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Praise and Blame for Data-Driven School Reopenings

By Net Assets posted 06-22-2021 10:05 AM


(from the New York Times) Brown University economist Emily Oster has become something of a lodestar for many affluent parents when it comes to making decisions about schooling during the pandemic, as well as other parenting issues. Her recommendations — in most circumstances to reopen schools — are based on data sets as opposed to guidance by industry experts, making her work controversial. Data collection during the pandemic was also untraditional, skewing initially toward private and suburban schools, but eventually encompassed many public schools as well. While the CDC and other organizations have come to echo Oster's advice, some teachers in urban districts say she does not understand the reality of classrooms, and that there is significant risk of in-school transmission in certain circumstances. 

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