Even by Hechinger Report standards, this week’s piece by Andre Perry (the site’s lone opinion columnist) is a particularly vile example of Ravitchian misinformation.
Titled “Defund the private schools“, Perry makes a meandering, pandering case to eschew vouchers, close charters, and reinvest in school districts which largely assign students based on zip code; in other words, by real estate value.
Perry also goes off on in-district schools of choice, such as selective admissions magnet schools. Just kidding. In Perry’s worldview, as long as a district is doing something it must be right, never mind schools like Stuyvesant High School who’s racial demographics are:
Within hours of Perry’s piece, Karen Burris, Diane Ravitch, and their union-funded pet project NPE were crowing.
Of course Perry’s type of revisionist history cum political propaganda act is nothing new. In February of this year, Jason Bedrick called out activist Steve Suitts for attempting a similar magic trick as he:
Ignores the entire history of school choice prior to 1954, ignores inconvenient facts since 1954, pulls quotes by choice advocates out of context, and ignores all the research on the effects of school choice on racial integration. He also has to conflate debates over tactics to achieve racial integration with disagreement over the goal of racial integration without ever stopping to analyze which tactics were actually more likely to achieve that goal.
For an accurate history of school choice, including when the KKK wanted to ban private schools for Black families, see Neal McCluskey’s meticulous recounting.
Journalists and many others have long questioned Hechinger’s one-sided approach to school choice viewpoints.
The lopsided editorial voice withstanding, editing in general fails to reign in Perry’s distortions, resulting in one correction and one “clarification” already:
While Hechinger is at it, a few more clarifications are in order.
- Perry calls for defunding of private schools, while sending his own children to private schools in New Orleans. Now that he is in D.C., where do his children go to school there and what is his analysis of the decision he made in New Orleans?
- Perry writes “White Americans who wave the banner of choice are promoting racism and getting in the way of real educational reform.” What then about parents of color such as myself or Dr. Howard Fuller or those who called Elizabeth Warren to the mat? Where do we fit into this narrative?
- Perry writes “Public schools are not the problem. Racism is.” What then is the plan to address racism within public schools, such as this incident in New Mexico?
- Perry makes the case that schools of choice exacerbate racial segregation. What are we to make that of “seven studies that examined the effect of private school choice policies (e.g., vouchers) on racial integration, six found positive effects and one found no statistically significant difference”?
- Perry writes, “Calls to defund the police, whether in schools or in our cities, are just one part of what must become a larger movement to end taxpayer funding for institutions that are anti-Black at their core.” What then about teachers’ unions which employ the same negotiating tactics as police unions and have largely supported the over policing of students of color while in school?