The paper’s most striking finding, in my opinion, is that black public school children in Mississippi significantly outperform black public school children in Minnesota on objective tests, despite far less spending on education. And the gap is growing; the performance of black children in Mississippi is improving, while the performance of black children in Minnesota is getting worse.
America’s educational system is terrible–so bad, I think, that it poses a serious threat to the thriving, and even the survival, of the republic. That is the context in which all, or nearly all, public schools shut down last spring as a result of coronavirus hysteria. The results were disastrous. Once learning went “virtual,” something like 20% to 30% of students never even logged in once. They never completed an assignment, never took a test, and so on. And, of course, these were precisely the students who need our schools the most.
Now, with the 2020-21 school year fast approaching, teachers’ unions have demanded that schools remain closed, at least until voters and taxpayers accede to fantastical lists of demands. Teaching school is alleged to be unreasonably dangerous, even though there is not a single documented case in the world of a student transmitting COVID to a teacher, and even though clerks at Total Wine stores–to name just one example–are brave enough to work. So schools across the country are remaining closed for the foreseeable future.
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