You know that only parents know what’s best for their children. But the Democrats are treating parents rising up against critical race theory and graphic sexual lessons in schools like they’re criminals. That’s a big mistake, as can be seen in the results in Virginia, where Republican Glenn Youngkin won handily on a platform of empowering parents.
In 2010, Americans came together to protest the high taxes and the destruction of America’s free healthcare system embedded in Obamacare. The nationwide anger being stirred in parents over CRT has a similar feel. Gilbert T. Sewall explains the rise of America’s parents, calling it a “nationwide school revolt.” He writes in Spectator World:
CRT is not a theory but a rallying cry. It is lay shorthand for the many “equity” programs, diversity training sessions, and lesson plans that single out white children as inherently privileged and insist white supremacy saturates American institutions past and present. There are other parent complaints tangled up with CRT, not least of them transgender rights. The New York Times’ 1619 Project, which seeks to reframe U.S. history in terms of slavery and racial oppression, and California’s recently adopted ethnic studies curriculum are also well-aired irritants. Freestyle sex education, multilingualism, and restorative justice leave parents cold. They do not fixate on one or another phobia, coming climate disasters, gun violence, or suicide prevention. Pride months and self esteem-building birthday parties are not their idea of school reform.
Teachers’ unions and allied organizations expect elected politicians to follow their edicts, most sedulously in Democratic states with strong labor networks: New York, California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois, for example. The National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers, with some 3.6 million members combined, demand homage to ossified theory and failed practice. The NEA has pushed anti-white racism for decades. “All white individuals are racists,” its 1973 classroom manual Education and Racism declares. “Even if whites are totally free from all conscious racial prejudices, they remain racists, for they receive benefits distributed by a white racist society through its institutions.”
Almost forty years later, the NEA maintains that many Americans deny their racial culpability and “want to ignore the systems of oppression that have harmed people of color.” The National School Boards Association, American Association School Administrators, National Association of State Boards of Education, and Council of Chief State School Officers follow suit. The education schools and certifiers do the rest. For the progressive left — public education’s dominant metro faction — conservative insurgents are not just wrong. They are morally impaired or evil.
The AFT’s ghastly Randi Weingarten oversees an army of hardened urban educators and teacher aides. During the last eighteen months, she has done her best under the guise of teacher protection and health concerns to keep schools closed and extort new goodies for her constituents. Children who depend on schools to provide basic services, medical care, meals, order, and shelter have been the most truant and underserved.
Public education cannot reform itself at the state or federal level. Many intrepid personalities have tried and failed. Any turn to open competition — not to say higher academic standards and restored affection for the humanities — would require educators to forego budget lines, salary points, work-to-rule contracts, sinecures, and residual ideals, if any. Those who are responsible for managing the nation’s public schools have created an elaborate charade designed to disguise inadmissible differences of aptitude, human nature, individual drive, and family background. They intend to keep it that way.
While activists wave banners, a larger number of parents quietly try to make arrangements to shield their own children from calumny and follies in safe, functional schools. In blue metro areas, even for those who have dollars to afford expensive property or tuition, they might be hard to find. Selective privates and high-performing public schools in gentry districts are often the most flamboyant left-wing virtue signalers.
School reform going forward means escape from Leviathan’s regulative maze and soulless mediocrity through public charters, private alternatives, and home schools grown into neighborhood clusters. It means uncoupling local operations from state and federal mandates, guidelines, and standardized ideological compliance, and invigorating parent choice.
Parents who pursue academic adequacy and demanding codes of conduct will be ruthless in their revealed preferences. They will not permit their children to be equity’s guinea pigs. So islands of scholastic quality will survive, and new oaks will grow out of acorns. In public education, systemic racism isn’t the quality killer. Systemic rigidities, legal protocols, union cartels, and self-interested bureaucracies are.
A parent-fueled school revolt surging nationwide looks to have momentum, and Virginia confirms the up-thrust. Levelheaded education traditionalists, including Youngkin, project common sense and sanity, promising restored public faith in “our” local schools. To do so, they must steel themselves for vicious attacks from powerful education interests happy to scuttle forever in the gloom of government-enforced stasis, mediocrity, and propaganda.
Action Line: If you live in a place where politicians and school administrators are hell-bent on “educating” your children against your wishes, it’s time to look for a better America, today.