Lefty writers understand that education issues could swing the midterms to GOP
Two leftist writers this week dealt with education more sensibly than Randy Weingarten would. Either they see real political vulnerability, and are just trying to protect Dems in midterms, or the screwup with keeping schools closed, and piling on indoctrination, is doing too much damage.
Dying also causes "learning loss" and is much harder to reverse.— Victor Ray (@victorerikray) September 1, 2022
It is, obviously, true that it is bad when children die. At the same time, we know that very, very few children have died from Covid-19. I don't want to re-run the whole argument about school closures, just to observe that I think these two [see also this] Ray takes are coming from the same place of underrating the importance of basic "three Rs" education. Citizenship is important, and it is one of the functions of the school system, but the best (and most realistic) way for K-12 schools to foster effective citizenship is to teach kids foundational literacy and math skills. Incorporating works about history or politics into the curriculum is a great idea insofar as it helps keep students engaged, but it's best to make those core skills the North Star and try to avoid hubris and tons of polarized fights about tangential issues.
As American students return to school, it's time to admit we have a problem. Thanks to Covid-related school shutdowns, our school children have suffered unprecedented learning losses, with 9-year-olds seeming to have lost some two decades worth of progress on math and reading skills, according to new test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The backtracking was particularly severe for the students who were already struggling, as well as for Black and Hispanic students. And, for many students, it may simply be too late to make up such significant setbacks.
This should make the progressive-minded among us who supported school closures pause and ask ourselves if we got this one right – and what we could learn from this whole debacle.
Ron DeSantis won Florida's governorship in 2018 in large part because some Black mothers switched to voting Republican to support his school choice efforts. Glenn Youngkin, who I think is very smart and solid, showed the power of the education issue when winning the governorship of Virginia. He is traveling around the country supporting GOP governor candidates (he was in Maine this week), talking about education all the time.
Photo credit: pxhere public domain.