September 13, 2022

Amanda Marcotte: Pay Attention To The NYT Expose

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In Salon, Amanda Marcotte takes a spin starting with the New York Times expose by Eliza Shapiro and Brian Rosenthal highlighting how New York City’s private Hasidic schools have shortchanged students, providing them with little useful secular education–and doing so while collecting plenty of taxpayer money.  

You may not care about this if you are outside the New York bubble, Marcotte says, but you should, because the system mirrors the conservative plan for everyone else, and she goes on to provide an overview of the far right anti-public education movement.  

The end goal of all this is no secret: Defund and decimate public schools so much that the only remaining forms of education are private schools (or privately managed charters), where the price of learning basic literacy is a truckload of religious indoctrination and falsified American history.

Marcotte’s overview of the movement is worth a look, but she leads to this key point:

The real issue here is not “parents’ rights” but children’s rights. In most cases, the parents’-rights gambit is rhetorical sleight-of-hand meant to distract people from what’s really going on, which is adults depriving vulnerable children of the resources they need to grow into healthy adults. Book bans“don’t say gay” lawscrackdowns on school newspapers and right-wing takeovers of school boards: It all serves the same purpose. For all the talk about “liberty” and “choice” that anti-education activists engage in, the end goal here is to limit the freedom of thought, and the freedom of life choices, that kids can have as adults.

Read the full piece here.

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