Friday, February 19, 2021

Sacrificing Children's Education

It’s difficult to estimate the damage that the school shutdowns are causing America’s children. Surely, the damage is extensive. Most likely, it will not easily be corrected. 

Catherine Rampell has declared the damage to be disastrous; she recommends summer classes. Unfortunately, the same teachers who are refusing to work now will surely not work during the summer, unless we come up with billions to pay them extra.

Rampell assesses the damage:

The pandemic has been disastrous for children (and their parents, and their teachers). Children are missing academic, social and developmental milestones because remote-learning programs are poor substitutes for in-person classes. School absences have doubled. Many low-income, rural and homeless kids without reliable Internet access have stopped attending classes; one report last fall estimated that 3 million children might have received no formal education, virtual or otherwise, since March.

One notes that Rampell, a good liberal columnist, does not seem to understand that the problem derives from teachers’ unions and Democratic Party local governance. The CDC has been saying that it’s safe to open schools. Yet, the Biden administration has forced the CDC to modify its positions, because it is beholden to the teachers’ unions, and the unions prefer to extort concessions, not to reopen schools.

But even if we vaccinated every teacher and made every other adaptation necessary to get schools reopened tomorrow (and recent developments unfortunately suggest that ain’t happening), kids have already fallen behind. Resuming regular classes alone won’t be sufficient to recover this lost ground.

How much damage have these unions and local politicians caused? Is it fair to call this human sacrifice?

Absent other interventions, the Covid Generation might be held back for the rest of their lives by this year-long interruption in their learning, resulting in lower educational attainment and reduced earnings for decades. Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco recently estimated that pandemic-related learning disruptions will reduce the size of the economy over the next 70 years. Seventy years!

Rampell wants to open schools for the summer, even though she recognizes that most schools are not air conditioned, and thus that teachers will not want to teach in overheated environments. And she notes that the teachers’ contracts give them the summer off. 

The only rational response to this would be to abolish the teachers’ unions. One would like to say that they should be banned from striking, but, strictly speaking they are not on strike. They are pretending to be exercising an excess of caution. As it happens, America’s children and America itself will be paying for this madness for a long time.

Let's not forget, in New York City public schools and in some private schools, teachers are teaching critical race theory. They could not think of a better way to destroy children's minds.


urbane legend said...

Is it fair to call this human sacrifice?

Yes, it is. But as it is the Godless, secular, abortion-worshipping, democrat party servants of Moloch, that should not be surprising.

Sam L. said...

It is clear that the Teachers' Unions hate children...and their parents.

Soviet of Washington said...

It's not just school age children being affected. My 2-year-old grandson made his first visit to the (pediatric) dentist this week. Daughter reports "it didn't go well." Perhaps not a surprise in any individual case, but what was interesting was her report that the dentist said ALL the 2 and 3 year-old kids he's seeing were having similar issues and that it was his opinion that they are not getting the normal socialization due to lockdowns/general avoidance of shopping, parks, etc.