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Chicago Teachers Union deletes tweet labeling push to reopen schools as ‘rooted in sexism, racism and misogyny’

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After deleting a tweet claiming that the effort to reopen school is “rooted in sexism, racism and misogyny,” the Chicago Teachers Union is facing severe backlash, The Washington Examiner reported Monday.

This comes as many schools across the country have returned to exclusively online learning, as COVID-19 cases spike around the country and alarmingly sends the total number of related deaths in the U.S. past 282,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Many parents across the nation, however, have resisted these changes and have called on schools to let children continue learning in person.

According to a screenshot of the now-deleted tweet, it was published on Sunday at 1:03 pm and had accumulated almost 2,000 quote tweets compared to its nearly 600 likes.

The CTU, The Examiner‘s Tyler Van Dyke writes, has published numerous tweets highlighting the growing disparities in health outcomes from the novel coronavirus for people of color. One of their retweets called social distancing a “privilege,” pointing to a study that showed neighborhoods which had “crowded housing or had fewer people who could work from home” and neighborhoods composed predominantly of people of color “saw more COVID-19 deaths,” Van Dyke reports.

“For each additional percentage point of the population that was Black, there was a 32 percent increase in the COVID-19 death rate, and for each additional percentage point of the population that was Hispanic/Latino, there was an 19 percent increase in the COVID-19 death rate,” the study states. “Conversely, neighborhoods with a higher percentage of Asian or white residents saw lower death rates.”

Some critics of the CTU, Van Dyke writes, refer to a California lawsuit launched by seven families who allege that remote learning in the Golden State “left many already-underserved students functionally unable to attend school,” according to The Washington Post. Education advocates have been worrying about remote learning, claiming that it “will widen the achievement gap that separates Black, Latino and poor students from their peers.”

Following the overwhelming criticism they received from the tweet, the CTU posted a tweet on Sunday addressing the controversy, writing that reopening schools was a “complex issue” which “requires nuance” and “much more discussion.”

“Fair enough. Complex issue,” the CTU tweeted. “Requires nuance. And much more discussion. More important, the people and the decision affects deserve more. So we’ll continue [to] give them that.”

https://twitter.com/CTULocal1/status/1335718772200665091?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1335718772200665091%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonexaminer.com%2Fnews%2Fchicago-teachers-union-removes-tweet-claiming-push-to-reopen-schools-rooted-in-sexism-racism-and-misogyny

Want to read more about this story? Read the full Washington Examiner story here.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Remote Learning Lowered Test Scores in Every State; Minority Students Hit the Worst

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Remote Learning

A paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) shows remote learning has had a negative impact on students’ test scores in every state. Not only were students across the country affected, minority students were impacted the most.

According to the publication, remote learning led to declines in test scores for English and math, when compared to scores of students who went to schools with more in-person learning. “Our research shows that test score losses are significantly larger in districts with less in-person learning,” said Emily Oster, professor of economics at Brown University.

“This suggests, yes, that virtual learning was – and is – less effective than in-person learning, at least as measured by school-based testing” added Oster. “Passing rates in math declined by 14.2 percentage points on average; we estimate this decline was 10.1 percentage points smaller for districts fully in-person,” the study found.

The research combined “district-level schooling mode data from the 2020-21 school year,” “district-level test score data from 2015 to 2021” and “demographic data from the NCES,” according to the study.

Data was collected from students in third to eighth grades in 12 states: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Score declines showed variations by state, as well. Virginia “which had the most complete virtual learning time, along with Colorado, saw an almost 32% drop on math test scores in the 2020-21 school year when compared to the 2018-19 school year” reports Tampa Free Press.

Wyoming, however, “which had the most in-person learning, along with Florida, saw just a 2.3% drop in English, the study found.”

“Changes in English Language Arts (ELA) were smaller than math scores overall, but drops in scores were greater in districts with larger black and Hispanic populations and students eligible for free and reduced lunch prices” reports Tampa Free Press.

“Districts that have a larger share of black and Hispanic students and less in-person schooling also saw a greater decline in ELA test scores than those with more in-person schooling. “

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