Pandemic May Lead to the Rise of Shadow Education in the US

With most schools preparing for one hundred percent virtual classes this coming Fall, parents may begin looking for alternatives. Before the pandemic, students in the United States have already been participating in private supplementary education. COVID-19 may therefore catalyze a rise in this shadow educational system which may exacerbate existing gaps in education. A study that looks at about 18,000 ninth grade students back in 2009 already shows a significant number of students (about 18 percent) participating in out-of-school programs. With parents anxious about their children being left behind, these numbers are likely to increase. The study finds that Blacks and Hispanics attend these private programs for "catching up" while Asians generally "aim to get ahead". 

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Whenever a new market arises, of course, there are opportunities. A Martial arts school in Fairfax county, for example, tries to respond to this expected demand.

As educators, we must be vigilant with factors that may easily jeopardize our quest for equity in education. When education becomes purely a capitalist playground, "education for all" becomes unreachable.