schools-struggle-to-hire...


'Since March 2020, the federal government has provided $190 billion in pandemic aid to schools …'[0]

'There are 130,930 public and private K-12 schools in the U.S.'[1]

$190 billion divided by 130,930 is $1.45 million dollars per school. Now, I will readily grant that a million dollars just ain't what it used to be, but it is, even in 2021, still a heck of a lot of money, and it sure sounds from the raw numbers that public school teachers shouldn't need to spend their own money on basic COVID-19 supplies.

0: https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/look-up-how-much-covi...

1: https://www.edweek.org/leadership/education-statistics-facts...


There's around 50M K-12 students in public schools. That's roughly $4k per student over the course of about 18 months, at the time the article was written. Subtract six months for summers, if you like; that's still ~360 days, for about $11/student/day. It's not nothing, but a single rapid test costs more than that.

> but a single rapid test costs more than that.

Still find the difference in that so weird. rapid tests are a 2-3 € supermarket item here, if you'd be buying in bulk for a school system they'd be cheaper. And at least some schools/day cares have been doing pool testing.


Yes, I believe the main difference comes down to the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) being slow and hidebound about approving rapid tests, with the result that the few manufacturers who got through the whole arduous approval process have been able to reap near-monopoly profits.

You don’t need to rapid test every student every day for a year! $4,000 per kid is a ton of money for PPE, remote learning supplies, test kits, ventilation, etc. The money has mostly been set on fire.

Yep and now it’s gone. Schools are notoriously wasteful when it comes to large sums of money. Almost none of the allocations go to high ROI Items like hiring teachers or buying basic school supplies. Schools love buying tech though because it’s always a black hole for capital spending

At least in LA, its not the schools. Its, as an earlier poster said, administration. The mental association of "school" is usually a group of teachers and maybe a principal.

In multiple cities, political leadership at the mayoral level has been shown to be getting kickbacks and other favorable terms from our dear beloved employers to adopt that technology. In LAUSD it was Villaragosa and Apple.

When we say the money is "wasted", it's because there is corruption at levels higher than any individual school. Usually.


Yeah I think that’s true the corruption is either dictated down as in you must buy apple products or you get nothing. Happens at a district level where for example they they hire a consulting firm and pay millions of dollars

Rapid testing every student wouldn’t be necessary to open the schools.

The continual testing and quarantining of healthy students and staff is what keeps schools from being able to reliably stay open.

Rapid test will test negative when someone is already contagious.

It won’t be an effective means of stopping spread. Instead give out surgical masks or n95 to all kids. Cloth masks allow 90%+ of the virus to enter/leave. Add hepa filters. Add space heaters and leave the windows open. Maybe teach outside in parklet if possible.

That’ll be more effective at preventing spread.


I am probably being a smartass but if the purpose is to check whether there is at least one positive student (no matter who) you can do so with one single collective test a day.

>shouldn't need to spend their own money on basic COVID-19 supplies

Not covid supplies, school supplies pre-covid (which they also shouldn't have needed to, but did need to nevertheless).

And hiring enough surrogates would eat up a huge chunk of that $1.45 million, given that you'd need, what, ~10 per school for nearly 2 years now? Actually, that's more doable than I expected.


I assumed they meant having other kids be surrogates, so representing both themselves as well as another student. Could work in the right environment I suppose, but US public school culture is a million miles from that of Japan.

This just seems like a very naive idea in a very confident HN manner. Have you met teenagers?

That's what I meant by the right environment. I don't think it'd work well for the typical American public school.

Double up classes. You could have a 60 person class taught by one teacher, with the other acting as support.

I am a high school English teacher. I currently teach six sections of 30-35 students. I already spend my nights and weekends lesson planning/assessing writing, and you want to double my student load? Fuck off. I’d quit tomorrow.

The grading (and lesson planning/assignment & test writing, though those scale anyway) would be split between the teacher giving the lesson and the one acting as a surrogate, so they'd basically still have the same load each.

Edit: probably on an alternating assignments basis rather than a "half the students' papers for you, half for me" basis, for grading consistency/fairness reasons

Edit2: Actually, for feedback-latency reasons it's probably better to split grading the other way. I wonder whether it's better to split each assignment randomly, or grade as two separate classes with shared lectures.


For tests and exams it’s common for teaching assistants to mark the same few questions on every test, usually on the same page. It helps catch cheating and plagiarism and keeps grading consistent.

When I was a TA we’d split the stack of paper tests evenly and rotate them every few days to grade them in parallel. It’s even easier to do the splitting if tests are submitted online.


Oh, yeah! My profs'd also post the list of which TA did each (sub-)question, so that if we had questions about why we lost marks we knew who direct them to (although all grading disputes had to go to the prof, to disincentivise people from arguing with the TAs)

And with two teachers, you'd also be able to have each write half the questions, and split the grading that way.


My brother is a teacher, his class sizes have increased by 30% this year. He's exhausted and was long before COVID surged. It is not an easy job.

I assume this could be done with one surrogate per teacher rather than per student and would be almost as effective.

That was my assumption, one per teacher.

home/community school. public schools are a death trap

I'll be honest, I do not expect creativity or outside the box thinking from administrators. Maybe this is the audience here but they are not creatives, they are bureaucrats -- think bogons from hitchhikers guide to the galaxy and you are on the right track.

I think we can demand more of our bureaucrats, if all we expect are Bogons - all we'll get are Bogons. Increasingly, the only thing US administrators can do is spend more money on problems without delivering any improved results. This pattern is common across Academia, Private, and Public institutions.

I think its Vogons :-) and they do write poetry even if its the 2nd worst poetry in the galaxy.

You are exactly correct :)

>whose job was to monitor chat/messages from the virtual attendees and raise his hand to ask a question to the instructor

Seems like a human solution to a (mostly) technical problem. Basically you just need a way for students to mark a message as hand-raising (and maybe a way to point out another student's message), a chat filter for the teacher to read those messages, and a USB LED (or some such) to act as a raised hand until the messages are marked as read. Of course there are some edge cases, like temporarily ignoring a child who's repeatedly raising their hand to troll, but this still seems like it could've easily been usable by the start of fall 2020.

You'd likely still need a surrogate for young children and special ed students, but you could probably eliminate ~2/3rds of them (? I'm not sure how old children need to be before they can be expected to remember they need to mark their messages & how to do so)


The idea is that the teacher doesn't have to keep their eyes on a laptop screen and can mostly move about the classroom in the normal way that they would teach a lesson.

With the LED they'd only need to go look at the screen when there's a question. Actually, if you put the laptop in the middle of the front row, set the font size large, and used a clicker to go through them, the teacher could probably read the questions from anywhere at the front of the class. It'd still be an issue if you wanted to move about the back of the class while giving a lesson; but that's a hassle anyway, since the students' desks face the front, so IME it's rarely done.

I'd like to offer an alternative to the surrogate method... Many of the folks on our team have kids and, like so many people worldwide, were greatly disappointed by what happened in early 2020. We watched our kids suffer as this normally human-rich interaction was replaced with powerpoints and tiny talking heads. We decided to offer a solution of our own.

Our team developed https://sharetheboard.com - an app which digitizes handwritten content in real time. The practical application here is that any analog surface/content can be shared simultaneously online, in real time.

For teachers this is valuable for a number of reasons (direct feedback from educators): - it allows them to teach "as they always have" - standing in front of a board or writing on a notebook, etc. - they don't have to learn anything new - they don't have to buy new equipment - they can simultaneously address in-person and remote students (again, without "doing anything new") - they can work (in the same way) from home, when needed

You'll note that many of the above points are of interest to school administrators as well. - No hardware + no learning curve = high adoption. - Mobile/scalable = fast deployment. - Low cost = well, low cost.

For students (direct feedback from students): - the biggest plus is that this is as close to "like in class" as it gets: they get to see their teacher's natural body language, maintain eye contact, see the explanations evolve on a familiar medium (whiteboard, chalkboard, etc.) - they can do more than ask questions: the app facilitates direct interaction with digitized content - they can focus on the lesson: the app allows you to easily save board contents any time

What was meant to be a quick response to a problem is beginning to turn into an actual product. For better or for worse, some form of remote interaction seems to be in the cards (not only in education) for quite some time. Our goal is to help make it a more real/physical experience, despite being shared remotely. Interested in feedback from teachers, parents, and students on this thread.


Everyone in June 2020 was too busy assuming the best case scenario to plan for disruption. I never really understood the human capacity for self-delusion until 2020. I knew we’d have two years of lockdowns in February 2020, unless we lucked into a drug that treated it (despite not having a drug for SARS-CoV-1). Even the logistics for distributing a vaccine is hard, and takes months to set up. I have no idea how people can ignore evidence they dislike so easily.

> I have no idea how people can ignore evidence they dislike so easily.

Isn’t this the natural response to the unknown? Denial? I guess not everyone likes Bayes’ theorem!


Even with Bayes' theorem, if your prior is zero, you can ignore any evidence - no matter how strong - that doesn't absolutely require the hypothesis to be true.

That’s why they say Bayesians can’t be atheists by definition. At least that’s how all atheists in my stats 101 class starting calling themselves agnostic. Another way to put it I learnt in a finance class : financial models behave alright, the problem comes from our lack of imagination, i.e. assigning a null probability to a future event :/

Bayesians are atheists, they just happen to believe in Roko's Basilisk, which obviously is nothing like a reinvention of the devil. Remember not to think of it since we can't prove it won't torture an infinite number of clones of you forever!

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Roko%27s_basilisk

There, I just sent another 50 souls to rationalist hell.


That’s just how American administrators work. The same thing happens at my company.

The other thing is the FDA intentionally delayed approving vaccines for 5-11 year olds till well after the school year start. At the same time the CDC was pushing hopium that vaccines alone would solve the problem. Trying to dangle normalcy in front of people to entice the nimrods to get vaxed. Same time conservative political leaders are using the issue as a political football.

Vaccines do get pretty close to solving it, ie it doesn't appear there are any other humanly possible solutions more effective than vaccines.

(It is impossible to avoid being exposed to omicron or to get rid of it. Social distancing, lockdowns, etc, won't help this one. Vaccinating yourself/N95s/Pavloxid will help exposure not /matter/ though.)


> the administrators

What throws me about all this is that their entire job, the reason they draw a paycheck in the first place, their raisin d'oatmeal, is to keep things running smoothly when the unexpected happens.

Now going into year three and they've managed to do fuck all to create solutions. Which is, y'know, their JOB. Generally they've just made problems worse by sticking their noses into things. What the hell are these people even getting paid for? They're a net negative value to education and society.

Other countries were able to come up with protocols and standards. Yet here we are flailing around like magikarps.


I had a spouse in public school administration (until she burned out during the pandemic) and a parent who is still a public school teacher, so I have a little extra empathy - these people are just people. Some of them have just started a new role and didn't get to learn the basics before plunging into a pandemic. Some of them were a couple years from retirement and had been hoping to coast without any big changes. Some of them are great. Some of them are miserable.

It's like any other collection of people, except maybe what's hard to remember if you're in tech is that in public bureaucracies there's no high pay, inherently "interesting problems," or prestige factor attracting the bright and ambitious; just job security and pensions attracting the risk averse and allowing anyone toxic who makes it in to remain.

The district my wife left had double digits percentage turnover in their senior administrative roles during the pandemic - that would be enough to keep most organizations from operating to their full potential.

Additionally, they really don't get to make their own decisions - not only is there a chain of command but there's a surprising number of things that have to wait for school board approval and quite a few sets of regulations to navigate. I've been in regulated tech like medical device, and my perception is that what the school admins deal with is a whole other level.

While agreeing with everyone that "raisin d'oatmeal" is genius, and while also agreeing that it's clear that the US has basically failed at running public schools, please don't claim the administrators are somehow the sole agents of this. Like many things in this country it's born of a complicated web of political power being wielded in both good and bad faith by people with varying opinions of what would be best across many decades and scales.


I think folks that work in the corporate world, particularly those in tech, engineering, manufacturing, etc, can easily underestimate how different and challenging it is to run a school in the current era of American public education. You have vocal and powerful groups and sub-groups of parents, students, teachers, unions, higher ed and the state all pulling in different directions. The feedback loops are long, the data is extremely noisy, there are very few factors you can control for and the cost of fucking it up is very high.

It's a pretty tricky job that is largely thankless and the pay is pretty mediocre. I just looked up what a local principal, whom i feel is actually a pretty excellent leader, makes. He's got a masters degree, has 15 years at this district, runs a building of 1200 students, has ~50 directs reporting to him and made $97k last year.


I'm willing to cop to being unfair about this whole thing. My own views are colored by my own experience with administrators in my school district growing up, and the school district my wife's siblings grew up in.

Measured, realistic, and unexciting takes like this are so rare in these kinds of discussions. Thanks for contributing yours.

In general, things are never simple, never black and white, never simply good or bad. Things are never executed by just one person, or even one group of people, and are never executed in isolation. Everything is connected to everything else, every variable is dependent on every other variable, every action, good or bad, gets a reaction of some kind, and on and on. Social dynamics are complicated. Political dynamics are complicated. The economic incentives that often drive behavior are everywhere and aren't necessarily thoughtfully created, maintained, or even widely understood.

Its easy and it feels good to get on Twitter or on Hacker News and yell "Yea screw school administrators, they're the problem!" But it is too tidy of a worldview to even approximate being accurate and saying it doesn't help anybody get closer to solving the real problem.

If you want to help, go get involved in your local school system... if you don't... you don't need to have an opinion on every single little thing, just read the article and move along.


"raisin d'oatmeal" is my new favorite saying.

I thought it was gold when I read it too. Its use was the pièce de résistance of that paragraph.

That seems backwards. My perspective is that we pay them to do the most routine, absolute bare minimum.

If they stick to the routine and bare minimum, pretty soon they’ll be replaced by robots and software.

K-12 education in the U.S. is a perpetual blame game between admins, teachers, unions, and parents/guardians.

Take this parent comment and substitute “academic progress”, “student engagement”, “socio-emotional”, “school safety”, etc for “covid” and you’ve entered the Ed reform debate of the last 20-30 years.

Overcoming COVID in schools requires a collective problem-solving approach that is incompatible with the individualist (e.g. I’m just worried about my kid), class-segregated public school system that we’ve built.

Administrators are culpable but I think their role is akin to an engineer building questionable technology. Why should they buck the system that puts food on their families table, especially when there is no guarantee that doing things differently will lead to a different ultimate outcome?

Anecdotally this plays out in the increase of violence and violent threats toward principals, superintendents and school boards who are trying to institute science-backed rules for dealing with the virus.


If students only come in every other day, schools will only receive 50% funding in the US. In Japan, schools are often privately funded, but a solution that cuts public funding of education by half in the US is a non-starter. It would likely take a constitutional amendment in California to change the school budget formula.

But we’re not going to have a third year of COVID anyway. Nearly everyone is going to catch the omicron in the next couple months, and by April we’ll have enough herd immunity to reopen everything.


I’m not aware of this funding logic but how does this even work? Like in COVID, all students were remote, but finding never stopped. And last I checked, if my kid doesn’t go to school for a week, school funding doesn’t get impacted. I mean coming in on alternate days doesn’t mean you’re not learning, you can still do online classes on that day.

California school funding formulae are a big complicated mess, but student attendance does play a role in budgets during regular times. Every day of school your kid misses costs the district about $50. Some districts even nag parents for donations after absences[1]

However for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years, they set a baseline so that schools received funding based off of their 2019-2020 (preCOVID, normalized) average daily attendance. This was good for big schools that had lower enrollment but caused issues for suburban/rural districts that saw a lot of growth.

[1]: https://www.mbusd.org/apps/form/form.MBUSD.qZBxuUG.Ee


In most states funding is related to attendance somehow, I think the details vary. At one time I think there was a thought that districts would take truancy and absences more seriously instead of ignore it if there was an impact to the bottom line.

There are also a multitude of programs throughout k-12, particularly in high school, where the student spends part of their day outside of the district. I think this just helps ensure that the state isn't paying twice for the same student when the external program is also state funded. (It also helps to remove any weird financial incentives to get the kids out of the building)

In my area I think this is where the vast majority of the district income variance comes from, and it is known about and largely planned for before the year even starts.


Dumb question and I realize it may be. I've seen that said before, "Nearly everyone is going to catch omicron within the next 2 to 6 months"; the range changes both the quote is similar. I haven't really seen a why, it just seems to be a given. I know it's more virulent, but why is everyone going to have it so soon?

R is between 2 and 3 infections per infected. That’s exponential growth, and omicron’s life cycle is faster than delta or alpha by a couple days. Health care facilities and airlines can’t keep fully staffed despite them taking the most precautions and requiring vaccinations. There was an outbreak in Antarctica where more than half the research station got it despite strict isolation and testing before arrival. How can we possibly stop that?

Definitely not a dumb question.


Virulence refers to the ability of a pathogen to cause disease. Omicron is not more virulent. If anything it is likely to be much less virulent as it lacks the ability to infect lung tissue.

On the other hand because the infection is now concentrated in the upper respiratory tract, patients are much more likely to exhale and spread the virus. On top of that, the virus has sufficiently mutated thus existing vaccines and prior infections have very limited protection. Combined with the lack of ventilation and increased time spent indoors in winter, this translates to more infections.

I don't know whether "everyone" is going to get it eventually. However I have heard anecdotes that multiple insular communities in the US that have largely avoided the previous Covid strains are now badly afflicted by omicron. That is how infectious the virus is.


Omicron is roughly as contagious as chicken pox. Remember what happened when a single child got chicken pox before the vaccine? There was never a question that everybody was about to get chicken pox--the only thing you could do was manage the timeframe.

Before the vaccine, people would have chicken pox parties so all the children were exposed simultaneously and everybody could get it over with. With Omicron, it's simply the reverse, it's blowing through everybody so fast that it will burn itself out in a couple months.

After that, it will simply have a constant endemic background level like chicken pox prior to the vaccine and the flu.

We are in the endgame. It isn't the endgame we wanted, but it is the endgame.


New variants have followed Omicron. And that will continue to happen. They may be more benign or less benign than what we’ve seen so far. But I keep hearing the assumption of “definitely mild”. I’m not sure the science is so definitive on that point.

That will not necessarily continue to happen, at least not soon. Once you've been exposed to omicron (+ vaxed or exposed to original/delta) a new variant has to be very different from both omicron and delta. And this isn't the flu; it only has so far it can mutate.

However, it's impossible to get rid of it because it infects animals and we're not going to vaccinate them.


I don’t understand your statements. Omicron had many changes vs delta — why would successive variants not have the same?

> Only has so far it can mutate

Says who?


Agreed, I can't see anything stopping it mutating further if the opportunity arises.

I believe the understanding is that the omicron variant may have evolved further in an immuno-compromised person (e.g. with AIDS, or undergoing chemotherapy), since it got to stay in the host longer without being killed by the immune system, it racked up more mutations until it got to its current virulent form and started infecting other people.

And there's absolutely nothing stopping that from happening again I guess.


I said nothing about mild. I said "contagious".

Before Omicron, we had a hope of creating an R0 < 1 and stamping Covid out. Omicron spreads so well in so many different mammals that it simply wipes that option off the map.

Omicron, irrespective of whether it is mild or not, is simply going to blow through the population no matter what we do. Afterward everybody will have been infected with Covid, vaccinated, or both.

At that point, we'll have a background level of deaths from endemic Covid every year just like we do the flu. Welcome to the new world.


> At that point, we'll have a background level of deaths from endemic Covid every year just like we do the flu. Welcome to the new world.

I agree. Just like we do for RSV, other common cold variants, etc. We'll get used to it.


The way around it is students "Went" to school 5 days a week. somedays they were on campus, and some days they were remote learning. I know of several schools in my immediate area that implemented such a system.

It seems like the simple solution is to include distance learning days in ADA (does NY even use average daily attendance for school funding?).

Our school district (in the USA) used much the same method as you describe for Japan: alternating days, 50% capacity, etc. Then the State Borad of Education mandated all schools closed.

In our community, most of the parents in town are able to work from home. But its a very strange place, and I would expect worse outcomes most other places.

Even so, serious psychiatric illness is tearing the kids up. The child clinical psychologists and the one remaining psychiatrist in town are double-booked, at least.

It's been its own shade of awful.

I don't think that there could have been a better response from the schools here. It's been very difficult to plan for anything more than six weeks out, and the kids who have returned to school have needed more care. And who is caring for the teachers?

I don't know what the dropout rate would be for high schoolers, but many of these kids are just gone. Across all economic levels (the delicate proxy that we use, money lumped in with social status or prevalent parents' level of education and stuff).


> Japan has students come in on alternate days, so that the school can operate at 50% capacity. Mask mandates, social distancing and temperature checks are enforced strictly.

Citation? I am familiar with Japan's national Covid policies, and I have heard nothing of this. In general, Japan allows the prefectures to make their own decisions, and for issues like this, prefectures issue requests, not mandates. This paper suggests that even at the outset of the pandemic, the range of NPIs imposed by Japanese schools was quite variable:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01571-8

This news story from September 2020 explicitly says the exact opposite of what you're implying -- school districts operating at maximum capacity, and interventions varying based on what (for example) the PTA decided to pay for:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/japan-schools-back-in-session-c...

"Typical classrooms in Japan would seem to flunk the 3C test, however. In Ms. Katayama's classroom, desks were spaced just enough to walk between. Regulations allow up to 40 children per classroom."

"Last month, a panel of scholars and education researchers in Tokyo launched a petition to urge rapid adoption of smaller classes. Class size "should be reduced to 30 right now, and quickly, to 20," the panel said."

"Japan's Riken research institute, working with Kobe University, argues that even large classes can be held safely — provided ventilation is sufficient."

Japan is a big country, and -- just as with masks -- there's a fair amount of "orientalism" going on in the west, in terms of overgeneralization and stereotyping of their response to the virus. My only overarching observation is that they've been much more relaxed than we are in the US.


It's common practice in the schools and universities in Japan to operate on 50 % capacity if the infection rate is high. There are strict mask mandates, social distancing and temperature checks are enforced.

Knowledge source: I'm a professor at a University in Tokyo. Nobody can enter campus without a mask and temperature check (not even me, the door to my floor has a facial recognition /thermal check). Social distancing is also enforced by teachers and staff. There is a max student cap for each room (that his about 30 % of the maximum capacity).

For schools: several of my friends have kids attending elementary school in Tokyo.

Yes, there is a lot of orientalism going on hackernews. lol.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220107_37/



So a link from June 2020. The CBS news link I posted post-dates it, and contradicts it.

Edit: actually, it doesn't even contradict it, per se. The articles are saying the same thing, but the WaPo story just tries to generalize from a single school, without admitting it. FTA:

> At Hoyonomori Gakuen, a school in Tokyo’s Shinagawa ward, the new rules, including temperature checks, are set down in a 28-point plan designed by the school to minimize risks.

So, again, the schools determine their response. This is also my understanding of the situation.


> this is 100% the fault of the same people who have created every other problem in the education system: the administrators.

Not at all. This is the fault of all the other societal damage done in the name of "stopping COVID", it's the fault of the "public health officials".

Schools are constrained by zero covid policies still clung to by anti-science public health, which mandate widespread testing followed by far reaching preventative isolation which bars health students from school.

Imagine you have a class of 20. Each kids in that class goes to 6 other classes of 20, largely different kids. Now one "tests positive". The school is then tasks by "public health" to find who sat near that kid in each and every class, and "quarantine" all of those kids. Rinse and repeat, ever. single. case.

Many schools have realized this is unsustainable absurdity and rightfully stopped complying, but the more "stay safe" they are, the more they comply. Consequently, the less those schools are able to stay open and effective.

The fact that "public health" has not been willing to reevaluate their policies and insist on sticking to policies that are literally damaging to the health of the public is telling.


> The fact that "public health" has not been willing to reevaluate their policies and insist on sticking to policies that are literally damaging to the health of the public is telling.

Just curious, what would you suggest ?

Because as far as I can tell there are no good solutions.

I suppose the difference between our countries is that until university, you get put into class with 30 people, and do all the classes together.

There are some cases when you can have different additional classes, but thats kind of limited to couple of hours a week, and would not be that hard to just leave off


> Sweden has kept its schooling open (although it has had covid outbreaks, but the numbers were similar to Finland where the schools were closed).

Sweden suffered 1,504 deaths per million, while Finland had 295. To call them "similar" is disinformative, at best.


Not really, you are talking about overall, while the data I was presenting was mostly specific to the topic at hand: School kids. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-sweden...

I didn't know school kids lived in a vacuum, I'd have thought most go home to their families after school, where, you may have guessed it, there are other people to be infected.

COVID is an asymptomatic spreader - it's difficult to conclude that the school kids didn't end up spreading the disease to older individuals.

Note that that article is very old, July 2020, the beginning of the pandemic.

The picture since then is different than "Finland closed, Sweden open".

Pretty sure most nordic countries have kept high school and below open most of the time.


The end point matters, we can’t be sure what the final death toll per Million will be in Finnland or Sweden.

Agreed. And potentially the age and health of the population going into the pandemic. There's a study comparing Sweden and Norways mortality over the pandemic and the four years proceeding it, which concluded:

> "Our study shows that all-cause mortality was largely unchanged during the epidemic as compared to the previous four years in Norway and Sweden, two countries which employed very different strategies against the epidemic," emphasize study authors in this medRxiv paper. [0]

So apparently Sweden did a better job than Norway of keeping people alive longer before the pandemic, therefore having a larger per-capita population vulnerable to covid.

(It is my understanding that Sweden also fumbled early on protecting those in nursing homes, as many others did. Lots of factors I'm sure, more than just lockdown vs no lockdown.)

I'm not sure about Finland. It is possible the same applies.

[0] https://www.news-medical.net/news/20201116/Study-compares-de...


The problem is there is no competition for the admins jobs. This is why voucher for charters would improve these. You need somekind of feedback mechanism to exterminate bad admins from their job. Unfortunately most people people deserve these kind of admins when they constantly vote in the "wrong" rep. I moved to other states now that remote jobs are very conducive to coders.

Look folks, yes I know I flunked out of BS Molecular degree but..

It will be a pandemic of 5 to ten years in total.

In short words like you were 5, two factors converged to make this a reality: 1. World for the most part failed to lead like China an stop it cold fast and yes places like the USA gets fair blame for that.

2. Speed of mutations.

Only have one of those factors then it would be far less years of a pandemic.

That is not to say that there is not hope on the near future where we take either a booster or one pill per year to contain it however.

But, 30 years ago a lady wrote a very famous book called.. the Coming Plaque..

She pointed out that it was not Science failing us towards facing the next pandemic but governments putting public health on a diet.

and that books is at archive org

https://archive.org/details/comingplaguenew000garr

Public health should be a number one Military spending budget as with 9 billion or more it is no longer something that is optional


> 1. World for the most part failed to lead like China an stop it cold fast and yes places like the USA gets fair blame for that.

The virus had spread too widely for that to be possible. If you blame the USA, you also have to blame China for suppressing and destroying early information about the contagion.

I would prefer to blame nobody, since everyone’s systems played a part in the outcome.


i think it would be fair to say that science failed us if this is due to a lab leak, which appears to be the case. science made by possible by public health funding, in fact.

It's not a lab leak. Seriously shut up with this conspiracy nonsense.


Playing devil's advocate...It could be a lab leak (I've seen conflicting stories, some seemingly reputable), but I agree it doesn't matter if it is or isn't...and it leans (more into conspiracy territory than not) what matters is there's this cat, and it's out of the bag, and vaccines protect against it, Ivermectin does jack shit and other 'cures' are bullshit unless sanctioned by the broader medical community (Pfizer's new pill as an example).

Just TRUST your doctors, there's not a conspiracy to make everyone baren or something crazy, the vaccines are safer than going to a bar and having a few drinks.

ironically Covid itself probably has a better chance of making one sterile than the vaccine as ACE receptors are in the testes, and other reproductive organs, so it could sterilize people who get bad infections.


Ivermectin, being very effective against worms, is helpful if you have both worms and covid - that's the reason some studies saw it working and some didn't.

>> The National School Boards Association says that 1,384,000 public school students are homeless.

Holy fucking crap.

(Sorry I don't normally react like that, and even given homeless might not be "living on street", that is a horrific statistic)


We should have zero homeless children.

That said the definition of "homeless" in this count is extremely broad.

For example if you live in a trailer park, you are considered homeless. Even if someone stays temporarily in a hotel or motel, for example because of a fire or flood, will be counted as homeless. Even wider scope, a child who "qualified moved" within the last 36 months is considered migratory i.e. homeless.

https://nche.ed.gov/mckinney-vento-definition/ )

(I understand pointing out incomplete [is there a better word?] facts is unpopular.)


The better word is false. You’re spreading outright falsehoods, and you’ve created a thread of people who now share the same misconception.

Start at the top of the definition -- the statute concerns “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence”.

Key word is fixed.

Then you have to be familiar with the difference between a trailer -- as in RV, or motor home -- that is not fixed, and one that is fixed to a foundation (sometimes called a manufactured home, or a single/double wide.)

Living out of an RV is homeless, living in a trailer on a pad is not.


Most facts are incomplete, it's almost impossible to give all the context to any given data point unless you just give people a URL and tell people to read for themselves.

For example, it's an incomplete fact to say that "if you live in a trailer park, you are considered homeless", but thankfully you provided the link to the complete fact!

From your source, a little more completeness for your fact:

"living in ...trailer parks... due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations"

Thankfully, it is not true that everyone whose permanent residence is a trailer park is counted as homeless.


> living in ...trailer parks... due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations

Wouldn't this be most people living in trailer parks?


To clarify the clarification... I think this refers to people who are housed in "emergency housing" by some agency like FEMA because their regular home is no longer viable (e.g.: burned in a wildfire), and they have not been moved into something more permanent.

This does not refer to people who's only economic choice generally is trailer parks.


There are a portion of trailerparkers who could but choose not to live elsewhere. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but they made the choice.

>Even wider scope, a child who "qualified moved" within the last 36 months is considered migratory i.e. homeless.

This is what the definition of migratory child is.

(3) MIGRATORY CHILD.—The term ‘‘migratory child’’ means a child or youth who made a qualifying move in the preceding 36 months— (A) as a migratory agricultural worker or a migratory fisher; or (B) with, or to join, a parent or spouse who is a migratory agricultural worker or a migratory fisher.

It's not just that they moved (which is what I read from your comment) but they are a child who's parents are migratory workers and moved within 36 months.

>For example if you live in a trailer park, you are considered homeless.

This seems to check out. It's odd in the rest of the definition.

>(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;*


"...due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations"

It isn't true that children whose permanent residence is a trailer park are counted as homeless.


>are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations

To me it reads the following aren't adequate accommodations if they are by themselves (i.e. no other housing): motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds.

I personally don't think a trailer in a trailer park with an address should be categorized as homeless, I'm just trying to interpret the law as a layperson. Maybe trailer parks were different back in 1965 (i.e. no address).


Living in a hotel does qualify as homeless in my opinion. Same as trailer or anything that is not a fixed home. The definition of homeless doesn not equate to just to simply sleeping under the stars.

I grew up in West Virginia. A LOT of people lived in a trailer - as in they actually owned the trailer and in many cases the land, too (my parents).

Why does it make sense to count these people as homeless?

And even if you're renting... Why count someone who rents a trailer as homeless but not someone who rents an apartment?


> Why does it make sense to count these people as homeless?

It's a social class thing. It's not about having a reliable, warm, dry, safe place to sleep. It's about whether a middle class university graduate's friends would have considered them to have failed at life. Living in a coffin sized apartment with cockroaches everywhere in New York is something they could see themselves doing at some point in their life for career goals or because of bad luck. A trailer is not the kind of place a university graduate lives in.


Not sure why you're getting so downvoted. You might be stating it a bit dramatically, but I've personally seen this attitude in people when living (by choice) in an RV. Many people seem to abhor the idea that someone doesn't live like them. There's broad discrimination against people living in RV parks and trailers in most municipalities.

Many cities ban you putting an RV on your own plot of land, regardless of the purpose. They often ban trailer parks, severely restrict them, etc to the detriment of many economically vulnerable people. There's often a component of racism too as some trailer parks home lots of immigrants or hispanic folks, marking them doubly undesirables.


So the definition of homeless is that it’s ‘not the kind of place a university graduate lives in’? This is absurd.

I don't think poor plumbing is exactly what we're going for here.

Okay, but when I hear "homeless" I think "unsheltered". That's what it means in colloquial use.

How so? I grew up with kids whose entire childhood was in the same trailer park. They were homeless?

A decent trailer can be a more pleasant living experience than a tiny manhattan studio, I fail to see why that should qualify as homeless. Maybe using an in-between category would be helpful.

There is no in between category. They're classed as homeless because the people doing the classification are of a social class that don't consider trailers acceptable. It's not about material living conditions. It's about social class considerations.

This results in laws making trailer living illegal, converting the residents therein to truely homeless, thereby making the numbers balance again.

Yes, unless you consider a trailer a home but then where do you draw the line? One could go as far as considering a tent as a home but come on, we all know what we mean by home. A trailer is just a trailer.

Consider how people who live in those trailers feel about people like you. If you need an intuition pump consider that most Europeans live in houses that are solid masonry, not plywood and plaster. Your houses are basically tissue paper, trashwood and mud. Hardly a permanent structure.

Your public contempt is reciprocated by the people you do not respect.


I think it's more about the overall situation than just the physical structure. If you have a place you can legally stay indefinitely, and you have access to water/sewer/power, then I think a trailer could absolutely be considered a home.

A trailer is a permanent structure with bedrooms, living room and kitchen, bathroom, which can receive mail. Yes, they’re small. No, they’re probably not anyone’s preferred option. But they’re still homes.

They aren't really that small when compared to apartments in cities. Often much larger actually.

> even given homeless might not be "living on street", that is a horrific statistic

It would be a horrific statistic, if it were even remotely close to being accurate.

The US had 580,000 total homeless in 2020. [1] That's up from the recent lows before the pandemic when it was ~50,000 lower (and it's dramatically lower than prior to the start of the federal Housing First program).

If the NSBA is claiming 1.4 million, they're knowingly lying and it's despicable.

The US national homelessness rate is comparable to France and Canada.

https://endhomelessness.org/homelessness-in-america/homeless...


“Homeless” is defined in different ways for different purposes, it’s not deception.

There’s homeless as in “in a shelter or on the street” and there’s homeless as in “lives temporarily with friends or family”… lots of ways to slice it


Have you seen the homelessness problem in Vancouver, BC? Its terrible, as is the housing affordablility problems.

This attitude is a major reason why public education is so utterly messed up in the US. All of the social and mental work that should be done elsewhere is simply not done. Time after time, the schools (and police) are called on as the last line of defense for a failing society.

It's not working. The additional strain on schools has turned the mission of public education into a series of brush fires in which staff and administrators just lurch from one crisis to another. The unequal way that education gets funded means that some districts see much more of this than others. But the problem is spreading.

Teachers are not trained to function as warehousers for youth. Nor are they given the resources to serve the role you and far too many parents want them to serve.

When the schools fail there is literally nothing behind them. They're the end of the line. This is the point where all the chickens come home to roost and society starts to fail, one kid at a time. The pandemic should be a wake up call. It doesn't look like it will be.


> This attitude is a major reason why public education is so utterly messed up in the US. All of the social and mental work that should be done elsewhere is simply not done. Time after time, the schools (and police) are called on as the last line of defense for a failing society.

I completely agree. But we can't fix this in the next few weeks, so for now keeping schools open for those who need it is the thing to do.


Yeah the approach of everyone being remote or no one being remote seems shortsighted.

Books have been remote learning for hundreds of years, whats wrong with remote learning especially now pupils can ask questions straight away from a pool of teachers online?

Even hundreds of years ago there were classrooms with teachers.

Simply because technology was slow back then, if the technology existed for faster than horseback/carrier pigeon communication and costs were not prohibitive would the world of teaching/knowledge acquisition have evolved a different form of society?

The biggest problem is that a huge component of school is socialization. Interacting with other kids in an low-control setting.

Much like conferences the "hallway class" is a huge component.

Ass onto that that many kids are bad at focusing on online classes and the whole situation is not up to the standard of in-persin schooling (with current systems).


The problem is that a major part of the value of universal education is that it provides a means to provision social welfare without stigma – telling only children who need this support to come in undoes this.

I sympathize with this, but how can you even effectively operate a school to provide the day care part if half the staff are absent? (Either directly because they are sick with covid, or caring for a family member who is, or they lack childcare for their own kids, or simply because they're not being paid enough to deal with the bullshit and risk ...)

It just seems like, regardless of our values, the sheer weight of the case rates and staff shortages is going to force closures in the near term if it hasn't already.

If you put a bunch of vulnerable kids in an auditorium together with minimal supervision because you've got an effective teacher:student ratio of 1:50 or worse, is that really better?

(Maybe it is. I'll admit to not having come from a dysfunctional or unsafe home as the author of the linked piece describes, so I may lack some perspective here.)


I 100% agree. My high school in the US was a shit show. It was basically like the redditor described but there was no COVID. Going to school is still valuable.

School is not supposed to be daycare for the economy...

Yes it is. School, along with the other things it does, is a public daycare service for children aged 5-18. That's one of the main reasons public school is good.

That is a POV thing. Where I am it is even considered weird that the US sees food a responsibility of educational services.

Two reasons for schools to provide food:

- Students are generally compelled to be proximate to educational services for long stretches of time. Logistics of not coupling them would be inefficient.

- Students don't learn effectively when they are chronically hungry. Providing education to hungry students isn't maximizing society's investment in these comparatively expensive services.

- Bonus reason: for many students, school is the only institution they have significant contact with, and therefore nobody else is feeding them. Feeding kids is the Right and Moral thing to do.


Students here eat too, the different is they eat what they, or their parents want them to. And when they want to. Most schools also sell food. Nobody has to be hungry.

The difference is there is no super cheap daily meal all students have to choose from. And also kids and public schools can get healthy food if their parents want to/ can afford it.


Based on your description, I gather you are not in the United States :-)

In my opinion the best case is a society where all kids have parents with the care and understanding to send them to school with nutritious, healthy food. And that students have healthy choices and that they have the means to purchase.

But the kicker, is that in the United States (and some other countries), this is not the case. In the United States, children in dysfunctional or impoverished homes or no home are common enough that it's more efficient to broadly provide support in this manner.

Side note: my wife, who previously was a teacher, and I lived in New Zealand for a few years. New Zealand didn't have a school nutrition program, but probably needed one. My wife did a fair amount of substitute ("relief") teaching in a poor area north of Wellington when we first arrived, and gave her lunch away to hungry students often enough that she knew to pack several sandwiches. So, even countries with comparably strong social supports can run into this issue.


The thing is that school acts as child care for 60-70% of the work day and it makes it not very viable to offer alternative services for the other 30% as there are not enough hours remaining to offer full time work.

IMO this is probably the best solution.

Yes.

give kids the chance to choose to go to school or not ... most won't go and then outside of learning the biggest benefit of socializing/making freinds/fully enjoy being human which to me is with others is lost. People at my job have given the same choose and really no one goes in.

COVID is scourge to the world ... whose is to blame for it? Does any one country benefit from it? What's going on with Covid in China ... when will they rank as the number superpower in the world ... last i saw in the next five to ten years.

If you downvote me do you think the Chinese govt. is one to trust ... good for societies around the world? The world is now living like they were in the 2000s to present... with a mask on!


> give kids the chance to choose to go to school or not ... most won't go

I mean...that's really up to the parents, not the kids.


Does it really matter who is to blame? What difference does it make?

Yeah it does especially if was created to hurt all other countries ... especially if they know more then we do re: how to best treat it.

Just getting downvoted yet no one is saying why!?!

Since you asked, your rant about China would appear to be off topic. My guess that's one reason you were downvoted.

You type like a grandparent texting. Why so many ellipses?

lol your not responding to what I was asking just being a troll

The world needs to come down on China's govt or it's just going to get worse for every country that isnt them!


I’m wondering what has changed in the human nature (if any) that we need day care for ppl older than 18-19 years now. What did such ppl do 100 (or 1000) years ago to overcome all that.

I'm not following. The vast majority of people in school are younger than 18. I agree with you that it should be fine for most parents to leave an older kid (say 14+?) at home alone.

But again, some kids just want to go to school to get some damn food, regardless of age!


I’m mostly curious about why the maturity period was prolonged by 5-10 years from what the human race had 100 or 1000 years ago. I’m not talking about education but the transition from youths to adulthood.

As the world becomes more complex, childhood understandably gets longer.

Because we continue to gain a better understanding of how people mature. We now recognize that the period of adolescence is a long one, and that life outcomes are typically better when you do not push people directly into adult roles in society immediately after they reach puberty.

Science seems to be pointed hard towards 25 being the age of majority rather than 18. We are unlikely to see the age move in our lifetimes due to the military needing its recruits but it probably should. Do you really think the average 14-15 year old should be considered in the same maturity bracket as the average 35 or 45 year old? I was incapable of making good decisions at that age. The things I thought were cool, the way I thought things worked, the rational for the actions I took, all of it was cringe inducing now as an adult when I think back on it. When I think back on my 30's, I wish I had more information but overall see no fault in the way that I made my decisions.

Fluid intelligence is already in decline by 25. If between the credentialist impulse and the infantilizing impulse we push career starts inexorably towards 30 the human race is going to miss out on a lot of contributions that we need to help solve our many problems across many fields of endeavor.

I could not come up with a better argument for reducing the age of majority to 13 or 14 if I tried. Infantilising adults like this is dehumanising.

I mostly agree with the maturity argument and because of that all the attempts to push more decision making (like voting) on younger people seem strange to me. But the most curious topic for me at the moment is why we are lowering our expectations for 18-25 years old. We used to see them as young but fully capable adults (granted that is a shift from 14-16 years from 100-1000 years ago). I understand the educational part of the argument as well but some of the trends seems very strange to me. For example: as far as I understand there is no strong expectation that ppl after high school know what they want to do and it’s normal to take 1-2 years break between school and college. Is it a new thing? I don’t really know. But I can’t find comparable breaks in history or other (less wealthy) societies. Health insurance cut off dates are 21 (25?) years old. University system seems more and more similar to a nice place to spend time (better dorms before better classes) than to the place to efficiently receive your education.

Playing devil's advocate: If we are considering maturity as a pre-requisite to vote, perhaps we should test for that? Some 15 years olds are very mature, and some 30+ years olds are not.

Also, maybe it is wrong to disenfranchise immature people. They are people, too.


In 1922, a 14-year-old in the US could expect to live maybe another 40 years; in 2022, that number is likely to be at least 70. As a fraction of life expectancy, adolescence is actually relatively short right now.

Quality of life over quantity should be a metric somehow. Sure the internet and access for more people should raise the bar, but I am not sure about that. A lot of noise out there. Yes, an average life expectancy of 78 years in the US, sounds like a lot compared to around 60 in the 1920s, but with a current obesity prevalence of over 40% (obesity and severe obesity) in the US, I am not sure we can gauge a year-for-a-year in this comparison. And people wonder why an advanced country such as the US can get hit so bad by COVID, and blame it on each other, when over 70% of deaths and serious hospitalizations are linked to obesity. I think we can allow children to mature as early as they seem to be able to take it on, and not over pressure them while doing this; isn't that what being a parent is all about - assessing and nurturing together? I certainly had to grow up quick living below or at the poverty line in a bad neighborhood in my childhood and all that entailed, along with my relatives sent at age 18 to 22 to Korea, Vietnam, and other wars that followed. Children who grew/grow up on farms with chores and responsibilities and with similar corollaries in cities at an early age sounds better to me than coddling them into their mid-twenties, but that is my opinion from the various young people I have interviewed and worked with in white-collar and blue-collar jobs (construction, diving, ropework, machining, welding, etc...) as well as to the older and younger children I have raised in my family.

Do you have a citation for that? I’m not sure it’s correct (although I don’t have any links of my own handy either, sorry!)

My impression was that infant mortality was a great deal higher back then, but there wasn’t as big a disparity after that as people tend to assume. People didn’t hit old age in their 50s and 60s, they often lived into their 80s and beyond, just like today.


Children can be raised as people who serve a purpose, not as a burden to serve. And just like adults, children thrive knowing they are wanted, and their actions make a difference. Children can have real chores as early as 3 or 4 years old, and by 18 can be expected to have developed the character and know how to be completely on their own.

That’s not to say they wouldn’t continue to benefit, for the rest of their lives, from a nurturing, supportive, diverse community. But they can be a completely productive member of that community.


We don't. Schools are mostly people under 18.

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