Hey, parents. What do you think about making remote learning permanent?

Yes. You read that right.

Whose idea? New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The Empire State’s leader proposed it Tuesday (May 5, 2020) during an announcement he made about partnering with the Gates Foundation to ” ‘reimagine’ education in the post-COVID era,” The New York Post reported.

“One of the areas we can really learn from is education because the old model of our education system where everyone sits in a classroom is not going to work in the new normal … When we do reopen our schools, let’s reimagine them for the future, and to do that, we are collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and exploring smart, innovative education alternatives using all the new technology we have at our disposal,” Cuomo was quoted as saying in The New York Post article.

While just a suggestion, that’s much to digest. This would change the face of education as we know it. No school buildings, classrooms with textbooks and myriad learning materials or a teacher who isn’t just an image on a computer screen.

School at home using cyber learning works for some families and students, but not for everyone. Some school districts have families who lack internet access. Some families have parents who both work full time or a single parent working full time, with minimal time to oversee learning at home. Other families, as evidenced in a recent story on the TODAY Parents Facebook page (see Mommy Mentions entry from April 30, “Not what we expected, but we just do it”) have thrown in the towel and given up on distance learning because it just doesn’t work for them.

What about our teachers? They work hard to bring out the best in our children, guide them and give them the tools they need to succeed.

Think of other things. No more bus rides or buying those backpacks and lunchboxes. What about school activities and sports? Concerts, musicals, performances, dances and proms? Kindergarten, elementary and middle school graduations and finishing ceremonies? And the big one, walking in cap and gown to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” once high school commences?

Lots of questions unanswered here, and many more unmentioned. Of course, at this point, it is just a suggestion. If it becomes a reality, however, it will be a much different world for our children to grow up in and be educated.