California’s Department of Education is being sued by students whose education was negatively impacted by COVID lockdowns. (That plaintiff list could include every student warehoused in the state’s public schools.) But when attorneys for the students sought expert testimony from academics on the subject, government officials tried to block them from testifying. Academics were told they couldn’t testify if they had done any education work for the state.
The Public Policy Institute of California has attacked this state muzzle policy because the clear intent is to conceal the extent of the disproportionate damage suffered by children from poor families.
“Only 35% of low-income students met state standards in English language achievement (ELA) and 21% were proficient in math,” PPIC reported, “compared to 65% of higher-income students in ELA and 51% in math.”
After a lawsuit and much public criticism, the state finally agreed that researchers could testify on the effects of school closures, but only if they made no use of any data they’d gathered on behalf of the state agencies.
You don’t have to be a Sherlock Holmes to figure out what is going on here. State officials and the teachers’ unions don’t WANT the truth to come out — which is that their lockdown policies caused severe and lasting damage to children — especially those from low-income families. Think about the impact this will have on income disparities in the future.