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More than a year into the pandemic, the majority of K-12 students in blue states are still not attending school in person full-time.

More than a year into the pandemic, the majority of K-12 students in blue states are still not attending school in person full-time. The failure to resume the normal rhythm of schooling in historically progressive states amounts to the most significant failure of public policy in a generation.

What began as needed and understandable caution with the onset of COVID-19 has long since veered into the irresponsible. Democratic governors, leaders of the largest teachers’ unions and many local Democratic elected officials — a cadre that regales in the blood sport of attacking Trumpism for being anti-science — have consistently disregarded the overwhelming scientific evidence that opening full-time is doable and safe for most schools. For many left-leaning and moderate voters, such as myself — particularly those with school-age children — this has proven to be an unforgivable mistake considering the downside risks associated with closures.

We’ve witnessed lost instructional time, widening education disparities and the deterioration of students’ mental health. Less often discussed in this context is a record surge of gun violence nationwide, with youth violence afflicting cities like Philadelphia and St. Louis. The victims are predominantly young men of color. And while we can’t draw a direct line to closures, it is entirely likely that lost connections to institutions of community life have influenced a rise in violence throughout the country.

There are many reasons we’ve landed here, including a decentralized system of government and decision-making. But our Achilles’ heel has once again been a knee-jerk retrenchment to ideological and political fault lines, allowing public-health and education decisions to be sucked into the all-consuming vortex of partisan politics.

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The Real Side

The Real Side

Posts categorized under "The Real Side" are posted by the Editor because they are deemed worthy of further discussion and consideration, but are not, by default, an implied or explicit endorsement or agreement. The views of guest contributors do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of The Real Side Radio Show or Joe Messina. By publishing them we hope to further an honest and civilized discussion about the content. The original author and source (if applicable) is attributed in the body of the text. Since variety is the spice of life, we hope by publishing a variety of viewpoints we can add a little spice to your life. Enjoy!

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