The head of Los Angeles’ largest teachers union, Cecily Myart-Cruz, denied that lockdowns and remote learning during the pandemic harmed students.
“There is no such thing as learning loss,” Myart-Cruz, with the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) replied when asked about the impact on 600,000 K-12 students after mostly locking schools for a year and a half due to COVID-19. The comments were noted in a recent article by LA magazine. (RELATED: LA Teachers Union Demands Defunding Of Police, Medicare-For-All And Ban On New Charter Schools As Conditions For Reopening Schools)
“Our kids didn’t lose anything,” she added. “It’s OK that our babies may not have learned all their time tables. They learned resilience. They learned survival. They learned critical-thinking skills.” (RELATED: Teachers Unions Still Oppose Schools Immediately Reopening Despite CDC Study Showing Little Risk)
— Los Angeles Magazine (@LAmag) August 29, 2021
“They know the difference between a riot and a protest,” the union head continued. “They know the words insurrection and coup.”
The piece noted that Myart-Cruz also suggested that the term “learning loss” is a fake crisis.
Under Cruz’s leadership as the head of the union, the UTLA has pushed progressive issues like racial justice, financial support for undocumented families, rental and eviction relief, the elimination of school police at LAUSD and making the curriculum “culturally relevant,” meaning getting funds for ethnic studies, the outlet noted.
“It is not radical to ask for ethnic studies,” Myart-Cruz insisted. “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.”
“Education is political,” she added. “People don’t want to say that, but it is.”
Cruz, who won the election in the summer of 2020 to become the union president, took over months into the pandemic and at the height of George Floyd protests. In her speech, she said that reopening schools “without … a broader improvement of schools will be unsafe and will only deepen … racial and class inequalities.”
Myart-Cruz has faced criticism from parents who protested outside the union’s office tower with signs that read, “Cecily Myart-Cruz Doesn’t Care about Our Kids.” They also chanted slogans such as, “We demand a seat at the table!”
“You can recall the Governor,” Cecily replied when asked about calls for her resignation by some and the protests. “You can recall the school board. But how are you going to recall me?”