The digital classroom, transforming the way we learn

The Miseducation of America’s Elites

I just read this article by Bari Weiss . The link was provided in Learning How to Learn! by Barb Oakley.

This important article, The Miseducation of America’s Elites,” by the former New York Times reporter Bari Weiss (she resigned due to the rampant anti-Semitism in the New York Timesworkplace), describes the cult-like indoctrination, rather than education, going on in elite schools. It’s an eye-popping read.

Read the article it is worth the time. I am including the last part of the article here.  

When I began working on this story, I didn’t feel that much sympathy for these parents. Some 18 million public school children have not set foot in a school in the past year. A study released in early December by McKinsey and Co. found that virtual learning hurt all students, but students of color the most: remote school set them back by three to five months in math, for example. Such numbers do not begin to capture the crippling effects, including suicidal ideation, that this past year has had on what experts are already calling a lost generation.

The parents in this story are not parents with no other options. Most have the capital—social and literal—to pull their kids out and hire private tutors. That they weren’t speaking out seemed to me cowardly, or worse.

The cynical answer for their silence: concern about viability for the Ivy League and other elite schools. “There are definitively rumors that the school has like, say, three picks for Duke and that if you stand up against this your kid will get blackballed,” says one mother.

Another explanation is groupthink and social pressure. “Sometimes the smartest people are the easiest ones to fool,” says a father who recently moved his son from one school to another that he judges to be marginally better. “If you made a decision to go on the board of Dalton having espoused all these leftist views forever and you want your kid to get into Harvard, you are not going to stand up and say, ‘wait a second, guys.’ You’re just not going to do it. Most people want to be members of the club.”

I think it’s true that many people would rather violate their stated principles than be iced out of their social network. But this is a situation that goes beyond getting shunted to a bad table at the Robin Hood gala. To resist this ideology is to go against the entire institutional world.

It’s not just Dalton, a school that has committed to being “visibly, vocally and structurally antiracist.” Bain & Company is tweeting about “Womxn’s History Month.” The Cartoon Network is imploring children to “see color.” Coca-Cola employees were recently instructed to “be less white.” You cannot buy or sell the newly problematic Dr. Seuss titles on eBay. This ideology isn’t speaking truth to power. It is the power.

Most alarmingly, the ideology is increasingly prevalent at the local public school. The incoming New York City schools chancellor is a vocal proponent of critical race theory. In Burbank, the school district just told middle- and high school teachers to stop teaching To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men. The Sacramento school district is promoting racial segregation by way of “racial affinity groups,” where students can “cultivate racial solidarity and compassion and support each other in sitting with the discomfort, confusion, and numbness that often accompany white racial awakening.” The San Diego school district recently held a training in which white teachers were told that they “spirit murder” black children.

“I don’t mean to get emotional, I just feel helpless,” said one mother through tears. “I look at the public school and I am equally mortified. I can’t believe what they are doing to everybody. I’m too afraid. I’m too afraid to speak too loudly. I feel cowardly. I just make little waves.” Another tells me: “It’s fear of retribution. Would it cause our daughter to be ostracized? Would it cause people to ostracize us? It already has.”

I have a friend in New York who is the mother to a four-year-old. She seems exactly the kind of parent these schools would want to attract: a successful entrepreneur, a feminist, and a diehard Manhattanite. She’d dreamed of sending her daughter to a school like Dalton. One day at home, in the midst of the application process, she was drawing with her daughter, who said offhandedly: “I need to draw in my own skin color.” Skin color, she told her mother, is “really important.” She said that’s what she learned in school.

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