One of the most powerful critiques of public education came nine years ago in the film, “Waiting for Superman.” The documentary told the story of five students trying to get out of a rotten public-school system and be accepted into schools that might give them a chance for success. It was powerful because people with liberal values were the ones who produced it.
George Packer is a staff writer at The Atlantic and would also describe himself as a liberal. That’s is why his latest article on “When the Culture War Comes for the Kids” is so powerful. He begins his article by describing the challenges of getting his young son into a private school. Then his prospects improve when he is informed that his son made it off the wait-list for his preferred public school.
If you don’t want to read the 25 pages in his story, you might read the insightful summary by Matthew Continetti with the appropriate title: “George Packer Gets Mugged by Reality.” George Packer and his wife are excited to put their son in what he called a “liberal white family’s dream.” At first, they were pleased with the school. Then, to use his words, “Things began to change.” Actually, that’s an understatement.
Leftist perspectives quickly changed the direction of the school. Rage and indignation about Trump and societal injustice became part of the curriculum. Parents opted their children out of standardized tests because they were deemed to be biased and racist. Boy and girl bathrooms were changed to gender-neutral bathrooms. Families split into warring factions. It got ugly.
I might mention that George Packer isn’t reporting anything that many of my radio guests haven’t already been describing for decades. But they were conservative and thus easier to dismiss. He is a liberal and now sees how the Left and the culture war are ruining education.