(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Studies have shown historic learning loss since schools shut down during the COVID pandemic, but some education officials have asserted that this may not be the only cause.
According to the Daily Caller, high school graduates from 2022 had an average score of 19.8 out of 36 on the ACT college admissions test—the lowest average score in more than 30 years.
Education officials stated that while the pandemic may have exacerbated this catastrophic learning loss, teachers moving away from traditional education practices have caused academic performance to drop.
“America is getting dumber because American parents have been working so many hours to either ‘keep up with the Jones” or to put food on the table, they had to have blind trust in the public schools,” said Yael Levin, chief communications officer of No Left Turn in Education, a group focused on parental rights in education.
Andrew Handel, education task force director for American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonprofit that drafts model legislation, explained that a lack of school choice was causing students to suffer.
“I think the way America has done education just doesn’t work,” Handel said.
“This method of taking kids and assigning them to a school based on nothing more than a zip code or an address, it’s just an outdated, ineffective and inefficient way of going about things, especially when you look at today” he continued. “One of the bright spots coming out of the pandemic was, we saw a lot of new educational opportunities popping up.”
In a February survey, more than 70% of Americans supported school choice and funding school vouchers, with only 18% voter opposition.
Levin said that teachers unions’ focus on politics—instead of education—has directly resulted in a lack of educational achievement.
“America is getting dumber because education has been hijacked by the teachers’ unions,” Levin said. “The executives of the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and most state and local union leaders don’t care about education—they care about their cash cow”
He noted that AFT President Randi Weingarten earned more than $426,000 in 2020-2021 while pushing to prevent the reopening of schools. That same year, NEA President Becky Pringle earned $534,234, which was $25,000 more than in the previous year.