Representative Banks echoing President Trump’s call to get kids back to school

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President Donald Trump is pushing for students to return to school for classroom learning in the fall and Indiana Representative Jim Banks agrees with Trump’s reasoning. Banks said in an interview on Fox News that he does not believe virtual learning is as effective as classroom learning.

“Watching them go through what they went through with virtual learning, that failed, which studies now show they didn’t retain hardly any of what they learned over the last few months when school were shut down,” he said.

Banks may have been referring to a study that was published in April, based on data gathered mostly from Hoosier children, by Joseph Waddington, an assistant professor in the University of Kentucky College of Education Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation.

Waddington studied virtual learning in charter schools but used the data to determine how well students might do, having made a sudden switch from the classroom to virtual learning in many other types of schools.

“Researchers, policymakers, teachers, school administrators and parents alike have all been concerned about the negative consequences for student learning resulting from the dramatic shift to online instruction during COVID-19, amongst other health, safety and socioemotional outcomes,” he said.

He acknowledged that a direct comparison between virtual charter schools and the makeshift virtual learning environments devised quickly during coronavirus was not possible.

You can find the study, as published by the Brookings Institute, here.

Banks argued on Fox that statistics don’t back up “anything but putting our kids back in the classroom”. He also argued that children are not at risk as much as adults.

“What we know now is that children are the least at-risk category to contract coronavirus or to spread it,” he said.

Banks said he has three elementary school-aged daughters.

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