The Biden administration played a game of revisionist history on Thursday, attempting to blame the Trump administration for extended school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is the background?
New test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress found that math and reading performance among 9-year-old students has plummeted because of school closures during the pandemic, erasing 20 years of progress.
The New York Times reported:
The declines spanned almost all races and income levels and were markedly worse for the lowest-performing students. While top performers in the 90th percentile showed a modest drop — three points in math — students in the bottom 10th percentile dropped by 12 points in math, four times the impact.
What did the WH say?
Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the NAEP's results on Thursday, and she responded by blaming the shocking education decline on a “mismanaged” pandemic response by the Trump administration.
Completely whitewashing what actually happened, Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden opened schools despite Republican opposition to his agenda.
“Let’s step back to where we were not too long ago when this president walked into this administration: how mismanaged the response to the pandemic was; how in less than six months, our schools went from 46% open to nearly all of them being open to full time,” she said.
“That was the work of this president,” Jean-Pierre claimed. “And that was the work of Democrats in spite of Republicans not voting for the American Rescue Plan.”
“We were in a place where, again, schools were not open. The economy was shut down. Businesses were shut down,” Jean-Pierre went on to say, claiming the NAEP's report “shows you how mismanaged the pandemic was and how the impact of that mismanagement had on kids’ progress and academic well-being.”
09/01/22: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
Is that what happened?
First, it is not true that former President Donald Trump is to blame for school and the economy shutting down during the pandemic. Those decisions were made by individual states.
Second, it is revisionist history to suggest that America reopened because of Biden. Republican-controlled states, like Texas and Florida, had long been open when Biden became president, much to the chagrin of Democrats and the media, who accused Govs. Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis of endangering their residents by not keeping their states locked down.
Third, when Biden came into office, administration officials repeatedly questioned the reopening of schools precisely because the COVID-19 vaccine had just been released to the public and younger people had not yet had access to it. Meanwhile, teachers' unions strongly opposed a return to in-person learning.
Click the below Twitter threat to hear Biden administration officials, Democrats, and teachers' union officials in their own words opposing schools reopening:
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