Was MCPS too busy to address excessive screen time? Yes. It was busy building a screen-based “virtual academy” for September in which about 1,600 families have shown interest. This may help reduce the expense of building brick-and-mortar schools, but what about the cognitive costs of sticking kids in Zoom rooms?
The National Education Policy Center says claims that online curriculums promote achievement because they can be more tailored “are not supported by the research. . . .” AASA, the School Superintendents Association, has seen the number of failing grades increase. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says mental health-related emergency room visits jumped about 25 percent among children ages 5 to 17.
Overdosing kids on screen time and disfiguring teaching can be blamed on the coronavirus pandemic only so long. Embracing it as a permanent option ignores warnings from experts who know better.
Lisa Cline, Gaithersburg
The writer, a co-founder of the Student Data Privacy Project, is an advisory
member of the Campaign for a
Commercial-Free Childhood’s Screens in Schools work group.