10 of the Worst Education Takes in 2021

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Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, parents saw firsthand what their children were learning in school. Correspondingly, education became a major point of contention. Parents protesting school boards, teachers preaching from the lectern, and, of course, people posting idiotic takes on Twitter. With all discourse, there is bound to be some preposterous claims as the conversation around curriculum and pedagogy becomes mainstream. 

Without further ado, here are some of the worst takes the field of education saw in 2021:

10. In an Attempt to Discredit School Choice, a Prominent CRT Thought Leader Illustrates the Argument for School Choice

Nikole Hannah-Jones, the architect behind the New York Times’ 1619 Project, appears to be a stronger supporter of school choice than you—or even she—might expect. On Twitter, she expressed her displeasure with school choice and, strangely, ended up making a compelling case for it. She asked “Why do ‘school choice’ advocates never advocate eliminating school district boundaries/funding schools by local property tax.” which, ironically, is a textbook definition of school choice. The ahistorical writer presented what she thought was a criticism of school choice advocates while in actuality making a strong case for the policy.

9. Reopening Schools is Racist

During a February board meeting, La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board Vice President Chardá Bell-Fontenot stated that requiring a return to school before the district could confirm employees were vaccinated was equivalent to white supremacy and slavery. 

“We can’t just say that kids can go back in the classroom, and there’s no vaccinated teachers willing to do that,” stated Bell-Fontenot. “How are we forcing people — that seems like a very white supremacist ideology to force people to comply with …You are thinking about one type of family when you are speaking right now. Privilege. Check it, you guys!”

The board later voted 4-1 in favor of resuming in-person learning on April 19.

8. Member of “The Squad” Says Student Debt is Violence

In December, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) turned to social media to urge President Biden to eliminate student debt for all college students and graduates in the United States. In a summary of her outreach initiatives, Pressley stated that allowing student loan debt to persist is a form of violence.

“Let’s make it plain: student debt is policy violence,” Pressley stated on Twitter. “We’ll keep fighting to relieve families across the country, to make sure our policies & budgets reflect their lived experiences & that we build this grassroots movement to #CancelStudentDebt together.”

It should be noted, however, that nobody has been physically harmed by student loans. Yet the same cannot be said for the Black Lives Matter riots over the summer, which Rep. Pressley praised in August. 

7. Rutgers Professor Hypocritical Stance on Private Schools

In December, Rutgers University graduate school professor Bruce Baker stated on Twitter that parents already have power over their child’s schooling and suggested that public school systems safeguard society concerns in the same manner that schools protect children from parental interests. Moreover, Baker suggested school choice policies were like “child brides” as a justification for more financing for public schools.

Although this thought is already atrocious, Corey DeAngelis, the National Director of Research for the American Federation for Children, noted on Twitter that Baker enrolled his children in “private independent schools.”

6. Terry McAulliffe and Parents in Schools

During the Virginia gubernatorial debate, Terry McAuliffe said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Education then became the highest-ranking issue among Virginia voters, and as a result of this blunder, McAulliffe lost the governor election by two percentage points. Republicans had not won a statewide election in Virginia after 2009, yet they won all three statewide positions on the ballot. His was an election-losing take.

Of course, this entire claim is bogus. According to one study, over ninety-seven percent of instructors reported observing some form of learning loss in their kids over the last year when compared to prior years’ children, and a plurality, fifty-seven percent to be precise, indicated their pupils are behind by over three months in their social-emotional growth.

5. Learning Loss Is a Figment of Your Imagination

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times editorial board, the president of United Teachers Los Angeles, Cecily Myart-Cruz, stated that she will not discuss learning loss since it does not exist. “There is no such thing as learning loss,” she declared to the journalist. She went on to say “[o]ur kids didn’t lose anything. It’s OK that our babies may not have learned all their times tables. They learned resilience. They learned survival. They learned critical-thinking skills. They know the difference between a riot and a protest. They know the words insurrection and coup.”

4. Randi Weingarten Reverses Position After Lobbying the CDC

When it comes to American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, there is a myriad of horrendous utterances that could be cited. Such can be seen from her claiming critical race theory is not present in public schools to anti-Semitic remarks calling American Jews members of an “ownership class” in the United States that seeks to deprive others of opportunity. Yet perhaps the most laughable folly of her this year was her position reversal once she was caught red-handed lobbying the CDC. 

Only days after Chalkboard Review revealed the AFT and CDC were working together behind the scenes on creating policies for reopening schools, Weingarten adopted a position of fully reopening schools this fall. Many parents and Republicans were quick to point out the strange positional change such as Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) who told Fox News that the union leader “is attempting to rewrite history by framing her union as part of the ‘solution.'”

3. Virginia NAACP Official Wants Perturbed Parents to Die

In July, the NAACP of Fairfax County, Virginia, defended its vice president, Michelle Leete, exclaimed “let them die!” in reference to parents who oppose teaching critical race theory. Moreover, in the message, the NAACP chapter said that parents who petition government officials about public policies impacting their children are “anti-children.” Similarly, none of the Fairfax County school board’s twelve Democrats opposed Leete’s statements.

2. Dozens of Public Libraries Suggest Children Read Child Pornography

In October, Chalkboard Review reported that throughout the previous five years, over sixty large public libraries in the United States and Canada have recommended explicit pictures of children engaged in sexual practices to middle and high school students through a book called “Gender Queer.” At the recommendation of the librarians who compile the lists, many educators have worked Gender Queer into their curricula over the last two years. Many of our nation’s literary suppliers strongly advise all of our pupils to watch explicit sex between youngsters and elderly men.

1. The FBI and Attorney General Consider Concerned Parents Terrorists

On October 4th, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a directive instructing federal agents to develop a method for tracking maltreatment and threats aimed at school administrators, instructors, and other workers. Consequently, whistleblower documents have shown that parents can now be classified as domestic terrorists in the FBI’s registry if their words or actions are perceived as dangerous, pestering, or threatening — even if no federal violations have occurred.

The leaked documents appear to contradict Attorney General Garland’s statement to Congress on October 21st, in which he stated that the Department of Justice and its divisions were not using counterterrorism techniques to target “concerned parents at school board meetings.” 

Daniel Elmore
Daniel Elmore is the Data & Analytics Coordinator at the Chalkboard Review.