National School Choice Week

Chris Stewart: Race, COVID-19, and the Future of School Choice

Black families need control of their children's K-12 education, says the Minnesota activist. The past year's lockdowns might just make that happen.

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"There isn't an issue facing Black people today that doesn't find its origins in K-12 education," writes Chris Stewart, CEO of the education nonprofit brightbeam and a prolific writer and podcaster. "Without our own collective governance of our children's intellectual development, how can we win? Without Black self-determination in who teaches them, what they learn, where they learn, and how lessons are taught to them, what is the future of our freedom?"

A Christian and a libertarian, the Minnesota-based Stewart says that school lockdowns over the past year have forced parents to become more involved in and attentive to their children's education and may well lead to an exodus from traditional public schools. In a wide-ranging conversation with Nick Gillespie, Stewart also talks about why he believes that the government shouldn't be in charge of curricula and why support for school choice will continue to grow despite efforts by teachers unions and education bureaucrats to maintain a failing status quo.

NEXT: How COVID-19 Made School Choice a Priority

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50 responses to “Chris Stewart: Race, COVID-19, and the Future of School Choice

  1. “… that one day my children will be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

    start here ^^?

    1. Wow, you got any more discredited and outdated statements?

      1. cars from the 60s are better too.

        1. Yeah, but like judging people on the content of their character vs the color of their skin, they’re a lot cooler.

          1. am I wrong to judge the redhead by the color of her hair? yum

            1. Green eyes are a contributing factor?

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      2. “We hold these truths to be self-evident”

    2. Black people was king and kweens in Egypt before you racist ass cracka ghosts done stole dem from dey promised land! WAKANDA FOREVER!

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  2. “Without our own collective governance of our children’s intellectual development, how can we win? Without Black self-determination in who teaches them, what they learn, where they learn, and how lessons are taught to them, what is the future of our freedom?”

    Sounds good.

    Do white people still have to pay for that self-determination, or what?

  3. “Black families need control of their children’s K-12 education”

    While school choice is important, two-thirds of black children don’t live with their father, largely due to six decades of federal and state laws that have provided financial incentives (free/subsidized housing, food, education, healthcare, etc.) for females to have multiple children without getting married, and to not let fathers live with their children in a family environment.

    Left wing Democrat social welfare policies have devastated many/most black families, and have severely disadvantaged most black children, adults and neighborhoods.

    1. Hi Bill…

      Not sure if your stats are correct.

      I think data says white folks eek it out of the system at a higher percentage than black folks.

      But I get the Reagan-esque attitude of the “Welfare Queen” thinking from days gone by….

      And urban density is a huge factor…I’m not suggesting that what Stewart is saying is wrong, I’m trying to point out that begotten disadvantage, is well….still begotten, until the cycle is broken by way of either self-empowerment, actualization, or dictated by an authority/body of legislation.

      This is not a conversation about systemic racism, btw.

      1. I’ve always wondered about the urban density part haven’t done research into it but it does interest me as an issue.

  4. School choice? Nick, there will not be ANY choice.

  5. Every fucking problem that blacks face is directly correlated to the fact they live in democrat cities and have schools run by liberals.

    1. Getting warmer …

    2. LOL

      Actually I learned in college how all problems in Black and Brown communities are the fault of Republicans. If only all 50 states and the federal government were as Democrat-dominated as California, systemic racism would be eliminated.

      #LibertariansFor50Californias

    3. Yeah that’s a dumb take. There are a whole host of structural factors that give rise to the status quo.

      1. Go on….

        1. Well for starters, the way that schools get a huge amount of their funding, via property taxes. It leads to large inequities between school districts based on funding.

          1. No it doesn’t. There’s nothing inequtable about getting more by paying more.

            1. Yeah that’s Jeff doing his “regurgitate the New York Times’ sperm” thing and recounting, uncritically, something he read.

              The reality is that money isn’t the magic bullet leftists like Jeff think, and many of the paces that spend the most have terrible educational outcomes.

              Of course, if he mean “large inequties between school districts because makers are paying more for the edication of takers” then he might be on to something.

              1. Oh screw you with your snide little insults.

                You can cherry pick anecdotes all day long if you like, but the bottom line is, education costs money, and every school and every school district has fixed costs that they must pay for, and if the school district relies heavily on property taxes for its revenue, then those school districts in poor neighborhoods will have a tougher time paying for those fixed costs than the school districts in richer neighborhoods, all else equal. And there is a correlation between per-pupil spending and educational outcomes. Here is the correlation on a global scale:

                https://blogs.worldbank.org/impactevaluations/education-spending-and-student-learning-outcomes

                Of course it is not the ONLY factor which affects student learning outcomes. There’s a whole host of problems. SOME of them are created by Team Blue, as in for instance their complete devotion to teachers’ unions at all costs even if it harms student performance. That is absolutely the case. But it behooves rational people to explore ALL of the factors that go into student learning outcomes, not just the ones that can be blamed on one tribe or another.

                And by the way, it tends to be Team Red which wants to maintain property taxes as the way to finance public education, because they view it as central to local control. It’s Team Blue which tends to want to make school funding a state-level or a national-level concern.

                My preferred solution is to privatize all of the schools, and have the government give a voucher to every family – no strings attached – to pay for the education of the kids on a per-student basis. The family can choose to spend the money wisely, or they can choose to spend the money poorly. But at the end of the schooling, there is a high-stakes citizenship test that every student must take, and if you don’t pass the test, you don’t become a legal adult. That is a way to have privatized, decentralized education, not owned or run by the state itself, but with sufficient safeguards to make sure that students actually do get educated. That’s my basic idea. Believe me, the actual leftists out there would shriek in horror at the thought of such a plan.

            2. Except for the unequal educational outcomes.

      2. God you’re a simpering CRT fellating cuck.

        1. It must disappoint you to learn that Democrats are not to blame for every single problem.

          1. Which has what to do with you being a simpering CRT fellating cuck?

            1. Aww, poor troll is angry.

          2. You have a point on this one… RINO’s have done their fair share of pushing for public indoctrination camps.

            Holy crap. I was going to use ‘common core’ as an example and went to google who pitched it… Whoops; nope, EVEN THAT was rooted in Democrats —

            States were given an incentive to adopt the Common Core Standards through the possibility of competitive federal Race to the Top grants. U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the Race to the Top competitive grants on July 24, 2009, as a motivator for education reform.

            1. Neither Team Red nor Team Blue are fundamentally opposed to public schooling. Even the ones who are the most vocal supporters of vouchers will bend over backwards to reassure people that they still support public schools as one of the options. And if you want to talk about schools as indoctrination centers, then no one is really blameless in that regard. It wasn’t all that long ago that Team Red wanted to use public schools as literal religious indoctrination centers for Christian theology. And they STILL insist that public schools teach THEIR version of American history, where America is always on the side of the “good guys”, and the whole bit about killing Native Americans or the real horrors of slavery are rationalized away or given footnotes. Team Red’s complaints about “indoctrination centers” would have more legitimacy if they weren’t such big proponents of indoctrination themselves.

              ALL THE MORE reason to have completely privatized schools, to get the curriculum away from the politicians who want to use it to manipulate future voters.

  6. Today in libertarian news and commentary.

    Benn’s grasp of this fundamental insight allows him to identify correctly the problem of conformity: that it stunts individuals and societies and leads to a pervasive, crippling sense that one is always walking on eggshells. It is also precisely what is wrong with Twitter’s ban of Donald Trump or the shutdown of Parler. Such acts are within the letter of the legal definition of ‘free-speech rights’, but are wholly at odds with the atmosphere of free discussion. In short, Benn understands that it is the atmosphere of the culture wars that is inhibiting and restricting people.

    Benn’s philosophical rigour allows him to write a book that might be considered a map of the culture-wars territory. His discussion of ‘epistemic virtues’ and vices (habits that help or hinder us getting at the truth), provides a helpful primer of his overall philosophical method. And it is this method that affords Benn his unique insights, and allows him to point the way forward on multiple culture-war issues.

  7. Interesting legal ruling on the insurance coverage of COVID shutdown effects.

    “Yes, it is an insurable loss. It’s not the microorganism that caused the business interruption, it’s the government response that shut your business down.”

  8. The problem is that we’ve solved all the big problems and the only ones left are either insoluble (cancer, aging) or self-imposed (climate change, football head injuries). So they have nothing to get excited or ambitious about so they create new artificial problems (lockdowns, strikes, etc).

    What’s the solution? The first step is recognizing you have a problem. (And then the solution will be obvious.)

    1. … insoluble
      You have a vocabulary problem.

      1. Many things are soluble in HO2.

        /White Knight.

  9. “There isn’t an issue facing Black people today that doesn’t find its origins in K-12 education,” writes Chris Stewart, CEO of the education nonprofit brightbeam and a prolific writer and podcaster.

    *** meekly raises hand ***

    Is Stewart referring to *his* K-12 education?

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