Teachers unions are gaslighting parents and resisting science to keep schools closed

Remote learning in-person

Summary List Placement

It’s been 13 months since my school-aged kids stopped going to school. 

Save for a handful days of “in-person remote learning” — where students stare at laptops just as they would at home, only in teacher-less classrooms — they haven’t been to school since the pandemic crippled New York City in March 2020.

Mass vaccinations and a greater understanding of how the virus spreads have now brought us to the beginning of the end of the pandemic.

But I’d be a fool to believe my kids will be back in school full-time, five days a week by the time the next school year is supposed to start in September 2021. I fully expect my brood, like millions of American public school students, to remain indefinitely trapped in the soul-destroying cosplay that is “remote learning.”

As is the case in most deep-blue Democratic-governed big cities, the teachers union is the indomitable force most responsible for keeping schools closed. 

Randi Weingarten, president of the nation’s second-largest teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), said the unions have been “trying to reopen schools since last April.” 

If words mean anything, that’s true. But it flies in the face of every action taken by the big teachers unions at both the local and national level.

Let’s just call this what it is: gaslighting. 

The gaslighting comes from the top

Health experts very early in the pandemic assumed COVID was widely spread on surfaces. 

Though such guidance was jettisoned within a few months, an obsession with relentless sanitation, which the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson has dubbed “hygiene theater,” still drives many of the arguments against schools reopening. 

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The teachers unions’ endless goalpost-moving has given false hope to the students and parents who have agonized through indefinite school closures. First it was having enough hand sanitizer, then it was sufficient ventilation, and then it was access to vaccines.

For the most part, schools now have what they need to reopen in accordance with CDC guidelines. But little has changed.

In a January column, I pleaded with teachers union bosses to simply come clean and admit they would rather not fully reopen schools until COVID-19 is fully eradicated, which, according to some scientists, might be never. 

Obviously, to admit such a position would invite massive public outrage, and Weingarten has acknowledged that semi-permanent school closures are bad for business, as they will inevitably drive many parents out of public schools towards private or charter options, or even out of shuttered districts altogether. But despite these stated desires, it doesn’t seem that the unions are getting any closer to “yes” on reopening. 

In November Weingarten published a “blueprint” for reopening, and in an Atlantic interview last month she described politicians critical of teachers unions’ opposition to reopening schools as “duplicitous” and “hypocritical,” arguing “they don’t want working people to have real power in democracy.”

In a highly-credulous February profile in The New York Times, Weingarten insisted she just needs a little more time to convince the rank and file that schools are safe …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics


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