Buffalo schools struggled with distance learning

Buffalo, N.Y. (Investigativepost.org) - This story began in April with a handful of simple questions: How many Buffalo school students are participating in distance learning? How many hours a day are they engaged in learning? And how much are they really learning?

They were obvious and reasonable questions. So we posed them to the folks who run the school system. Their response: hysterics and stonewalling. 

We then turned to teachers, who, in often heartfelt terms, described their experiences working with students since schools shut their doors the middle of March because of the pandemic. Their experiences varied, but on balance they said distance learning didn’t work very well. 

For starters, they said the district didn’t do enough to help them adapt to virtual teaching. The digital divide robbed some students of the necessary access. A decision to freeze grades where they stood when schools closed in March took away the motive to participate in online classes.

Bottom line: Too few students regularly participated in online classes.

Read the complete reporting from our non-profit investigative partners at investigativepost.org.