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Back in the thick of the pandemic, I remember watching a TV report about two mothers who lived on the same street in Chicago. Mom A sent her kids to the Catholic school. Mom B was dealing with school closures. Mom A was happy and Mom B was not.
Moving forward, Mom A and Mom B are probably reacting differently to the state of their kids' scores. This is the story:
Eight percent. That’s the absurdly tiny fraction of America’s public-school teacher workforce aged 60-or-older who faced non-trivial mortality risk from COVID-19 before vaccines were available.
Eight percent also happens to be the share of Black 13-year-olds who -- according to recently released federal data -- performed at the top level in mathematics on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). And while traditional public schools have failed to deliver for disadvantaged students of color for far too long, these alarming numbers represent a significant drop in their performance since before the pandemic. Is it any surprise? Politicians in America’s bluest urban communities -- where most disadvantaged students live -- closed their schools for a full academic year to "protect" fewer than 1 in 10 of their employees, usually at the behest of powerful union leaders.
According to the latest NAEP data, current learning losses continue to extend far and wide. On average, public-school students lost historic ground in math (10 points) and reading (6 points) since before the pandemic. Research just published in one of nation’s oldest and most-respected economics journals echo the take home here: the more time students spent outside the classroom, the less they learned.
Yes, a national nightmare as someone said. Bad news for these students and their parents.
So what happened to those kids who kept going to school, such as the ones in Catholic schools? Here is that part of the story:
America’s Catholic schools defied these sobering trends. Students attending parochial schools experienced no meaningful decline in either subject on the latest NAEP.
Although over twice as many private school educators (17%) were in the COVID-vulnerable 60-or-older category, Catholic schools stayed open for their students.
Let me get to the point. I'm not trying to get you to send your kids to a Catholic school. That's your decision as a parent. It's clear that those schools that listened to the teachers' unions had horrible results. On the other hand, the private and religious schools that stayed open do not have those test scores.
Of course, the collapse of public education goes beyond COVID. The problems are a lack of discipline, too many kids entitled with "rights," and administrators invested in "woke" rather than basic stuff, like reading, writing; and math.
Unfortunately, too many of these parents live in areas where school choice is not option. Their kids are stuck in these schools and the country suffers when kids can't read or write at a certain level.
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— Silvio Canto, Jr. (@SCantojr) September 5, 2014
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