Often, Democratic politicians, health and school officials, and teachers unions in some of America’s bluest cities and suburbs aligned perfectly in a mission to keep school doors closed for so long. In these places, in-person instruction was deemed nonessential by the very people who claim to fight for public-school education.
Much of blue America, which kept schools remote or hybrid for the 2020-2021 school year, conducted an unprecedented “social experiment” on children, resorting to lengthy school closures for millions of children — a tactic not used during other national emergencies or previous pandemics.
This isn’t a small number of students, either.
No, the study shows it was not “the pandemic,” but bad pandemic decision-making that hurt kids, with almost no gains to show for it.
Long-term school closures weren’t just an educational disaster, but a mental-health disaster, as Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers noted recently.
It was a long-cultivated brand of school funding and alignment with teachers unions that earned Democrats’ trust on the issue of education. It was pandemic school closings, and the unions’ backing thereof, that lost it. Ignoring parent concerns or pretending they’re solely driven by prejudice and partisanship will not earn it back.
Until Democrats and teachers unions can at least admit that, they can’t hope to fix the problems they’ve caused in the classroom or at the ballot box.