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Critics ruthlessly mock teachers' union president over her post about causes of home schooling spike: 'It's you, Randi.'
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Critics ruthlessly mock teachers' union president over her post about causes of home schooling spike: 'It's you, Randi.'

Randi Weingarten, the head of the American Federation of Teachers, took a break Sunday from championing radical causes to share an article to X detailing how the spike in home schooling that occurred during the pandemic wasn't a flash in the pan.

Weingarten made the mistake of captioning the post, "What's behind the increase in homeschooling," prompting concerned parents, conservatives, and other critics of her union's ruinous initiatives to read it as a question and provide their own answers, which the AFT boss later characterized as attacks.

While various commenters indicated leftist indoctrination efforts in the classroom helped drive the home schooling boom, the most common answer to Weingarten's unintended question appears to have been "you."

The report

The AFT boss linked to an Axios breakdown of a recent Washington Post report, which revealed home schooling is America's fastest-growing form of education.

In states where data was available for comparison, the Post indicated the number of home-schooled students jumped 51% over the past six years. Meanwhile, private school enrollment increased by 7% and public school enrollment dropped by 4%.

The Post found that for every 10 students in public schools during the 2021-2022 academic year across 390 districts, there was one home-schooled child. There are now an estimated 1.9 million to 2.7 million home-schooled students in the U.S. — a population likely to continue growing.

While home-school student enrollment since the 2017-2018 school year is up across the board, at least where recent data is available, New York, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee, California, Florida, and the District of Columbia have seen especially high increases — 103%, 94%, 91%, 77%, 78%, 72%, and 108%, respectively.

The rise has reportedly not dropped off since the end of the pandemic.

"This is a fundamental change of life, and it's astonishing that it's so persistent," Nat Malkus, deputy director of education policy at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Post.

"Policymakers should think, 'Wow — this is a lot of kids," said Elizabeth Bartholet, an emeritus Harvard Law School professor and child welfare advocate. "We should worry about whether they're learning anything."

While Batholet and others might only speculate about the quality of a home school education, it's abundantly clear the American public school system isn't cutting it.

Blaze News noted in May that the National Assessment of Educational Progress's 2022 assessment revealed that grade 8 students' history scores last year were the lowest they had been since the NAEP began monitoring in 1994. Significant declines in academic ability were also observed amongst public grade-schoolers in reading and mathematics as well as in other subjects. Such damning figures cast doubt on whether students are learning anything in public classrooms with AFT-linked educators.

The post

Although there was no question mark in Weingarten's post, captioned, "What's behind the increase in homeschooling," she was nevertheless deluged with answers.

Ricochet editor in chief Jon Gabriel responded, "You are."

Similarly Corey DeAngelis, executive director of the Education Freedom Institute, wrote, "It's you, Randi. It's you."

Spectator contributing editor Stephen Miller kept to the theme that Weingarten was the problem, sharing an image of a mirror.

Young Americans for Liberty suggested that Weingarten had unwittingly served as "one of the greatest homeschool advocates in American history." For that, Moms for Liberty indicated the 65-year-old leftist deserved thanks.

Gov. Ron DeSantis' press secretary, Jeremy Redfern, responded, "Can't believe she posted this unironically. The lack of introspection continues."

Weingarten called the Trump administration's proposal to reopen in-person learning in 2020 "reckless" and "cruel." While the AFT resisted a return to real work, union affiliates joined in, staging sickouts and going so far as to call reopening schools racist.

Weingarten and her strike-happy union reportedly also had a decisive hand in shaping the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, again preventing a wide scale resumption of normalcy.

These teacher-sought closures have been linked to a significant spike in mental illness, suicide, and obesity, as well to students' diminished immune systems and compromised academic development.

Weingarten's post has seen over 4.1 million times but only netted 210 likes at the time of publication.

In the comments, Weingarten wrote, "Ah, I see that the reply-guys are out in force attacking this tweet."

The AFT boss singled out possible remedies to a few problems she did not necessarily create, writing, "Look at the data: if we dealt w/gun violence, had robust anti-bullying programs & provided more services for special needs students, many of these parents wouldn't feel compelled to homeschool."

It appears the data Weingarten was alluding to derives from Washington Post-Schar School poll results published in September, which revealed some of the reasons parents provided for sparing their children from the American public school system. Beside religious factors, parents expressed concerns about school environments; a desire to provide moral instruction; dissatisfaction with academic standards; concerns about school shootings; liberal propagandizing; discrimination; and pandemic restrictions.

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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