Throughout his presidency, Joe Biden has always sided with ideologues and activists at the cost of regular Americans. A recent book by Franklin Foet, a writer for The Atlantic recently revealed that the White House is so committed to keeping the left happy that it was willing to hurt American schoolchildren, even when the president knew it was wrong.
“The Last Politician,” revealed that Biden had cut the administration’s goal after meeting with American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, according to Fox News.
“For the sake of avoiding conflict, especially conflict with an ally, the Biden administration trimmed its goal of returning kids to school to a fraction of what had been promised on the campaign trail,” Foer wrote.
“The announcement came as an aside in a press conference,” he continued. “Jen Psaki explained that Biden had really meant that he wanted more than half of the pre-K-to-8 schools to attend at least one in-person session a week by the end of his first hundred days.”
“He was, in effect, conceding that for thousands of students, the rest of the school year would be lost to the pandemic,” Foer wrote.
“I am not abandoning you on schools. I want you to know that,” Biden told Weingarten on the phone. The president also said he knew the teachers’ union boss was under fire over schools reopening.
“It was the price of peace,” Foer added.
Over the past few years, Democrats have been desperate to pretend that they played no role in the disastrous school closings that have set back an entire generation of America’s youth.
CNN commentator Scott Jennings torches teachers union leader Randi Weingarten pic.twitter.com/UY3X1pJtxU
— • ᗰISᑕᕼIᗴᖴ ™ • (@4Mischief) April 28, 2023
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).”
Late last month, President Biden visited with students attending a middle school in Washington, D.C. and pretended that his hands were tied when it came to reopening schools.
“The hardest thing is to come back after three months of not doing any work, not doing any homework, and all of a sudden you got a lot to make—everybody has a lot to catch up on from the end of the last year,” Mr. Biden told students.
The Wall Street Journal called out Biden’s now typical, hypocrisy that “rewrites the history of COVID school closings,” writing. “Imagine how much harder it is for them to catch up after “learning”—i.e., staring at screens—at home for a year.
Perhaps sensing parents’ continued anger over the Covid school shutdowns, the Administration is trying to claim credit for reopening them. “When President Biden took office, less than half of K-12 students were going to school in person,” the White House said. ‘Today, thanks to the President’s swift actions and historic investments, every school in America is open safely for in-person instruction.’
What an achievement—three and a half years after the start of the pandemic, all schools are open. The Administration omits that its own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took dictation from union chief Randi Weingarten for its reopening guidelines. Those guidelines gave unions in urban school districts like Chicago cover to delay the return to full in-person learning.”
Reason Magazine documented how Biden campaigned in 2020 against school openings.
“If we do this wrong, we will put lives at risk and set our economy and our country back,” the Democrat warned while unveiling a plan that conditioned reopening on $58 billion in additional federal aid. Also: “If you have the ability to have people wear masks and you have teachers able to be in a position where they can teach at a social distance—that, I think is one thing….But it costs a lot of money to do that. If you don’t have that capacity, I think it’s too dangerous to open the schools.”
Such fearmongering was routine for the types of teachers unions that First Lady Jill Biden belongs to. Union demonstrations against reopening in the fall of 2020, usually in Democratic-dominated cities, featured such subtle props as coffins, body bags, and gravestones; an American Federation for Teachers (AFT) anti-Trump ad that August claimed that “our kids are being used as guinea pigs.” The states that closed their schools most—Hawaii, Maryland, Washington, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Massachusetts—did not have in common levels of infection, or hospital capacity, or mortality; but rather that they each voted for Biden over Trump by double-digit margins.
DeSantis was right, Biden was wrong, and by now even NPR education reporters admit that the remote learning favored by Democratically governed jurisdictions has been a generational catastrophe, triggering a parental stampede out of free-of-charge, government-run schools.
At least the president didn’t have a conflict with Randi Weingarten, though. In fact, he’s not only “made peace” with the disastrous teacher union president, he appointed her to a national security position.
It’s another stark reminder that while Joe Biden might live in the White House, he’s often not the one in charge of making decisions.