The Corruption Of Education In America, Public And Private: A Tweet And A Parent’s Letter

Yes, that’s the tweet. No, I’m not kidding: that’s a real tweet. The Tweeter is the head of the American Federation of Teachers, herself a teacher. You can’t get more res ipsa loquitur than that, can you? Don’t tell me that anyone can make a mistake: THAT 115% mistake can only be made by a rank incompetent, and she’s the leader of the national teacher’s union. She’s a teacher, and yet she made a second grade-level math error on a tweet she knew would be circulated nationally. And about 200 teachers, who have been teaching children while suffering from Randi’s level of ineptitude, with perhaps some victims of the educational system they have polluted mixed in, actually liked this message.

Yet the math mistake isn’t even the worst aspect of the tweet. The message is also outright deceit: it isn’t “child care” that made mothers leave their jobs. It’s the unnecessary shutting down of public schools that was engineered in great part by Weingarten’s members and has been extended by them for their own political and financial agenda. These are the people we entrust the minds of our children to when we use the public schools by necessity or choice. Far too many of them are not qualified to teach, intellectually or ethically. If they were, they would not tolerate leaders like Randi Weingarten.

The tweet, however, is just a small piece of evidence in a much longer indictment. That indictment can be found here, in a letter by brave parent, Andrew Gutmann, to his daughter’s $54,000 a year private school, Brearley, an all-girls institution on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He shared it with New York Times expatriot Bari Weiss, now writing at substack as so many rebel journalists and pundits are now.

His indictment applies equally to private and public schools for the most part, as well as colleges and universities. Liyyle of it, perhaps none of it, will surprise anyone who has been reading here at Ethics Alarms, or who has been paying attention.

Gutmann writes,

April 13, 2021

Dear Fellow Brearley Parents,

Our family recently made the decision not to reenroll our daughter at Brearley for the 2021-22 school year. She has been at Brearley for seven years, beginning in kindergarten. In short, we no longer believe that Brearley’s administration and Board of Trustees have any of our children’s best interests at heart. Moreover, we no longer have confidence that our daughter will receive the quality of education necessary to further her development into a critically thinking, responsible, enlightened, and civic minded adult. I write to you, as a fellow parent, to share our reasons for leaving the Brearley community but also to urge you to act before the damage to the school, to its community, and to your own child’s education is irreparable.

It cannot be stated strongly enough that Brearley’s obsession with race must stop. It should be abundantly clear to any thinking parent that Brearley has completely lost its way. The administration and the Board of Trustees have displayed a cowardly and appalling lack of leadership by appeasing an anti-intellectual, illiberal mob, and then allowing the school to be captured by that same mob. What follows are my own personal views on Brearley’s antiracism initiatives, but these are just a handful of the criticisms that I know other parents have expressed.

I object to the view that I should be judged by the color of my skin. I cannot tolerate a school that not only judges my daughter by the color of her skin, but encourages and instructs her to prejudge others by theirs. By viewing every element of education, every aspect of history, and every facet of society through the lens of skin color and race, we are desecrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and utterly violating the movement for which such civil rights leaders believed, fought, and died.

I object to the charge of systemic racism in this country, and at our school. Systemic racism, properly understood, is segregated schools and separate lunch counters. It is the interning of Japanese and the exterminating of Jews. Systemic racism is unequivocally not a small number of isolated incidences over a period of decades. Ask any girl, of any race, if they have ever experienced insults from friends, have ever felt slighted by teachers or have ever suffered the occasional injustice from a school at which they have spent up to 13 years of their life, and you are bound to hear grievances, some petty, some not. We have not had systemic racism against Blacks in this country since the civil rights reforms of the 1960s, a period of more than 50 years. To state otherwise is a flat-out misrepresentation of our country’s history and adds no understanding to any of today’s societal issues. If anything, longstanding and widespread policies such as affirmative action, point in precisely the opposite direction.

I object to a definition of systemic racism, apparently supported by Brearley, that any educational, professional, or societal outcome where Blacks are underrepresented is prima facie evidence of the aforementioned systemic racism, or of white supremacy and oppression. Facile and unsupported beliefs such as these are the polar opposite to the intellectual and scientific truth for which Brearley claims to stand. Furthermore, I call bullshit on Brearley’s oft-stated assertion that the school welcomes and encourages the truly difficult and uncomfortable conversations regarding race and the roots of racial discrepancies.

I object to the idea that Blacks are unable to succeed in this country without aid from government or from whites. Brearley, by adopting critical race theory, is advocating the abhorrent viewpoint that Blacks should forever be regarded as helpless victims, and are incapable of success regardless of their skills, talents, or hard work. What Brearley is teaching our children is precisely the true and correct definition of racism.

I object to mandatory anti-racism training for parents, especially when presented by the rent-seeking charlatans of Pollyanna. These sessions, in both their content and delivery, are so sophomoric and simplistic, so unsophisticated and inane, that I would be embarrassed if they were taught to Brearley kindergarteners. They are an insult to parents and unbecoming of any educational institution, let alone one of Brearley’s caliber.

I object to Brearley’s vacuous, inappropriate, and fanatical use of words such as “equity,” “diversity” and “inclusiveness.” If Brearley’s administration was truly concerned about so-called “equity,” it would be discussing the cessation of admissions preferences for legacies, siblings, and those families with especially deep pockets. If the administration was genuinely serious about “diversity,” it would not insist on the indoctrination of its students, and their families, to a single mindset, most reminiscent of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Instead, the school would foster an environment of intellectual openness and freedom of thought. And if Brearley really cared about “inclusiveness,” the school would return to the concepts encapsulated in the motto “One Brearley,” instead of teaching the extraordinarily divisive idea that there are only, and always, two groups in this country: victims and oppressors.

l object to Brearley’s advocacy for groups and movements such as Black Lives Matter, a Marxist, anti family, heterophobic, anti-Asian and anti-Semitic organization that neither speaks for the majority of the Black community in this country, nor in any way, shape or form, represents their best interests.

I object to, as we have been told time and time again over the past year, that the school’s first priority is the safety of our children. For goodness sake, Brearley is a school, not a hospital! The number one priority of a school has always been, and always will be, education. Brearley’s misguided priorities exemplify both the safety culture and “cover-your-ass” culture that together have proved so toxic to our society and have so damaged the mental health and resiliency of two generations of children, and counting.

I object to the gutting of the history, civics, and classical literature curriculums. I object to the censorship of books that have been taught for generations because they contain dated language potentially offensive to the thin-skinned and hypersensitive (something that has already happened in my daughter’s 4th grade class). I object to the lowering of standards for the admission of students and for the hiring of teachers. I object to the erosion of rigor in classwork and the escalation of grade inflation. Any parent with eyes open can foresee these inevitabilities should antiracism initiatives be allowed to persist.

We have today in our country, from both political parties, and at all levels of government, the most unwise and unvirtuous leaders in our nation’s history. Schools like Brearley are supposed to be the training grounds for those leaders. Our nation will not survive a generation of leadership even more poorly educated than we have now, nor will we survive a generation of students taught to hate its own country and despise its history.

Lastly, I object, with as strong a sentiment as possible, that Brearley has begun to teach what to think, instead of how to think. I object that the school is now fostering an environment where our daughters, and our daughters’ teachers, are afraid to speak their minds in class for fear of “consequences.” I object that Brearley is trying to usurp the role of parents in teaching morality, and bullying parents to adopt that false morality at home. I object that Brearley is fostering a divisive community where families of different races, which until recently were part of the same community, are now segregated into two. These are the reasons why we can no longer send our daughter to Brearley.

Over the past several months, I have personally spoken to many Brearley parents as well as parents of children at peer institutions. It is abundantly clear that the majority of parents believe that Brearley’s antiracism policies are misguided, divisive, counterproductive and cancerous. Many believe, as I do, that these policies will ultimately destroy what was until recently, a wonderful educational institution. But as I am sure will come as no surprise to you, given the insidious cancel culture that has of late permeated our society, most parents are too fearful to speak up.

But speak up you must. There is strength in numbers and I assure you, the numbers are there. Contact the administration and the Board of Trustees and demand an end to the destructive and anti-intellectual claptrap known as antiracism. And if changes are not forthcoming then demand new leadership. For the sake of our community, our city, our country and most of all, our children, silence is no longer an option.


Andrew Gutmann


20 thoughts on “The Corruption Of Education In America, Public And Private: A Tweet And A Parent’s Letter

    • He used “whites” exactly once, compared to “Blacks” 6 times. I don’t think anything can be fairly read into the choice or happenstance not to capitalize a single word.

      • He used “white(s)” twice; once singular, once plural. It would be significant that he capitalized “black”, even if he had not used “white” at all.

        • Would it? i don’t use “Black” for the same reason I never adopted “persons of color”—I don’t jump through hoops on command. But as with the “Wuhan racist/ COVID good” controversy, a lot of people just go with the flow. A memo came down somewhere that “Black” it was, an “black” was demeaning. Eventually there will be a new “good” name, when the current one has negative associations. There was a time when “colored” was accepted by blacks as just fine. (And if someone can tell me why “people of color” means anything other than “colored,” I’d be grateful.

          • “Would it?”
            In this case, I think so. If he’s just “going with the flow”, he’s doing it while complaining about the school going with the currently “approved” agenda.

            Interestingly, if you look at the NYT’s explanation of why they went with “Black” but kept “white”, and rank the comments by Reader Picks, the ones most approved, even by their predominantly left readership, think the Times’ rationalization is BS. Many noting that they’re essentially saying that all blacks are the same, but whites are diverse.

          • I think people of color is used to lump all non-white people into a group, mostly because it takes to long to list all the groups individually. It usually gets shortened to POC, although the language has already evolved and moved on to BIPOC ( black, indigenous and people of color). I am guilty of using POC, mostly because I hear it so often that it has snuck into my vocabulary without me noticing. It takes a conscious effort to avoid using the vocabulary that other people want you to use.

            I wasn’t alive when “colored” was in popular use, so I’m not sure if that term was used to denote all non-whites or just black people.

            I was listening to something the other day, I think Jason Whitlock, and the speaker stated that the capitalization of black versus white was racist because the intent was to put black people in their own special group of humans. The left doesn’t consider black people to be the same as white people, so they need special language to differentiate them as being different. It was an interesting viewpoint, and looked at from that perspective highly insulting.

        • Context matters. The second was “white supremacist”, a generic group compared to “Black Lives Matter”, the proper name of a specific movement. This is grasping at straws, and makes communication impossible by focusing on truly tedious detail.

          • Besides “Black Lives Matter”, used once, the other times he used “Black” was as a general term, just like he used “white”.

            Listen, I’m not objecting to the content or clarity of his excellent letter, just noting the irony of him engaging in a mini version of what he complains about. I hope it’s not deliberate hypocrisy, but just unconscious habit coming from, as Jack suggested, “going with the flow”.

  1. I cancelled my membership in the NEA, which like the AFT is quite comfortable with the party line many years ago. It’s not surprising how eagerly most school districts have embraced this woke bullshit as they have alway made huge PAC contributions to the Democratic Party. I think the only solution at present is for parents to homeschool their kids to prevent them from becoming throughly indoctrinated in leftist ideology.

  2. Weingarten brushes it off as a typo. So? Liyyle thing, perhaps, or significant carelessness? I don’t know. It sure was amusing to read through the responses she got, and a welcome diversion from trying to think about the essential issue, to what extent should parents turn over parenting to the government.
    Gutman, writing about a private school, nevertheless brings us smartly back to that issue and notes how badly things can turn when parents yield too much of their responsibility for raising their children.

    • That’s uncalled for, Ed McMahon. Jack puts out thousands of words a day in his spare time. Someone with a staff can’t put out a tweet that isn’t laughably non-sensical? Are you a paid lefty troll?

      • Well, gosh, OB, sometimes a typo is just a typo, an indicator of a temporary lapse in attention to detail, not a sign of rank incompetence. I well could be lampooned for the typo in my previous comment, and if some want to portray that as a sign of incompetence on my part, have at it. Obviously there is a significant difference between the “115%” error and “yy”, and, yes, I would expect Weingarten to be especially careful in what she pushes out to the public. But our focus should be on the policies she promotes.
        A troll? No. And sometimes my mood is more Torrance than Carson.

    • Weingarten is unable to think. That is what allows her to be in her position. When asked to respond to parents who complained that teacher’s unions were preventing schools from re-opening, this was apparently her response:

      “American Jews are now part of the ownership class. Jews were immigrants from somewhere else. And they needed the right to have public education. And they needed power to have enough income and wealth for their families that they could put their kids through college and their kids could do better than they have done. Both economic opportunity through the labor movement and an educational opportunity through public education were key for Jews to go from the working class to the ownership class. What I hear when I hear that question is that those who are in the ownership class now want to take that ladder of opportunity away from those who do not have it.”

      This response makes no sense. Keeping schools CLOSED is what is taking the ladder away. She acts like having schools is what hurts the underclasses. OK, maybe she is stating truthfully that our schools are so bad that no school is better.

      • Well, that’s an interesting excerpt from her interview in the Jewish Telegraphic Review, and, while it seems to be nonsense, it must make sense to her. Is it somehow tied to her opposition to private schools? Elsewhere in the interview she seems to complain about the help private schools got from PPP (while ignoring the money for public schools). It’s convoluted, but her statement might make sense, to her anyway, if you consider the flow of students from (closed) public schools to (open) private (Jewish) schools, at least somewhat enabled by PPP. That flow leads to decreased funding for those public schools, ergo, a weakening of them and a removal of the ladder of opportunity. I don’t buy that argument. There’s plenty of evidence that marketplace competition produces better outcomes for consumers, but teachers unions especially do not want that competition.

  3. There is a push for all women to enter the workforce. As if entering the workforce brings an “equality” to the men vs women debate. Women who are not working play a crucial role in society. They bridge the community gap, provide emergency babysitting and do thousands of random, important, unremarked things. To being there for school parties to volunteering at food banks, to organizing a fitness group, to shuttling another kid from preschool to daycare and providing a couple hours of childcare. Many women who are “unemployed” have spouses who run their own business and they help with that. It’s good to have people who have a flexible schedule around town. Many homeschool, blog, do side jobs, and generally do random tasks others can’t until “after work”. Many others have a side gig for income though a MLM such as pampered chef, Mary Kay, Avon, Beachbody, 31 bags, jewelry, etc. they earn money…. many others make jellies, sell soap, crochet, bake, and create signs and go to craft fairs. Still others volunteer and create newsletters, encourage school pride, make signs, organize events and make an extra dessert for the parent who has no time, become scout leaders, etc. They are NOT some “poor, unfortunate soul” who needs help. They are fine where they are and chose the life of raising their own family instead of pawning it off to a daycare. Society should give the good ones an award for the national treasures they are.

  4. Then there’s this from New York City, you know, Hymie Town, right Jessie?–

    A few of the high lights:

    “The campaign manager for an Upper West Side candidate for the City Council is in hot water for saying the neighborhood is too white — and Jewish.

    Quinn Mootz, who is running Sara Lind’s council bid, is catching flak for her April 13 comments on Twitter, which have since been deleted — but not before critics took screen grabs.

    “Jews are not POC [People of Color] for just being jewish. sorry,” Mootz tweeted, using the handle “Quinn Mootz says Hot Girls Hate The Filibuster.”

    Mootz also tweeted, “As of 2018: 10.8% of the population is Asian, 4.1% black, 14.1% hispanic, and 68.4% white. So yeah ima go ahead and say the UWS has a diversity problem.”

    “Of your 191,000 residents…. 130,795 are white,” she said.

    Mootz also also lambasted “sh–ty people” who refer to “homeless people as zombies and think anyone to the left of you is too woke. You f–king moron.”

    Neighborhood critics slammed Mootz — who happens to be white and Jewish.”

    Surely this must have been put together by The Babylon Bee. “Hot Girls Hate The Filibuster?” “Ima go ahead and say?” Isn’t that cultural appropriation? Isn’t she guilty of TBWBW? Talking black while being white? If this isn’t the perfect case of irrational and terminal white, and Jewish, guilt, I’m not sure what is.

    • “Hot Girls Hate the Filibuster.” Why have the left injected so much emotion into policy issues? And even sexuality? Lefties are sexy and conservatives are prudes? What’s that all about? I guess it’s cool to be a lefty and uncool not to be one? Why so irrational? I’m beginning to think Trump Derangement Syndrome was a misdiagnosis. These people are simply deranged, period.

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