According to a study released in mid-May by the Century Foundation, a progressive think tank, “In the 2018-19 school year, one in six students attended a school where over 90% of their peers were of the same race.” The report was published on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of Brown v Education Authority, the decision of the US Supreme Court, which ruled that state laws segregating public schools were unconstitutional.
While this may be new to some, the results are hardly surprising. For various reasons, people tend to live in areas populated by people of similar race and class. And to complete the picture, we have a ridiculous zip code-mandated education system that, thanks to the Big Government – Big Teacher Union duopoly, forces kids to attend the public school closest to their home — no matter what terrible it could be – in most of the country.
Then, on the frontline of freedom of education, a RealClear Opinion Research poll in February found that 72% of respondents support school choice, while just 18% oppose it. The results do not vary much by race, with 77% of Hispanics, 72% of Whites, 70% of Blacks, and 66% of Asians expressing support.
In March, the American Federation of Children released the results of a poll showing that 77% of respondents support Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), which allow parents to drop their children out of public schools and receive a deposit of public funds from the government – approved savings accounts with limited but multiple uses. Interestingly, the poll finds that 75% of Democrats support the ESAs, as do 85% of Hispanic voters and 84% of Black voters.
And not surprisingly, when a privatization move looks promising, the teachers’ unionists and their fellow travelers step up their fraudulent propaganda campaign. Traditionally, their argument revolved around money. Unions claim that “privatization is draining funds from public schools.” This is a terrible argument for so many reasons, but mainly because we should be funding students, not systems. The union’s other main talking point – one that’s being used increasingly these days – is that school choice is racist.
The universally quotable Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, insists: “Make no mistake: this use of privatization, coupled with divestment, are only slightly more polite cousins of segregation.” (A question for Weingarten and fellow election haters: While You despise any public money going to a parent who wants to send their child to private school, you laud Pell Grants These federal dollars go to needy college students and can be used to attend private colleges, including religious schools like Notre Dame and Brigham Young.But at the K-12 level, giving parents choices—vouchers, ESAs, etc., especially when used in a religious school, is your worst nightmare.Why is the private option perfectly fine for college students , but not for elementary and high school students?)
The teachers’ union rarely coherent mouthpiece, Diane Ravitch, blogged in early May that the “origins of school choice are well known; Opposition to the Brown decision.” She babbles on, calling libertarian Milton Friedman a “rightist” and claiming that “Republicans are dedicated to destroying public schools and stealing their funding.” Then she doubles down on her craziness and says, “My addendum: if they destroy our public schools, they will destroy public libraries, public lands, the right to vote and, in time, our democracy.”
The National Education Association, the country’s largest union, is a pit bull on the issue. She regularly criticizes every privatization measure. In a detailed article on its website, the union lists all the usual bromides – including the fact that the election leads to re-segregation.
Homeschooling is also in the crosshairs of proponents of the segregation myth. In May, MSNBC chimed in, sharing a tweet claiming that homeschooling is being driven by “the insidious racism of America’s religious right.”
And now for some facts.
Regarding the siphon argument, Martin Lueken, Director of Fiscal Policy and Analysis at EdChoice, examined actual school election participation rates and found that it has “no negative impact on public school systems or their funding. In fact, research suggests that greater uptake of elective programs leads to better student outcomes for the vast majority of students who choose to remain in public schools. Looking at these facts, it seems clear that the claims of exodus and damage caused by electoral programs are grossly exaggerated.”
Another analysis examined 11 election programs in eight states and DC. Of the 26 studies examining the effects of these programs on public school students, 24 show positive effects, one study shows no visible effects, and only one finds negative effects.
Regarding segregation, 10 empirical studies examined private school choice programs and nine find that the programs reduce it, while one shows no visible difference. Not one revealed that the election would result in any racial discrimination.
Despite MSNBC’s ridiculous homeschooling claims, the number of black homeschoolers jumped from 3.3% to 16.1% in 2020. As such, black children are homeschooling in far greater numbers than their white peers.
Milton Friedman’s claim is miles inaccurate. In fact, Friedman and his peers began touting coupons as a strategy to combat segregation. registered mail The Wall Street Journalstates researcher Phillip Magness that Virginia’s segregationist hardliners recognized the likely outcomes of school elections and began attacking them “as an existential threat to their white supremacist order.”
So, who are really the racists? Those who want black families to choose their school? Or the ones that force them to go to their often-failing zip code school?
Going forward, school choice should be branded as a civil rights issue. Lt. Col. Allen West put it best in a recent opinion piece.
“We must revitalize educational freedom and parental choice in America, this is the new battleground of civil rights. My own parents made the decision about my early education because they realized that a quality education opens the doors to equal opportunities. If we continue on this current path, we decrease the opportunities for our children, but we increase the ability for others to determine their outcomes. If taxpayers, parents, are the ones funding public education, then they are the investors and have a vested interest in their return on investment.”
Amen Brother West!
This article was originally published on FrontPageMag.
Larry Sand, a former homeroom teacher, is the nonprofit’s president California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information on professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views expressed here are solely his own.