Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Teachers’ Unions Should Stop Claiming Credit for COVID Classroom Wins; When Covid Hit, They Were in Diapers. So Why Are Kindergarteners Struggling? And other C-Virus related stories

NY POST: Teachers’ unions should stop claiming credit for COVID classroom wins:
After holding schools hostage during the heights of the pandemic, the American Federation of Teachers is now trying to rewrite history, desperately scrambling to deflect blame for the alarming decline in educational standards.
The Programme for International Student Assessment recently released a report that found US student test scores are down 13 points compared to where they were in 2018. Declines in math were among the “lowest ever measured.”
Instead of addressing students’ declining ability to compete in a global marketplace and committing to getting them back on track, AFT President Randi Weingarten shamelessly asserted a total lie that “in-person learning is where kids do best, which is why educators and their unions worked so hard to reopen US schools for safe in-person learning beginning back in April 2020.”
In what universe did the national teacher unions work tirelessly to reopen schools?
This is the teachers’ union leadership’s dubious playbook at its best. By downplaying the role teachers’ unions played in keeping students at home, they deny the hurt they caused so many — families, struggling students, and teachers who wanted more for their classrooms.
In the fall of 2020, Weingarten labeled attempts to reopen schools as “reckless, callous, cruel”‘ and even threatened a strike, ominously declaring “nothing is off the table.”
The Chicago Teachers Union unabashedly joined the chorus, attributing the push to reopen schools to “sexism, racism and misogyny.” They even walked out for five days in 2022 and threatened to walk out in 2021 to protest in-person learning. How convenient for them to now create an alternate history.
The unions’ purported concern for “the safety of the school community“ contradicts their actions in keeping schools close. The unions ignored the devastating effects on academic, social, and physical health from remote learning, which disproportionately harmed poor children and the children of color they claimed to champion. --->READ MORE HERE
Photo: Julia Nikhinson/Associated Press
WSJ: When Covid Hit, They Were in Diapers. So Why Are Kindergarteners Struggling?
Add young children to the list of students who need help catching up after the pandemic, according to recent test scores
America’s youngest students entered school this year with weaker math and reading skills, compared with before the pandemic, according to new data that is surprising some educators.
In kindergarten, students tested in 2023 were about 2 percentage points less likely to begin school at grade level in both math and reading, compared with 2019, data compiled by the testing company Curriculum Associates show. Scores also remained below prepandemic levels in the first and second grades.
The decline is concerning, say researchers who reviewed the results. Schools are struggling to help older students who fell behind since the pandemic and now face an additional, less-appreciated hurdle: catching up younger students, too.
“We are still seeing sizable gaps in school readiness, in school performance for kids who weren’t even in school at the time of the pandemic,” said Emily Oster, a Brown University researcher who has studied pandemic-era learning.
The analysis looks at test scores of over a million students who took a digital test called i-Ready last fall. The test asks young students to complete tasks such as matching a sound to a corresponding letter or identifying which picture of a shape—a circle, triangle or square—has four sides.
Schools can purchase these exams as a way of monitoring student progress throughout the year. Researchers at Curriculum Associates compiled nationally representative sets of students in kindergarten through second grade and compared scores in recent years to those in 2019, before the pandemic. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

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USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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