The New York Times finally admits devastating impact of school closures

The New York Times Editorial Board recently published an op-ed on how school closures during COVID-19 “may prove to be the most damaging disruption in the history of American education” based on the “startling evidence of learning loss” that “is now in.”

It took the New York Times over three years to give credence to what many of us — and the data — were saying very early on and getting attacked for saying. What started as a public health intervention soon expanded into a public policy response that brought considerable and unnecessary cost upon our next generation of leaders.

Now, “when the damage has already been done to both American children and those dissenters who challenged the fear-mongering, and data-denying mainstream narrative with actual science and facts,” the New York Times “has finally deemed this subject acceptable to talk about,” writes Jennifer Sey for the Brownstone Institute.

Student progress in math and reading has been set back decades, achievement gaps have widened between lower-income students and their more affluent peers, mental health challenges have worsened, chronic absenteeism has skyrocketed, and trillions of dollars in lifetime earnings are likely gone.

“Furthermore,” Sey continues, “this ‘journalistic’ outfit fails to acknowledge their own complicity in these devastating results” when they “elevated the voices of those who furthered fear with a schools nee[d] to be closed or else all the children and teachers will die hysteria.”

The New York Times failed to interrogate the issue of closed schools during Covid in real time. They platformed fear-mongers and silenced, vilified, or just ignored dissenters, which included renowned doctors and scientists who dared to challenge the mainstream narrative like those featured in the pages of this publication. 

The New York Times consistently published government and Big Pharma issued press releases as if they were journalism. They platformed the spokespeople of these entities and their paid influencers furthering unwarranted fear and packaging it as “the science.”

The New York Times Editorial Board concludes its recent piece with concern over school closures’ harm to students, calling for a “collective sense of urgency by all Americans” to “avert” the “most devastating effects on the nation’s children.”

Finally we are seeing acknowledgment that school closures were a grave mistake. It is devastating, though, that this realization didn’t happen sooner, and more accounting for is needed given the millions of children who were drawn into the political maelstrom.