To the Editor:
Enough with the political articles! The proper purpose of education is the transmission of the knowledge and skills essential to being a productive citizen. It is not the implementation of a misguided social agenda that assigns identities of oppressor or victim and regards preposterous equality of outcomes as proof of equality of opportunity. This emphasis on fixed identity groups effectively disempowers individuals from their agency and attributes difficulties to imagined systemic injustice.
In How to Educate a Citizen, E.D. Hirsch Jr. presents international studies that show a shared-knowledge national curriculum is essential to lifting students out of lower socioeconomic quintiles. In the 20th century, our public schools instilled common knowledge and social mores that guided children to adopt American principles, ideals, and heritage as their own. As a result, formerly impoverished and derided Irish, Jewish, and Asian immigrants rose to parity with native-born Americans. That is the clearly indicated path.
EdWeek, stop being a political platform and return to the proper enterprise of education. It is a huge mistake to veer off into the dangerous territory of tribalism. We know what works from extensive research and experience, and that should be the focus.
East West Educational Consulting
West Palm Beach, Fla.
A version of this article appeared in the October 21, 2020 edition of Education Week as Keep Your Social Agenda Out of Education