Politics in Education in the Context of COVID-19

Introduction

 

The impact of Covid-19 has not gone unnoticed, affecting numerous spheres of human life, from business to education. The current paper reviewed the three key areas in education that are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic: (1) obstacles to child development, (2) the limitations of standardized testing, and (3) the possible strategy to address the consequences of Covid-19. Speaking of child development, the author addressed the context of education as an essential indicator of how the future of the country is going to shape. The US policymakers might be interested in leaning toward more all-inclusive solutions. If the government chooses to intervene, it will have to establish the best resolutions for the students that have to pass certain tests and validate their knowledge. This also leaves the question open of whether standardized testing has to be limited or altered in any way. The main reason why the inconsistency stands is that students of different backgrounds have to take identical tests, and it creates more inequalities instead of normalizing the environment. The new strategy that the author of the current paper proposes consists of three stages: relief, recuperation, and reconstruction. Nevertheless, the incredible amount of resources and knowledge required for this plan to be implemented slows down the progress and makes the government less powerful. The political tone of future changes also suggests that policymakers should focus on how to equalize the tensions caused by remote learning and its limitations prior to any practical transformations.

 

Politics in Education

 

The growing interconnectedness that currently characterizes the political and economic backgrounds has contributed to the development of many additional risks that can hardly be addressed. The Covid-19 pandemic turned out to be one of the most devastating experiences for the US since it went beyond multiple variables, such as one’s income or education level. Numerous inadequacies have been exposed by the pandemic and proved that there are not enough policies that would regulate online education and its effects on the younger populations. The fact that conventional schooling had to be paused due to Covid-19 also proves that the continuity of government efforts currently lacks direction and robustness. The attempts to normalize the situation exerted by related policymakers did not lead to solely positive outcomes due to the low level of adaptability of both teachers and students. Another reason why the problem of the pandemic has to be addressed is the presence of marginalized groups that do not have the resilience to withstand the influence of digital learning. A significant decrease in GDP and workplace effectiveness haunts the education sector as well, causing education institutions to find quick alternatives to conventional teaching methods.

 

Analysis of Evidence

 

Child Development during the Pandemic

 

One of the key reasons why new policies may be required to regulate the situation with the education sector and Covid-19 is the challenge of child development. The interruptions instilled by the pandemic touched upon both learning and the advent of greater emotional and social skills (Clark et al., 2020). Most educational institutions failed to go beyond their academic responsibilities and created an environment where students are not motivated to learn or participate in any extracurricular activities. Therefore, the government does not have any strong instruments intended to back up the US children’s emotional and mental well-being. Without proper in-person communication, education stakeholders continually expose themselves to additional risks of misunderstanding and failure to achieve certain objectives since their range of skills would not support responses to the pandemic (Ahmed et al., 2021). The crisis that followed the outbreak of Covid-19 impacted students across the country because they also overlooked the importance of the pandemic and their involvement in the process.

 

Based on the information presented above, it may be safe to say that the government does not address the notions of creativity and resilience when voting for the new policies related to Covid-19 to be passed. The students fail to prioritize educational standards and follow the path of the least resistance in order to appeal to the aspirations of teachers and disregard their own needs (Leeb et al., 2020). This is why many students fail their tests and exams during the pandemic while not being motivated enough to learn properly and enhance their academic achievements. This inability to attune to the ever-changing environment may also stem from the rigid nature of the US policies that do not pay enough attention to the traumas and disparities that are caused by global events such as the Covid-19 pandemic, for example (Aucejo et al., 2020). The narrow set of skills promoted by the government does not represent a sufficient degree of assistance when a whole-child development framework has to be in place.

 

Standardized Testing Becomes Obsolete

 

Another problem that has to be covered when discussing the impact of the pandemic on US education and its connection to politics is the growing visibility of limitations that are characteristic of standardized testing. For instance, it was claimed by Landeros et al. (2021) that digital improvements are creating divisions instead of unity and increasing the power of disadvantages instead of closing the most evident gaps. This means that students suffer from reduced academic performance while the government does not address the disadvantages that have led to such results. The information that students know and learn during the pandemic has to interconnect with bigger issues in order for learners to recognize the value that education brings to the table (Mooney, 2021). The government has to assess the probability of creating opportunities for children, especially since one’s potential cannot be realized instantly, and policymakers have to set up a long-term agenda that will cover all the advances.

 

This problem cannot be ignored because it is directly related to how the government could design its approaches to education during the post-pandemic period and ensure that most students are treated equally. The highly damaged life circumstances cannot be mended with the help of mere classroom instructions, so it makes it safe to say that testing students during the pandemic is a destabilizing activity (Asahi et al., 2021). The remote setting takes the ability to interpret test results in an unbiased manner away from teachers because they are not able to distinguish the key reasons for one’s low scores. Within a face-to-face setting, it would be much easier for the teacher to conclude if emotional distress, absenteeism, or limited understanding of the material has affected their grade (Mooney, 2021). The issue of the impact of the pandemic on the educational sector limits the value of remote student testing and cheapens the work completed by teachers.

 

Possible Strategies to Mediate the Impact of Covid-19

 

In order to address the vulnerabilities presented above, the government might need to come up with an intricate strategy for improving the state of affairs more consistently and decisively. Disruptions and interruptions caused by the pandemic have to be restored with the help of targeted interventions that could close the gaps and reduce inequities that avert students and teachers from overcoming the impact of Covid-19 (Azevedo et al., 2020). The first important step would be to establish proper remote instructions and maintain the proposed operations even if the pandemic continues (which is the ‘relief’ stage). The ‘recuperation’ stage would require policymakers to focus on how to compensate all the involved stakeholders for the challenges that they had to face when going through online studies and testing (Daroedono et al., 2020). In line with Cairns (2020), the process of ‘reconstruction’ would require the government to invest in a shift that would make the current education system way more flexible and responsive to changes.

 

The biggest problem that the government would have to resolve when designing the strategy and deploying it is the increasing competition for resources that would intensify even more after the pandemic. School system revenues are going to be affected by Covid-19 to an extent where the administration would have to limit their spending and find new ways of restructuring their budgets (Mooney, 2021). This historic crisis shows that the US government turned out to be practically not ready for the changes that would have to be made due to the pandemic. In the long run, more investments would be required to cover all the linked expenses and ensure that both teachers and students are protected from the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic (Babel et al., 2020). It should be noted that policymakers do not pay enough attention to the post-pandemic issues, which leaves enough room for the gaps to grow and impact the learning process for all stakeholders involved.

 

Conclusion

 

While slowly entering the recuperation phase, the policymakers have to reflect on how educational systems could contribute to the development of a resilient community. The global crisis caused by Covid-19 shows that the current level of awareness is insufficient if the government expects to address the emergency and help teachers and students to withstand the limitations of remote education. The uncertain outlook on the pandemic creates premises for more questionable decisions and strategies where their possible effect cannot be predicted or mitigated. With so many vulnerabilities at hand, it is hardly understandable how the government is willing to reduce the amount of damage given to different settings. Nevertheless, the pandemic shows that disruptions are unstoppable and may penetrate other areas, such as politics, environmental protection, the economy, and many more.

 

With this information in mind, it may be safe to say that the government has to look into more strategies that could contribute to improved capacity of organizational preparedness and foresight. The education system is going to remain the heart of tomorrow’s society, so it should be carefully implemented into the existing governmental framework. Other areas of human life are not going to evolve or change under the influence of education alone if the government fails to relieve, recuperate, and reconstruct it within the next several years. The existing prospects show that the current deep crisis could actually become the first step toward substantial transformations affecting the education field and its derivatives. The deployment of a global agenda would signify the beginning of a new era for US education where large-scale disruptions will be met with less unthinkable decisions and more evidence-based actions.

 

References

 

Ahmed, F. R. A., Ahmed, T. E., Saeed, R. A., Alhumyani, H., Abdel-Khalek, S., & Abu-Zinadah, H. (2021). Analysis and challenges of robust E-exams performance under COVID-19. Results in Physics23, 1-8.

 

Asahi, K., Undurraga, E. A., Valdés, R., & Wagner, R. (2021). The effect of COVID-19 on the economy: Evidence from an early adopter of localized lockdowns. Journal of Global Health11, 1-12.

 

Aucejo, E. M., French, J., Araya, M. P. U., & Zafar, B. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on student experiences and expectations: Evidence from a survey. Journal of public economics191, 1-15.

 

Azevedo, J. P., Hasan, A., Goldemberg, D., Iqbal, S. A., & Geven, K. (2020). Simulating the potential impacts of COVID-19 school closures on schooling and learning outcomes: A set of global estimates. The World Bank.

 

Babel, S., Jain, S., & Conger, L. (2020). COVID-19: Emerging challenges for students in medicine and schools in the United States. Journal of Lumbini Medical College8(1), 147-149.

 

Cairns, R. (2020). Exams tested by Covid-19: An opportunity to rethink standardized senior secondary examinations. Prospects, 1-15.

 

Clark, T. M., Callam, C. S., Paul, N. M., Stoltzfus, M. W., & Turner, D. (2020). Testing in the time of COVID-19: A sudden transition to unproctored online exams. Journal of Chemical Education97(9), 3413-3417.

 

Daroedono, E., Siagian, F. E., Alfarabi, M., Cing, J. M., Arodes, E. S., Sirait, R. H.,… & Hutabarat, R. S. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on medical education: Our student’s perception on the practice of long distance learning. International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health7(7), 2790-2796.

 

Landeros, A., Ji, X., Lange, K., Stutz, T. C., Xu, J., Sehl, M. E., & Sinsheimer, J. S. (2021). An examination of school reopening strategies during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. PloS One16(5), 1-16.

 

Leeb, R. T., Price, S., Sliwa, S., Kimball, A., Szucs, L., Caruso, E.,… & Lozier, M. (2020). COVID-19 trends among school-aged children—United States, March 1–September 19, 2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report69(39), 1410.

 

Mooney, J. (2021). Pushback on NJ school testing requirements. NJ Spotlight News. Web.

 

Educational Adaptation and Responses to Pandemic

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