American Federation of Teachers president, Randi Weingarten, was called a "backpedaling hack" for penning blameless tweet about "everyone" suffering during the pandemic as the nation's report card reveals drastic impacts to reading and math skills.
"The bottom line is everyone suffered in the pandemic… because of the pandemic. The disruption was everywhere, and it was bad regardless of whether schools were remote or in person. We are focused now on the urgent need to help kids recover and thrive," Weingarten tweeted.
Math scores saw their largest decreases ever, while reading scores dropped to levels not seen since 1992 for fourth and eighth graders across the country, according to the Nation’s Report Card.
The average mathematics score for fourth-grade students fell five points from 2019 to 2022. The score for eight-graders dropped eight points. Reading for both grades fell three points since 2019.
Weingarten faced blow back on social media, with critics saying Weingarten was trying to avoid blame for the decrease in academic scores.
Contributing editor at the Spectator, Stephen Miller, said, "Here's another example of ‘It’s not important for who is to blame."
Managing editor of RedState, Kira Davis, said, "You're too late, Randi… The adults will take it from here."
John Cardillo, a former radio host, called Weingarten a "backpedaling hack."
Maud Maron, an activist for reopening schools blasted Weingarten for putting the union first, and kids last.
A Florida State board of education member, Ryan Petty, accused Weingarten of gaslighting.
School choice activist, Corey DeAngelis, quipped that Weingarten restricting replies to her tweet was just "like you closed schools."
DeAngelis added Weingarten should consider checking out of Twitter. "Delete your account," he said.
Angela Morabito, a spokesperson for the Defense of Freedom Institute accused Weingarten of "lying" "again."
New York Post columnist, Karol Markowicz, said "hi, you're the problem, it's you."
Rory Cooper, a partner at PurpleStrats – a reputation management firm – said, "No, every child didn't suffer Only the kids in public schools under your control. You did that."
Research at Harvard and Stanford found that achievement losses "were larger in higher poverty districts."
The study revealed that the pandemic "widened disparities in achievement between high and low-poverty schools."
Furthermore, the study shows that a "quarter of schools with the highest shares of students receiving federal lunch subsidies missed two-thirds of a year of math learning, while the quarter of schools with the fewest low-income students lost two-fifths of a year."