"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Drag Queens, Diversity, And Social Justice - The Welcome Demise Of Public Education

Mary Philipps was a second-grade teacher at the Marvin Heights Elementary School in Washington, DC and had been for most of her professional life.  She had begun her career when the Pledge of Allegiance was recited and prayers for the troops encouraged, and had little more on her plate than the standard Three R's.  The era of social reform was a distant thought, for the children in her classroom were all polite, well-behaved, and respectful.  


Throughout her career Mary had made the right choices and was always selected by the best school districts where top-flight teachers were prized.  There were no pressing concerns about diversity, equity, and inclusivity in these schools because the white youngsters of highly educated, professional parents were a remarkable, already intellectually diverse lot.  Janey Parsons had read when she was four; Bobby Mitchell already gave Mr. Levin a run for his money in chess; and Hawley Griggs was on his way to the math championships. 

Now, Lincoln Elementary - an inner city school was a different story. To get any pupil up to grade level in reading, writing, and math was a Sisyphean task. The more Mary's counterparts explained the sentence structure of Dick and Jane and The Little Rabbit Of Bobbin Creek, the more her students looked at her with dumbfounded looks.  Anything beyond the four plus four tables was like Biblical exegesis. 


'I should be paid more, a lot more', complained one of Mary's colleagues from Lincoln; but since both were in the DC school district pay was equalized. If the District threatened to upset that particular applecart - that is, bringing inner city teachers to white Marvin Heights or, God forbid, sending the likes of Mary Phillips to Anacostia - the PTA revolted, and using their political, economic, and social clout, clotured that motion before it got off the floor.

Miss Prophet had been one of the District's social equity transfers from Ward 8 and given a respite from the lockdown, abusive, truancy of ghetto schools. LaShonda Prophet had done her time, served honorably and well and deserved a transfer out of the shithole where she was born and raised and was now teaching.  Marvin Heights would be just the thing.  She would bring her street creds and inner city sensibility to the toniest of white neighborhoods in Washington, and everyone would be better off for it, 

Of course poor Miss Prophet was dunned out of Marvin Heights and white Ward 3 after the first PTA meeting. She had been asked by a parent what her teaching philosophy was, and had not a single clue what he was referring to, so she banged on about Martin Luther King and Stephen Douglass and their influence on early education until she had to be pulled into the wings by the principal and sent back to Anacostia. 

However, the long arm of the progressive teachers' union and its Educational Policy Commission was never far; and before long the Three R's curriculum was discarded for a more inclusive, socially appropriate one.  Yes, children should learn how to read, write, and do sums; but more importantly was their social education, how to become good, respectful, and compassionate citizens. 

Every subject, said the New York educators, must incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusivity - two black people plus two black people equals four black people, etc. etc. and the history of America must conform to modern sensibilities.  The white man, so often the subject of historical teaching, must be replaced by the black one.  Washington, Jefferson, and Hamilton were out.  Nat Turner, Arthur James, and Plato Hustings were in.  

For those teachers who needed reference, James was a one-string fiddle player from Natchitoches whose riffs influenced Cajun-African rhythms in the bayou and beyond; and Hustings a shrimper turned evangelical preacher whose Black Hymn To The Almighty had become a feature of The Great (Black) American songbook.  'Inspiration is what we need, not facts', said Randi Blatter, President pro-tempore of the Teachers Union, in her post until the vacant seat of the former President, a classical historian whose focus on Hamilton's Federalist Papers was considered inhibitory to educational reform was permanently filled. 

At first Mary objected to the new imposition on local authority; and resented the overtly political nature of the reforms.  It wasn't so much the transgender drag queens who were to read a revised version of Snow White to kindergartners (the new Snow White was black, the dwarves were replaced by tall people, and the evil Queen in recognition of anti-royalist sentiments, was simply airbrushed out of existence) but the whole diversion of the educational enterprise.  Little Jennifer and Christian, chess genius and mathematicians both, were marginalized, disposed of summarily, and replaced by an unholy, motley crew from the outer fringe.  


It was time for a change, and no sooner had Mary put out feelers to the private school community, than she got bites and then offers.  St. Albans, Sidwell Friends, and the Cathedral School would be honored to have her; and although she would have to put up with some desultory, obligatory DEI offerings, she would be free to return to basics. 

'I'll take it', said Mary to St. Albans and after a series of easy credentialing she moved from lower to middle to upper school and before long she was recognized for her academic excellence,  She not only had she helped the school remove the disruptive social initiatives of New York; but had returned the school to its origins - right, proper, traditional education for the future leaders of America.  

Of course howls of protests came from the teachers union which, although having no bearing on or authority over private schools, felt it must use its bully pulpit to condemn the elitist, white supremacist educational power structure exemplified by St. Albans. 

All their screeds, howls, and protests were ignored out of hand.  Thank God private education remained alive and well in America and was enjoying a rush of new applicants.  Enough is enough said besieged communities from coast to coast.  The election of Donald Trump was all that was needed to send the rats scurrying from a sinking ship and the demise of public education was finally a ship on the horizon 

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