Sometimes the dishonesty of the Biden Administration can be astonishing. Earlier this week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tried to rewrite history, blaming President Donald Trump and the Republicans for the disastrous school closure policies during the pandemic that have hurt millions of children across the country.
In 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics assessed reading and mathematics scores for nine-year-old students to review student achievement during the pandemic. The results were stunning: “Average scores for age 9 students in 2022 declined 5 points in reading and 7 points in mathematics compared to 2020. This is the largest average score decline in reading since 1990, and the first ever score decline in mathematics.”
The report went on to explain: The score difference between students attending suburban schools and students attending city schools narrowed in reading between 2020 and 2022. The 8-point decrease in scores for students attending suburban schools compared to the unchanged score for students attending city schools resulted in a narrowing of the score gap between students attending schools from these two locations (from 12 points in 2020 to 4 points in 2022). In mathematics, the 13-point score decrease among Black students compared to the 5-point decrease among White students resulted in a widening of the White−Black score gap from 25 points in 2020 to 33 points in 2022.
To no one’s surprise, the study also showed that remote learning hurt the poorest people in our country, the ones Democrats claim to want to help the most.
The study said, “Of the 70 percent of 9-year-olds who learned remotely during the 2020–21 school year, higher performers (those at or above the 75th percentile) had greater access to a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet all the time; a quiet place to work available some of the time; and a teacher available to help them with mathematics or reading schoolwork every day or almost every day compared to lower performers (those below the 25th percentile).”
During Thursday’s briefing, the press secretary was asked about the report, connecting the lockdown policies of liberals over the pandemic to the disastrous results. Realizing the substantial long-term concerns stemming from their policies, Democrats are now trying to cover their tracks and cast blame elsewhere.
Fox News described the scene, “The reporter asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre what the Biden administration planned to do to address this ‘severe learning loss’ and whether it shouldered ‘any blame for not pushing schools to reopen sooner.’
Jean-Pierre suggested that the Trump administration and Republicans were to blame for how they ‘mismanaged’ the pandemic, arguing that ‘nearly all schools’ were open six months into Biden’s presidency.
‘That was the work of this president and that was the work of Democrats in spite of Republicans not voting for the American Rescue Plan (of) which $130 billion went to schools to have the ventilation to be able to have the tutoring and the teachers and being able to hire more teachers,’ she said, again crediting the Biden administration.
Jean-Pierre argued that the economy being shut down, as well as schools and business showed “how mismanaged the pandemic was and how the impact of that mismanagement had on the kids’ progress and academic well-being.'”
She continued, “Our priority remains to make sure states and schools and districts are using these funds, that $130 billion. This is going to go, again, to tutoring, to more teachers, real solutions. Real solutions to make sure that our kids are getting what they need. And, you know, every Republican congress voted against that money. That is the reality. We had to do this on our own,” Jean-Pierre said.
“And so, you know, we’re going to make sure that those funds are directed to the most resources towards students who fell the furthest behind, which is important and we must repair the damage that was done by the last administration, the mismanagement that was done by the last administration, but again, this is something that we took very seriously which is why we passed the American Rescue Plan, which is why we put in $130 billion to deal with what we were seeing in schools.”
The cynicism is just astonishing. In the summer of 2020, as Democratic governors were locking down their states, Donald Trump took the White House podium and said, “According to McKinsey and Company, learning loss will probably be greatest among low-income Black and Hispanic students. They’re the ones that are hit the hardest. We don’t want that happening.”
Combined with the creepy speech Biden gave on Thursday calling half of the country fascists while standing behind a Stalin-like red background, it reveals how dumb Democrats think the country is. They want us to forget what happened and who caused our schools to close. They want to declare those who opposed government-enforced lockdowns fascists while pretending they wanted schools open the whole time.
They shouldn’t get away with it. Here are some good reminders.
Teachers union: ‘Scream bloody murder’ if schools reopen:
Politico reported in April 2020, “The nation’s two biggest teachers unions say they would consider strikes or major protests if schools reopen without the proper safety measures in place or against the advice of medical experts — raising the possibility of yet more school disruptions.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, previewing a reopening plan first with POLITICO, said funding is needed for a host of public health measures for schools, including personal protective equipment. Collective bargaining, strong enforcement of safety standards and protections from retaliation will be important for teachers and staff so they feel safe to speak up as schools try new approaches, she said.
If schools are reopened without proper safety measures, ‘you scream bloody murder,’ Weingarten said. ‘And you do everything you can to … use your public megaphones.’
Teachers are united after more than two years of strikes for more state funding and they have ‘tremendous power’ as advocates for children’s safety, said Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association. She didn’t rule out strikes if state leaders move prematurely on a reopening of schools, and she said she believes parents would protest too.”
Teachers unions worked to influence Biden’s CDC to keep schools closed:
“Teachers unions have been targeted by critics for having had a hand in keeping schools closed. Infamously, the AFT and the NEA were discovered to have corresponded with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year to make last-minute changes to school reopening guidance, which included a phased reopening approach for K-12 schools based on coronavirus cases in the area,” according to a report from Fox News.
The story continued by noting, “Communications obtained by the New York Post through a Freedom of Information Act request by conservative group Americans for Public Trust showed numerous emails between top CDC officials and the AFT just days before the Biden administration released the school reopening guidelines in February 2021. The lobbying efforts were a reported success, as the Post found at least two instances when “suggestions” were used nearly word-for-word within the CDC’s guidelines.
The CDC had been prepared to allow in-school instruction regardless of transmission rates, but at the suggestion of the union, the guidelines were adjusted to include a provision that said, ‘In the event of high community-transmission results from a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, a new update of these guidelines may be necessary.'”
One commentator noted, “It was clear by April 2020 schools should be open; Rochelle [Walensky, the CDC Director] told her own school’s principal to open Fall 2020. She put out guidance that literally called for more schools to close in Feb 2021 as part of a $200B shakedown engineered by the teachers unions.
Florida teachers sued Ron DeSantis because he wanted schools open:
In July 2020, the Florida Education Association filed a lawsuit “with the support of national affiliates the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association—against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Commissioner Richard Corcoran, the Florida Department of Education, the Florida State Board of Education and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to safeguard the health and welfare of public school students, educators and the community at large. The lawsuit intends to stop the reckless and unsafe reopening of public school campuses as coronavirus infections surge statewide.”
The union said, “Gov. DeSantis needs a reality check, and we are attempting to provide one,” said FEA President Fedrick Ingram. “The governor needs to accept the reality of the situation here in Florida, where the virus is surging out of control. He needs to accept the evolving science. It now appears that kids 10 and older may pass along the virus as easily as adults. Everyone wants schools to reopen, but we don’t want to begin in-person teaching, face an explosion of cases and sickness, then be forced to return to distance learning. Florida’s Constitution demands that public schools be safe. Teachers and parents want our schools to meet that basic standard.”
Chicago teachers refused to go back to the classroom in 2021:
In January 2021, the Daily Caller wrote, “Chicago Teachers Union members voted to defy Chicago Public Schools’ reopening plans, refusing to return to classrooms until teachers are vaccinated, numerous sources reported.
The school district, which is the nation’s third largest, was planning to welcome back roughly 70,000 students for part-time, in-person instruction on Feb. 1. However, the union opposed the plan, calling on its members to continue teaching from home despite the district’s reopening plan.”
Despite the science showing that schools did not act as dangerous places national teacher unions opposed reopening schools even in 2021.
Teacher unions donate campaign dollars almost exclusively to Democrats:
OpenSecrets.org shows that The American Federation of Teachers has donated over $2.5 million to Democratic candidates in the 2022 election cycle. The National Education Association has donated just under $2 million to Dems for this fall’s midterms.
During the 2020 Democratic National Convention, the Biden campaign attacked Trump for calling for schools to reopen:
Check out this school-themed COVID-fearmongering 2020 campaign ad from Biden’s DNC, dated July 27. The entire point of the ad was that Trump was harming children by advocating for schools to reopen. The video can be seen here.
The Washington Examiner broke down the ad to show just how much the White House is lying about school closings, “This ad attacks Trump on COVID — and Trump deserved attacks on COVID — but the DNC was focused mostly on Trump’s call to reopen schools in the fall. The theme of the ad is schooling. “This is not a test” is the ad’s title; it regularly leans on school hallways or classroom images.
The very midpoint of the ad attacks Trump as “desperate to open schools” only because he was “ignoring how the virus spreads, risking teachers’ and parents’ lives, going against the advice of experts.”
“Do you trust him to do what’s best for our children?” the ominous voice-over asks, showing a school hallway.
The Biden campaign was a leading voice for closing schools and attacking everyone who disagreed. It surely persuaded many local Democratic leaders to close schools and also persuaded many school parents that school was unsafe.”
Few people are going to forget what happened to our kids during the pandemic and who wanted lockdowns. Biden’s own advisor Ashish Jha said, “The goal, in my mind, is not to go back to normal. The goal is to build a very different new normal that has equity much more at the heart.”
That the White House is running away from their policies and supporters shows they aren’t capable of admitting their own faults, even after terrible consequences. It also reveals that in their desperation to cling to power that they’ll say anything. It’s something to remember in November.