For almost 19 months, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has offered little or no education for over 600,000 students and has continued to fight against reopening efforts for the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021. The union, however, has argued that the lack of education has not harmed the students. In fact, the president of the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) even suggested that no educations means that kids got an education. Nothing like more liberal word salad.
UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz suggested that students received “sufficient” education in 2020, adding that they learned words like “protest and insurrection.” She claimed that students have not suffered any ‘educational setbacks’ caused by virtual schooling and that they experienced the same benefits of in-class instruction. She has even gone so far as to claim that requesting “police-free schools” is not radical. Myart-Cruz became well known through her radical involvement with the National Education Association Black Caucus and Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.
“There is no such thing as learning loss. Our kids didn’t lose anything. It’s OK that our babies may not have learned all their times tables. They learned resilience. They learned survival. They learned critical thinking skills. They know the difference between a riot and a protest. They know the words insurrection and coup,” Myart-Cruz said.
According to an American Educational Research Association study, more than half of K-12 teachers have reported a “significant loss” in learning due to virtual instruction, both academically and in their social-emotional progress. There was also a significant setback in achievement as well, particularly among Black and Hispanic students.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even suggests that virtual learning could present “more risks” than in-person instruction regarding the child’s mental health, emotional wellbeing, and health-supporting behaviors.
Kelly Ruwe, an educational advocate, and former kindergarten teacher said that the pandemic has taken a toll on students from an “educational perspective” but also in many other ways. Research data from the CDC also suggests that schooling changes presented “stressors” to both children and parents. Children receiving virtual or combined instruction were more emotionally distressed or had an increased risk for negative mental, emotional, or physical health outcomes, than those receiving in-person instruction.
While schoolchildren experienced worsened mental or emotional health states during the pandemic, physical activity also decreased. There was a reduction in children’s cardiorespiratory fitness, decreased muscle and bone strength, and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, and chronic health conditions. The CDC data also suggests that isolation and limited physical activity contributed to children’s mental health.
But according to Myart-Cruz, there is no such thing as a “learning lost.” Left-leaning union leaders have continued to keep schools shut down over the prior year and a half while refusing to admit it may have impacted the city’s K-12 students.
The union president even went on to condemn any plans for receiving financial incentives for the schools to offer in-person education. She claimed that the money would only go to “White and wealthier and healthier school communities” that do not have the transmission rates that low-income Black and Brown communities do. She called it a recipe for “propagating structural racism” and said it was deeply unfair to the students they serve.
Laura Zorc, executive director of Building Education for Students Together, shared that the teachers’ unions might be denying the negative impacts of virtual schooling because they are afraid to admit they were wrong.
“Forcing students to stay out of school has shown the union’s true motivation and parents are now awake to it. Cecily Myart-Cruz’s comments demonstrate how out of touch the teachers’ union’s priorities are with working-class Americans. This is nothing more than a cheap trick to disguise the lasting damage teachers’ unions have done to families across the country,” Zorc said.
Myart-Cruz has even tried to threaten those against her by saying, “You recall the governor, you can recall the school board, but how are you going to recall me?” There isn’t a shred of truth to anything Myart-Cruz says and it’s another reason why the GOP needs to de-politicize the school board. And fast. In addition to this being absolutely false, I doubt there’s a 10-year-old out there who can define ‘insurrection’ but can’t multiply. Democrats live in a different reality and show it every day.