Critics blast Biden plan for 250,000 tutors to correct learning losses that he and supporters helped cause

President Biden has promised to fix learning losses from the COVID-19 pandemic, though critics argue his administration created the gap to begin with. 

Pandemic learning losses prompted the Biden administration last week to urge schools to use American Rescue Plan Act funds for tutoring, summer learning and enrichment and afterschool programs. The act distributed $122 billion among the 50 states to “help schools safely reopen and stay open, combat learning loss, and address student mental health and other needs.” 

Biden also encouraged states to use ARP funds to fully staff schools, amid reports of nationwide teacher shortages. 

“America’s students are, on average, two to four months behind in reading and math because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the White House said in its statement. 

The administration promised to ensure learning gains by tracking progress via monthly surveys, highlighting schools, outlining how local municipalities can help, and empowering parents. 

The administration’s promises come after the creation of its controversial – and allegedly ideologically unbalanced – Parents and Families Engagement Council. The council is perceived as an effort to reconcile parents to the administration after its having demonized them earlier through the Department of Justice. 

The administration also has launched the National Partnership for Student Success (NPSS), a coalition of “leading organizations” to spur academic recovery. “NPSS will help expand high-impact tutoring, mentoring, and other evidence-based support programs that help students succeed,” the administration said. 

In the next three years, NPSS wants to add 250,000 adults in high-impact roles such as tutors and mentors. 

NPSS is comprised of and supported by organizations such as the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers – two teachers’ unions that critics have deemed actually responsible for much of the learning losses by fighting to keep schools closed during the pandemic. 

Critics have taken to Twitter to express concern about the president’s efforts to fix the learning loss, saying his administration created the problem in the first place. 

“[These] teachers unions fought to keep schools closed for over a year,” tweeted school choice advocate Corey DeAngelis. 

Texas state Rep. Brian Harrison also blasted the administration’s efforts: 

Mr. President, your CDC literally colluded with the teachers unions to keep schools closed. That – and the monopoly too many governments have on education – is why kids are behind.” 

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