Michael Hiltzik, columnist for the Los Angeles Times, is furious at Spencer Cox, Governor of Utah. Last year, Cox vetoed a bill intended to bar four (4) trans athletes from participating in women’s high school sports. At the time, Hiltzik praised him for his “compassion.”But he just signed an even worse law. Hypocrite!

Hiltzik writes:

Back on March 22, Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox took a stand against anti-transgender legislation that was rare — indeed, unique — among Republican politicians by vetoing a harsh anti-transgender bill passed by the Legislature.

“I always try to err on the side of kindness, mercy and compassion,” Cox wrote in his veto message on the law designated HB 11. He noted that the measure, which prohibited transgender girls from participating in school sports that match their gender identities, was directed at four transgender students out of the 75,000 student athletes in Utah.

“Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few,” he stated.

On Saturday, Cox climbed down from his principled position by signing a vastly harsher law.

The 2023 Utah Legislature’s SB 16 doesn’t target transgender youths participating in school sports. It’s much, much broader — a comprehensive ban on providing any gender-affirming medical care to most transgender minors, including hormone therapy.

SB 16 is a “brutally unfair” law that bans “the only safe and effective treatment for many children with gender dysphoria,” says Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which is already preparing a lawsuit challenging the law in partnership with the Utah ACLU.

How does one judge the character of politicians? One way is to see if they stand up for principle in the face of intense political pressure.

By that measure, Cox is a spectacular failure. We can go further: He’s rewritten the dictionary definition of “political hypocrisy.”

Cox explained his March 2022 veto of HB 11 in a five-page, closely reasoned letter to the legislative leaders, who responded by overriding his veto.

His signing statement for the new law runs a crisp 128 words and calls the measure a “nuanced and thoughtful approach.”

Before examining whether that’s a fair description of one of the harshest pieces of anti-transgender legislation in the country, let’s look at the political context — that is, the snarling, mercilessly malevolent approach of Republican politicians to transgender people.

Since the Trump years and up to the present day, Republicans have been trying to roll back anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. But they’ve especially targeted the transgender community.

The reason isn’t hard to discern. In their crass and cruel quest for targets to unite their base against, they had run out of acceptable candidates for discrimination and abuse.

Open racism was no longer socially acceptable (though it has made a strong comeback lately, in Trump’s wake). It is no longer respectable to make fun of the mentally ill, the homeless, the disabled.

Republicans would like to target LGBT people, but too many Republicans have gay friends and family. They would like to be openly racist, but that’s not socially acceptable. So that leaves transgender people as the Menace Terrorizing Our Community.

Some states, like Idaho, have criminalized gender-affirming care. Others, like Texas, threaten to investigate parents for child abuse if they seek medical intervention.

For a moment in political time, Cox stood against the tide of malignant bigotry that defined the GOP’s approach to LGBTQ rights. At the time, I praised him and Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb(who also vetoed an anti-transgender law) for their principled stances, which I took as evidence that the Republican Party had not completely thrown in with its worst instincts.

Alas. Now it turns out that Cox has allowed that tide to wash over him.

The law, says Reed, “will effectively end gender-affirming care for transgender youth in the state of Utah.” The law went into effect immediately with Cox’s signature, “before any veto campaign could be mounted and before families could make preparations,” Reed noted.

In his 2022 veto message, Cox wrote sympathetically of the challenges faced by the four transgender schoolchildren playing team sports in Utah — “four kids who are just trying to find some friends and feel like they are a part of something. Four kids trying to get through each day.”

He paid attention to research finding that 86% of trans youth reported suicidal thoughts and 56% hadattempted suicide. “I want them to live,” he said. “And all the research shows that even a little acceptance and connection can reduce suicidality significantly.”

But then he signed a bill ending gender-affirming care for those four kids. Cox is back in the Republican mainstream.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt wants voters to believe that his push for vouchers comes from the “grassroots.” Not true. The last time vouchers came to a vote in the legislature, they were defeated by Republicans, especially rural Republicans who understand the importance of their public school.

Ben Felder of The Oklahoman got copies of internal correspondence and learned that the voucher campaign is funded by the Walton Family Foundation and organizations created by Charles Koch.

Is Governor Stitt believes that the people of Iklahoma want vouchers, why doesn’t he put it to a vote? Why let out-of-state billionaires defund the already underfunded public schools of Oklahoma. Take it to the people! Let them decide!

Joshua Q. Nelson wrote a story for FOX News, saying that I was a hypocrite for sending my sons to private schools (more than 50 years ago) and ignoring the fact that I turned against school choice publicly in 2010. His source was Corey DeAngelis, who works for Betsy DeVos. He has attacked me so often on Twitter that I blocked him.

A little bit of research would have shown that I supported school choice from the late 1980s (when charters first emerged) until 2008 (when I started writing a book about my disavowal of conservative education ideology—charters, vouchers, standardized testing, merit pay, and high-stakes accountability).

My change of mind and heart was well covered, not only in The New York Times, but in The Wall Street Journal and other publications). And the book became a national bestseller.

Christina Pushaw, a close aide to Ron DeSantis, amplified the story in her Twitter account, as did the notorious Chris Rufo.

Since the story came out, I have received numerous death threats. Yesterday, I got another one, a long and garbled message with religious allusions, which ended by saying “Yes, we will be ‘slaying Goliath.’ You are Goliath.”

I think Joshua Q. Nelson should be aware that he was played by DeAngelis and correct his story.

Meanwhile, I am flattered that Ron DeSantis and Betsy DeVos and their minions read my tweets and perhaps my blog. I would like to recommend that they read my last three books, where I demonstrate the importance of public schools and the hoax of school choice, which originated as the battle cry of segregationists after the Brown decision.

In a diverse society like ours, public schools bring children from different backgrounds together. They are essential for our democracy. They are the best choice.

Of course, parents are free to make private choices but they should not expect taxpayers to pay for their choice to send their child to a private school that discriminates against others.

Meanwhile, here is a reading assignment for Corey DeAngelis, Christina Pushaw, Chris Rufo, Ron DeSantis, and Betsy DeVos:

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2021/01/14/the-dark-history-of-school-choice/

And three books:

The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education (2010)

Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools (2013)

Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools (2020)

On a personal note: I am 84. I do not fear your threats. I write what I choose. I will not be intimidated.

Congressman Jamaal Bowman is an educator. He was principal of a middle school in The Bronx, New York City, serving high-needs students when he ran for Congress. He was re-elected in 2022. He is a strong voice in Congress for public schools,

He issued a press release calling on New York Governor Kathy Hochul to withdraw her budget proposal to increase the number of charter schools in New York City. He knows the damage this will do to the vast majority of students, who are in public schools.

He said:

For Immediate Release
Date:
February 3, 2023
Contact: wanjira@bowmanforcongress.com


NEWS: Rep. Bowman Statement on Governor Hochul’s Budget Decision to Divert Traditional Public School Resources


NEW YORK, NY – Yesterday, Governor Kathy Hochul released her FY2024 budget, which included a proposal to remove the regional cap on charter schools.

Rep. Bowman released the following statement in response:

“As a life-long educator and former middle school principal in the Bronx for over a decade, I witnessed firsthand the value and impact traditional public schools have on children’s lives and learning,” saidCongressman Jamaal Bowman Ed.D (NY-16). “As much as I want to applaud Governor Hochul’s funding of the Foundation Aid initiative, I am extremely disappointed by her proposal to remove the regional cap on charter schools which will dramatically divert critical resources from traditional public schools. With over 1500 public schools in New York City that serve over 1 million students, this effort will be destructive for the learning of our city’s children, especially for the almost 90% of minority children who are currently enrolled in public schools.”

“Let me be very clear. The core of the Foundation Aid was created to help provide more equitable and sustainable educational opportunities for children in our traditional public schools. Increasing the development of more charter schools is not what the Foundation Aid was designed for. District public schools are foundational to a functioning democracy, while charter schools – especially those run by large networks – often perpetuate the very inequities that prevent us from realizing the potential of our democracy.”

“There is a standard of excellence and equity that makes public schools the most viable option for all our children. The qualification and certification standards for teachers are high, ensuring the highest level of educational opportunities for our children. Students engage with a diverse community that reflects the demographics of this country early in their childhood development stages. Accessibility and affordability ensure that parents, caregivers, and families are partners in their child’s learning. From PTA initiatives and parent-teacher conferences to programs that create a true learning partnership with parents, public schools allow for many avenues where parents can purposefully engage in their child’s education.”

“I call on Governor Hochul to keep the charter school cap exactly where it is –which is much higher than it was initially supposed to be.”

 

About Rep. Jamaal Bowman
Congressman Jamaal Bowman was an educator and advocate for public schools for over 20 years and previously served as principal for the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action (CASA), a public middle school he founded in 2009 in the Baychester neighborhood of The Bronx. Rep. Bowman is a life-long New Yorker who lives in Yonkers with his wife and children.

Two of the reddest states in the nation had the largest numbers of people signing up for Obamacare. This reflects the size of their population but also their needs. Their governors may rant against the federal government and its programs, but actions speak louder than words. The public wants what the politicians deride. Yet the public elects the people who deny their basic needs.

Florida led the way with the highest number of people in the country who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, with more than 3.2 million people enrolling, or 20 percent of the country’s totals.

A record 16.3 million people nationwide signed up for plans on the federal health insurance exchange during the open enrollment period, which began Nov. 1 and ended on Jan. 15, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported Wednesday.

In Florida, enrollment ballooned to 3.2 million, a 19% jump over last year’s open enrollment period under the health law, commonly known as Obamacare.

The 3.2 million represents 20 percent of all enrollees nationwide, even though Florida, the third most populous state in the country with 22 million people, accounts for only about 7 percent of the U.S. population…

For University of Miami professor Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo, an expert on the Affordable Care Act, Florida’s enrollment spike is likely an indication ofoutreach efforts, a lack of jobs that provide health coverage, and that Florida is one of 11 states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

About 425,000 adults in Florida don’t have health insurance because they are too poor to qualify for coverage under the ACA and the state hasn’t expanded Medicaid, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. More than half of those adults are Hispanic or Black.

“It shows that there’s a major need for health insurance in our state,” said Carrasquillo, who serves as UM’s dean for Clinical and Translational Research and is also co-director of the Clinical Translational Science Institute.

Almost a million Floridians could lose their Medicaid coverage starting in April once the federal COVID-19 emergency comes to an end, and because Florida didn’t expand its Medicaid eligibility.

Floridians fall into this coverage gap because their incomes fall above the state’s eligibility for Medicaid but below the federal poverty line, making them ineligible for Medicaid, a health insurance program run jointly by the federal government and states.

They would also be ineligible for coverage within the Affordable Care Act marketplace. To qualify for Medicaid in Florida, parents must earn less than 31 percent of the federal poverty line, or less than $6,807 for a family of three, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates.

Texas has the second-highest enrollment in Affordable Care Act plans among states that used the federal marketplace, with 2.4 million enrollees, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Read more at: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article271638107.html#storylink=cpy

When Republican Matt Bevin was Governor of Kentucky, the state legislature passed a bill in 2017 authorizing charter schools. The law mandated that Louisville open a charter school. When it came time to set up a funding mechanism for charters, Democratic Governor Andy Beshear vetoed it.

When it came time to open a charter school, no one applied. The usual chains were not interested in opening a charter without funding.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reported:

Last year, Kentucky lawmakers demanded that school district leaders in Louisville seek and approve at least one application for a charter school in 2023.

Just one problem: No one applied.

Jefferson County Public Schools’ charter school information portal shows just one group formally notified the district of their intent to apply. The group, however, did not end up actually doing that.

Kentucky Department of Education spokesperson Toni Konz Tatman similarly confirmed Thursday no one applied to open a charter school in Northern Kentucky – the second location mandated to have a charter. District leaders in that region get until July 1, 2024 under state law.

Nuria Martinez-Keel wrote in The Oklahoman about the ouster of a state attorney who defied the state superintendent by supporting transgender people, whose numbers in the state must be minuscule. Since Republicans have decided that transgender people are a threat to national security, Lori Murphy had to go.

An attorney known for her support of transgender people and objections to the state’s rulemaking on classroom race and gender discussions was fired last week from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Assistant general counsel Lori Murphy worked at the agency for eight and a half years.

The Education Department terminated her employment “effective immediately” on Thursday, according to a letter to Murphy from the agency’s human resources office.

The letter did not cite a cause for her firing.

“I no longer speak for the agency (that’s what it means when you fire your lawyer), and I can’t speak to the reasoning for my termination,” Murphy wrote in a statement. “It was my honor to work my ass off on behalf of the students of Oklahoma from 2014 through January 26, 2023, a task I shared with hundreds of (Education Department) colleagues and thousands of school staff members across the state.”

New state schools Superintendent Ryan Walters is in the midst of orienting the Education Department toward his goals, one of which he said is ridding the agency and public schools of “liberal indoctrination.”

The department declined to explain the rationale for firing Murphy.

“The agency does not comment on the HR process or on personnel decisions,” spokesperson Matt Langston told The Oklahoman on Monday.

Four days after swearing in as state superintendent, Walters exempted Murphy’s position from a section of Oklahoma law that would have otherwise allowed her to file a complaint over termination, according to a human resources letter sent to Murphy on Jan. 13, which The Oklahoman also obtained.

Heads of state agencies are allowed to do so for no more than 5% of their employees.

“Just as public education serves everyone, public education builds from the truth that everyone can learn and grow when provided with the educational services and supports they need,” Murphy wrote in her statement. “From our 4-year-olds entering Oklahoma’s nationally recognized public preschool programs for the first time, to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.”

For more than two years, Murphy has worn masks that read “Trans Ally” or “Black Lives Matter” while attending monthly meetings of the Oklahoma State Board of Education. She wore a “Trans Ally” mask again at a state board meeting on Thursday.

Walters was a champion of legislation regulating transgender students’ use of school bathrooms by birth sex rather than by gender identity.

As the state Board of Education deliberated how to give teeth to House Bill 1775, Murphy objected to the board members’ handling of the process. She resigned from her role overseeing administrative rulemaking for the board, though she continued as an assistant general counsel for the state agency.

The state board ultimately approved rules that allowed it to demote a school district’s accreditation and suspend or revoke an educator’s certification over violations of HB 1775, a 2021 law that bans schools from teaching certain race and gender concepts, such as a person should feel guilt on account of their race or sex.

Although Murphy suggested rules that mostly restated the text of the law, the board opted for a rulemaking process she said operated “far outside the reach of previous emergency rule actions” and wrongly excluded public comment, according to internal emails The Oklahoman obtained at the time.

“Quite literally, I cannot sign my name to this action,” Murphy wrote to the board.

Although it did not collect public comment before approval of the temporary rules, the Education Department did so before the agency regulations became permanent.

Recently, Walters said he instructed his staff to investigate two teachers he accused of indoctrinating students. Both teachers have spoken against HB 1775.

Walters was referring to Tulsa Public Schools teacher Tyler Wrynn and former Norman High School teacher Summer Boismier. He has called for both of their teaching certificates to be revoked.

“I, as the state superintendent and the Department of Education, will do everything within our power to not allow our kids to be indoctrinated by far-left radicals and to hold those accountable who have done so,” Walters said in a video posted to social media.

Wrynn was captured in an edited video identifying himself as an anarchist who wants to “burn down the whole system,” beliefs he said he had to hide because of HB 1775.

Boismier made national news when she posted a QR code link in her classroom to the Brooklyn Public Library’s collection of banned books. She resigned from Norman Public Schools in opposition to HB 1775 and has since moved to New York to accept a position with the Brooklyn library.

“I feel like I cannot do my job and follow that law at the same time,” Boismier said in an August interview with The Oklahoman. “It puts teachers in an impossible position. It forces educators to commit educational malpractice in order to keep our jobs.”

 

Reporter Nuria Martinez-Keel covers K-12 and higher education throughout the state of Oklahoma.

Nikole Hannah-Jones‘ edited book The 1619 Project is easily the most controversial book in many years, maybe decades. I can’t think of another book that has been banned by conservative legislatures.

It first appeared as a special issue of the New York Times Magazine, where Hannah-Jones is a contributing writer. Soon after its publication, it was criticized by several eminent historians, who disagreed with the assertion that some Founding Fathers supported the Revolution to protect slavery. They had other objections and were no doubt miffed that a journalist had written a new history of the United States. The Times triple-checked, made some revisions, then The 1619 Project was published as a book and promptly denounced by conservative politicians, who hated the idea that Black people played a major role in the nation’s history, let alone a central role.

President Trump responded in September 2020 by announcing that he would create a “1776 Commission” to write a “patriotic curriculum.” Teaching that systemic racism exists, he said, was “a form of child abuse.” The day before the election, November 2, he established the commission by executive order.

However, he was busy trying to overturn the election and didn’t get around to appointing the members of the 1776 Commission until December 18. The president of the commission was Larry Arnn, president of conservative Hillsdale College. The commission included no professional historians of the United States. It held its first meeting on January 5 and released its new curriculum on January 18, no doubt a world record for the development of a course curriculum.

Hours after Joe Biden was inaugurated on January 20, he signed an executive order disbanding the 1776 Commission.

Now The 1619 Project has been turned into a six-part series, streaming on HULU. In states where it has not been banned, it should be a great tesaching tool. Count me as an admirer of the book. I have read many books about African American history, and I learned a lot by reading it.

Jesse J. Holland, a veteran journalist, reviews it here. He says that it’s a shame that the people who most need to see it are least likely to watch it.

Steven Singer writes about the alliance among three organizations—a private equity firm, a testing company, and an EdTech company. What could possibly go wrong?

He begins:

Prepare to watch more of your tax dollars spiral down the drain of standardized testing.


A year after being gobbled up by private equity firmVeritas Capital, ed tech company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) is acquiring K-12 assessment giant Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA).

Let me put that in perspective – a scandal-ridden investment firm that made billions in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan bought one of standardized testing’s big four and then added the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test to its arsenal.

This almost certainly means the cost of state testing is going to increase since the providers of the tests are shrinking.

“It used to be if you put out a [Request for Proposal] RFP for state assessment, you get five, six, 10 bidders,” said Scott Marion, executive director of the Center for Assessment. “Now you’re lucky to get three. When you’re doing that, there’s maybe not as much expertise and certainly the cost will go up” (emphasis mine).

Under the proposed deal announced in January, the testing company’s assessments and the ed tech company’s test prep materials will become intimately entwined.

NWEA, best known for its MAP assessment, will operate as a division of HMH. And NWEA’s tests will be aligned with HMH’s curriculum.

You can just imagine how this will affect the marketplace.

NWEA serves about 10,000 school districts and HMH estimates it works with more than 50 million students and 4 million educators in 150 countries, according to a press release about the proposed acquisition.

So we can expect districts and even entire states which rely heavily on the MAP test to beencouraged to buy as much HMH curriculum as possible. That way they can teach directly what is on their standardized tests.

That is assuming, of course, the acquisition agreement is approved after a 90-day regulatory review period.

To be honest, I would be surprised if there are any objections.


Such cozy relationships already exist with other education companies. For example, Curriculum Associates provides the aforementioned curriculum for its own i-Ready assessment.

It’s ironic that an industry built on standardization – one size fits all – continues to take steps to create books, software and courses aligned with specific tests. It’s almost like individuating information to specific student’s needs is beneficial or something. Weird!

After all, if these sorts of assessments can be gamed by increased access to materials created by the same corporate entities that create and grade the tests, are we really assessing knowledge? Aren’t we just giving students a score based on how many books and software packages their districts bought from the parent company? Is that really education?

I remember a time when curriculum was determined by classroom teachers – you know, experts in their fields, not experts in the corporate entity’s test du jour.

But I guess no one was getting rich that way…

Please open the link and read the rest of this important post.

Over the past few days, I have received a number of hostile tweets, comments on my blog, and Instagram comments, accusing me of hypocrisy because I support public schools but sent my own sons (now ages 60 and 55) to private school. I am touched, even baffled, that anyone is upset by decisions that I made half a century ago.

It was easy to see who inspired these denunciations of me: Christina Pushaw, who is one of Ron DeSantis’ closest aides, and Chris Rufo, the man who led the phony crusade against critical race theory. They seem to think they unearthed a dark secret. That’s absurd. I’m guessing that Governor DeSantis doesn’t like what I write about him in my posts and tweets. I’m flattered.

The question of where my middle-aged sons went to schools is a nothing-burger. For the past decade, my blog bio has said that my two sons went to private school.

Pushaw and Rufo were outraged that I tweeted during “school choice week”:

“The best choice is your local public school. It welcomes everyone. It unifies community. It is the glue of democracy.”

They tweeted their “discovery” that my sons went to private school. The outrage of these two prominent right wingers generated two articles attacking me as a hypocrite.

One appeared on a news site called MEAA.com, titled:

“Who is Diane Ravitch? ‘Hypocrite’ NYU prof who sent her children to private school urges parents to pick public schools”

The article quotes Pushaw’s tweets, as well as tweets from others responding indignantly to my alleged hypocrisy.

The Daily Mail in the U.K. published an unintentionally hilarious article with this title:

“NYU education professor tells parents to send their kids to public school – before being forced to admit she send hers to private schools

It was never a secret that my sons went to private school. I was never “forced to admit” that fact.

Why did I send them to a private school?

After college, I married a New Yorker in 1960 whose family had a long tradition of attending private schools. My husband enrolled in the private Lincoln School in 1936! Like him, our sons went to private schools. When I started my career as a writer, I was conservative. I wrote articles in publications like The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, and The Public Interest. I opposed affirmative action, identity politics, and the Equal Rights Amendment. I believed, like Governor DeSantis, that the law should be colorblind.

However, I was never a racist. I was never contemptuous of public schools, because I had graduated from them and was grateful for the education and teachers I had, and the opportunities they opened for me.

In 1975, I earned a Ph.D. In the history of American Education from Columbia University. I was an adjunct professor at Teachers College from 1976 to 1991, when I left to work in the first Bush administration as Assistant Secretary of Education for Research and serve as Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander.

After my stint in the Bush administration, I rejoined the board of the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and was invited to be a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute (which now employs Chris Rufo) and at the Hoover Institution. All three are very conservative and support school choice, as did I. I even went to Albany on behalf of the Manhattan Institute and testified on behalf of charter legislation in 1998.

When I came back to New York City, Teachers College asked me not to return because of my conservative views. I was hired as an adjunct at New York University, where I was a faculty member from 1995 to 2020, when I retired.

In 2007, after a long and deep immersion in the conservative education world, I began to change my views. I began to realize, based on frank conversations within the conservative think tanks, that charters were no better and possibly worse than public schools unless they cherrypicked their students; that clever entrepreneurs and grifters were using some of them to make millions; that voucher schools were usually ineffective, had uncertified staff, and did not save poor kids; that standardized tests are not valid measures of learning; that the emphasis on tests was actually ruining education by narrowing the curriculum and encouraging teaching to the tests.

The more I reflected on the poor outcomes of conservative policies, the more I doubted the ideas I had long espoused. In 2008, I began writing a book in which I renounced my conservative views. I rejected high-stakes testing, school choice, merit pay, evaluating teachers by their students’ test scores, and the entire corporatist school “reform” agenda.

The book—The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education (Basic Books)—was published in 2010, and it became a national bestseller. My change of mind and change of heart were widely reported in the national media.

Today, I am no longer a conservative. I support equal opportunity and equal justice for all Americans. I am sensitive, as I always have been, to the unjust and inhumane treatment that Black Americans have suffered. I endorse critical race theory, because it is a way of studying and evaluating why racism persists in our society and devising ways to eliminate it. Racism and other forms of hatred are a cancer in our society, and we must end them.

And so, Ms. Pushaw and Mr. Rufo, I hope I have answered your question. I enrolled my youngest child in a private school in 1965 and my second child in 1970 because I was a conservative. A lot happened to me in the years between 1965 and 2023, more than I can put into a tweet. I hope you understand why today I am a passionate advocate for public schools and an equally passionate opponent of public funding for private choices.

From my life experiences and many years as a scholar of education, I have concluded that the public school teaches democracy in a “who sits beside you” way; it teaches students to live and work with others who are different from them. The public school, I realized, is the foundation stone of our diverse society. It deserves public support and funding.