The head of the LA teachers union says learning loss during the pandemic isn't real. Instead, she says that "There is no such thing as learning loss."

"Our kids didn't lose anything," Cecily Myart-Cruz said. "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."

Myart-Cruz sat down with a reporter from Los Angeles Magazine to be praised for her efforts to keep kids out of school, and without an education, for months on end while the union fought against efforts to reopen schools. In Myart-Cruz's view, the very concept of learning loss is just a fake crisis, reports Los Angeles Magazine.

In March, Myart-Cruz was slammed by parents in LA who were horrified when she claimed that parents who wanted their kids back in school were racist. At the time, Myart-Cruz said that UTLA was "being unfairly targeted by people who are not experiencing this disease in the same ways as students and families are in our communities. If this was a rich person's disease, we would've seen a very different response. We would not have the high rates of infections and deaths. Now educators are asked instead to sacrifice ourselves, the safety of our students and the safety of our schools."

Parents, black and white, fired back saying that the union boss "does not speak for us." Parent Lamar Freeman said that "every parent he talks to wants their kids back in school." As the coach of a youth football team in the Watts neighborhood of LA since 2011, Freeman said that prior to Zoom learning, his team had an 80 percent honor roll rate that had since dropped to 20 percent.

Myart-Cruz demanded that schools in LA stay closed until all teachers and staff were fully vaccinated. "The fact is that the plan does not supersede our legal right to bargain working conditions with LAUSD and our continued determination to do so," she said.

Some teachers were advised not to post vacation pictures of themselves on social media because it would reveal the hypocrisy of the UTLA's demands to keep schools closed if teachers could be seen partying it up over spring break.

In a private Facebook group called UTLA FB GROUP-Members Only, 5,700 members were warned to keep their pics private. The post read:

"Friendly reminder: If you are planning any trips for Spring Break, please keep that off of Social Media. It is hard to argue that it is unsafe for in-person instruction, if parents and the public see vacation photos and international travel."

Myart-Cruz has been head of the UTLA since summer 2020, and her focus was not on education, but on social justice issues. She's concerned about Medicare for all, taxing millionaires, financial assistance for undocumented immigrant families, and eviction relief. This while LA school children were barred from attending in-person classes. Under her leadership, the UTLA boycotted Israel.

She's been pressing for ethnic studies curriculum, and told LA Magazine that "It is not radical to ask for ethnic studies. 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."

An Orange County parent recently slammed the ethnic studies curriculum. Victor Cota, a "graduate at the Santa Ana Unified School District and immigrant from Mexico and it was a DACA student," said that the California DOE are actually racist in their approach.

"It's ironic that the ones calling America systematically racist, such as the California Department of Education are the biggest offenders," said Cota.

"When non English speaking parents requested to give input for the ethnic studies curriculum. During the statewide review process, the California Department of Education denied them equitable access by failing to provide the document in Spanish," Cota continued.

"This is hypocrisy. Why did they exclude them? Maybe because educational leads do not want immigrant parents to know that open ended gender choices are included in ethnic studies as intersectional identities," said Cota.

Having already noted that "times tables" are not a priority, Myart-Cruz said that "Education is political. People don't want to say that, but it is."

And it was Myart-Cruz who led the UTLA in opposing California's school reopening plans, saying that "Reopening schools without…a broader improvement of schools will be unsafe and will only deepen…racial and class inequalities."

It was in March 2021 that the state tried to get the recalcitrant UTLA to let kids go back to school. But Myart-Cruz had no time for that, saying that the incentives being offered were merely "a recipe for propagating structural racism."

Hybrid learning remained for LA students, and when "parents complained," Jason McGahan writes for LA Magazine, "pointing to the low incidence of COVID cases in schools that had fully reopened, Myart-Cruz dismissed their concerns as the product of their unexamined privilege."

It was in June that the UTLA finally approved a plan to get kids back into school for the fall term. But as regards learning this September, Myart-Cruz does not seem prepared to give up her stranglehold on LA education. McGahan asked about a return to classrooms, and Myart-Cruz said "We will be going back to the table for that conversation."