Pandemic Learning Loss Devastated Our Kids, But It May Save Our Schools In The Long Run

Pandemic Learning Loss Devastated Our Kids, But It May Save Our Schools In The Long Run
Randi Weingarten, teachers union boss (Image: YouTube screen grab)

By Mary Rooke

School choice activist Corey DeAngelis’ new book, “The Parent Revolution,” refuses to allow teachers unions to rewrite history about the devastation their Covid-era policies inflicted on American students. More than that, it encapsulates how these policies backfired on Big Education by animating millions of American parents who saw the materials that made up their children’s education and throwing them into the fight.

Learning loss among American students was the loudest concern parents had during the COVID lockdowns. However, DeAngelis shows through many examples that despite their later claims, the unions responsible for keeping schools closed were more concerned about capitalizing on the destruction they caused.

“It was in the interests of students and their families for schools to reopen, but the unions believed it was in the interests of their members to keep schools closed and to use the prospect of reopening as a bargaining chip—under the pretext of ‘safety’ —to extract concessions that were entirely unrelated to COVID safety,” DeAngelis wrote.

“AFT head Randi Weingarten certainly wasn’t going to let the COVID crisis go to waste. On July 24, 2020, she declared: ‘Let’s stop the debate about whether safety matters and start rolling up our sleeves so we get the resources to meet the needs of students, whether we are teaching remotely or in person.’ In other words: ‘Shut up and show me the money!’” he continues.

In 2020, California’s Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified (LAUSD) school districts, the state’s largest with more than six hundred thousand students, followed Weingarten’s lead in telling students that in-person school in the fall of 2020 was canceled, partly because they didn’t have the proper COVID testing to open up.

United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) published a “research paper” over the summer of 2020, “Same Storm but Different Boats: The Safe and Equitable Conditions for Starting LAUSD in 2020-2021,” that included insane demands, most of which were completely unrelated to Covid safety concerns.

Demands UTLA Made To The Federal Government:

  • Federal Bailout to the tune of at least $500 billion in additional federal assistance.
  • “Medicare for All,” citing the “boundless greed of the for-profit health industry, combined with this country’s deeply ingrained racism [that] has led to race-based health disparities that have resulted in excess deaths especially among Black communities”

Demands UTLA Made To State and Local Governments:

  • Wealth Tax that comprised of taxing unrealized capital gains.
  • Millionaire Tax. A 1% tax on all residents with incomes over $1 million a year and a 3% tax on incomes over $3 million.
  • Defunding the police: Local governments must “shift the astronomical amount of money devoted to policing, to education and other essential needs such as housing and public health” due to “police violence” that is a “cause of death and trauma for Black people”
  • Housing Security policies that include passing “ordinances to prevent evictions and provide rental relief funds.”
  • Charter Moratorium: “Privately operated, publicly funded charter schools drain resources from district schools.”
  • Financial Support for Undocumented Students and Families: “Immigrant students and workers, so vital to our schools and our economy, must be supported during this crisis.”

“Who knew that for public schools to reopen safely, we needed to defund the police, tax the rich, remake America’s entire health care system, and make it harder for families to enroll their kids elsewhere?” DeAngelis wrote.

“As parental pressure on public officials mounted, and school districts began preparing to reopen, unions did everything they could to keep schools closed. Despite all the evidence that reopening schools was safe, unions held protests against reopening plans all across the country in which they displayed ‘mock gravestones, makeshift coffins, and . . .their own early obituaries.’ The Florida Education Association sued Gov. Ron DeSantis to block schools from reopening, and members of United Teachers of Dade organized a caravan including a hearse to protest reopening schools. Other unions fearmongered with fake body bags, and protested with ridiculous signs saying things such as, ‘I can’t teach from the grave,’” he added.

Parents began to fight back by filling school board meetings and demanding that districts honor their duty to put educating students back at the forefront of their policy decisions or risk the consequences of a parent-led recall effort. DeAngelis considers this the moment “The Sleeping Giant Awaken[ed].” (ROOKE: Leaked Docs Reveal The Trans Cult Is Going Even Further Than We Ever Knew)

Instead of heeding the impassioned pleas from these parents, unions and their allies resorted to name-calling, labeling those who weren’t on their side “white supremacists.”

“[A] member of the Chicago Teachers Union, Mike Friedberg, penned an article asking: ‘Will We Let ‘Nice White Parents’ Kill Black and Brown Families?‘ In his telling, it was ‘white privileged parents’ who wanted schools open while ‘Black and Latinx’ parents wanted them closed. The reality was that although white parents were, on average, more likely to be ready to return to in-person instruction before minority parents, significant portions of families across the racial and ethnic spectrum wanted in-person instruction,” DeAngelis wrote.

The so-called “research paper” used by unions in several states outed teachers unions and their members as activists for the same far-left ideologies that parents found embedded in their children’s education. The online classrooms gave parents a unique window into what their children were learning.

“Many didn’t like what they saw. Rainbow flags, activities involving Gender Unicorns, lessons in ‘white privilege’ in math class. What was going on?! That was when parents realized that the real fight was over which values should be taught in government schools and who should decide—parents or so-called experts?” DeAngelis said.

By 2021, parents who had before been completely unaware found that their K-12 students were being taught far-left ideologies like critical race theory (CRT), which sets students against each other by categorizing some as oppressors and others as oppressed. Students were learning that their “whiteness” made them an inherent oppressor, not because of their individual actions or attitudes toward other students, but simply because of the color of their skin.

Just as troublesome was the inclusion of sex and gender ideology in K-12 education.

“In other words, schools are teaching children that their gender has nothing to do with their biological sex, that boys can become girls and girls can become boys, and that there are an infinite number of genders beyond ‘male’ and ‘female.’ So-called nonbinary people might use ‘they/them’ pronouns, or ‘ze/zer,’ or ‘ay/em,’ or. . .well, you get the point. contains literally hundreds of pronouns. If ze don’t believe me, ze should check it out for zirself,” DeAngelis wrote. “Indoctrinating children in gender ideology starts as young as possible. The ‘Gender Unicorn’ and ‘Genderbread Person’ are used to teach children as young as kindergarten that gender is a spectrum and is not tied to biology.”

Parents then understood why their students were falling behind in math and reading. In place of proper instruction, children were learning about sexuality and asked if they felt comfortable in the body and gender they were born. The confusion forced onto students was the obvious culprit to learning loss, exacerbated by the lack of important in-person learning during Covid. (ROOKE: Meet Celebrities’ Favorite LA School Turning Their Kids Trans)

DeAngelis’ book launches Tuesday, May 14. It gives parents the tools to understand what they are witnessing in their children’s education and how to fight back and reclaim the authority over what is being taught. His conclusion includes guiding principles to help parents win back their local school boards that are wholly captured by far-left activists, along with bills to support that will give students the freedom to be educated and liberated from these ideologies.


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