‘When Trump was right and many Democrats wrong’
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote last week that President Donald Trump was right when during 2020’s spring months he insisted that children should be back in schools for in-person learning.
In an editorial titled, “When Trump Was Right and Many Democrats Wrong,” Kristof pointed out that “children have suffered because many mayors and governors were too willing to close schools.”
The op-ed, which was published last week, discussed what Kristof believes to be education-related failures on behalf of local and state politicians.
“Some things are true even though President Donald Trump says them,” Kristof wrote. “Trump has been demanding for months that schools reopen, and on that he seems to have been largely right. Schools, especially elementary schools, do not appear to have been major sources of coronavirus transmission, and remote learning is proving to be a catastrophe for many low-income children.”
Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced that he would be shuttering the city’s public schools once more.
“Yet America is shutting schools — New York City announced Wednesday that it was closing schools in the nation’s largest school district — even as it allows businesses like restaurants and bars to operate,” Kristof wrote. “What are our priorities?”
Kristof added that overseas, many countries have closed restaurants and bars, for example, and have insisted that children remain in schools.
“In both Europe and the United States, schools have not been linked to substantial transmission, and teachers and family members have not been shown to be at extra risk,” he wrote, adding, “Meanwhile, the evidence has mounted of the human cost of school closures. Dropouts live shorter lives, so while the virus kills, so do school closures.”
Citing the American Academy of Pediatrics, Kristof wrote, “‘Children learn best when physically present in the classroom. But children get much more than academics at school. They also learn social and emotional skills at school, get healthy meals and exercise, mental health support, and other services that cannot be easily replicated online.'”
Kristof pointed out that school closures hit hardest children from underprivileged homes.
“School closures magnify these equalities, as many private schools remain open and affluent parents are better able to help kids adjust to remote learning,” he added. “At the same time, low income children fall even further behind.”
Kristof concluded, “Let’s follow Europe: Close bars, and try harder to keep schools open.”