In promoting the reopening of schools this fall, Trump administration officials have, at times, inaccurately described the evidence on how COVID-19 affects children.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos used an outdated figure in claiming only 10% of school districts had “provided any kind of real curriculum and instruction program” after the coronavirus pandemic caused schools to shut down this spring. That was the case for 82 districts in late March, but by late April, 56% were doing so. In late May, the figure was 67%.
Newt Gingrich got it wrong when he claimed “an entry-level janitor gets paid twice as much as an entry-level teacher” in New York City.
An entry-level “cleaner” is the closest thing to Gingrich’s description of an “entry-level janitor,” and someone in that position is paid substantially less than an entry-level teacher. Some may be surprised to learn that “custodial engineers” are better paid than teachers. But they are supervisors (not entry-level janitors), and even they are not paid twice as much.
Last year, the president touted U.S. gains in education, saying that our “fourth- and eighth-graders achieved the highest math scores on record.” He bragged that “African-American and Hispanic students posted all-time highs.” Last week, the president said those eighth-graders weren’t so great at math after all …