As seniors try to navigate buggy, inept MN-IT (but I repeat myself) websites, or pile in to try for a single-digit percent chance of a shot (maybe, or again, maybe not), teachers union members get a special vaccine event…
…even though they’re still ambivalent about going back to work at all.
Just saying – when David Brooks is right, he’s very, very right. Teachers unions are just as intelledtually vacuous and immune to real science as the most blinkered pandemic conspiracy theorist:
in-person learning can be done safely with the right precautions. This was unclear last March and April, but now study after study has shown that schools can be safe. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just attested to this fact. The evidence seems clear.
Private and some public schools are already operating safely all around the country, with little evidence that attendance is spreading the virus.
[But] teachers unions don’t seem to have adjusted to the facts. In Washington, Chicago and elsewhere, unions have managed to shut down in-class instruction. The Chicago public schools union is on the verge of an illegal strike, even though 130 private schools and 2,000 early learning centers have been open safely since the fall….The Chicago district installed air purifiers in classrooms, conducted ventilation tests, increased rapid testing and held more than 60 meetings with union leaders, but so far the union has been able to keep public schools from reope
Of course, it’s not about science – because the Teachers Union is no more about science than it is about, well, teaching:
A study by Michael T. Hartney and Leslie Finger found that political partisanship and teacher union strength explain how school boards approached reopening. Another survey, conducted last year by Chalkbeat and The Associated Press, found that roughly half of white students had access to in-person learning, compared with a quarter of Black and Hispanic kids.
Readers, many of us got involved in the Black Lives Matter marches last summer. I guess I would ask you, do Black lives matter to you only when they serve your political purpose? If not, shouldn’t we all be marching to get Black and brown children back safely into schools right now?
There were many haunting moments in MacGillis’s ProPublica piece [cited elsewhere in Brooks op-ed]. One comes when he asks the National Education Association president, Becky Pringle, about her claim that reopening schools could lead to the death of 50,000 children. MacGillis points out to her that, in fact, the number of American children known to have died of Covid-19 up to that point is around 100.
The unions are not reflecting reality. Instead of addressing legitimate fears with facts and evidence, they are using their political muscle to inflame those fears. The most vulnerable people in our country are the victims.
The whole thing is worth a read.