I Kill My Times Subscription, And Suddenly The Paper Stops Burying Facts That Impugn Democrats…It Worked!

This time anyway…if I had known they cared, I would have done it years ago!

I jest. Still, it was a shock to see the article “Not Good for Learning: New research is showing the high costs of long school closures in some communities” in yesterday’s New York Times, and even a greater shock to see the author: David Leonhardt, who was one of the most indefensibly partisan of the Times op-ed stable when he was an editorial columnist. (Check his EA dossier, here.)

Yet Leonhardt reveals,

Three times a year, millions of K-12 students in the U.S. take a test known as the MAP that measures their skills in math and reading. A team of researchers at Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research have used the MAP’s results to study learning during a two-year period starting in the fall of 2019, before the pandemic began…

On average, students who attended in-person school for nearly all of 2020-21 lost about 20 percent worth of a typical school year’s math learning during the study’s two-year window.

Some of those losses stemmed from the time the students had spent learning remotely during the spring of 2020, when school buildings were almost universally closed. And some of the losses stemmed from the difficulties of in-person schooling during the pandemic, as families coped with disruption and illness.

But students who stayed home for most of 2020-21 fared much worse. On average, they lost the equivalent of about 50 percent of a typical school year’s math learning during the study’s two-year window.

“It’s pretty clear that remote school was not good for learning,” said Emily Oster, a Brown University economist and the co-author of another such study…

One of the most alarming findings is that school closures widened both economic and racial inequality in learning….Low-income students, as well as Black and Latino students, fell further behind over the past two years, relative to students who are high-income, white or Asian. “This will probably be the largest increase in educational inequity in a generation,” Thomas Kane, an author of the Harvard study, told me.

All to derail President Trump’s re-election chances. (Well, maybe not all…) I hope it was worth it. Leonhardt goes on, and doesn’t pull his punches…

[S]chools with large numbers of poor students were more likely to go remote. Why? Many of these schools are in major cities, which tend to be run by Democratic officials, and Republicans were generally quicker to reopen schools. High-poverty schools are also more likely to have unionized teachers, and some unions lobbied for remote schooling…school closures were what economists call a regressive policy, widening inequality by doing the most harm to groups that were already vulnerable.

Congress has tried to address the learning loss by allocating about $190 billion for schools in pandemic rescue bills. That amounts to more than $3,500 for the average K-12 student in public school.

Were many of these problems avoidable? The evidence suggests that they were. Extended school closures appear to have done much more harm than good, and many school administrators probably could have recognized as much by the fall of 2020…Hundreds of other districts, especially in liberal communities, instead kept schools closed for a year or more. Officials said they were doing so to protect children and especially the most vulnerable children. The effect, however, was often the opposite.

Oh, Leonhardt does try to include elements that mitigate the blame, but the message is still clear: Democrats and progressives led the way in closing the schools and he doesn’t even hit all of the direct consequences. Closing the schools took many parents out of the workforce, and contributed greatly to the economic collapse. He also doesn’t adequately assign blame to the news media, like, say, his own paper, for carrying on the Democratic Party’s fear-mongering to ensure that Republican resistance to the school-closing policy was futile. He might have also noted that the $190 billion that was largely pork for the Democratic Party’s education industry constituency contributed to the spending spree that has triggered inflation and deepened the national debt.

Many suspected at the time that all of this was a disaster in the making with a substantial component of political sabotage involved, but with the resistance/Democratic Party/mainstream media (that’s the Axis of Unethical Conduct in Ethics Alarms parlance) pointing to the inflated death statistics and, like Joe Biden, saying that they were all Trump’s fault (“blood on his hands!”) there was no way, realistically, for the President to oppose the “Think of the children!” hysteria.

We’ve known the panic-driven lockdown wrecked the economy, which fulfilled the Left’s greatest wish. It’s admirable that the Times is now willing to report that the collateral damage included a generation’s education, with the most vulnerable being the hardest hit.

36 thoughts on “I Kill My Times Subscription, And Suddenly The Paper Stops Burying Facts That Impugn Democrats…It Worked!

  1. Our team of experts had a very difficult choice to make; switch to remote learning or do nothing and let the children die. We elected to save the children thereby making the more ethical decision predicated on the understanding that a living human can always catch up academically but if the child is dead, not so much. Says Jen P-saki in response to mean inappropriate grilling by Fox reporter and White House gadfly Peter Doocy.

    • “Our team of experts had a very difficult choice to make; switch to remote learning or do nothing and let the children die.”

      There was never really a point where that was true. There have been something like 100 kids under the age of 18 die from Covid in America over the last two years. They weren’t “saved” because of school closures, in fact, the infection/death rates did not materially differ between places that opened schools and places that did not. And just to put those 100 deaths into perspective: They’re all tragedies. Every single one of them. But there are approximately 2300 SIDS deaths in America annually. We can’t possibly make those kind of sweeping, disruptive policy decisions on the auspices that we might save 100 kids.

      There WERE times when we thought that was true though. Particularly at the beginning of the pandemic, when we were relying on foreign numbers to model the American experience. But the American left was never really all that great at “following the Science!™” and continued to pretend that they were just as blinkered and clueless two years into the pandemic as they were at the beginning of it. But really, to some extent, we always knew that kids were less susceptible, I’m old enough to remember while Covid was still a foreign problem the Twitter discussions about how Covid was “Boomer-Remover” and we should import it to kill off some Trump voters.

      • “There was never really a point where that was true.”

        I know that and you know that and Jen P-saki knows that too, but she is not paid to be a truthteller.

        “But the American left was never really all that great at “following the Science!™” and continued to pretend that they were just as blinkered and clueless two years into the pandemic as they were at the beginning of it.”

        Indeed, and I do believe that qualifies as a tell.
        The same is true for masks and most of the other ruinous mandates. What I find most disturbing is just how many people still obediently trust Big Brother even while sinking into quicksand.

      • HT,
        I don’t have the answer to this, but perhaps you do. How many children between 5 and 18 have died due to the experimental injections they received?
        I may sound radical, but I haven’t seen any hard numbers released by CDC, though there are apparently enough deaths related to myocarditis and clotting disorders following the J&J shot to curtail it’s use in male children and young adults.
        Where are the data? Have you seen any? I’d like to know.
        Thanks,
        MB

        • I found a couple of studies for the 5-11 age group. Haven’t seen anything that was specifically between 12-18. For the 5-11 age group: Two. Maybe, depending on how you want to count. Out of the 8.7 million doses administered.

          https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm705152a1.htm

          “Overall, 4,149 (97.6%) VAERS reports were for nonserious events, and 100 (2.4%) were for serious events. The median age of children with reports of nonserious events was 8 years, and 1,835 (44.2%) of these reports were for males. The most commonly reported nonserious events were related to vaccine administration (some without any adverse event), including no adverse event (1,157; 27.9%), product preparation issue (925; 22.3%), and incorrect dose administered (675; 16.3%), (Table 2). The median age of children with reports of serious events was 9 years, and 61 (61.0%) reports were among males. The most commonly reported conditions and diagnostic findings among the 100 reports of serious events were fever (29; 29.0%), vomiting (21; 21.0%), and increased troponin (15; 15.0%). Among 12 serious reports of seizure, one child experienced syncope (not seizure) and another child potentially experienced syncope, two children experienced febrile seizure, one child had a history of seizures, two children had a potentially evolving seizure disorder, and five children experienced new-onset seizures. Among 15 preliminary reports of myocarditis identified during the analytic period, 11 were verified (by provider interview or medical record review) and met the case definition for myocarditis; of these 11 children, seven recovered, and four were recovering at time of the report. VAERS received two reports of death during the analytic period; both are under review. These deaths occurred in two females, aged 5 and 6 years, both of whom had complicated medical histories and were in fragile health before vaccination. None of the data suggested a causal association between death and vaccination.

          Again…. There is a difference between dying FROM a thing and dying WITH a thing, VAERS does not in and of itself show causality, and we’ve talked before on how VAERS (while being the best reporting system we have) is fundamentally flawed by the reporting devices and will tend to bias toward false positives…. Take that for what you will, but I think that means that those two cases are probably an accurate approximation of the ceiling rate.

            • Several reasons. Her plan only involved a limited school closing for a short period of time. Her original plan was made as a science fair 15 years ago. It’s not her fault if her father and later other coworkers decide to greatly modify and implement a different plan on a scope that far exceeded a high schooler’s original simulation. Laura never went into a science field; your article states she earned a religious studies degree and works at a Protestant church.

              If your desire to execute a woman just because she came up with a science fair project that was the later used by other people to ill ends, you’d execute many otherwise innocent people. Coming up with ideas and implementing heavily modified versions of them are not the same thing. Laura Glass should not be executed, prosecuted, or even interviewed about her original science fair project.

                • The answer is still no. Robert Glass retired in 2013. The people working at the CDC also cannot be executed for anything. Their role was to refine any plan that came their way and make recommendations to policymakers. You might, very iffy might, have a case against actual policymakers, but unless you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that those who actually implemented policies knew that those policies would kill people. But that’s a maybe. Best you could do is an impeachment and maybe some jail time for manslaughter. Good luck getting enough evidence to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt at that manslaughter charge.

                  Regardless, merely formulating ideas cannot be a capital offence in the American way of life, regardless of whether we think those ideas are good or evil.

    • Just to make sure I read the article right, you’re asking why a person should not be executed for a policy idea they had when they were a child, which a bunch of people with actual decision-making authority later decided to copy and implement with zero exit strategy because apparently they didn’t have anyone on staff capable of original thought?*

      …Is this a trick question?

      *Did they really need a mathematical model to tell them that if people don’t interact with each other, disease transmission drops?

        • Well, the first answer that is obvious to me is that the person who came up with an idea for a school project is not responsible for its implementation as a policy. The people who implemented the policy are responsible for the consequences of that policy. They’re supposed to have more ideas to draw from than their kids’ school projects, and they’re supposed to have criteria for when to reevaluate the policy.

          Additionally, punishing people for coming up with ideas for school projects is a violation of freedom of speech and stifles free thought. That is also obvious to me. The criteria you seem to be applying for capital punishment are not ones that will build a healthy society.

          I can think of several people who could be said to merit execution on ethical grounds if not legal ones, but based on the information you have provided, the person you describe is not one of them.

  2. I really get the impression that the school systems in big cities absolutely do not care whether the students learn anything or not. I read this today on Not The Bee:

    https://notthebee.com/article/baltimore-student-misses-first-140-days-of-school-still-gets-marked-present-passes-classes

    A Baltimore student was unable to attend school for the first half of the school year because the school failed to provide an on-campus nurse and he has physical disabilities that require their to be one. The school also seems to have refused to enroll him in virtual school because the enrollment deadline was missed. Despite never having taken any classes, five out of seven of his teachers gave him passing grades.

    Who does that? The only answer I can come up with is someone who truly does not care even one iota about the education of the student.

    The educators who lobbied for virtual learning also seem not to have cared whether any of the students actually learned anything or not. How can you call yourself an educator when you don’t have the slightest interest in educating the students?

    I was at least pleased to see that the computer science teacher flunked the student. There might be hope for the future of my profession. And band, apparently. History, math and Spanish…not so much.

    These kids are learning directly from the teachers that education is unimportant. That is just mind boggling. Why is k-12 mandated if the students are not expected to actually learn anything?

    • Big City school systems are essentially make work programs, indoctrination centers and political patronage machines. That they end up teaching some kids, is just a nice byproduct. That is why they hate any charter schools or other competition, it distracts them from their main product – corruption. If there were some illusions about this before, after corona, I think it speaks for itself.

      Also, the NYT, and others, of course, will launder their credibility, by actually reporting on something of interest. Though they do it too little, too late. But they will always say they covered it, so you can’t say they’re biased. See, they covered Hunter’s laptop! They do get the story right, eventually… In probably 4 years, they’ll cover how bad Biden is doing, just you wait.

          • You know, I’m pretty much at the heads on pikes level of fury at all of this, but I’m not sure actually doing so would be ethical. Cathartic, but not ethical.

            • Executing Laura M. Glass would send a message that no pandemic can ever justify restraints on individual civilian behavior.

              There are likely millions of Americans who would desire to do much worse to her than having her executed by firing squad followed by conviction by military commission.

              • … according to the article, Laura Glass was a high schooler who did a science fair project playing with computer modeling. The fact that people with power who wanted more, and/or people over-reacting to a virus that was dangerous to a limited demographic, grabbed her idea and turned it into public policy doesn’t justify any sort of punishment of… well, of any free scientific inquiry, especially of a minor.

              • MTE,
                It still amazes me that many of our current mandatory “behavior modifications” were tried, especially in larger cities with robust Health Departments, in 1918 for the “Spanish” Flu, but didn’t work then (though we didn’t have antivirals, monoclonal, etc., for therapies).
                Why did we not exhaustively try “off label” uses of drugs that could have been used as therapies or for prophylaxis? Could the real answer be lining the pockets of US Government employees with royalties from drug companies that used taxpayer-funded research to develop new (i. e., still under patent protections) compounds that could then be sold to the Government to supply at no cost for use on humans? If so, we need to lobby the Congress and WH to repeal the law permitting researchers to receive royalties paid on US Government Patents they develop.
                I have a friend who’s a retired US Civil Servant physicist with a large number of parents credited to him by the Patent & Trademark Office, but due to their development in a government lab, while earning a government salary, using government equipment & funding, his Patents must remain in the public domain, and any royalties that may be due for their use are paid to the Treasury, in which he does not share?
                Just asking,
                MB
                P.S. I think that there’s an ethical problem with researchers paid a government salary & using a government lab sharing in royalties paid to the Government for work funded by the government on a product that was then sold to that same Government. Admittedly, this is a tangled problem, but I have great confidence in your collective abilities to untangle it.

  3. Reporting on it after the fact really doesn’t do much good. I think the Democrats really believed that once they were secure in power they could just have everything snap back to where it was before the pandemic. They are finding out the hard way otherwise. When you come right down to it the Democratic Party trashed the economy, made this pandemic worse than it needed to be, AND turned its back on ordinary people who it was supposed to protect from riots, all in the name of gaining power. Acting against this nation’s interest and failure to do sworn duty. This is probably a stretch, but a case could be made that this constitutes giving aid and comfort to this country’s enemies.

    This is probably overthinking things, but short-term turning on one’s own nation for short-term gain has led to long-term disaster in the past. In 1071, at a forgotten place known as Manzikert, the Byzantine general Andronikos Doukas deliberately withdrew from the field at a critical moment, allowing his emperor, Romanus Diogenes, to fall into the hands of the Seljuq Turks. He was released a week later, but in the meantime there were intrigues for the throne which weakened the empire still further. He himself was not able to regain his throne, and was deposed, blinded (the Byzantines had a thing for blinding), and exiled, although they might as well not have bothered, as he died from injuries suffered during the blinding soon after. Three decades of civil war followed, before Alexius I finally restored stability. In the meantime the Turks gradually took over Anatolia, the heartland of the empire. When Alexius was finally secure in power, he knew he wasn’t going to raise an army from Anatolia again. This in turn led to mercenaries, the Crusades, etc. The main point, though, is that one party here, the Doukas faction, seeking personal power, destroyed who knows how many lives and set a previously great nation on the path to destruction.

    Could the Democratic Party be leading this nation the same way? Let’s think about this:

    1. It weaponized a pandemic and probably crippled an effective response, in the name of wrecking the other party’s chances in an election.

    2. After deliberately widening racial divides, it sowed the seeds for riots, sparked, riots, then turned its back on ordinary people, leading to 50+ deaths and billions in property damage, to say nothing of how many businesses and lives destroyed.

    3. It deliberately fielded a slate of candidates that boiled down to two crazy socialists, one nanny state martinet, and a man well past his pull date, who would be over 80 in his frist term and 86 at the end of his second.

    4. Once in power the first thing it did was to deliberately reverse everything the previous administration did, without rhyme or reason.

    5. They deliberately refused to even try to secure the southern border.

    6. They all but deliberately refused to deal with supply chain issues, instead sneering at the very idea.

    7. They all but deliberately flubbed the withdrawal from Afghanistan, for no real reason other than this addled president wanted to take a victory lap on 9/11.

    8. They’ve put incompetent people into office based on nothing but the fact they check diversity boxes.

    9. They have left our allies adrift in the face of aggressive action by an enemy, rather than providing leadership.

    10. Now they have given the go-ahead to harassment of judges and justices.

    11. They have put parents who dare speak up about the way they want their children educated in the crosshairs.

    12. They have tried to pretend that the dire economic problems in this nation simply don’t exist.

    What’s more, they do all this while lying and acting like they are the most wonderful people ever to be in charge of this nation. Someone once said we’d be in a great place when the power of love eclipsed the love of power, but what do you call it when the power of love is used as a cover for the love of power?

  4. The Democrats may have caused a long-time headache for themselves. Less than 1/2 of the mothers have returned to the workforce. After being forced out of a job by shuttered companies, vaccine requirements, closed schools, and closed daycares, many mothers decided not to return to work. Could it be that:
    (1) They found that after paying for daycare and other expenses ate up most of the income of the working mother
    (2) They learned that the schools were not teaching their children and were merely indoctrinating/grooming them
    (3) They decided that they liked taking care of their children more than they liked working and paying someone else to raise their kids.
    None of these factors will result in such women increasing in support of the Democratic Party.

    We have many more job openings than people looking for a job due mainly to women not returning to the workforce and the extra 1 million people 18-49 that died in 2021 (but not 2020).

  5. Gee, ya think?!!? When Covid began my kids were 10, 15 and 19. My 10 year old fared the best, I actually homeschooled him 5th grade (last school year). I would still be homeschooling him, but our circumstances are socially challenging without public school and he missed his peers too much. I chose between book smarts and emotional and social well being. I figured that was more important. NO ONE fared worse than young adults during this. I am talking specifically about college and high school students. I’m not talking about education, per se although that suffered too. I’m talking about losing 2 years of personal growth. The education part worked out ok for my high schooler, the best you could hope for. She had a list from her teachers and did things like gardening, baking and analyzing the chemical reactions, power point, some of her classes were online college classes and were that way from the beginning, so those were ok. I watched my quiet teen child withdraw to an extreme. I watched my college kid be angry and withdraw from online class time and again because it wasn’t what she needed. She is in a stem field which requires labs, so she’s behind graduation date. My kids lost baseball, track, school plays, academic competitions in all areas and had to keep to themselves for 2 years… when high school is a time you figure things out, they were left isolated and alone, we are just starting to see the ramifications of this choice. My current senior and college student… well they’re angry although doing better. My college student says she can’t do lockdowns again and will just kill herself. My now 6th grader is mostly unscathed other than being behind in academics. He doesn’t even realize he is though so…. Some of the kids in 6th grade can’t multiply. None of them have developed many critical thinking skills. Their writing is perhaps 4th grade level. I don’t even know if my senior can do college or not. She’s smart, and has a 3.8GPA and I don’t know if she’s ready. She’s not ready for the “real world” that’s for sure. There’s a BIG gap between where she was in 6th grade and where my son is today. So yes… be concerned because those without parents who are engaged are going to have a hard time. I’m not even going to discuss teaching a 1st grader through zoom. What a nightmare. I will never, ever do remote learning like that. My kids are the lucky ones. They have a stable home. They have parents that are invested with them. We don’t have medical issues. We can step up and help them through it all and we’re present at all times, being self employed. Most weren’t so lucky. People had to work full time and help with school, that wasn’t something they were able to balance. We had internet, the kids had laptops, we had access to what was required. Not everyone did. Online school isn’t ideal. Far from. I would say it’s impossible for kids below 4th grade to learn enough like that. My college student had her life she loved ripped away from her in an instant and then told not to go anywhere. She believed we were unfair when we requested she not see friends. So yes… I’m sharing this because it seems like many of you were not in these trenches. It was hard. I see the emotional toll it took on them and we were in the most suitable place in the county to ride this out. We’re in the best case scenario. My kids were some of the LEAST impacted of anyone.

    • I’m glad I was in a better place that that. My school only went online for about a month, then back to in-person classes. My son’s school was the same way. However, even in the in-person setting, it was terrible for the kids. The schools set up ‘Temperature Check Points’ controlling entry, which never caught a single case of COVID. The kids had to wear masks, even though not a single study found that they helped (if it wasn’t statistically significant, it doesn’t count, folks). Unknown to the faculty, the college students were confined to their dorm rooms when not in class to an extreme extent. Any positive test resulted in a 2-week isolation (think solitary confinement), although I had less than one student in 50 who developed symptoms in quarantine. Sure, people got COVID and were sick for a week or so, then were fine. The government was releasing data on cases for awhile, and no college students had died from COVID by October 2020 that school year after tens of thousands of cases, then they stopped releasing the data. Students loved coming to lab because it was the only time they could interact with students other than their roommate. We had to follow the ’15 minute’ rule, so I would have to switch out lab partners after 15 minutes of ‘close contact’ with me on the experiment.

      Despite in-person classes, we pulled our child from school to homeschool him despite the fact that we both have full-time jobs. Although the school was in-person, the teachers became deranged over COVID, terrified of dying. This is a terrible learning environment. He is having to learn how to be self-motivated and learn himself (not always going well). He doesn’t seem as emotionally scarred as many other children. He spent the Summer of 2019 in Lowes and other stores with me trying to buy supplies for home improvement projects. We went to stores and restaurants without masks through all of 2019 and 2020. He met with friends and played. We went bowling when we could. Now, after the pandemic is over, our public schools are going virtual. They are now hooked on it. The teachers declare a ‘virtual day’ with only a day’s notice every other week. They schedule random ‘virtual weeks’. There is no medical reason to do it, cases are virtually nonexistant. They are just doing it because they don’t have to work. They are supposed to post assignments for those days and very few do. It is just a day off.

      Worse than the school environment was the home environment for some of my students. I had several students whose parents confined them to their bedroom and the guest bathroom for the Summer of 2020. They were forbidden to leave their bedrooms to do anything but use the guest bathroom for months. The parents would bring plates of food and leave them in the hallway. I had Zoom calls where these students were just sobbing the whole time about it. I heard stories of grandparents who wouldn’t see their granchildren over fear of COVID. My parents would have volunteered to take care of my son while he HAD COVID.

      When all these lockdowns started, I called all the mask-wearing social distancing people cowards. By the time they were calling for masks and social distancing, it was obvious all this wasn’t needed. I started seeing students getting what we would call COVID in November of 2019 and by December over 10% of my classes had it. We had a large number of them in December through March. My family got it in March 2020. The symtoms were flu-like or tiredness, but nothing severe for us and all the students. No real big problems after 4+ months of the pandemic. Every measure suggested by the government was either likely to be useless or had been proven by a lot of research to be useless. When people defended teachers demanding virtual school, I called them cowards. I told them you can’t teach kids if you are afraid of them. I thought maybe the vaccine would put an end to this paranoia, but it just made it worse. ‘Fully Vaccinated’ people were more afraid of COVID than the unvaccinated people. This wasn’t a virus, it was a mental illness. You could almost predict who would be COVID-phobic by their profession. Anyone who works in a dangerous environment scoffed at COVID. They are used to dealing with danger and this just wasn’t it. Now, the elderly took it hard, but a lot of those deaths were BECAUSE of COVID procedures, not despite it. Let’s confine a bunch of elderly residents with a blood-clotting disease to their beds so they can’t move around. Good Job, medical community!

      Is this the first generation in history who sacrificed their children’s wellbeing because of their own overblown fear of mortality? This country is full of cowards.

    • It sounds like I’d better step things up, because people will be wanting the Foundational Toolbox for Life to help kids learn how to learn. Granted, they always needed it, since even after all these millennia humans still haven’t figured out how to design an effective education system, but it seems even more serious now.

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