‘Academics’ swept under rug at White House back-to-school townhall; Monkeypox, equity, vaccines more important

The Department of Education seemed to be well aware of the educational failings of government-run schools based on the town hall hosted by the White House last week, but analysis once again indicated trifles such as math and reading were taking a backseat to woke indoctrination.

Moderated by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona with guests including National Education Association (NEA) President Becky Pringle and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten, the Ed. Dept. back-to-school town hall only briefly touched on the serious concern of the already steadily declining test scores among nine-year-olds in reading and math taking a sharp nosedive since 2020.

Long-Term Math Trend, Age 9: National Center for Education Statistics
(Long-Term Reading Trend, Age 9: National Center for Education Statistics)

In taking a close look at the discussion held Thursday, Fox News found that over the course of an approximately 90-minute town hall, “the words ‘academics’ or ‘academic’ were only mentioned seven times, with reading and math mentioned twice and science mentioned once in the context of academics.”

“Equity, on the other hand, was mentioned six times, and vaccines were mentioned 18 times,” the outlet presented. “Even monkeypox, which was mentioned 10 times, drew more air time than academic standards.”

Cardona did acknowledge that the pandemic, mentioned almost 15 times with COVID stated almost 30 times, had “hurt students’ academic achievement” but made the case that $122 billion allocated from the American Rescue Plan could resolve the deficit with the favored government method of throwing money at problems it created.

In fact, while the most severe declines in math and reading looking back as far as the 1970s took place in the past two years, both measures had already declined since 2012 when President Barack Obama ushered in the implementation of Common Core standards throughout government-run institutions.

Along with adding unnecessary steps to solve problems and over-complicating tried-and-true methods of instruction for mathematics that focused little on what the correct answer was, Common Core was used as an avenue to funnel progressive politics into educational assignments such as the promotion of strict gun control as previously reported.

“The U.S. has the highest gun ownership rate in the world and the highest gun violence rate of any wealthy nation,” an introduction to a writing lesson argued. “It also has some of the loosest gun control laws.”

During the town hall, union boss Weingarten embraced the fact that teachers had become social justice warriors as she lamented another problem facing the education system: A shortage of nearly 300,000 teachers to start the school year.

“Very few teachers thought that they were going into teaching to be social justice warriors,” she stated, having argued, “People would want to be teachers if they knew they’d be respected.”

On teacher burnout, she lamented, “It has not been easy, not just the last two years, but the inequity, the injustice, the lack of opportunity, the lack of a level playing field. And teachers are essentially the first responders to all this, and what they ask for is they ask for respect.”


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