Chicago parent warns remote learning has ‘devastating effects’ for families as union mulls ‘temporary’ shift

A Chicago public school parent is speaking out against remote learning, calling it a “nightmare” after the Chicago teacher’s union surveyed its members mulling a shift back to virtual learning amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. 

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Nolberto Casas joined “America’s Newsroom” to discuss the possibility and the impact it has had on his son’s ability to learn, who has special needs. Casas also underscored the strain it has put on his family at large.

“It would have devastating effects for working-class families in my city,” Casas told Julie Banderas. “It would just create an entire whirlwind that is not desirable for anybody.”

Casas explained how his son was failing his virtual classes, but after returning to in-person learning, his son began thriving in the classroom

Christina Pagan, 7, does her school work using an iPad and a pencil with a workbook. 

Christina Pagan, 7, does her school work using an iPad and a pencil with a workbook. 
(Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

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“The remote learning was a total nightmare,” Casas explained. “You know, it would be my son versus the computer versus mom versus basically the world.”

“When we saw the change was when he went back to in-person, he started to flourish. His own teachers were like, we had him as a failing student, and now all of a sudden, you know, he’s getting straight B’s and A’s. The remote learning is a handicap to school-age children, especially in elementary school.”

Meanwhile, the Chicago Teachers Union sent a questionnaire titled “Possible Actions for Safety January 2022” asking its members about their stance regarding a “temporary” shift to virtual learning.

Jandel Diaz does his school work on a laptop computer. At the Mulberry Street location of the Olivet Boys and Girls Club in Reading Tuesday morning January 19, 2021.

Jandel Diaz does his school work on a laptop computer. At the Mulberry Street location of the Olivet Boys and Girls Club in Reading Tuesday morning January 19, 2021.
(Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

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The question read, “If COVID continues to dangerously accelerate or should staffing levels in our schools drop to unsafe levels, would you support a… District-wide pause and temporary shift to remote learning.”

Casas sounded the alarm on the possibility, warning the organization’s power does have “significant sway” over the Windy City. 

“It’s been basically a David and Goliath type of situation,” Casas stated. “You have the teachers unions who are well-organized, they’re well-funded and their membership pays their dues.”

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“So in Chicago, we have the Chicago Teachers Union, which is about 25,000 strong, and they have significant sway over the city,” he continued. 

“Sometimes it even feels like they have a vice grip over our children, and they hold our children hostage.”

Chicago Public Schools’ winter break is set to end January 3rd. 

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