Live from Music Row, Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed visiting fellow for the Independent Women’s Forum Angela Morabito to the newsmaker line to explain how white Democratic liberals are trapping minority students in failing schools.
Leahy: We welcome to our microphones here on the newsmaker line Angela Morabito. She’s with the Independent Women’s Forum, an expert on education issues. Welcome, Angela. Thanks for joining us.
Morabito: Good morning! Thank you for having me.
Leahy: Angela, you may recall when you were working as a press secretary for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, you and I worked on a couple of stories when I was writing with Breitbart back on those education issues.
Morabito: We did! I am so grateful for you shining a light on issues in education. I know you’ve been following this for years now, and it means a lot to me personally and professionally, that you see the value in school choice.
Leahy: Angela, you have a terrific op-ed. You wrote in the Washington Examiner a couple of weeks ago, “White Liberals Are Standing Between Minority Children and School Choice.” And what is standing between minority children and school choice, Angela?
Morabito: Well, it’s really who is standing between minority children and school choice, and the answer is white liberals. That’s not just an off-the-cuff remark. That’s actually backed up by data that 82 percent of Republican adults are supportive of school choice.
And shows more than two-thirds of Democrats, that the support that’s coming from Democrats comes mainly from black and Hispanic Democrats. It’s really the white Democratic voters who do not support school choice.
And because of who is in power right now in this country, they are able to have an outsized influence and block kids in need from getting out of failing schools.
Leahy: Why do white liberals oppose school choice which will help minority children?
Morabito: They are defending an educational bureaucracy that may work for them and for their kids. Maybe they have the money to send their children to private schools if their local government school just isn’t getting the job done.
But there is either a willful ignorance here to not see that so many public schools are failing, or I’m afraid there is some real racism here, where the same evil intentions that motivated people decades ago to stand on the schoolhouse steps and tell minority kids, “you can’t come in,” are now standing on the schoolhouse steps and saying, “you can’t get out.”
They are trapping these kids in schools that are failing them. When you look at places like Milwaukee and Detroit, you’re seeing graduating classes where only about 10 percent, if that many, are capable of reading and doing math.
They are resigning these kids to just an awful educational fate. And for as horrible as this is, it was past time to start calling it out.
Leahy: Well, Angela, this is, of course, mainstream media heresy. You’ve just said white liberals are racist because they’re depriving minority children of school choice opportunities. When you say that, how does the Left, how does mainstream media respond to you?
Morabito: Honestly, they generally dismiss this as, well, you’re not funding the public schools enough. And that is such a huge myth. Among developed countries in the world, we spend more than almost any of them on educating each student each year.
And yet our results are really middle of the pack. And when you look at how much so many of these inner city school districts are spending, they’re actually spending way more per student than it would cost to send that same student to a private school or another school of their choosing.
So the idea that “oh, it’s a funding issue” is just absolutely false on its face, but that seems to be the preferred myth of the mainstream media.
They want us to just keep plowing more and more money into a failing system instead of actually opening up choices for families, which is what we know works.
Leahy: Angela, you write, “the political left, including the teachers’ unions, talk a big game about equity and racial justice.” That’s the talk. What’s the reality?
Morabito: The reality is that they are trapping poor and minority kids in failing schools. Now, statistically, school choice benefits everyone, but in practice, the ones who most need school choice are the ones least likely to have it.
We’re talking about the kids who were stuck in big blue cities when the pandemic hit. And when their schools closed for two years, they had no option to go somewhere else. So these kids were literally being turned away at the schoolhouse door.
The virtual learning options they were presented with were subpar at best, and yet they were given no chance to maybe go to another school down the street that would have gladly welcomed them in.
So that’s why it really grinds my gears when you see these teachers that go on and on about “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” We’re lifting up the little guy. No, they’re stomping on the little guy. In practice, you have to look at what they do, not at what they say.
Leahy: In-studio with us is our original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael, a big supporter of school choice. Crom is a question for you.
Carmichael: Angela, quick question for you. In these big blue cities that you are referring to, do you think part of the part of the drive behind all these smash-and-grabs, where all these look to me like they’re teenagers or very young people, and most of them are minorities that are going into Walgreens and jewelry stores and all kinds of places and just stealing stuff? If you’ve gone two years without getting any education at all, is this the likely outcome?
Morabito: It is. Crom, that’s a really great question because you’re tying together two huge issues: one being education, the other being the crime spike. And what we know about kids in school post-pandemic is that behavioral issues are off the charts.
Much of the rise in teachers leaving the profession is actually due to horrific student behavior. These people have lost control over their classrooms. So when issues like that come up they don’t magically go away when the last school bell rings and kids get out of school.
… None of the structures that a school would provide for two years, that was a massive boost to gang activity, because school wasn’t going to give the structure.
But then all of a sudden, there is another organization that would do just that, that was more than happy to welcome these kids in when they had literally nowhere else to go during the pandemic.
Listen to the interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.