Monday, October 9, 2017

Oklahoma teacher: “I teach my students that the phrase ‘law and order’ is steeped in systemic racism”

"The prevailing narrative about government-run schools," the Cato Institute reminds us, is that they "harmoniously bring together people from various racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds and instill in their children the civic values necessary for a pluralist democracy. In reality, however, government schooling often forces citizens into political combat. Different families have different priorities on topics ranging from academics and the arts to questions of morality and religion. No single school can possibly reflect the wide range of mutually exclusive views on these fundamental subjects."

Unsurprisingly, we see this conflict in public schools here in a Bible Belt state where Barack Obama twice won 0 of 77 counties. In the Mid-Del school district, for example, there's a history teacher named Aaron Baker who describes himself as a "proud liberal progressive public school teacher" who promotes "radical social justice in Oklahoma public schools." How radical? Mr. Baker believes educators should avoid using male and female pronouns. He believes that some opinions—such as views he deems "anti-gay hate speech"—"should not be allowed to be heard."

In a state where political-correctness slayer Donald Trump won 77 of 77 counties, all this is going over about as well as you might expect.

To his credit, Mr. Baker doesn't hide what he's doing. "I teach my students that the phrase 'law and order' is steeped in systemic racism," he recently informed us. "I teach my students that concentrated wealth multiplies poverty. ... I teach my students that the greatest nuclear threat the world has ever seen is the United States of America."

Mr. Baker is not a supporter of school choice—earlier this year he encouraged people to "agitate and disrupt" a school choice summit—but in truth he illustrates better than anyone why we so desperately need it. "In a market-based education system, parents can select the school most closely aligned with their priorities," Cato says. "By contrast, when these questions are decided through a political system, such as elected school boards, parents with differing views must struggle against each other to have the school reflect their views. Inevitably, some parents will lose that struggle. To add insult to injury, all citizens are forced to pay for the government-run schools through their taxes, even when those schools are antagonistic toward their most deeply held values."

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