‘This is hell’: Parents and kids hate online learning, but they could face more of it

'This is hell': Parents and kids hate online learning, but they could face more of it

America’s educators know little about how to improve online classes, and many spend almost no time trying to figure it out before school starts. The fall 2020 book release calendar is going to be particularly crowded, given all the titles that have moved from spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so readers will have to work harder, writes Biblioracle columnist John Warner. Whether starting from scratch or simply choosing to accelerate in the current environment, creativity is flourishing across society. “High water conditions have impacted the construction time line.” The Marlins are ramping up for the 2020 season with a pool of players from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels.

In his suburban New Jersey home-turned-classroom this spring, parent Don Seaman quickly found himself in the role of household vice principal.

While his wife holed up in the bedroom to work each day, Seaman, a media and marketing professional, worked from the family room where he could supervise his children’s virtual learning. A similar scene played out in millions of American homes after schools shuttered and moved classes online to contain the coronavirus.

Now that the year’s over, Seaman has strong feelings about the experience: Despite the best efforts of teachers, virtual learning didn’t work. At least not uniformly, if his three children in elementary, middle and high school are any indication.

“The older kids were saying ‘This is hell,'” Seaman said. “My kids feel isolated, and they can’t keep up, and they’re struggling with it.”

But like it or not, remote instruction and virtual learning are likely to continue for millions of children this fall. That’s because most districts can’t observe physical distancing with all students attending class together in-person.

Many reopening plans rely on hybrid learning schedules, in which students attend school on alternating days or weeks and learn from home on the other days, on a computer when feasible.  

Yet America’s educators know little about how to improve the online learning experience – and many districts are spending almost no time trying to figure it out before the fall term starts.

Coronavirus updates:US reports record number of new cases

The stakes are high. If there is a spike in infections – a real possibility, as mounting cases in states such as Texas and Florida indicate – distance learning in affected regions likely will become universal again. And students can’t afford to lose more ground, as many did when classes went online this spring. Millions simply disappeared or logged on but didn’t participate.  

Nationwide, only one in three districts expected teachers to provide remote instruction and monitor students’ academic engagement this spring, according to a study that tracked 477 districts.

“There wasn’t a lot in the way of interventions for kids who were falling off,” said Robin Lake, director of the Center for Reinventing Education, a nonpartisan research group in Washington state that conducted the study. 

“That’s a huge problem in distance learning.”

Schools in fall:Scheduled days home, more online learning, lots of hand-washing

District leaders are understandably preoccupied with logistical planning for reopening schools while also keeping the coronavirus at bay.

Some parents who are worried about their kids’ emotional health and their own ability to work are pressuring schools for a return to in-person classes. And face-to-face instruction could provide stronger support for vulnerable students who fell the furthest behind this spring. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging schools to prioritize in-person classes because of the negative social, emotional and academic effects of school closures.

“Policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within schools must be balanced with the known harms to children, adolescents, families, and the community by keeping children at home,” says new guidance from the organization representing about 67,000 pediatricians. 

Nationwide, parents are split on sending their children back to classrooms. A slight majority – 56% – said they want their children to attend schools full time this fall, according to a Gallup poll this month. But in a USA TODAY poll in late May, 6 in 10 parents said they were more likely to pursue at-home learning options.

Back to school? 1 in 5 teachers are unlikely to return to reopened classrooms this fall, poll says

Some education experts believe districts should double down on improving remote and virtual instruction rather than figure out new ways to have students attend school part-time.

“There’s a risk that teachers will be overwhelmed, and the resulting hybrid could be of lower quality than a strong early commitment to remote instruction,” said Aaron Pallas, a professor of sociology and education at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Look inside one reopened school:Montana school offers peek at what fall might bring

As millions of teachers and families discovered this fall, learning virtually is hard. For many students, it’s difficult to engage with classmates and participate in class. For many teachers, it’s difficult to help struggling students and form solid relationships with only video, chat and email. Exhausted parents-turned-tutors, especially those trying also to work from home, say it’s not sustainable. 

Unfortunately, solutions are not readily at hand.

“There is a surprising lack of research into what techniques make for high-quality virtual instruction,” said Brian Fitzpatrick, a sociologist at the University of Notre Dame and former middle school teacher. “The COVID pandemic has certainly drawn attention to the need to identify best practices.”

It’s tempting to turn for help to America’s longest-running experiment with online schooling: virtual charter schools, which have been around since the 1990s and can be run by districts or private management companies. About 300,000 students nationwide were enrolled in full-time virtual schools in the 2017-18 school year, according to the National Education Policy Center, a left-learning education think tank in Colorado.

On average, their academic outcomes are overwhelmingly low. When students switch to virtual charter schools from brick-and-mortar schools, their achievement drops, recent studies show. One was conducted by Fitzpatrick and three other researchers who compared outcomes for students attending virtual and traditional schools in Indiana.

“We find the impact of attending a virtual charter on student achievement is uniformly and profoundly negative,” Fitzpatrick and his colleagues wrote this month in a post for the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank.

School scandal:Two virtual schools defrauded Indiana of $68 million and funneled more to execs

Still, business is up at virtual charters since the pandemic began, said company leaders at Connections Academy and K12 Inc., which power a majority of virtual charters in America.

They attributed low achievement and graduation rates over the years to low-achieving students transferring in from traditional schools.

“Less than 20% of students who come to us are learning at the grade level they entered,” said Nate Davis, CEO of K12.

For other students, particularly those with a committed parent in the home, virtual schooling can be highly tailored and effective, said Mickey Revenaugh, co-founder of Connections.

“There’s a critical role the family plays,” she said. “When kids are little you need that adult presence. And they need to be communicating with that child’s teacher on a regular basis.”

Leaders in districts with more experience using blended or online learning platforms feel they’re further along in preparing for fall. 

Broward County, Florida’s sixth-largest district, has hosted its own virtual school since 2001. When school moved online this spring, the district offered workshops for teachers in traditional schools to get started with Canvas, the district’s online learning platform, said Daryl Diamond, director of innovative learning. The district also trained teachers to use web conferencing tools for teaching, he said.

Before spring break, only about half the district’s teachers had published courses on Canvas, Diamond said. After spring break, that figure exploded to 98% of teachers.

Other educators felt far less prepared.

Karen Reyes teaches children who are deaf or hard of hearing at Linder Elementary School in Austin, Texas. 

Her days became an endless loop of recording herself doing videos for students, as well as for their parents. Her youngest learners had trouble using the technology. Reading to her students virtually was difficult. In person, they’d interrupt to ask questions or make comments to connect the story to their experiences. Online they watched silently.

“It’s hard to be by ourselves,” said Reyes, 31. “I didn’t get into teaching to teach to the screen.”

Virtual struggles:Coronavirus’ online school is hard for English learners

In Florida’s Pasco County School District, parents can choose from several options for fall. They can return their kids to school full time or have them stay at home and learn virtually from teachers at their regular school building. A third option allows students to transfer into the district’s long-running virtual school, Pasco e-School.

For students who learn at home through a virtual program at their school, “there will be a lot more interaction with a teacher, with a very prescribed, very standard, traditional schedule throughout the day,” said Steve Hegarty, Pasco’s district spokesman.

Training teachers how to do that will begin officially on Aug. 3 – a week before students return Aug. 10. Because of the schools’ union contract, that’s all the district can require. The district has training for online teaching available over the summer, but it’s optional. Still, Hegarty said, thousands are participating.

Teachers’ unions and districts negotiate how many days of paid training teachers will receive each year, which means most teachers can’t be required to spend their summer ramping up their skills to teach online.

Teacher appreciation:They wanted respect. It only took a pandemic and worldwide economic collapse

Many districts are already consumed with adjusting labor agreements to take into account all of the other nuances of a radically different school day this fall. They must determine which staff members come back to class and which stay home, or allow teachers to decide for themselves. They also have to figure out how to keep staff safe.

“This is not a light undertaking of reimagination,” said Stacy Davis Gates, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union.

“We have schools that don’t have hot water running in the restrooms. We have schools that do not have soap. We’ve been cited by the Chicago Health Department for a lack of cleanliness in the building pre-COVID-19, and the district still has the same contract with the cleaning company.” 

Defund police in schools?Another issue schools are weighing this summer, after George Floyd’s death

Even if teachers could be trained to do it better, virtual learning would still have a glaring accessibility problem. The households least likely to have the two things necessary for quality virtual learning to take place – a computer and high-speed internet access – are low-income households. And those households are the places where children fell behind the most in spring 2020.

At least 15 million out of America’s more than 50 million schoolchildren live in homes without access to a computer, or without access to high-speed internet, according to a national report released Monday that tries to quantify the extent of the “homework gap.” 

And about 300,000 to 400,000 teachers lacked access to computers or high-speed internet, the study estimated.

No online learning? With schools closed from coronavirus, these teachers aired TV lessons

The study, by Common Sense Media, may slightly overstate the lack of technology because it relied on information households reported from the most recent Census. That means it didn’t capture the thousands of devices and Wi-Fi hotspots schools distributed to families in the wake of the pandemic.

Still, advocates say there’s plenty of evidence to pressure Congress to allocate more money to help close the digital divide. The price tag to do so for students? At least $6 billion, according to the new report.

The alternative, should virtual learning continue, are thousands more lost hours of instruction. 

In Los Angeles Unified, the nation’s second-largest district, only about 6 out of 10 elementary students were logging in as of April, according to EdSource, a California news site.

More than 20% of students in Boston Public Schools never logged in to any of the district’s online academic platforms in May, according to the Boston Globe.

Some parents fed up with virtual learning are pressuring districts to return kids to school full time, even if it means not physical distancing.

They say it’s necessary for children’s social and emotional well-being, as well as for the sanity of their parents and the sake of the economy. 

Some health experts back them up, saying that other preventive measures, such as universal mask-wearing, can help limit the spread of the virus in schools.

“If our children do not return to school full time in full capacity, the achievement gap between different districts is going to widen,” said Kim Collins, a parent who lives near Boston. She’s part of a grassroots group, Bring Kids Back MA, that is pushing lawmakers and district leaders to send more children back to school.

More than 2,000 people have signed their petition.

Collins said remote learning in her home this spring was barely learning at all. Her son in high school used to have 77-minute daily blocks of instruction in his core subjects. Once school went virtual, that teaching block was restricted to 50 minutes twice a week, Collins said.

Some superintendents are trying to make in-person learning happen for every student whose family wants it.

In rural northwestern Pennsylvania, about 2,000 students spread out over 342 square miles attend the St. Marys Area School District.

Superintendent Brian Toth said he’s planning for all of them to attend schools from Day One this fall, with everyone wearing masks.If there’s another outbreak, all children will learn at home virtually. There won’t be any modifications or hybrids. 

“Can we do the 6-foot suggestion? No. And any school district that says they can, cannot. We will socially distance as far as we can, as feasible. That’s the guidance we have from Pennsylvania,” Toth said.

Universal mask-wearing and modifications to buildings can help slow the spread of the virus and still let children come back to school, said Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard University.

“Prioritize bringing in more outside air,” he said. “Use box fans or other mechanical fans to facilitate the movement of outdoor air indoors. Use portable air cleaners.”

Still, other parents worry about the unpredictability of fall classes, or the health of their students inside a school amid a pandemic. 

Anna Huf, a parent in suburban Milwaukee, has switched her two school-age children to a virtual charter school, eAchieve Academy. It’s run by the Waukesha School District.

Huf saidher family loves their regular public school in Merton, Wisconsin, but she felt teachers became disengaged when schooling moved online.

“I started noticing gaps in my children’s learning, just by being home with them,” she said. “Nothing was being addressed by the school, so at the end of the year we were kind of at a crossroads.”

It’s almost inevitable that brick-and-mortar schools will have to return to online instruction at some point in the next year as the pandemic continues, Huf said. She works for an IT staffing company and can continue working from home. That way, she can oversee her children’s education.

Huf said she didn’t look at the academic performance of any of the virtual charter schools she considered. And some of her family members questioned whether she was making the right choice.

But the certainty of knowing what will happen come fall is important to her.

“This isn’t just me putting them in front of a computer,” Huf said. “I hope to be their instructor and motivator along the way.” 

Education coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation does not provide editorial input.

Source: www.usatoday.com

Column: The fall book release calendar is even more crowded than usual — and readers are going to have to work harder

Column: The fall book release calendar is even more crowded than usual — and readers are going to have to work harder

Every fall, I lament that I won’t be able to get to all the worthy books that start rolling out in September. Now, thanks to the coronavirus, laying hands on everything I might want to read is going to require more book gluttony than usual — and that’s saying something.

Throw in the need to cram more book releases into an even smaller window than usual because of fears that election-related news will dominate the media, and the situation gets even worse.

Much of the worry around delaying spring books focused on the fact that publishers had no idea on whether retail bookstores would be able to sell any books for an indeterminate period of time.

The fall 2020 book release calendar is going to be particularly crowded, given all the titles that have moved from spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fall 2020 book release calendar is going to be particularly crowded, given all the titles that have moved from spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (monap/Getty Images)

Discussing these issues in The New York Times, Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt said in March that “the very functions of the literary world have been put into a coma.” Planned book tours were canceled, and there was a question over whether orders could even be fulfilled.

A highly anticipated new book from Elena Ferrante was delayed, because — as Michael Reynolds, the editor in chief of the books publisher, Europa Editions, told The Times — putting the book out when many independent stores were closed “would have been a betrayal of the booksellers that have done so much for her.”

Fortunately, the book business has managed to adapt remarkably well to the disruptions of the pandemic and book lovers are rallying around stores. Online buying and curbside service has kept the wheels turning, and books are selling. Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” has reportedly sold more than half-million copies since its release.

Of course, the origin story of a malevolent leader who would ultimately come to preside over a decadent and dissolute society seems particularly on-point at the moment.

By necessity, it seems publishers will have to adapt. There are only so many authors “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross can talk to, and Reese Witherspoon and Oprah Winfrey only pick one book per month.

Because so many books are published, a lot of book publicity begins to look a little generic. Every advance copy I receive seems to tout the same indie bookseller outreach, social media campaign, and so on. The hope is that a book will catch fire, but it seems like a lot of books aren’t put anywhere near the kindling that would allow such a thing to happen.

I said previously that I thought virtual book events were here to stay, and reaching the Zoom capacity for my own event with City Lit suggests there’s an audience who will persist even when we’re not locked down. I expect the events themselves will become more dynamic and entertaining as writers and publishers experiment with format.

Finding attention beyond coverage in the small handful of media outlets that have the juice to move books in volume should be at the top of the agenda. Speaking from my own experience, my book “Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities” sold many times beyond expectations through word-of-mouth, stoked by me appearing on as many education-focused podcasts as I could find.

Part of the challenge is that most published books are really quite good. They deserve attention. They deserve to be read, so competing on quality is tough. You have to find the specific audience a particular book speaks to.

Easier said than done, of course, but there’s probably not much choice if the industry want to survive.

John Warner is the author of “Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities.”

Book recommendations from the Biblioracle

1. “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead

2. “House of Leaves” by Mark Z. Danielewski

3. “Kafka on the Shore” by Haruki Murakami

4. “These Truths: A History of the United States” by Jill Lepore

5. “Lost Empress” by Sergio De La Pava

— Mark W., Clarendon Hills

I’m continuing to assuage my guilt over how few Biblioracle Live recommendations I was able to accommodate during my recent event by doing them here. For Mark, I’m recommending a book I highlighted at the live show: Will Chancellor’s “A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall.”

1. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle

2. “Ask Again, Yes” by Mary Beth Keane

3. “The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West” by David McCullough

4. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

5. “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead

— Bambie M., Elkhorn, Wisconsin

Bambie looks like she can handle some emotionally difficult and graphic material which delivers a blow, which draws me to Roxane Gay’s “Untamed State.”

1. “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley” by John Carreyrou

2. “Heavy: An American Memoir” by Kiese Laymon

3. “Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family” by Robert Kolker

4. “Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson” by Robert Polito

5. “The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform The Grisly World of Victorian Medicine” by Lindsey Fitzharris

All nonfiction here, so I’ll go with it. This is a somewhat older book that has taken on new relevance for obvious reasons, but is fascinating even without that reality: “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History” by John M. Barry.

Get a reading from the Biblioracle

Source: www.chicagotribune.com

Author: John Warner

Remote work is making us more innovative — so don’t dread the ‘new normal’

Remote work is making us more innovative — so don’t dread the ‘new normal’

Moodi will be speaking at Transform on July 2, TNW’s online couch conference on business innovation. Get your tickets here.

In the process of forming the UN after World War II, Winston Churchill said “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Of course, the human cost of a crisis cannot be ignored. At the same time, a crisis can spark progress in a way that people otherwise can’t (or don’t) choose to enact. 

In the lockdown that has resulted from COVID-19, space has been created in a very literal sense. Social distancing is generating the ‘six-foot economy’ where people have to keep a physical distance from one another. Such measures mean there is less of a herd effect and people are diverging from the collective whole into separate thinkers. This gradual movement towards singularity is subsequently having a profound effect on how we foster and apply creativity.

Many businesses have been forced to go back to the drawing board and start with a blank state. The empty canvas mentality is facilitating creativity because people are discovering that they can experiment more freely and deeply. Whether starting from scratch or simply choosing to accelerate in the current environment, creativity is flourishing across society.

According to Szabolcs Keri from the National Institute of Psychiatry and Addictions, “creativity is related to the connectivity of large-scale brain networks […] How brain areas talk to each other is critical when it comes to originality, fluency and flexibility.” Creativity isn’t something we’re born with — it’s a science nurtured by the right conditions, and sometimes, the conditions you least expect.

During COVID-19, the slowing down of processes and bureaucracy has eliminated time-consuming tasks and the noise of accepted (yet inefficient) protocols. There is now room for existing political, social, and economic agendas to be meaningfully disrupted, and for people to openly innovate.

Already, governments are seizing the opportunity. In Amsterdam, Dutch officials are planning to apply a ‘doughnut model’ to revive the economy once COVID-19 subsides. Beyond economics, the model aims to better meet the needs of people and the planet, and to actively be more sustainable. Had the pandemic not occurred, such a decision may have taken decades to action.

Meanwhile, religion is also changing. With religious centers being forced to close during the lockdown, masses and sessions of worship are being broadcasted live online. For example the Central Synagogue — home to one of the largest Jewish congregations in North America — streamed Easter Mass and has weekly Shabbat services, plus on-demand options for past services. 

Formula 1 has taken advantage of the online shift too. Professional drivers like Max Verstappen have been drawing crowds on YouTube and Twitch by taking part in esports competitions. In light of the Australian Grand Prix and races around the world being cancelled because of lockdown, the virtual races have been a welcome alternative for F1 fans. 

Even the justice system has been creatively reworked. The COVID-19 shutdown forced Supreme Courts around the world to close, leaving decisions about ongoing cases unclear. In response, video conferencing is being used to stream the proceedings with all participants via official court websites, and judgements are delivered live, in real time.

The UK, China, Brazil, and Singapore have all adopted this new digital framework – which took only a fortnight to fully implement. In England and Wales, more than 80% of the countries’ caseloads have now been handled remotely. 

On a more micro level, working from home eliminates the day-to-day distractions of the office, the influence of others, and the expectation of certain routines. People have more physical space and are finding that their mental and emotional thinking isn’t polluted by office distractions. In fact, my clients tell me on a daily basis that they feel more productive and creative. 

The trend isn’t coincidental either. Research from the University of Buffalo shows that social withdrawal is positively linked to creativity. Just two hours of silence a day prompts cell development in the hippocampus — the region of the brain related to the formation of memory. Such development is crucial considering that creativity is the art of deriving from the old to make the new.

Being alone gives people the autonomy to explore ideas, pathways, and value. From a business perspective, it also provides the space to listen and re think customer needs and market changes in a particularly powerful way. Time alone facilitates the broadest possible kind of thinking, where people can truly diverge from their previous norms and begin discovering. 

If you can cast your mind back to the days of office life, how often was your schedule filled with requests for group brainstorming and peer activities? In contrast though, Leigh Thompson, expert in creative thinking, asserts that group ideas only come in the first half of brainstorming sessions, and after that, creativity is stunted. To assume that putting heads together is the only path to innovation is to misunderstand what fuels creativity in the first place.

Studies from McKinsey demonstrate how consumers are hesitant to return to some of the in-person activities that were part of their daily lives before the pandemic. In the shifting dynamics of creativity, the world has to consider how to maintain the momentum it has garnered along the way. The sense of urgency that is currently driving the new wave of creativity could easily go to waste if we do not incorporate into the ‘new normal.’

For example, data around the environmental impact of society and businesses shutting down present options to dramatically slow climate change. There is huge potential for innovative measures to maintain the decline in carbon emissions that is currently happening — but we have to cultivate the creativity we’ve recently tapped into. 

Likewise, COVID-19 has shown that there is a clear need for an early warning system in place for future crises. The World Health Organization is already proposing the comprehensive model EPI-BRAIN, a platform that uses big data and AI to predict outbreaks and mitigate the spread. However, building worldwide trust in such a model will certainly require creative marketing. 

Separate to governments and people, brands have to consider how to move forward with the permanent change in consumer priorities. Companies need to find ways to realize the ‘power of one’ when people do eventually return to offices and teamwork is restored. 

No doubt, the challenging nature of the market downturn will teach businesses how to be more diligent and how to carry that mentality with them moving forward. At the same time, humility, authenticity, and honesty matter more than ever.

New thoughts, hypotheses, and narratives are not only defining how we experience COVID-19 but how we grow from it. Creativity is integral to that growth, and like every skill, creativity requires practice — and COVID-19 has curated the headspace for people to practice regularly without disruption. 

Just as remote work and virtual events are poised to be part of the ‘new normal’, questions such as ‘how might we?’, ‘why should we?’, and ‘what would happen if we?’ will be integral in a post-pandemic world. If society can utilize the new fertile ground, embrace the power of one, and commit to maintaining momentum, real change is not merely possible, but probable. 

As Pablo Picasso once said: “without great solitude, no serious work is possible.” The world then, picks up a brush and gets ready to paint a creative masterpiece.

Source: thenextweb.com

Author: Moodi Mahmoudi

ADM says work at key grain-export terminal is delayed

ADM says work at key grain-export terminal is delayed

(Bloomberg) — Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., one of the top agricultural commodity traders, said one of its key U.S. grain-export terminals won’t be back online until next year after work to repair the facility was delayed.

Construction at the Reserve terminal in Louisiana, one of the three ADM owns in the Gulf of Mexico region, will be completed in early 2021, the company said in response to questions. Repairs were needed after a third party vessel collision damaged the facility last year.

“High water conditions have impacted the construction time line at our export terminal in Reserve,” ADM said. “We informed customers several months ago that we expect the repairs to be complete in early 2021, and we remain on track to have the terminal back online during that time frame.”

The delay means ADM’s Reserve terminal will miss some key months for the American crop-cargo season, with most U.S. soybeans exported from November through January. Gulf ports usually ship about 2 billion bushels a year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

ADM has two other export elevators in the Gulf region as well as facilities in Texas and the Pacific Northwest “to help us manage export volumes,” the company said, adding that the facilities handle soybeans and other agriculture products including corn and wheat.

Source: www.chicagobusiness.com

Our Noticias: Player pool picks & workout locations; inside

Our Noticias: Player pool picks & workout locations; inside “The Clubhouse”

The most important takeaway from Sunday’s Marlins club player pool announcement is that there can—and will—be changes made throughout the summer. So far, they have selected 57 players for the pool who will be split into these two groups for 2020 preseason workouts:

The reporting locations are not set in stone, the team states, but it’s more than sheer coincidence that all of the most realistic Opening Day roster candidates are starting off at Marlins Park.

MLB insider Jon Heyman mentioned Friday that first-round draft pick Max Meyer was being strongly considered for inclusion. Although his contract with the Marlins wasn’t finalized by the initial Sunday 4 p.m. ET deadline, Craig Mish and Joe Frisaro both report that Meyer will soon be moving into one of the three vacant spots. Veteran utility man Sean Rodríguez is joining the party, too.

Baseball America weighs in on the Marlins’ decisions from a prospect perspective (subscription required). In order to discuss in greater detail, we will be recording a new episode of Earning Their Stripes on Monday night. Find it on the Fish Stripes podcast feed. Leave a comment on this article if you have any specific questions for us to answer on air!

The most recognizable veteran snubbed from the Marlins pool is former NL MVP Matt Kemp. Coming off a disastrous 2019 campaign, he didn’t produce at the plate during limited Grapefruit League action (.143/.200/.143 in 30 PA). Understandable, though it was confusing to see Kemp’s photo and quote used by the team recently to commemorate the Juneteenth holiday if they didn’t actually want him to report to camp.

The gallery below contains initial player pools for every opponent on the 2020 Marlins regular season schedule, so get familiar:

Walk-off links

  • Former Fish Stripes staffer Daniel Toll has launched his own sports publication called Beyond the Scoreboard: Miami. I’m certain he will have thoughtful and entertaining content. Visit this section for his Marlins coverage.
  • Five Reasons Sports Network is taking another swing at Marlins coverage, too. The first episode of Loaded Bases has published on their YouTube channel.
  • We are still accepting your 2020 predictions, including Marlins breakout player, most valuable player and biggest disappointment.
    • Justin Bour is figuratively—but not literally—off to a slow start with the Hanshin Tigers this season.
  • Nick Groke of The Athletic ranks Billy the Marlin 21st on his MLB mascot rankings (subscription required).
  • Congratulations to recently released Marlins prospect Samuel Castro on his engagement.
  • Marlins fan Ethan Eibe combined mobile wallpapers from the team’s graphic design staff into a wide variety of desktop backgrounds. A few examples below:
  • Source: www.fishstripes.com

    Author: Ely Sussman

    'This is hell': Parents and kids hate online learning, but they could face more of it

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