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Understanding In-Person Learning And The Spread Of COVID-19 In The Classroom

Kim Reynolds
Charlie Neibergall/AP
/
AP
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address before a joint session of the Iowa Legislature, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

With the pandemic continuing its surge across the nation, Iowa school districts around the state continue to educate students in different ways. Most families in Iowa have been able to choose online-only education, many districts offer a hybrid option including smaller socially distanced classroom spaces and online learning in a 50/50 split and a number of districts have returned to full-time, in-person learning. In her Condition of the State address, Governor Kim Reynolds praised a number of Iowa educators, but she also expressed her frustration with districts that are offering only online or hybrid learning plans.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Iowa Public Radio’s Grant Gerlock about the governor's proposed changes for public schools and Mike Beranek, president of the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA).

While there is still a great deal that is unknown about COVID-19 in schools, Iowa does not have uniform reporting or contact tracing rules from district to district or county to county. Researchers all over the world are trying to understand how COVID-19 spreads in a school environment. Katharine Strunk, professor of education policy and director of education policy innovation collaborative at Michigan State University and one of the authors of a report from the Calder Center for Longitudinal Data in Educational Research joins the program to discuss her study: “To What Extent Does In-Person Learning Contribute to the Spread of COVID19.” The study depends on data collected from Michigan and Washington states.

Guests:

· Grant Gerlock, reporter, Iowa Public Radio
· Mike Beranek, president of the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA)
· Katharine Strunk, professor of education policy and director of education policy innovation collaborative at Michigan State University

Tags

COVID-19Education
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa