Joe Biden’s White House has launched a publicity campaign that attempts to rewrite history to show the current administration is not to blame for the crushing setbacks students suffered during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
A new “Nation’s Report Card” issued by the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that the last two full school years saw substantial and unprecedented drops in average math and reading scores for 9-year-old students. The time frame studied corresponds to the most widespread COVID-related school closures.
Alongside the dismal report card, Biden’s Education Secretary Miguel Cardona wrote an opinion piece attempting to blame President Donald Trump for school closures and touting the current administration’s work to reopen in-person education.
Cardona wrote that when Biden “took office, schools were closed.” He said President Trump “talked a lot but took no action,” leaving Biden with getting the American Rescue Plan enacted.
Later the same day, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre took the same tone in her press briefing in an attempt to deflect the report of the damage that has been done to American schoolchildren.
She was asked directly why the Biden administration should not accept the blame for not pushing the teachers’ unions to permit schools to reopen. Jean-Pierre said that the work of getting schools opened was “the work of this president and of Democrats.”
She went on to claim that the refusal of the GOP to go along with the Rescue Plan spending spree caused schools to remain closed, even though Democrats in fact passed the bill.
The new Nation’s Report Card shows that the steepest decline in learning occurred in math, with an average decrease in scores of 7 points. That was the first decline in math scores for 9-year-olds ever recorded. The average drop of 5 points in reading was the first decline in that subject area in 30 years.
Anyone with a Working brain knows Biden & teachers unions kept our kids out of school! They cannot blame Trump! We have too many videos of Biden condemning Red states for opening their schools 1 1/2 years before blue states! Stopping the lock downs! Truth be told!
— Jayne Kaufman Abrams (@KaufmanAbrams) September 1, 2022
Conservatives on social media responded by circulating a campaign ad produced for the 2020 election by the Democratic National Committee that harshly attacked President Trump for attempting to reopen schools nationwide that fall.
Betsy DeVos, who served as education secretary in the Trump administration said that the White House statements in response to the dismal educational report is no more than “gaslighting” the public.
She said the reason the Biden administration is spinning the report is because they know “families and voters across America are holding them accountable for the union-driven lockouts and catastrophic learning loss that resulted.”
Jennifer Grinager serves as the chair of the San Luis Obispo chapter of Moms for Liberty, and she pointed out that their local schools did not fully reopen until the fall term of 2021. She asked, “Where was the Biden administration all those months” and said that to “suggest they saved the day for California kids is a rewrite of history.”