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Bridge Both the In-Person and the On-Line Educational Divides

Summary:
In a new Policy Brief just released by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research,  Jack Mallery and I show that In-person and online learning go together Yes, America must prioritize in-person K-12 elementary and secondary schools as soon as it is safely possible. Quality in-person learning is essential. But America must also increase on-line access whether or not in-person schools open now or later  Data available since the start of the pandemic has revealed a big educational divide in on-line access. It is much less available for people who have low income. Unfortunately, the in-person versus on-line issue has become polarized politically with the presidential campaigns and other campaigns staking out strong positions on one side or the other. But the choice should not

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In a new Policy Brief just released by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research,  Jack Mallery and I show that In-person and online learning go together

Yes, America must prioritize in-person K-12 elementary and secondary schools as soon as it is safely possible. Quality in-person learning is essential.

But America must also increase on-line access whether or not in-person schools open now or later  Data available since the start of the pandemic has revealed a big educational divide in on-line access. It is much less available for people who have low income.

Unfortunately, the in-person versus on-line issue has become polarized politically with the presidential campaigns and other campaigns staking out strong positions on one side or the other. But the choice should not be between in-person and on-line access. We need both.

The task is daunting and the road ahead is full of challenges, but there are several good solutions available and bridging the divide has never been more pressing. Our paper shows that there are many policies which increase access both on-line and in-person.

Many of them are part of proposals made by the executive branch and by legislators in Congress. Many are part of state and local proposals. Many are from the private sector, and they would thrive with good school choice legislation. But whether federal, state, local or private, it is a national security and economic imperative.

John Taylor
John B. Taylor is the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He formerly served as the Director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research where he is currently a Senior Fellow. He is also the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution.

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