In December, President-elect Joe Biden announced his policy on opening schools. “My team will work to see that the majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days,” he said, while promising to provide the funds needed to make them safe.

Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki seemed to change the target. The new goal was for “more than 50 percent” of schools to have “some teaching in classrooms” on “at least one day a week.” Even before that, the target had been adjusted. Prior to being sworn in, Biden switched his pledge from opening a majority of schools to opening a majority of K-8 schools. Asked about his position during Tuesday night’s town hall event in Wisconsin, the president seemed to pivot again. He said there’d been a “mistake in the communication.” He said his goal was to get schools “fully open” and that he thought many schools would stay open through the summer. But the policy is still a muddle, and the president failed to set matters straight.

A version of this editorial first appeared in Bloomberg.