Teachers Union Head Mystified by Increase in Homeschooling
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, tweeted, linked to an Axios article showing how homeschooling has become the fastest-growing form of education in America since 2020, while public schools have hemorrhaged enrollment. The tweet extended the public-school champion’s perfect streak of lack of self-awareness, and the Internet did not take long to hold her accountable, prompting her to condemn her “reply-guys.” Her retort did not disappoint in its cluelessness, either:
“Look at the data: if we dealt w/ gun violence, had robust anti-bullying programs & provided more services for special needs students, many of these parents wouldn’t feel compelled to homeschool.”
The truth is Weingarten deserves much of the credit for the increase in homeschooling because she is partly to blame for the problems parents cite when they choose to leave public schools.
For all of her crowing about prominent anti-critical race theory and education activist Chris Rufo wanting to end public education as we know it, “extremists” wanting to end public schools, or former Trump secretary of education and school choice backer Betsy DeVos “erod[ing] the trust in public schools,” it would be hard to find a figure who has been more effective in achieving these goals than Weingarten.
As the head of one of the nation’s biggest teachers’ unions, Weingarten has presided over four of the worst years for public schools in living memory. Since 2020, Republicans have closed the longstanding double-digit trust lead Democrats held in education, confidence in public schools has reached historically low levels, and schools are dealing with students who are behind, struggling, or even missing from school entirely after the longest, widespread closings in modern times.
Weingarten, standing atop the rubble of pandemic-era public schooling, says the problem is a lack of robust services, particularly for special-education students, and she needs “more funding, not less” to fix these problems.
How many robust services did schools offer when they closed their doors to students and prohibited in-person meetings for more than a year? A Department of Education investigation of Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia—one of the largest, wealthiest school districts in the nation—found that special needs students had their services cut to “as little as 30 or even five minutes per month” during the Zoom era, missing a whopping cumulative 60,000 sessions of therapy and violating federal requirements.
Fairfax was far from the only district where this was a problem: nationwide, special education students saw steeper declines in test scores and graduation rates than their peers.
But surely since Weingarten helped secure $60 billion in taxpayer money through the 2020 CARES Act and another $122 billion from the Ame
Article from Latest
The Reason Magazine website is a go-to destination for libertarians seeking cogent analysis, investigative reporting, and thought-provoking commentary. Championing the principles of individual freedom, limited government, and free markets, the site offers a diverse range of articles, videos, and podcasts that challenge conventional wisdom and advocate for libertarian solutions. Whether you’re interested in politics, culture, or technology, Reason provides a unique lens that prioritizes liberty and rational discourse. It’s an essential resource for those who value critical thinking and nuanced debate in the pursuit of a freer society.