The Biden administration signaled its support for the teaching of “anti-racism” curriculum in public schools Friday, wading into an ongoing culture war over critical race theory playing out on cable news and in school board meetings across the nation.
Asked about a recent decision by the National Education Association to throw its weight behind controversial progressive teachings about race, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told RealClearPolitics that President Biden believes “kids should learn about our history” including the view that “there is systemic racism that is still impacting society today.”
Psaki continued that the president and the First Lady, who is also a life-long educator, believe that “there are many dark moments, and there is not just slavery and racism in our history.”
A handful of Senate Republicans sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Wednesday demanding more information about the newly-announced school reopening guidelines, as reported by the Daily Caller.
The letter, signed by five Senate Republicans including Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.,) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.), is addressed to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, as well as Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra. The letter asks both officials to provide explanations for why the CDC has ultimately decided to reopen all American schools by June 2nd.
In the letter, the senators point to recently-unearthed emails, first uncovered by Americans for Public Trust, which reveal that the CDC communicated directly with the nation’s top teachers’ unions, including the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA), to discuss drafting the reopening guidelines.
The teachers union in the middle of a scandal for influencing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official school reopening guidance gave nearly $20 million to Democrats in the 2020 election cycle, filings show.
Federal election filings reveal that the American Federation of Teachers and its local affiliates spent $19,903,532 on political donations during the 2020 cycle, with nearly all of the funds going to Democrats and liberal groups.
Last year’s AFT donations include $5,251,400 for the Democrats Senate Majority PAC and $4,600,000 for the Democratic House Majority PAC, according to data compiled by The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets database.
The pandemic has made it clear to parents that teachers’ unions don’t represent the interests of students. And while, in theory, the union should serve the interests of teachers, in practice they have another master: the Democratic Party. When these interests don’t align, the result can be fascinating political contortions – as when Florida teachers’ unions fought against pay raises provided by the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.
In October 2019, DeSantis declared that 2020 would be the “year of the teacher.” Despite the massive budgetary uncertainty presented by COVID, in March 2020 DeSantis requested $600 million for teacher raises and $300 million for teacher bonuses. The legislature delivered $500 million for raises and $100 million for bonuses, which Jacob Oliva, chancellor of the Division of Public Schools in the Florida Department of Education, described as “the single largest compensation increase ever in Florida and a statement to the nation that Florida is elevating the teaching profession.”
One might expect teachers’ unions to applaud DeSantis and call on other governors to follow his lead. Instead, some local teachers’ unions actually fought against the raises, effectively keeping money out of their own members’ pockets.
The Los Angeles teachers union said Monday California’s school reopening plan is a “recipe” for propagating racism and will unfairly punish minority communities.
United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) representatives argued that teachers are being asked to make up for the leadership failings of elected officials “from Washington DC to Sacramento to LA” during a press conference Monday. Since California’s plan calls on schools in communities with low infection rates to reopen, the union said reopening funding will only go to white communities since they have less transmission.
President Joe Biden campaigned on his strong union ties, but some of the policies his administration has adopted — ones he promised he’d adopt during the election — have outraged those that supported him.
Biden pledged throughout his campaign that he would scrap the Keystone XL pipeline if elected, and his doing so angered trade, labor and pipefitter unions, some of whom have already lost jobs as a result. But while Biden has called for nearly all schools to reopen within the first 100 days of his presidency, his administration has sided with teachers unions across the country, some of which have refused to revert to in-person learning despite recent studies that show it is safe if proper precautions are followed.
The Chicago Teachers Union approved a deal with city officials that ensures an immediate return to in-person instruction, the union said Wednesday morning.
The teachers union approved the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) proposed plan to return to in-person classes in a 13,681-to-6,585 vote Wednesday morning, the union announced. In-person instruction was supposed to begin on Feb. 1, but was delayed after the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) voted to defy the city’s plan in January.
For all their devastating, long-term side effects, the various failed remedies to COVID-19 have been clarifying.
The “expert” class, in case it was still unclear to anyone, is overrun not with critical thinkers devoted to scientific inquiry but hyperpartisan hacks with a hive mind no better than that of a typical seventh-grade cheer squad. The scientific method is dead; in its place is a multitiered campaign to bully, silence, and cancel anyone who dares to challenge their unchallengeable expertise.