The latest pandemic-era controversy? Microschools

Microschool angst is a big mood


August 5, 2020

It’s a matter of pods and pod-nots.

Jason Calacanis, a tech investor in the Bay Area, tweeted that he’s hiring a teacher to lead a microschool of up to 7 kids in his backyard. He promised to “beat whatever they’re getting paid.”

To sweeten the deal, he’d toss in a $2k UberEats gift card as a referral bonus.

He wants to deliver… what??

Think of microschools — AKA pandemic pods — like premium homeschooling.

One expert said private teachers could earn $60k to $125k a year to lead a pod. The pod’s made up of students whose families (probably) take the same COVID precautions.

But microschool angst is a big mood

Some critics say Calacanis should keep his UberEats card — they wanna eat the rich.

“‘Microschool’ does a really good job of making ‘governess’ sound fresh and modern,” one tweeter shot back.

Others say microschools could leave kids from low-income families and students with disabilities behind.

Not everyone thinks it’s microfoolish

One teacher tweeted that pods could personalize instruction: “No bureaucracy. Know your students better. Teach broadly. More tutoring. Better feedback.”

Calacanis said he’ll offer merit-based scholarships to families who can’t afford to pay, and he’s interested in investing in microschool platforms.

A handful of them are already forming:

  • Winnie, a day care search platform, now shows whether a facility accepts school-age children.
  • CareVillage lets families share costs for tutors and other resources.
  • Wonderschool helps preschool instructors open early child care centers. It just launched a program to create microschools.

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