Everyone with an ounce of common sense knows that remote learning is generally inferior to learning in school, and that it’s emotionally harmful to some children. Anyone who has studied the data is likely to conclude that keeping schools open doesn’t risk a harmful spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
Alexandria’s public schools are closed. But this doesn’t mean the system’s school superintendent, Gregory Hutchings, Jr, lacks common sense or is oblivious to the data. It just means that he won’t apply what he knows beyond the confines of his family.
Hutchings has pulled one of his two children from the public school system he runs. He is sending that child to Bishop Ireton High School, a Catholic school that remains open.
The superintendent confirmed this fact to an inquisitive reporter from the school newspaper of T.C. Williams, an Alexandria high school that’s closed. After doing so, he amended his bio and his Twitter profile. Instead of saying that his two kids attend Alexandria City Public Schools, he now says only that he has two kids.
Hutchings didn’t explain his decision to have his child transfer to a private school this year. He said only:
Decisions like these are very personal family decisions and are not taken lightly. This in no way impacts my absolute lifelong, commitment to public education, to which I remain as personally dedicated as ever.
Right. But his decision, in the wake of school closings, speaks to his lack of faith in remote learning. And it shows that he has no fear that in-person learning will have an adverse impact on the health of his child or his family.
Hutchings draws a $236,000 base salary. He can afford to enable his kid to escape from remote learning. Other parents can’t. Their kids are trapped in a learning environment that’s inferior for many students and emotionally harmful for some.
Hutchings reportedly has said, “I have a goal of being the U.S. Secretary of Education.” His decisions during the pandemic show demonstrate his ambition, but not his fitness.