Lawmakers Hear about Loss of Learning Caused by Pandemic, Voicing Old Criticism about Education System | Politics
It’s no surprise, then, that Hofmeister’s reception during the Republican-dominated hearing turned a bit cold. Lawmakers brought in their in-house expert, a Ph.D. candidate working for the Legislative Office of Tax Transparency, who said virtual learning in Texas hasn’t worked out too well.
While the session was meant to focus on COVID-19-related learning loss and how to overcome it, the discussion quickly turned to old complaints about pre-pandemic test results and why the high school students do not take more math.
“(Voters) have seen huge sums of money (spent) for years, and the numbers are not there,” said Rep. Dick Lowe, R-Amber.
One of the most frequent critics in public education, Representative Chad Caldwell, R-Enid, said it was “not correct” to blame COVID-19 for the failures of the system.
“We were below the national average long before COVID,” he said. “Before I pretend that this COVID is some kind of anomaly, that it’s all of a sudden the reason our kids are fighting,… pretending we aren’t already struggling (to meet national standards),… I don’t think this helps us solve the problem. “
“We were not and are not competitive at the national level, let alone at the global level,” replied Hofmeister. “But you can’t do it without teachers. This is why talking about how to hold on to our educators, our teachers, well equipped and resourced teachers, was the first priority.