There are some special categories of life experiences. Divorce. Parenthood. Deafness. Living as a Black person in the US. Classroom teacher. They are very different experiences, but they all have on thing in common.
You can read about these things. But if you haven't lived it, you don't know. You can study up, read up, talk to people. And in some rare cases that brings you close enough to knowing that your insights might actually be useful.
But mostly, you are a Dunning-Krueger case study just waiting to be written up.
The last thirty-seven-ish years of education have been marked by one major feature-- a whole lot of people who just don't know, throwing their weight around and trying to set the conditions under which the people who actually do the work will have to try to actually do the work. Policy wonks, privateers, Teach for America pass-throughs, guys who wanted to run for President, folks walking by on the street who happen to be filthy rich, amateurs who believe their ignorance is a qualification-- everyone has stuck their oar in to try to reshape US education. And in ordinary times, as much as I argue against these folks, I would not wave my magic wand to silence them, because 1) educators are just as susceptible as anyone to becoming too insular and entrenched and convinced of their own eternal rightness and 2) it is a teacher's job to serve all those amateurs, so it behooves the education world to listen, even if what they hear is 98% bosh.
But that's in ordinary times, and these are not ordinary times.
There's a whole lot of discussion about the issues involved in starting up school this fall. The discussion is made difficult by the fact that all options stink. It is further complicated by the loud voices of people who literally do not know what they are talking about. Here's a handy flow chart to help you work it out.
Media can help with this. There is no reason for anyone to interview Arne Duncan or Jeb Bush about how to re-open schools in the fall. Knock it off with that sort of thing, please. And now it turns out that Bill Gates has given the Chiefs for Change, a group of reformy amateurs who keep failing upwards, $1.6 million "to provide a co-branded (CCSSO and CFC) set of comprehensive COVID-19 state education reopening plans that address health and safety guidance at both the SEA and LEA levels." That's no help, either.
Yes, there are some scholars who mostly get it, and a lot of stakeholder voices that must be paid attention to (starting with parents, parents and more parents). But for the rest of you who think that just because an idea about education passes through your head, it ought to be shared and maybe even shared widely and given the force of policy-- You may mean well, or you may not. I can't read your heart. Nevertheless, we're in an unprecedented situation with lives at stake. So, please.
Hush. Just hush.