I am writing in March, 2020, at what may be the scariest point in the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. We are just now beginning to understand the potential catastrophe, and also to begin taking actions most likely to reduce the incidence of the disease.
One of the most important preventive measures is school closure. At this writing, thirty entire states have closed their schools, as have many individual districts, including Los Angeles. It is clear that school closures will go far beyond this, both in the U.S. and elsewhere.
I am not an expert on epidemiology, but I did want to make some observations about how widespread school closure could affect education, and (ever the optimist) how this disaster could provide a basis for major improvements in the long run.