Washington Watch

U.S. Education Secretary: Teachers know best

Handling of COVID-19 pandemic, growth of social and emotional learning cut into the idea of blanket trust

When does five equal seven? When the U.S. secretary of education is arguing that teachers know their students best, “because they are with them every day.”

The full May 19 tweet from Education Secretary Miguel Cardona reads:

Teachers know what is best for their kids because they are with them every day. We must trust teachers.

Parents send their kids to school to learn reading, writing and arithmetic. Not social and emotional learning. Not critical race theory. Not that 2 + 2 = 5. (And 5 = 7.)

Schools across America have veered from their expertise into these non-academic matters by choice, not popular demand. That’s not trustworthy. It bespeaks a field that has chosen the easy way out. Schools can’t teach kids anymore. So instead they affirm them.

Every time a parent drops off a child at school, that is an act of trust. It’s on teachers to retain that trust. Trust is hard-earned, easily lost, and never to be assigned blindly.

“Teachers know what is best for their kids” was put to the test during the COVID-19 pandemic. But it was teachers unions that led the push for extended school closures in cities like Detroit, insisting on a litany of concessions before deigning to return to in-person teaching.

This was an odd way for teachers to treat “their kids” — denying them the in-person teaching they signed up for, and whose lack they suffered for.

Teachers need to stick to the script. Reading, writing, and arithmetic. Keeping schools open for the majority of students who prefer in-person schooling.

Mother and father know best. Teachers need to stay in their lane.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.