Tuesday 19 March 2024

New York Times: Republicans Were Right About Pandemic School Policy, Democrats Were Wrong

 An analysis piece from The New York Times this week admitted that Republicans by and large were correct — and Democrats were wrong — about policies that kept children out of school during the coronavirus pandemic.

The report said that today there is “broad acknowledgment among many public health and education experts that extended school closures did not significantly stop the spread of Covid, while the academic harms for children have been large and long-lasting.”

The report also stated that remote learning was highly damaging to children’s ability to learn during the pandemic and that the finding held true regardless of income level.

Both at the state and local levels there was a strong correlation between remote learning and a drop in test scores, the report said, according to analysis by the Times, Harvard, and Stanford. A separate study of 10,000 schools reached the same conclusion.

“Such losses can be hard to overcome, without significant interventions,” the analysis said. “The most recent test scores, from spring 2023, show that students, overall, are not caught up from their pandemic losses, with larger gaps remaining among students that lost the most ground to begin with. Students in districts that were remote or hybrid the longest — at least 90 percent of the 2020-21 school year — still had almost double the ground to make up compared with students in districts that allowed students back for most of the year.”

The report noted that Democrats have tried to claim that their approach to education during the pandemic was centered around “their commitment to safety” among other things.

However, experts told the Times that there was strong evidence that closing schools did little to stop the spread of the pandemic.

The report sought to let Democrats off the hook for how their policies hurt children, claiming “there were no easy decisions at the time.”

Among Republicans, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis led the country in pushing back against tyrannical measures that were disrupting people’s lives during the pandemic. In late Spring 2020, DeSantis introduced his plan to reopen schools in the state and get kids back in the classroom.

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