Bruce Lear

Taking advantage of a disaster

Bruce Lear: Some Republicans are using difficult decisions about reopening schools during a pandemic to justify redirecting public funds toward education vouchers. -promoted by Laura Belin

One of the inevitable consequences of any disaster are scam artists who prey on the vulnerable. This pandemic is no exception.  There have been scams from surefire cures for COVID-19 peddled by medical hucksters to clever crooks plotting to steal stimulus checks.

Now comes yet another scam, only this time victim is public education, and the scam artists aren’t shadowy figures no one knows. Instead, these are federal and state Republican office holders, trying to use a pandemic as cover for ripping off public money to use for private schools for vouchers.

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It's time for Iowa schools to step up

Bruce Lear: To ease the worry of parents, educators, and students, public school districts must clearly communicate how they plan to slow the spread of COVID-19. -promoted by Laura Belin

In a normal year, after the Fourth of July, elementary teachers start to knock on the schoolhouse door so they can organize their classrooms to get ready for a new batch of kids. At about the same time, middle and secondary teachers start thinking about their class lists, and some ideas about new ways to deliver old instruction.

But this year isn’t normal.

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Denial is not a strategy for opening Iowa schools

Bruce Lear on what’s missing and what’s problematic in the Iowa Department of Education’s new guidelines for schools to reopen in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. -promoted by Laura Belin

Americans love to pretend. We dress up like our favorite character on Halloween. We tell our children about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But we can’t afford to pretend when a pandemic is sweeping across the globe.

The Iowa Department of Education issued guidance on June 25 for returning to school. The document pretends everything is normal, and offers only political guidance for the reopening of Iowa’s public schools.

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Return to Learn: Voices from the classroom

Bruce Lear talked with ten Iowa teachers and counselors about how schools should adapt to teach kids safely and effectively despite COVID-19. -promoted by Laura Belin

It’s hard to decide what song best captures the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Is it “Eve of Destruction,” or “Don’t worry be Happy,” or maybe the Fleetwood Mac classic “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow?” No matter the choice, the fall start to school is beginning to loom large in the minds of students, parents, and educators.

Pre COVID-19, those ads for back-to-school supplies in late June or early July would start a little tingle of anticipation in the hearts and minds of students and educators. Now, for many, that tingle is replaced with full-blown anxiety.

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Celebrating teachers through actions

Bruce Lear: Teachers need support from policy-makers, and public schools need federal assistance in order to guarantee a safe and healthy environment for children in the fall. -promoted by Laura Belin

Teaching and singing the national anthem have a few things in common. Both are really hard to do, and someone who knows how can make it look easy enough for anyone to do it. But not everyone can.

If you don’t believe me, try remembering where those bombs burst, and try hitting that high note on key at the end. It’s not easy, just like parents forced to teach at home are discovering about teaching even one or two kids.

Yes, real teaching is really hard.

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