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Maybe Covid Loves the Blue-State Scene

Washington University economics professor Ian Fillmore, after reading this recent report in the New York Times, sent to me the following e-mail, which I share here in full with his kind permission:

Hi Don,

You probably saw this NYT article.

I was struck by the shameless blame-shifting. The headline tells us that “The Pandemic Erased Two Decadesof Progress in Math and Reading.” In the article itself, we learn that “Then came the pandemic, which shuttered schools across the country almost overnight.” Apparently, policymakers had no control over policy. Curiously, “In some parts of the country, the worst of the disruptions were short lived, with schools reopening that fall. But in other areas, particularly in big cities with large populations of low-income students and students of color, schools remained closed for many months, and some did not fully reopen until last year.” No word yet on why the pandemic closed schools in some places longer than others. I guess Covid is one tricky virus. Perhaps, the CDC and NIH could do some research on that question?