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Tipsheet

Randi Weingarten's Teachers Union Commissioned a Poll on Education. She Won't Like the Results.

AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File

One of the clearest villains of the pandemic was Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, a powerful and deep-pocketed union.  Her tireless anti-child and anti-science efforts played a major role in condemning millions of American students to disastrous "virtual learning," for a year or more in many parts of the country.  The bluer the area, the more influence unions wield over elected Democrats -- and the likelier kids in those jurisdictions were languish at home, denied crucial in-person instruction.  And when they were finally permitted back into classrooms, after well over a year in many cases, the likelier they were to face unsupported-by-data mask mandates.

Weingarten infamously pressured the Biden administration to alter the Official Science, as to help delay the reopening of schools.  It was a disgrace.  Schools were operating and thriving around the country and around the world during COVID, but AFT actively chose to ignore science and effectively declare its position that in-person teaching was non-essential.  The utter shamelessness of the people who inflicted so much harm on so many children for selfish, political reasons suggests that they'd do it all again.  This, for example, is both blood-boiling and illustrative:

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Newsom presides over the state that came in dead last -- 50th out of 50 -- on in-person learning during the pandemic era.  The children of his state will be therefore be grappling with disproportionate setbacks and challenges for years to come.  It's worth noting that the governor's own children returned to in-person learning at their elite private school in the fall of 2020.  Many kids enrolled in California government schools were still not allowed inside classrooms in June of 2021. And despite actively being part of the problem, he's feted in DC and given an award for educational transformation.  There is no regret.  There is no contrition.  They'd do it all again.  And it seems as though many Americans have internalized that lesson.  For many years, Democrats enjoyed a wide advantage on the issue of education, with Americans trusting their party over Republicans on related policies by substantial and consistent double-digit margins in a raft of public polling.  But when you become the party of lengthy, needless, science-rejecting school closures, people are going to notice.  Weingarten's outfit hired a prominent Democratic pollster to conduct a nationwide survey on education-related issues.  The results are so damning, I'm fairly surprised they decided to publish the study at all.  This data point alone speaks volumes:

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"The union itself commissioned this poll, which demonstrates the union’s own handiwork. I guess when you effectively declare schools non-essential and demand kids stay locked out of classrooms for a year-plus, then masked up, based on no science, a lot of people will look elsewhere," I remarked on Twitter.  That's how you squander a gaping advantage on an issue set.  Terrible, anti-student COVID policies have played a massive role in this shift, obviously, but there are other relevant factors, too.  This is eye-opening stuff -- again, from the teachers union's own poll:


By roughly 30-point margins, Americans in battleground states reject leftist culture war priorities and indoctrination of children.  Voters want kids taught reading, writing, math, etc., versus racialism (which is not some conspiracy theory).  They don't want young children being force-fed gender and sexual identity instruction (which is why the supposed "don't say gay" law assailed by activists is popular).  They don't think it's fair for biological males to compete against biological females in sports.  These causes are all loudly celebrated, with adjacent orthodoxy ruthlessly enforced, within the realm of 'progressive' social media -- from which many Democrats take their cultural cues.  But what they're pushing is profoundly out of step with what sizable majorities of Americans in key places actually believe.  Activists, journalists and Democrats can rage within their bubbles, but they're alienating an awful lot of people as they do so.  Republicans who are deft at exploiting that alienation, without overreaching, will benefit immensely from this dynamic.  I'll leave you with this related observation about the DeSantis/Newsom feud that we covered last week:

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