Every major newspaper carried a story this morning about the sharp decline in NAEP scores because of the pandemic.

The moral of the story is that students need to have human contact with a teacher and classmates to learn best. Virtual learning is a fourth-rate substitute for a real teacher and interaction with peers.

Tech companies have told us for years that we should reinvent education by replacing teachers with computers. We now know: Virtual learning is a disaster.

The crisis we should worry about most is the loss of experienced teachers, who quit because of poor working conditions, low pay, and attacks by “reformers” who blame teachers at every opportunity.

The pandemic isolated children from their teachers. It caused them to be stuck in front of a computer. They were bored.

They needed human interaction. They needed to look into the eyes of a teacher who encouraged them to do better, a teacher who explained what they didn’t understand.

The NAEP scores are a wake-up call. We must treasure our teachers and recognize the vital role they play in educating the next generation.

Any politician who disrespects teachers by calling them “pedophiles” and “groomers” should be voted out of office.

Every “reformer” who disparages teachers should be required to teach for one month, under close supervision, of course.