When The New York Times reported last week that the epidemic had reversed two decades of gains made in arithmetic and reading for children nationwide, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) would not acknowledge that it had been a mistake to keep children out of classrooms during the pandemic.
According to new data released this week, test results fell precipitously when students were kept home from school due to the epidemic. There was the highest drop in reading scores in thirty years and the first-ever drop in math scores. “You yourself were a teacher once. And you currently serve as chair of one of the Senate’s most influential committees that deals with health and education.
Was it a mistake to keep kids out of school for such a lengthy period of time during the pandemic? Asked Bash.
Murray said, “Dana, this was a choice made by local school authorities and our scientific experts, seeking to get control of an epidemic that was killing millions of people so that they could protect their students, their employees, and their cities.”
There were thousands, not “millions,” of Americans that had COVID and died during the time that schools around the nation were being closed. There have been 1.04 million COVID-related deaths in the United States, more so under Pres. Joe Biden (D) than under previous President Donald Trump (R).
No regrets in the past, right? Later, Bash enquired. “And I know hindsight is always 20/20, but when given the figures you’re seeing and the drop we just discussed, do you still feel confident in the manner in which school systems, even in your own state, dealt with the pandemic?”
Murray stated, “I believe we were in uncharted territory at that point, where everyone was trying to find out what was the best course of action to ensure that their families and children were safe. Keep in mind that hundreds of thousands of people were dying. We did not want it to go on like that. Based on the greatest available scientific and individual data, people had to make decisions.”
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