‘A lot of wasted time’: Milwaukee parents and advocates say MPS has been too slow to start virtual learning

Annysa Johnson:

It’s been seven weeks since her 10-year-old son’s school was forced to close because of the coronavirus, and Crystal Manuel has been frustrated.

She gets a weekly robocall from his principal at Townsend Elementary School in Milwaukee. But until Friday, she had yet to hear from any of his teachers.

He shares the family laptop with his older brother because he hasn’t received the Chromebook from his school. And while he could access Milwaukee Public Schools’ educational games, virtual field trips and other online resources, Manuel said, until Friday, there were no actual assignments, no interactions with teachers and no clear explanation of expectations.

“I have educators in my family that live in different states, and I see teachers calling students, doing Zoom, texting, FaceTiming — even teachers working with kids through windows and doors,” said Manuel, who wants her son to have the same kind of learning experience.

“It’s just discouraging,” she said last week. “I don’t want this pandemic to put him behind, and then he has to play catch-up next year. It’s just a lot of wasted time.”

Madison’s Infinite Campus expenditures have been a missed opportunity. The District last  published a usage survey in 2012….