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2 years of COVID, woke schools devastated our kids. Will the education bosses ever wise up?

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For the first time since the pandemic began, third-grade students have had their English assessments here in my home in Montgomery County, Maryland. The most recent test scores before COVID-19, released in 2019, were already bad enough. Take my zoned local elementary school, Kemp Mill Elementary School, where in 2019, 26.7% of children in third grade were proficient in English language arts. That was, sadly, an improvement from 2018, when only 19.8% of children were deemed proficient. But those scores in 2021 are now enviable; with only 7.5% of children in the school now testing as “proficient.”  

These are the direct result of policies the teacher’s unions promoted: School closures, mask mandates, and even now in the summer of 2022, distance learning is still a backup plan for school officials in Montgomery County Public Schools. Our local Fox affiliate reported the first week of the summer, “Staffing problems in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) now mean some students with special needs will have to move to virtual learning for a summer school program. The school system said they’re short about 20 teachers for the Extended School Year program.” Fox5 talked to one impacted parent, Christina Hartman, who explained, 

“Charlotte has this very severe and profound intellectual disability,” Hartman said. “Even though she’s going to be six next week, she functions at the level of a 1 or 2-year-old.”  

CRITICS SLAM PANDEMIC SCHOOL SHUTDOWNS AFTER STUDY SUGGESTS EFFECTS WERE WORSE THAN EXPECTED: ‘TOLD YOU SO’

Christina says in addition to having a caretaker for Charlotte, she and her husband had a backup plan; a summer camp that works with students with disabilities. But she worries about the other families who don’t have that option.   

FILE “This was a very sudden move, and these children are extremely labor-intensive,” Hartman said. “Having them sit there and watch a screen all day doesn’t work. She was literally banging her head on the table, and she pulled out all her hair.”  

The district faced one of the longest closures in the country, and has now established that “distance learning” is an acceptable replacement for in-person instruction, even for students for whom it is wholly inadequate, severely disabled children.  

OUR KIDS’ SCHOOLS TOLD US TO ‘CEASE AND DESIST’ BUT WE’RE FIGHTING BACK

So what are MCPS employees spending their precious time on this summer? Volunteering for these special education positions, boot camping about how to make up the catastrophic learning loss that set almost every single student in the county behind? Of course not. Literally the first thing on the agenda for teachers doing professional development over the summer: “Affirming LGBTQIA+ young people by disrupting cis-heteronormativity in our schools and classrooms.”   

It’s not just in the United States. Finally, years too late, some in the media who stayed silent as kids were locked out of school worldwide are showing the effects of what we inflicted upon them in the name of “safety.” The Economist declared COVID-19 learning to be a “global disaster” and in an interview about her new book on school closures NPR’s Anya Kamenetz admits “We could have been a lot louder.”  

You can say that again.  

The excuse many lockdowners are still using for why we had to close schools and keep them closed as long as we did is that we had to “slow” the spread, and prevent children from infecting adults around them. This argument betrays how broken their thinking is: That it’s adults, not children, that are entitled to protection. This is contrary to everything to we once acknowledged: that adults should sacrifice for children, not the other way around.  

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