The Bidens stopped by an elementary school yesterday to pitch his $4 trillion federal spending proposals. In the course of brief visit, the Bidens got an earful about the failures of virtual learning from a classroom of fifth graders.
After the kindly president revealed that his wife still teaches full time, he inquired as to what the kids, who are now back to school on a part-time, masked basis, think about virtual learning.
What ensued was delicious:
‘[Virtual learning] was a little difficult with all the glitches,’ one girl said. ‘I definitely prefer it this way though.’
One boy chimed in: ‘I didn’t like virtual. It was terrible.’
Another student pointed out when their teacher Mrs. Bertamini was helping someone else ‘you could eat.’
And another noted: ‘If we were really tired we could take a little nap.’
Jill Biden, who teaches at a Northern Virginia Community College, laughed and said her students do the same.
‘You just turn off the camera. I’ve seen that,’ the first lady said.
What the fifth graders told the President and First Lady is backed up by studies:
A study last year from Fairfax County, Va., Public Schools Office of Research and Strategic Improvement suggests middle and high school students are seeing less academic success as a result of online learning.
The percentage of students with two or more F marks, for example, increased 83% from 6% to 11% in the first quarter of the 2020-2021 school year compared to the first quarter of the 2019-2020 school year. Students with disabilities and non-English speakers experienced the largest increase in F marks.
A separate survey of parents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, found that parents of children who learned virtually reported worse outcomes for their kids on 11 of 17 stress and well-being indicators compared to kids who went to school for in-person instruction.
President Biden has made noises about getting the schools open on a normal, full-time basis. Since the teacher unions (the First Lady is a self-proclaimed “proud member” of an ed union), an important source of campaign money for Democrats, don’t seem to be eager to get teachers back in classrooms, it will be a struggle, at best.
President Biden commemorated the visit to schoolchildren with a tweet:
Teachers are an extraordinary force for good in our nation — I’m lucky enough to be married to one and have seen firsthand how hard they work for their students. This year teachers have gone above and beyond to help children learn through the pandemic. So please, thank a teacher.
There are great teachers, who make a difference in lives, but let’s not issue a blanket thank-you just yet. Let’s thank only the teachers who are willing to do their jobs.
And what irony! The Bidens show up to pitch a $4 trillion bill to skeptical kids when we aren’t able to perform the most basic function of getting public schools open.