On Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden took a swipe at President Trump because many children are not in school, stating that it was Trump’s fault schools were closed. He tweeted, “Right now, classrooms should be humming with excitement for a new year and students’ hopes for their futures. Instead, many are silent and empty because President Trump didn’t do his job. America’s families are paying the price for his failures.”
Right now, classrooms should be humming with excitement for a new year and students’ hopes for their futures.
Instead, many are silent and empty because President Trump didn’t do his job.
America’s families are paying the price for his failures.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 3, 2020
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has two young daughters of his own, fired back at Biden, “Pssst….Joe……you’re the one saying shut them all down!”
Pssst….Joe……you’re the one saying shut them all down! https://t.co/BAvC11bB3B
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 3, 2020
The New York Times trumpeted in mid July:
Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Friday released his plan for reopening classrooms amid the coronavirus crisis, emphasizing both deference to local decision-making and federal assistance to schools, and setting up yet another sharp contrast with President Trump, who has insisted that schools should rapidly resume in-person classes.
Biden released a video in which he stated, “Forcing educators and students back into a classroom in areas where the infection rate is going up or remaining very high is just plain dangerous.” He added, “Everyone wants our schools to reopen. The question is how to make it safe, how to make it stick.”
Biden’s campaign insisted that he “believes that the decision about when to reopen safely should be made by state, tribal and local officials, based on science and in consultation with communities and tribal governments. It should be made with the safety of students and educators in mind.”
Biden added in July, “The Trump administration’s chaotic and politicized response has left school districts to improvise a thousand hard decisions on their own … Schools need clear, consistent, effective national guidelines, not mixed messages and political ultimatums.”
The Biden campaign stated in mid-July, “The challenge facing our schools is unprecedented. President Trump has made it much worse. We had a window to get this right. And, Trump blew it.”
Biden posing as an expert on schools is interesting; this is, after all, the same candidate who, in December 2019, asserted he would end standardized testing in schools.
At an MSNBC forum, a young woman who asserted that “standardized testing is rooted in a history of racism and eugenics” said to Biden:
Teaching has changed drastically over the last ten to twenty years. Instead of being allowed to use their expertise to develop engaging curriculum that’s culturally responsive, teachers are often forced to use a scripted curriculum that rushes children through without giving them enough time to really understand the material. Many teachers feel more like a test-prep tutor than a test of children, and they’re concerned that both teachers and student are heavily evaluated by standardized testing. Beginning in kindergarten, children are losing time for play and discovery, and instead forced into developmentally inappropriate academic instruction in an effort to get them prepared for tests.
Although formal testing does not begin until third grade, younger student are often bombarded with practice tests that narrow the curriculum and often leave them hating school. Given that standardized testing is rooted in a history of racism and eugenics, if you are elected president, will you commit to ending the use of standardized testing in public schools?
“Yes,” Biden answered. “As one of my friends and black pastors I spend a lot of time [with] … would say, you’re preaching to the choir, kid. Because look, that’s why teachers, teachers should be able to determine the curricula in their schools. I’m not trying to be nice, there’s some lousy teachers out there, okay? … I’m not saying every teacher’s a great teacher. What I am saying is, you know what it takes to communicate to a child what in fact they need to know.”
Biden: “Yes,” I’ll ban standardized testing in American schools pic.twitter.com/fZZMuH5wN3
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 14, 2019