Some parents are creating home-based, closed groups of a few families’ children to learn together under the rotating supervision of parents or a paid supervisor. Pods could keep students’ learning and social-emotional development on track while helping protect their and their teachers’ health.
But if pods are exclusively organized by parents and those parents are disproportionately well-off, this approach will inevitably further widen economic and racial gaps in learning opportunity.
Lower-income families are in fact more likely to need pods because the parents are more likely to have to go off to work. According to a study from the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago, 63 percent of jobs cannot be done from home, and these jobs are disproportionately lower paid.
Even if they can arrange adult supervision for a group of children, lower-income families may struggle to provide spaces conducive to learning in their homes. The KidsCount Data Center found that as of 2018, 14 percent of children live in overcrowded households. [Read more…]