Last week, a preview of what’s to come later this year in the Nation’s Report Card proved what parents already knew: that school closures and remote learning damaged our children’s academic progress.
While not as bad as the scores were in the 1970s, that is hardly a consolation for parents who struggle to understand how their children will make up for the massive amount of learning loss their children faced these last two years.
The report showed that two years of bad education policies set the academic gains back twenty years. Yet, fascinatingly enough, it was also last week that White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attempted to rewrite history, claiming that it was Democrats that reopened schools despite Republicans.
So who is ultimately to blame for the dismal futures our youth possibly face thanks to school closures? I would argue it’s more than one person, but no doubt my favorite union boss Randi Weingarten leads the pack.
The Wall Street Journal editorial page agrees with me and dropped some severe facts in an editorial titled, ‘Randi Weingarten Flunks the Pandemic.’ Easily my favorite headline last week.
In the editorial, the WSJ rightly reminded the rest of us that Randi and those like her pushed for COVID-19 closures for “as long as she possibly could.” But, then, they take the logical next step all of us already knew, stating that her efforts resulted in the “unprecedented decline in reading and math scores.”
The WSJ goes on to point out that:
“America’s teachers unions demanded that schools be shut even as they remained open in Europe.”
As a strict financial hawk, the following breakdown of what is perhaps an outstanding example of extortion in practice enrages me the most:
“Schools received some $190 billion in federal COVID relief to safely reopen and address the learning losses, but schools stayed closed and much of the money still hasn’t been spent.”
Those are some hard truths from the WSJ; you better believe Randi had something to say about it.
Along with White House figurehead Karine Jean-Pierre, the President of the second largest teachers union Randi Weingarten is attempting to rewrite history in a failed attempt to convince parents that she had nothing to do with what caused the sharpest decline in academic results recorded.
Claiming it was politicians, particularly those of the Republican flavor, which were to blame, she interestingly states in her rebuttal letter to the WSJ:
“Rather than divide and distract, politicians of all stripes should focus on what children need, from reading, math, and music to mental-health support and pathways to careers and colleges.”
I couldn’t agree more with Randi, as I’m sure most parents would also agree. But, unfortunately, I don’t think the President got that message…what with calling half of the country semi-fascists and extremists.
I could also say that this is interesting language from a woman who said conservatives are a threat to education and that pushing for parental rights laws is akin to starting a war. But perhaps she’s just forgotten the last two years and needs reminding.
I get quite a kick out of liberals who claim their party is the party of science and to ‘trust the science,’ which in and of itself is problematic. As if the very nature of the endeavor of scientific discovery doesn’t entail the questioning and reevaluation of said science.
But I won’t get too far down that rabbit hole. So, let’s talk about the Centers for Disease Control and their bizarre bedfellow, the American Federation of Teachers.
Emails obtained via the Freedom of Information Act showed that the CDC was taking its school reopening cues from the AFT. An email from AFT senior director for health issues Kelly Trautner to the CDC was quite revealing:
“Thank you again for Friday’s rich discussion and forthcoming CDC guidance and for your openness to the suggestions made by our President Randi Weingarten, and the AFT.”
In another email, Ms. Trautner wrote to the CDC:
“We are immensely grateful for your genuine desire to earn our confidence and your commitment to partnership.”
As if that sentence doesn’t wreak of a creepy mob boss, the fact that she also described the AFT as a ‘thought partner’ to the CDC is enough to make your head explode.
As much as she tries to deflect blame for the sad state of the public education system in this country, the reality is that Randi, while not the sole culprit, definitely played a leading role in this tragedy inflicted on our children. COVID brought to light just how damaged the government education system is, and parents took action.
Since 2020 over one million kids have left the public school system. Perhaps most interesting is that enrollment for Kindergarten has decreased across the country. What does that mean? It means that new registrations aren’t keeping pace with those who were in the system and have since left.
Unfortunately, not every family has the luxury to pull their children from public school and into a charter school, private school, or homeschool. As podcaster and mom Quisha King said of the testing results:
“How are we going to make up for this learning loss? Parents who can not pull their children from public schools will have to provide additional education when they get home in order to get their children up to speed.”
And for those who aren’t parents and think this isn’t your problem, think again. This lost generation will grow up to be your doctors, lawyers, architects, educators, and any number of jobs that you will rely on.
Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice told the DailyMail that Randi Weingarten is:
“…an arsonist that pretends to be a firefighter.”
She’s not wrong. Randi threatened a teacher’s strike in July of 2020 if school districts opted to reopen, adding that “nothing is off the table.”
And it was January of this year that the New York Times published an article titled ‘As more Teachers’ Unions push for Remote Schooling, Parents Worry. So do Democrats.’
The reality is that parents can’t vote Randi out of her position or fire her. As she says in her letter to the WSJ:
“Teachers deserve our ear and our help, not shame and blame.”
Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
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