Why We Ask: Our mission and operations are funded 100% by conservatives like you. Please help us continue to extend Liberty to the next generation and support the 2024 Patriots' Day Campaign today.

November 28, 2023

NYT Revisionist History on School Closings

Conservatives warned about long-term negative results for children’s education, and The New York Times finally gets it.

In yet another instance of conservatives being able to say “we told you so,” the New York Times editorial board recently discovered that “The Startling Evidence on Learning Loss Is In.” The editorial observes, “The school closures that took 50 million children out of classrooms at the start of the pandemic may prove to be the most damaging disruption in the history of American education.”

Golly, who knew? (That was rhetorical.)

Meanwhile, back in the spring of 2021, the Times pushed the opposite position. In an op-ed published in April of that year originally titled “Parents, Stop Talking About the ‘Lost Year,’” author and Times columnist Judith Warner argued that concerns over months-long pandemic school closures and the negative impact on children’s education were overblown.

At some point, the Time updated and softened Warner’s title to “How to Help Your Adolescent Think About the Last Year,” but the teaser still expressed the original sentiment: “Hint: It’s not a ‘lost year.’ Also, the screen time with friends? It’s good for their mental health.”

The article went on to downplay the whole problem. “Experts say some of [parents’] worries are justified — but only up to a point,” Warner said. “There’s no doubt that the pandemic has taken a major toll on many adolescents’ emotional well-being. … And there’s no question that witnessing their loneliness, difficulties with online learning and seemingly endless hours on social media has been enormously stressful for the adults who care about them the most. … Despite all of this, [therapist and school counselor Phyllis] Fagell, much like the dozen-plus other experts in adolescent development who were interviewed for this article, was adamant that parents should not panic — and that, furthermore, the spread of the ‘lost year’ narrative needed to stop. Getting a full picture of what’s going on with middle schoolers — and being ready to help them — they agreed, requires holding two seemingly contradictory ideas simultaneously in mind: The past year has been terrible. And most middle schoolers will be fine.”

Note that last sentence: “most middle schoolers will be fine.”

Evidently not. Indeed, the Times editorial board is now ringing the alarm bells over a generation of Americans behind in their education. School shutdowns have, the editors say, “set student progress in math and reading back by two decades and widened the achievement gap that separates poor and wealthy children.” So, which is it? Middle schoolers will be fine, or American educational progress has been set back 20 years?

As our own Mark Alexander observed early on: “The school shutdowns, which have enormous impact on families, are based in part on the lowest common denominator factor — the parent who is going to send their child to school sick because it was not convenient to keep him or her home. And when Americans begin to figure out the economic consequences of the state and local actions which have shuttered schools, events, and businesses, there will be political HELL to pay.”

The scribes at the Times and all over mainstream media were big proponents of shutting down schools for the entirety of 2020 and beyond as they perpetuated the flawed notion that protecting the most vulnerable — the elderly and immune-compromised — meant sacrificing the future development of the least vulnerable — school-age children.

Ironically but predictably, the Times is arguing for more government funding and intervention to fix the very problem the government caused.

Poor leadership was most clearly displayed in Democrat-run states, which opted for totalitarian, one-size-fits-all polices that maximized negative impacts across all of society rather than using a sensible conservative approach that used targeted actions aimed at protecting the most vulnerable while also seeking the least social disruption. Of course, the Times and other Leftmedia outlets decried the latter approach as equating to wishing death on others.

Three years on, and they’re acting like they have just been exposed to the notion that taking kids out of school would have seriously negative consequences down the road. And the most ridiculous thing about it is their call for more government “solutions” for America’s “learning loss crisis.” The Times editorial board geniuses write, “A collective sense of urgency by all Americans will be required to avert its most devastating effects on the nation’s children.”

Now they tell us.

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2024 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.