The Truth is Powerful

How Social-Justice Education Coddles Young Minds

A parent, Ndona Muboyayi, recently told Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic the following story about her son: “My son has wanted to be a lawyer since he was 11. Then one day he came home and told me, ‘But Mommy, there are these systems put in place that prevent Black people from accomplishing anything.’ That’s what they’re teaching Black kids: that all of this time for the past 400 years, this is what [white people have] done to you and your people. The narrative is, ‘You can’t get ahead.’” Such stories are becoming more prevalent today, with the rise of what are often referred to as “social-justice educators” in the classroom. These teachers are typically concerned with equity in education — how to reckon with the unequal distribution of resources and services to achieve equal educational outcomes across students. Many believe that education is intersectional: “We cannot talk about schools, without addressing race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, and politics, because education is a political act,” wrote Crystal Belle, a teacher-education director at Rutgers University–Newark. Their goal, as Belle put it, is to use “curriculum as a primary mechanism for making the world a more equitable place.”

This goal sounds nice. […]

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