Many parents around the nation have grappled with their children missing large chunks of in-person learning at schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, but in an interview with Los Angeles Magazine, United Teachers Los Angeles President Cecily Myart-Cruz claimed, "There is no such thing as learning loss."
When the outlet interviewed Myart-Cruz in May, she claimed that while kids may not have mastered all of their multiplication tables, they did learn "survival" and "resilience."
"There is no such thing as learning loss," the union president said when questioned about how her insistence on keeping schools mostly shut down over the prior year and a half might have have impacted the city's K-12 students, according to the outlet.
"Our kids didn't lose anything. It's OK that our babies may not have learned all their times tables. They learned resilience. They learned survival. They learned critical-thinking skills. They know the difference between a riot and a protest. They know the words insurrection and coup," she said.
Myart-Cruz also claimed that requesting "police-free schools" is "not radical."
"It is not radical to ask for ethnic studies," she said, according Los Angeles Magazine. "It is not radical to ask for childcare. It's not radical to ask for police-free schools so that students don't feel criminalized. That is not radical; that's just fact."
During the last school year, Myart-Cruz condemned a plan that offered financial incentives for schools that fulfilled specific criteria related to offering in-person education.
"If you condition funding on the reopening of schools, that money will only go to white and wealthier and healthier school communities that do not have the transmission rates that low-income Black and Brown communities do," Myart-Cruz said in a statement in March. "This is a recipe for propagating structural racism and it is deeply unfair to the students we serve."
The magazine quoted Garry Joseph, an individual who taught in a room next to Myart-Cruz back when she worked at Emerson Middle School.
"Kids complained about her because she was strict," Joseph recalled. "But at the end of the year, they adored her.
"Cecily wishes the world could be more like a classroom where she could get people to break down the boundaries between them and make them into a community," Joseph said. "With her in charge."