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THIS is why people homeschool … and/or send their kids to charter, private schools

Charter school enrollment has nearly tripled in the last decade and the number of families electing to homeschool has increased as well.  If the educators confab in Philadelphia a week ago is any indication, it’s pretty easy to understand why.

(Enrollment in private schools, after a surge during the mid-90s tech boom, has since fallen to around 5.4 million from a 2001-02 peak of 6.3 million. Charters, homeschooling and a poor economy have contributed to the decline.)

Members of the Caucus of Working Educators, which early this year “engaged” city students in a “Black Lives Matter Week of Action,” spent last Saturday discussing matters that have little to do with best teaching practices and curriculum; instead, they pondered how to be activists in the classroom, and how to best dismantle that ever-nebulous syndrome known as white supremacy.

With respect to the latter, aside from the head-scratching notion that schools and colleges shy away from the topic, the Caucus evidently did a lot of talking, but didn’t manage — like so many other groups and institutions — to formulate actual, realistic remedies for the alleged malady.

Take Caucus co-founder Amy Roat, for example:

We think it’s a fundamental problem in our country that causes a lot of other problems […] We all live in the system of white supremacy, whoever you are, and it is unseen by most white people and it isn’t talked about and we’re not connecting white supremacy to our life experience in the classroom or in the community. So we need to explicitly do that in order to learn and grow.

What … does that even mean? 

Then there was Massachusetts Teachers Association President Barbara Madeloni who felt the need to toss our economic system into the mix:

“When I think about dismantling white supremacy…it’s so important to ask ourselves the hard questions […] particularly white people asking the right questions.”

Capitalism and white supremacy “shape how we understand who we are, no matter what our skin color or racial identity…This is just work I’m trying to do. I don’t have answers about this work. I can offer experiences to expand upon.”

Ah, yes, capitalism. But still no solutions.

MORE: Philly teacher charged with making terroristic threats to cop at city statue protest

Alas, a few fairly concrete examples of white supremacy managed to eventually surface, such as standardized testing and how schools are funded.

Madeloni says the former is based on the “white norm,” while the latter is “inherently racist”:  “In Massachusetts, we have schools where toilets are not working, and when you go into those schools, you see black and brown faces, not white children,” she said.

There’s an argument to be made that currently there is too much standardized testing in schools (and you can thank our first non-white president for that to a large degree), but even Laurence Fishburne’s Furious Styles conceded standardized math tests, at least, are “universal.” Not to mention, Asians and Asian-Americans seem to be doing rather well in their fight against that “white norm.”

It’s also a legitimate claim that school funding via property taxes is unfair; however, every state is different (California schools, for example, only get 29% of funding via property taxes and “other local sources”), and more money certainly isn’t necessarily correlated with better academic achievement.

Madeloni also addressed charter schools, saying “We have to be willing to have a conversation as to why parents make that choice and listen to them,” but then, apparently not making a connection, continued with “[…] and ask who we are as educators and what we are going to do to make schools places actively working to dismantle white supremacy.”

Here’s a sampling of what other attendees added:

In the morning, [Keziah] Ridgeway, who grew up in a public housing project in North Philadelphia and went to Girls High,  was one of two teachers who led a session on “critically examining race inside the classroom and beyond,” to explore “the multiple manifestations of racism within our society.” A concurrent session meant for white teachers talked about “decentering whiteness in our classes and schools,” which explored how white values and norms permeate everything – including how tests are constructed and how students are evaluated. …

“Folks are beginning to realize that we’re not going to have a winning strategy if we don’t start confronting white supremacy at the center of our work,” [Ismael] Jimenez said. “We can’t just be another reform organization tweaking at the structures, we need transformational change.” …

Ryan Warwick, who is an African American female, grew up in Maryland and now teaches special education at Mastery Charter-Gratz.  Among educators, “there are so many places people are entering the conversation from,” she said. “Some educators never want to mention race, at least not in the professional realm.” For many, it’s not that they don’t want to talk about it, but that they don’t know how, and they are busy; “they just go and do their lesson plans.”

Ms. Ridgeway noted that, for her, “teaching and activism can’t be separated”:

“Since I was in high school and protested the Iraq war, I was always committed to using my voice to advocate for the voiceless,” she said. “It’s why I became a teacher. I feel like teaching and being an advocate go hand in hand.”

How were opponents of the Iraq War “voiceless,” exactly? Were there not routine anti-war protests here and abroad in the early-mid 2000s? And how would you feel, Ms. Ridgeway, if your high school history teacher was in favor of the war … and advocated for such during class? Would that make you upset?

The only advocacy in which a teacher should engage in the classroom is making sure her charges know how to read, write, do math, and … to think for themselves.

MORE: Berkeley teacher who leads leftist violence arrested on assault charges

MORE: Teachers group bringing ‘Black Lives Matter Week of Action’ to Philadelphia schools

IMAGE: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
Assistant Editor
Dave Huber is assistant editor of The College Fix. He has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over a decade, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. Dave is a retired educator with over 25 years of service who holds a B.A. and M.Ed. from the University of Delaware, as well as graduate student membership in the National Association of Scholars.

Add to the Discussion

  • Byrd Westbrook

    Contrary to the rantings of Left-wing dimwits, none of us lives in a system of white supremacy. The only white supremacists I have noticed are Left-wing dimwits, but they are not a “system.”

    • Unmutual One

      They control several systems, however.

    • ItsOK2kek

      Horrible people are trying to inculcate of sense of racial-shame in children for something they have no control over, that they were born white.
      While they’re not hectoring the white kids about how it’s not OK to be white, they’re talking to them about being gay and other weird sexual crap.

      The government we’re paying for is doing this to our kids.

  • dzhugashvili

    Much of the Marxist left dominating ‘public’ education and ‘higher’ education is evidencing clear symptoms of paranoid psychosis. They are rapidly developing a language to communicate and instansiate and transmit their insanity to unprotected or undeveloped minds. Unfortunately otherwise loving and intelligent parents are voluntarily turning their innocent children over to be raised by literal lunatics. This will not end well.

  • ItsOK2kek

    So pretty much every school needs this posted where all the kids can see

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/21ca5363836f102293c10532b3e644a09d46e3a766cfc8c8ff1854cb6e8cb080.png

    • Stenka Razin

      BRAVO!

  • Angie STRS

    I pulled my kid out of Kindergarten when they started to talk to him about 9/11. Excuse me, that is not a proper conversation with a 5 year old. He does not understand war or other crimes. It is brainwashing to its best. Plus the fact is that schools are about to raise little sheep that do not question anything they have to say. No thanks

  • Veritasss

    Suffering from ‘White Skin Disease’ myself, I have to rely on wisdom and intelligence to see what’s coming. I see a Cultural Marxist move to dismantle America from within by fostering false narratives that divide us. Distrust, Inequality, Selective Brutality–these are the seeds they cultivate. They mislead the young who lack perspective and experience and encourage them to overthrow the ‘old regime’. You only have to go to the websites of the thinly-veiled Communist organizations that promote this to see their devious plan to dismantle all that made America great–our Judeo-Christian values, our work ethic, our traditions, our sense of community–and replace it with their failed ideology enroute to one-world governance. They already own the NEA (National Education Association). Look it up 🙂

  • Rebekah Anderson

    This is already happening in my Daughter’s High School. And we live in a Conservative state!
    Social Justice Shouting Matches in World Civ class, Nonstop Global Warming in Economics, Comparing BLM books to the Declaration of Independence…parents have no idea what’s going on.

    One History teacher is fighting back by showing students how history repeats itself. But the textbooks are so biased he has to bring in additional sources. If the school found out, he’d probably get fired.

    My daughter comes home every day and we discuss everything. Real education happens at home, whether you “homeschool” or not.

  • Dr. Donny

    As a racist, classist, cisgender, heterosexist, ableist, meritocratic member of the white privileged supremacist hedgemony who just happens to have STEM PhD from a top school, I wish I was as smart as these post-modern neo-Marxists.

  • Carrie Kube

    You know, I could see a growing market for private tutors for single or small groups of children. (Not every parent is cut out for homeschooling.) As long as they’re unbiased and willing to education over indoctrinate.

  • Russell

    Can someone help me on this. Aren’t white poeple the global minority? So ….. hmmmm should we as the global minority be given special treatment? I think the conversation should be how do we (globally) help white poeple feel included and how to we help preserve their euro-culture…. Can the global majority please answer?

  • Melissa Higginbotham

    And yet if anyone were to have rallies talking about how being black or of African decent was not good these people would be in such an uproar. Yet since it’s about white people let’s just allow them to tell and shame others for skin color. Was not the last century filled with trying to overcome skin color being tied to anything? Yet here we are and it’s worse than ever.