With coronavirus cases spiking in dozens of states, the prospect of anything resembling a normal school year is fading fast.
Schools can’t safely reopen if infections are exploding in the communities they serve.
But in regions where the pandemic appears to be under control, it is most important to get the youngest children back into school buildings, to stop the alarming slide in their learning. Older students, especially those in college, are better equipped to cope with the difficulties of online education.
That is the broad consensus among experts on back-to-school priorities. But, as things stand now, much of the United States is preparing to do exactly the opposite.
In many towns, college students are more likely than kindergartners to return to school for in-person instruction. An example is my home of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where schoolchildren will be learning completely online and university students will be attending at least