Calls to Action: CitizensK-12 Education

Harvard Confirms A Truth We All Knew

Unlike their counterparts in California, poor students in Texas and Florida didn’t fall behind in math during the pandemic. That’s because they were allowed to attend school in person. According to a new study by Harvard University, 

“Gaps in math achievement by race and school poverty did not widen in school districts in states such as Texas and Florida and elsewhere that remained largely in-person.”

With nearly six million students shackled by the country’s strictest lockdown of schools, California was — is — ground zero for learning loss due to lengthy remote instruction. According to one of the study’s authors, the loss of learning in high-poverty schools such as those in California that were remote for more than half of 2021 equated to about half of a school year’s worth of typical achievement growth.    

California’s decision to force kids into lengthy remote learning was political. If you’re looking for the culprit, check the mirror. By not being fierce defenders of the general interest, we let down those kids. Don’t blame teachers’ unions. They will always pursue their interests. It’s up to the rest of us to defend those who cannot defend themselves.

Our fondest wish has long been for smart people — especially businesspeople who understand the value of relentlessness — to start political organizations to complement GFC in defending the general interest. California became poorly governed because for decades we and others like us weren’t even on the battlefield. If you want democracies to work, you have to defend them with the same intensity with which you pursue your occupations and invest your capital. Get in the trenches.