If last November’s Republican victory in Virginia’s gubernatorial race served as a political wake-up signal to Democrat candidates across the country that they were facing a parents’ revolt against progressive public school policies, the astounding results of last week’s San Francisco’s school board recall election eliminated any doubt that growing anger over Democrat support for extended school closures and the introduction of woke school curriculums will lead to the decisive defeat of party candidates in November’s midterm elections.
Angry parents led a revolt by San Francisco’s liberal Democrat electorate that ousted three woke members of the city’s school board in retaliation for placing their radical political agenda ahead of the best interests of the city’s schoolchildren.
San Francisco is one of the most liberal cities in the country; it gave Joe Biden 85% of its votes during the 2020 presidential election. Yet, by a roughly 3-to-1 margin, the same voters recalled school board president Gabriella Lopez (by 74%), former board vice president Alison Collins (by 78%), and current vice president Faauuga Moliga (by 71%).
It was San Francisco’s first recall election since 1983, and the first successful one in living memory. Parents were particularly outraged by the board’s pursuit of woke racial policies, while at the same time refusing to reopen the city’s public schools long after it was safe to do so. The only reason the other members of the school board were not ousted last week was that they had not yet been in office long enough to meet the statutory requirement to be subject to a recall.
San Francisco’s large Asian-American community was particularly incensed by the board’s decision to eliminate merit-based admissions to the city’s prestigious and academically rigorous Lowell High School, which they saw as an open act of racial discrimination by the school board directed against them. The board substituted a lottery-based admission system with the explicit purpose to ensure that more black and Latino students would be accepted — regardless of their lack of academic qualifications.
Like other merit-based public high schools in New York City and elsewhere across the country, the student body at Lowell has had a majority Asian and white student body for decades. Working-class Chinese American parents in San Francisco have long seen the superior education at Lowell as an essential launching pad for their future success for their children.
The suspicion that racial discrimination was behind the change in Lowell’s admission policies was confirmed by the revelation during the recall campaign that, in 2016, black school board member Alison Collins, a series of tweets, accused Asian-American students at Lowell and their parents of “white supremacist thinking to assimilate and ‘get ahead’” in American society.
Opposition to merit-based admissions and other performance-based rewards for individual achievement is one of the basic tenets of the woke racial equity narrative. The intellectual leaders of the progressive woke ideology, such as writer Ibram X. Kendi, insist that any public policy which produces racially unequal outcomes must, by definition, be considered inherently racist. They argue that blacks and Latinos are not as successful as Asian-Americans, Jews, or other groups in American society because the latter enjoy “white privileges” which have historically given them “unfair advantages” such as traditional family values, a strong work ethic, and good study habits, for which the members of those groups must now do public penance and be penalized.
THE PROGRESSIVE ATTACK ON THE AMERICAN DREAM
This hostility towards the American dream of achieving success by dint of personal effort as immoral is not an invention of today’s woke progressive ideology. It is based upon Democrat anti-free market ideas that were first openly proclaimed to the American people in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama, when he said that “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
This socialist point of view has also been a key tenet of Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren’s political platform, which condemns free market rewards for success as inherently unfair. In endorsing Obama’s statement, Warren explained, “Nobody got rich on their own. Nobody. People worked hard, they build a business… but they moved their goods on roads the rest of us helped build, they hired employees the rest of us helped educate, they plugged into a power grid the rest of us helped build.”
“The rest of us made those investments,” she said, “because we wanted businesses to flourish, we wanted them to grow, we wanted them to create opportunity for all of us. That’s what we do together. We get richer as a country when we make those investments.”
During the 2020 Democrat presidential primary campaign, Warren used this argument to justify her proposed federal wealth tax, which would annually confiscate a percentage of the net worth of successful Americans, starting at 2% and going up from there.
All the Democrat candidates then adopted this policy, arguing that wealthy Americans do not pay their “fair share” of the cost of government, without ever defining what that share might be. According to IRS statistics, the top 1% of Americans by income currently pay about 40% of all federal income taxes, but Democrats don’t think that is enough.
They have insisted that the entire cost of Biden’s Build Back Better big spending proposal will be paid exclusively by sharply higher taxes on all Americans earning more than $450,000 a year, ignoring the fact that the burden for all such tax increases is eventually passed on to middle- and working-class Americans in the form of higher prices, lower wages, and reduced prosperity. That proposal has been killed for now by objections from two moderate Democrat senators, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, who recognized that the additional government spending would further drive up the rate of inflation, while the sharply increased taxes on the most successful members of society would kill their incentive to invest in the growth of the economy.
Since Biden has taken office, the school parent revolt, federal spending-induced inflation, and dictatorial Covid restrictions have become major political problems for the Democrats. All three share the same common roots: the socialist-inspired, Big Brother-style and racially woke progressive ideology driving the Democrat political agenda. The results of the San Francisco school board recall vote are the latest evidence that these policies are unacceptable to a large majority of voters, even in such liberal Democrat strongholds as San Francisco.
MANY DEMOCRAT VOTERS HAVE ALSO BEEN TURNED OFF
The attempt by at least one San Francisco Democrat leader to attribute the recall outcome to a “silent majority” of extreme right-wing Trump supporters is simply not credible. San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton blamed the recall vote on “closet Republicans and most certainly folks with conservative values in San Francisco, even if they weren’t registered Republicans.” Walton told the San Francisco Chronicle that “Trump’s election and bold prejudice brought a lot of that out, even in our Democratic and liberal city. There are a lot of people who do not want ‘people of color’ making decisions in leadership.”
Do the math. If 85% of San Francisco voters supported Joe Biden against Trump in the 2020 presidential election, how did the remaining 15% suddenly transform into more than 70% of San Francisco voters supporting the recall of all three members of the school board? Are the remaining 55% of San Francisco’s pro-recall Biden voters all actually “closet Republicans” with “conservative values?” If so, how does Walton explain their long history of continuing to support liberal San Francisco Democrats including Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom, Dianne Feinstein, and Kamala Harris?
Walton apparently does not consider Asian-Americans to be “people of color,” since they were the most visible driving political force behind the outcome of the school board recall vote. Perhaps she believes that they forfeited their privileged “people of color” status, automatically becoming “white,” upon deciding to vote against the progressive activists on the school board.
Historically, San Francisco’s large Chinese-American community has not been an active force in local politics, but this recall election was an exception. Large numbers of concerned and outraged Asian-American parents and grandparents were galvanized, taking to the streets to campaign for the ouster of the three school board members.
PUTTING IDEOLOGY AHEAD OF THE NEEDS OF SCHOOLCHILDREN
Other San Francisco parents were infuriated by the fact that while their schoolchildren were stuck at home, slowly falling behind in math and other basic academic skills, the school board wasted months debating over 44 San Francisco public schools that had been named after now allegedly unacceptably “racist” figures in American history, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Paul Revere, Francis Scott Key, Daniel Webster, and even California’s senior Democrat senator Dianne Feinstein.
George Washington is unacceptable to the woke mob because he was a slave owner. Abraham Lincoln, who led the effort during the Civil War to emancipate the slaves, is also unacceptable because federal troops during his administration fought the American Indians. Even Dianne Feinstein, the longest-serving US senator from California, was condemned by the woke members of the school board because in 1984, when she was mayor of San Francisco, she replaced a Confederate flag that had been vandalized at City Hall with a new one.
The San Francisco teachers’ union was also a powerful force behind the extended San Francisco Covid school closures and continued to support the members of the school board who had been doing their bidding long after public opinion in the city had clearly turned against them. After the recall election, leaders of the teachers’ union blamed the outcome on the “billionaires and wealthy venture capitalists” who poured $2 million into the pro-recall campaign, while ignoring their own long history of generous financial support of candidates for elected office who would allow the teachers’ union to maintain its domination over local school policies.
The majority of more than 70% of voters voting against the three members of the school board is doubly significant, because it significantly exceeds the 62% of California voters who voted to retain Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom in office in his September 14 recall election. One of the reasons the Newsom recall effort failed was because the leading Republican candidate to replace him was conservative talk show host Larry Elder, whose right-wing political positions, open support for Donald Trump, and controversial personal background made him an easy target to demonize in the eyes of California’s Democrat voters, who outnumber registered Republicans in the state by an almost 2-1 margin.
GOVERNOR NEWSOM IN TROUBLE WITH CALIFORNIA VOTERS AGAIN
Ironically, just five months after defeating the recall attempt by 24 points, Newsom has lost a significant amount of voter support. He now holds a razor-thin 48-47% job approval rating according to the latest Los Angeles Times/UC Berkeley poll. The same poll shows widespread dissatisfaction (20% approval to 51% disapproval) over Newsom’s handling of the statewide crime wave, and even greater voter unhappiness (11% approval to 66% disapproval) of his handling of the homelessness problem, which has reached epidemic proportions in California’s larger cities.
Newsom is up for reelection this November, but because Republicans do not have a popular candidate to run against him, and the Democrats have a huge voter registration advantage, he is still expected to easily win a second term.
However, prospects for other Democrats running in competitive districts nationwide this November have become grim, barring an unexpected turnaround in President Biden’s dismal job approval numbers. Of all the many domestic issues on which Biden and his Democrat allies are now on the defensive — including inflation, confused Covid policies, chaos at the southern border, and a failed legislative agenda, among others — deep dissatisfaction over public school policies may be the one most difficult to repair between now and the midterms.
BIDEN’S CHRONIC SCHOOL POLICY PROBLEMS
Biden has been closely associated with the disastrous policy of prolonging school lockdowns since the earliest days of his presidency. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden promised to reopen schools nationwide as quickly as possible, but that policy contradicted the position of one of Biden’s most important political factions — the national teachers’ unions, who were insisting that public schools had to stay closed until all teachers were vaccinated.
The trouble started when Biden’s new director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, speaking at an official CDC briefing, confirmed previously announced scientific findings that it was generally safe for teachers to return to their classrooms prior to getting the vaccine, as long as they were wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
At the next White House press briefing, Biden press secretary Jen Psaki was put into an awkward position when a reporter asked her why the administration was not demanding immediate nationwide school reopenings in light of Walensky’s statement that it was safe for unvaccinated teachers to resume their posts. Psaki then sought to “clarify” that when Walensky said that teachers could safely go back into the classroom without being vaccinated, she was speaking in her “personal capacity,” as if the objective nature of the Covid threat changed depending on whether or not Walensky was wearing her CDC director’s hat at the time.
Psaki then told reporters to wait before passing judgement until the CDC officially released its new school reopening guidelines, which she promised would be finalized only after “listening to the experts” and “following the science.” However, it was already embarrassingly clear that the Biden administration’s school reopening policy was being driven by its need to retain the political support of the teachers’ unions, even if that meant undermining the credibility of its CDC director.
Predictably, the new CDC school reopening guidelines deliberately fudged the crucial teacher vaccination issue by implying that schools might have to remain closed until national vaccine supplies caught up with demand. At the press conference where Dr. Walensky announced the new CDC guidelines, she was asked why they did not state more clearly the need for schools to reopen as soon as possible. Her lame answer was that the CDC did not “have the authority to demand or mandate that schools open,” and that its new guidelines “simply provide schools a long-needed roadmap for how to do so safely under different levels of disease in the community.” She also felt obliged to add the unbelievable claim that the CDC guidelines drafting process was “free of political meddling.”
By that time, the scientific evidence from several European countries and Israel, which had safely reopened their schools, was becoming clear. Younger children were largely immune to infection by the virus, and remote Zoom video sessions were inadequate substitutes for in-person classroom teaching, particularly for children from poorer families.
But the watered-down CDC guidelines did meet the Biden administration’s main priorities. By deliberately sacrificing the need for clarity on the school issue, they gave the leaders of the teachers’ unions political cover they needed to demand that schools stay closed, while publicly pretending they were part of the solution rather than the cause of the problem.
DISPUTE WITH FLORIDA GOVERNOR DESANTIS OVER MASK MANDATES
That summer, the Biden administration again tried to turn the nation’s schoolchildren into political pawns by attacking two Republican governors, Gregg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida. They had embarrassed Biden and Democrat state and local leaders across the country by keeping their public schools open without triggering the disastrous increase in Covid infections that administration “experts” had predicted, and by refusing to order schoolchildren to wear masks.
Instead of demanding that the GOP governors close their schools, which had already become a politically unpopular measure, the Biden administration chose to attack Governor DeSantis, in particular, for issuing an executive order barring local or county officials in Florida from issuing mandatory mask mandates on schoolchildren without giving their parents the ability to opt out.
Despite Democrat claims to the contrary, DeSantis was never anti-vaccine. His statewide response to the outbreak of the delta variant in the summer of 2021 was to allow local officials across Florida to impose vaccine and mask mandates where they thought it necessary, but to allow parents to opt out of any mask mandates on their children.
DeSantis argued that his voluntary approach, emphasizing vaccination for those in the highest risk categories, had saved lives, and that young children did not need masks because of their natural immunity to the virus. But President Biden had been embarrassed by DeSantis and Abbott, because they had showed the rest of the country that the virus could be effectively controlled through informed, voluntary public compliance, without the need to lock down schools and businesses or force young children to wear masks.
Biden publicly lectured DeSantis and Abbott, without mentioning them by name, for obstructing his vaccine and masking-centered plan to stop the spread of the virus. “Please help. If you’re not going to help, at least get out of the way of the people who are trying to do the right thing,” Biden said.
Biden’s message was amplified by his press secretary, who implied that the voluntary approach of the Republican governors to fighting the virus was contrary to science. “Leaders are going to have to choose whether they’re going to follow public health guidelines or they’re going to follow politics,” Jen Psaki said.
But Ron DeSantis refused to be intimidated. He fought back, condemning Biden for failing to fulfill his campaign pledge to the American people to quickly put an end to the pandemic. “Joe Biden has taken to himself to single out Florida over Covid,” DeSantis said. “This is a guy who ran for president saying he was going to ‘shut down the virus’ — and what has he done? He’s imported more virus from around the world by having a wide-open southern border. … Whatever variants are around the world, they’re coming across that southern border. He’s not shutting down the virus; he’s helping to facilitate it.”
In response to Biden’s call for him to stand aside, DeSantis declared: “If you’re coming after the rights of parents in Florida, I’m standing in your way. If you’re trying to deny kids a proper in-person education, I’m gonna stand in your way and stand up for the kids in Florida. If you’re trying to restrict people and impose mandates and ruin their jobs and livelihood, if you are trying to lock people down, I am standing in your way. I am standing for the people of Florida.”
DeSantis demanded that Biden respond to his complaint: “Why don’t you do your job? Why don’t you get this border secure? And until you do that, I don’t want to hear a blip about Covid from you.”
PARENTS’ RIGHTS VS. BIG GOVERNMENT
Even before President Biden’s statement, Governor DeSantis was speaking out for the right of parents to have the final say on whether their children should be required to wear masks.
“I want to empower parents to be able to make the best decisions they can for the wellbeing of their children,” DeSantis said, explaining that parents are in the best position to evaluate, “the effect that this would have on their children.”
During a speech he delivered in Salt Lake City, DeSantis said, “It’s not healthy for these students to be sitting there all day, six-year-old kids in kindergarten, covered in masks.”
In his ongoing public debate with Biden over mask mandates, DeSantis cited a study by Brown University researcher Emily Oster that did not find “a correlation between mask mandates and Covid rates,” in schools in Florida, New York, and Massachusetts.
“He [Biden] thinks that should be a decision for the government. Well, I can tell you in Florida, the parents are going to make that decision,” DeSantis said.
The Florida governor also said that Biden “rejects science because he denies that people who recover from Covid have long-lasting immunity. His vision is, just like in New York City, restaurants should ban young kids because they cannot be vaccinated. Law-abiding citizens have to show proof of their medical records to go to the gym or attend an event. He [Biden] wants that! But if you want to vote, “DeSantis added, “he thinks it’s too much of a burden to show a picture ID.”
DeSantis said that Americans must now choose whether to have a “free society or a bio-medical security state” and declared that Florida will remain a “free state. People are going to be free to choose to make their own decisions.”
More than six months later, it appears that DeSantis has won his public relations war with Biden over whether parents should be able to opt out of mask mandates in their child’s school.
However, the underlying debate over whether any benefits of child-masking in slowing the spread of the virus outweigh their considerable costs in terms of delaying a child’s development remains a subject of ongoing controversy among experts in the public health community.
CDC STILL BEHIND ON CHILD MASK MANDATES
Current CDC guidance still call for “universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K–12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.” But that may soon change, due to growing political pressure from frustrated parent as much as the growing scientific evidence that their benefits no longer justify their negative impact on childhood development.
Several European countries, including Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, follow World Health Organization guidelines, which recommend against masking children ages five and younger, because masks are not “in the overall interest of the child,” and because many children are unable to wear masks properly. For children ages six to 11, the WHO also does not recommend masks, because of the “potential impact of wearing a mask on learning and psychosocial development.”
Even at this late date, two years into the pandemic, there is still too little solid scientific evidence gathered in randomized clinical trials to determine the extent to which mask mandates in schools reduce the rate of Covid transmission. On the other hand, some studies indicate that wearing a mask does impedes a child’s ability to decode facial expressions, makes it more difficult for children with hearing impairments to discern individual sounds, and can hinder language and speech development.
Wearing cloth masks throughout the school day is already difficult for many young children to endure, and the current transition to more effective N95 or KN95 masks will make it even more difficult for many of them to comply.
Even when dealing with the omicron variant, young children are still much more resistant to infection than adults, and now that the FDA has approved vaccines for children as young as five, the question must be asked again as to whether the minimal benefits of masking outweigh the developmental risks.
The answer to that question may already be moot. In several Republican and Democrat-governed states across the country, existing school mask mandates have been in full-scale retreat, even before the CDC relaxed its child-masking guidelines.
TRYING TO SILENCE PARENT OBJECTIONS
Elections have consequences. Youngkin’s upset victory in November over former governor and Democrat Party fundraiser Terry McAuliffe has led to a sea change in Virginia politics. It also has enabled parent activists to demonstrate, for the first time, the full power of the public school control issue.
Democrats in Virginia school districts are now trying to challenge an executive order signed by the state’s new Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, giving parents the choice of whether their children wear masks in school.
For woke progressive advocates, maintaining their control over public-school policies has always been serious business. In Loudoun County, Virginia, public school teachers and administrators formed a secret group to intimidate public school parents who opposed the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) to their children. One participant in that secret group, school board member Beth Barts, was forced to resign after her role came out, and other board members who were involved now face recalls organized by angry parents.
MCAULIFFE’S SCHOOL POLICY DEBATE BLUNDER
During a September 29 debate between the two gubernatorial candidates, McAuliffe first raised the issue by claiming that parents had no right to complain about controversial books in public school libraries. “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions,” McAuliffe said. He then added a crucial comment that would doom his campaign, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Youngkin’s response was a condemnation of “school systems refusing to engage with parents.” He then added, “I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education.”
That exchange defined the campaign for Virginia parents of both parties. Although McAuliffe then tried to play the race card to win back the support he had lost among alienated Democrat parents — saying, “In Virginia schools, K-12, 50% are students of color and yet 80% of teachers are white. We all know what we have to do in a school to make everybody feel comfortable in school, so let’s diversify” — it didn’t work, because too many parents felt they could no longer trust him to put the proper education of their children above his liberal agenda.
McAuliffe then tried to use the strategy that worked for Gavin Newsom in California: trying to demonize his Republican opponent as a Donald Trump wannabe. But that, too, didn’t work, because Youngkin, throughout his campaign, was careful to avoid any association with the controversial former president. He projected the image of a thoroughly wholesome husband and father, a former high school basketball star who became a successful businessman and self-funded his gubernatorial campaign. In additional to exploiting the winning school issue that McAuliffe had handed him during the debate, Youngkin concentrated his campaign entirely on kitchen-table economic issues with broad appeal to working-class families, such as the elimination of an unpopular state tax on the purchase of groceries. He also promised to restore Virginia’s former status as a place where families can thrive and small businesses could succeed.
During the final weeks of the campaign, as McAuliffe’s slim lead over Youngkin was evaporating, he issued a plea for help from the most popular Democrats in the nation, including former president Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris, and even President Joe Biden, who all responded by coming to Virginia to campaign on his behalf. But none of them could help him, because they, too, were on the wrong side of the school issue.
During the vice president’s campaign appearance on McAuliffe’s behalf, Harris made an offhand prediction about the Virginia election whose truth Democrats across the country would soon come to regret: “What happens in Virginia will in large part determine what happens in 2022, 2024, and on.”
By Election Day last November, Youngkin’s position on the parental control issue had become so popular that he declared, “This is no longer a campaign. It is a movement where we are … standing up and saying we have a fundamental right to be engaged in our kids’ education.”
BIDEN’S ATTORNEY GENERAL LABELS PARENTS “DOMESTIC TERRORISTS”
Politically motivated school board leaders across the country reacted to the revolt by Virginia parents against their progressive policies by trying to enlist the help of the Biden administration in suppressing the parent protests.
In a carefully orchestrated behind-the-scenes political plot, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona quietly encouraged the National School Boards Association to send a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking him to publicly declare protesting parents to be “domestic terrorists” and a threat to national security. Garland was quick to oblige, and the plot seemed to be working until an FBI whistleblower revealed that the agency was employing counterterrorism tactics to suppress public dissent by parent groups nationwide.
The resulting firestorm of public criticism forced the NSBA retracted its letter, and Garland to issue a half-hearted apology. But the plot was working well until it was revealed by the whistleblower, which means that progressive school board leaders will inevitably try it again — once they figure out a better way to cover their tracks.
PARENT REVOLTS SPREADING ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Three months after the Virginia election, the partisan battles between newly aroused parent groups, teachers’ unions, school boards, and local government officials over the education of their schoolchildren have spread across the country, all the way to liberal San Francisco.
Parent rights activists in other Democrat-ruled cities across the country have been encourage by the successful recall in San Francisco. Previously disinterested parents are now demanding a greater voice in setting school policies and the right to review progressive changes to the curriculum which they may feel are inappropriate for their children.
In New York City, Maud Maron, a parent of four public school children and Democrat congressional candidate in Manhattan’s 12th district, is mounting a primary challenge to incumbent Carolyn Maloney. Maron told the New York Post, “As I watched the insanity raging at the San Francisco school-board meetings, I felt a certain relief — at least the school board I presided over at the time was not the craziest in the country!
ADDRESSING COMMON SCHOOL PROBLEMS
Maron explained that the issue driving opposition to school boards across the country is the radical leftward shift of its members.
“The commonality between what I experienced on my [Manhattan] school board and what voters rejected in the San Francisco recall vote,” she said, “is pervasive wokeness: the self-indulgence of those board members who decided they are morally superior to those who have different viewpoints and ideas for improving schools and helping students learn better.
“The other commonality is what a bad job both school systems do to educate poor, minority students. In New York City, only one-third of black and Hispanic students were grade-level proficient in reading and math…
“Another hard-to-miss similarity is the incessant attack on merit-based admissions and Asian-American families. The “Stuyvesant of San Francisco” Lowell High School lost its ability to admit students based primarily on grade point average (GPA) and standardized tests, which was an equity effort designed to lower the number of Asian students and increase black and Hispanic enrollment.
“A similar effort [to kill Gifted and Talented student programs] failed in New York City, but not for want of trying by left-leaning school-board members and politicians, including the chancellor and [former] mayor [Bill de Blasio],” Maron said.
ACCOUNTABILITY IS FINALLY COMING
The school lockdowns over the past two years have opened the eyes of many parents who did not previously realize the full extent to which politically corrupt local school boards have twisted the priorities and undermined the quality of education in the nation’s public schools.
Many middle-class families with the necessary financial resources have already taken the initiative by enrolling their children into local private schools, moving their families to districts where public schools still provide a good education, or taking the matter into their own hands by home-schooling their children. For example, since the start of the pandemic two years ago, enrollment in the elementary schools in Manhattan’s District 2, covering Greenwich Village and Soho, have fallen by 17%, totaling more than 2,500 children, while Brooklyn’s District 15, which includes Park Slope, is down by 16%, totaling 1,800 children.
Angry working-class parents who lack those financial resources have also organized and are now demanding that local governments give their children similar opportunities to receive the quality education they deserve. They first made those demands felt in New York City last year when they demanded that Bill de Blasio defy the teachers’ unions by reopening the city’s public schools and keeping them open despite a Covid resurgence.
The parents then successfully fought de Blasio’s attempts to water down the public school curriculums by shutting down the Gifted and Talented student programs. Those parents now have reason to hope that newly-elected New York City Mayor Eric Adams has heard their call. Adams’ new public school chancellor, David Banks, who used to run a successful chain of publicly-supported charter schools, has promised to reform the city’s bloated public school bureaucracy, give parents more school choices, and provide their children with a better quality of education.
But woke school boards pushing progressive school curriculums are only part of a deeper problem — the lack of political accountability across the country for failed local public school systems whose policies are dictated by the pro-Democrat heads of teachers’ unions instead of the needs of the schoolchildren.
The failing public school issue is out in the open now, and it is not just a problem for the Biden administration. Local Democrat officials, who have politically benefitted from those failed public school systems for decades, now have good reason to be afraid that parents across the country will finally hold them accountable as well in this November’s midterm election.