Forced Apart: Same Pandemic, Unequal Education

May 28, 2020

West Virginia’s 2020 school year, from kindergarten through college, is wrapping up unlike any other.  In recent years, Mountain State communities have been devastated by man-made crises and natural disasters, but nothing has affected the state’s education system like a world-wide pandemic.

The coronavirus forced an extended Spring Break in March that quickly became a season of virtual classrooms and distance learning. Teachers have converted lessons into online assignments. Parents juggle their work with home-based tutoring. And schools deliver millions of meals to low-income students.

As this truncated school year comes to an end, we hear from West Virginia families trying to make it work and teachers who say they’re learning valuable lessons they will use in the future. But we’re all learning something unfortunate; during a pandemic, all students aren’t equal.

This episode of Us & Them is presented with support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

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