Powerful teachers’ unions must fight to keep schools open as COVID resurfaces: BETHANY MANDEL

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and waiting for a different result.

To public school parents in the United States, their participation in the public school system must, at this point, seem like madness.

Public schools are closing again – as COVID cases rise – despite opinions from child health experts and calls from parents.

And like clockwork, the teachers’ unions seem to be on the side of the closures.

“We’re not going to sit here and say schools should be open,” said United Teachers’ Federation president Michael Mulgrew, who complains about the lack of testing in New York City schools.

Now, in particularly cruel lightning, leaders of teachers’ unions are hoping parents have been driven so mad over the past two years that they won’t remember the union’s main role in the destruction they have wrought. .

In a recent New York Times profile, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, attempted to sell the fiction that she personally did not participate in school closings.

Columnist Michelle Goldberg, acting as her de facto press secretary, wrote:

“… those who criticize Weingarten for closing schools do not understand the role she has played over the past 20 months. Rather than defending the closures, she has spent much of her energy, both in public and behind the scenes, trying to open schools.

In a recent New York Times profile, Randi Weingarten (above), president of the American Federation of Teachers, attempted to sell the fiction that she personally did not participate in the school closings.

Eagle Academy for Young Men II in Brooklyn, PS 18 in the Bronx temporarily closed amid new COVID outbreaks

IS 072 Rocco Laurie in Staten Island is another of 11 schools in New York that are currently closed

Public schools are closing again – as COVID cases rise – despite opinions from child health experts and calls from parents. (Left) Eagle Academy for Young Men II in Brooklyn, PS 18 in the Bronx has temporarily closed its doors amid new outbreaks of COVID. (Right) IS 072 Rocco Laurie in Staten Island is another of 11 schools in New York that are currently closed

And she has tried, sometimes uncomfortably, to act as a mediator between desperate parents who mourn their children’s interrupted studies and beleaguered teachers who feel blamed for a calamity they did not create.

But those familiar with the timeline know that the two years of educational disruption millions of American children have endured is attributable to the unions and their leaders.

From March 2020 until the end of the next one-and-a-half-year school year, schools across Blue America subjected their students to what they euphemistically called “distance learning.” “.

In reality, students were parked in front of computers on Zoom while teachers “taught” at home.

The data shows that very little real learning has taken place, and children who have been trapped on Zoom will face severe learning loss that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

In mid-2020, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an organization dedicated to children’s health, spoke out in favor of returning students to the classroom.

The safety and mental health implications of keeping students from Kindergarten to Grade 12, who at this point we realized they were largely untouched by serious illness and death from the virus, were too serious to keep them at home any longer.

For the well-being of the children, the children had to be back in the classrooms, through thick and thin.

But that’s not what many teachers or their unions wanted, so the children were locked out for another year. The well-being of children was sacrificed and it was the unions that started the fire.

At the end of June 2020, the author of the AAP’s initial directions was interviewed in The New York Times, where he explained the rationale for the group’s support for in-person learning,

“As pediatricians, many of us have already recognized the impact of closing schools, even for a few months, on children. At the same time, many of us are parents. We have experienced our own children learning online. There really wasn’t a lot of learning going on. Now we are seeing studies documenting this. Children being at home have led to an increase in behavioral health problems. Abuse rates have been reported.

Of course, the reason they were at home was to help control the pandemic. But we know a lot more now than when schools first closed. We are always learning more every day.

Despite the skyrocketing cases, many hospitals are in good shape thanks to the mildness of the variant.

Despite the skyrocketing cases, many hospitals are in good shape thanks to the mildness of the variant.

Then the teachers’ unions got involved, and the tone of those in public health changed.

In May 2021, the New York Post reported on emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, revealing conversations between the Centers for Disease Control, AFT, and the White House.

The report detailed the sudden turnaround that took place in the summer of 2021 that caused schools to stay away until the 2020-2021 school year.

“The American Federation of Teachers lobbied the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and even suggested language for the federal agency’s school reopening guidelines released in February,” the report read.

“The plenary press of the powerful teachers’ union preceded the federal agency which slowed down the full reopening of classrooms in person …”

The Post continued, “The lobbying has paid off. In at least two cases, the linguistic “suggestions” proposed by the union were adopted almost verbatim in the final text of the CDC document.

As the CDC prepares to write that schools could provide in-person education regardless of the spread of the virus in the community, [AFT senior director Kelly] Trautner advocated the inclusion of a line stating “In cases of high community transmission resulting from a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, a further update to these guidelines may be necessary.” “

Do the unions want to pass themselves off as the heroes of history?  The vocal opposition to school closings in a post-vaccine world with a thankfully sweet twist is where they should start to rewrite the narrative.  (Above) AFT President Randi Weingarten shares comment on report saying Omicron infections can lead to mild illness

Do the unions want to pass themselves off as the heroes of history? The vocal opposition to school closings in a post-vaccine world with a thankfully sweet twist is where they should start to rewrite the narrative. (Above) AFT President Randi Weingarten shares comment on report saying Omicron infections can lead to mild illness

Now, on the eve of 2022, and the unions are trying to revise history and claim that it was they who fought for the reopening of schools, not against them.

It is literally amazing.

And as they sell this revisionist story about their role in nationwide school closures in the recent past, they play dead as districts across the country close their doors again.

Do the unions want to pass themselves off as the heroes of history?

The vocal opposition to school closings in a post-vaccine world with a thankfully sweet twist is where they should start to rewrite the narrative.

Indeed, Weingarten has already acknowledged the latter fact, albeit reluctantly.

“This sounds like good news,” the AFT chairman tweeted in response to a New York Times headline that read: “Omicron infections don’t appear to be as severe, leading to hospitalization less often, report British researchers “.

Americans know who kept kids out of classrooms, and they certainly weren’t neutral parents or child health experts.

It’s there in black and white.

New York Times educational reporter Eliza Shapiro recently tweeted about a UFT threat to

New York Times educational reporter Eliza Shapiro recently tweeted about a UFT threat to “take a different stand that all schools should stay open.”

Union leaders led an effort to make the measures so unreasonably inaccessible that schools had to remain closed.

And now, at the very end of 2021, with vaccines available to everyone from the age of five, they work from the same playbook.

It is not on Omicron to blame the closure of schools in Prince George County, Maryland, or individual school districts in the Northeast, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Despite the skyrocketing cases, many hospitals are in good shape thanks to the mildness of the variant.

But again, the unions have seen an opening for more tips, and in New York, they are flexing their muscles and threatening future closures.

New York Times educational reporter Eliza Shapiro recently tweeted about a UFT threat to “take a different stand that all schools should stay open.”

Despite the resilient hospitals and the mildness of the disease for the most part, there are at least 11 schools in New York City closed, with 35 others under investigation for possible closures, according to the Daily Map of People’s website. New York Department of Education COVID case, as of this writing.

It is not the words or actions of people that put the well-being of children and their education above all else.

They didn’t do it at the start of the pandemic, and they don’t do it at the end of it either.

The next time the Union Buddies try to rewrite history, they should at least stop playing the villain first.


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