No one wants to tackle private schools’ descent because it blows apart the argument for school choice. School choice has recently become a national conversation due to parents from both political parties rapidly increasing disgust with public school education. They blame the human wrecking ball, Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT (American Federation of Teachers), who is the figurehead of the educational complex. Republicans are spearheading school choice as an alternative to students locked into failed public schools they’re forced to attend based on zip code.
However, as it currently stands, school choice is an illusion. This is because the alternatives are just as problematic. The reality is, there is little to no “choice.” Here’s why.
As per an interview with Undercover Mother, a group formed in May 2021 of politically mixed mothers from across the nation with children in private schools, “These elite institutions are ground zero for where the deadly dangerous woke ideas are hatched. The original cohort of schools where DEI/SEL Marxist ideology took hold are the top 150 of them, the ones with never ending waitlists, massive endowments, known for academic rigor, and feeders into ivy league universities.” They cost a fortune to attend as opposed to free public schools that taxpayers fund. One must apply, go through a battery of interviews, and take tests to gain admittance - at least they used to. “If you look at the acceptance rate into top universities from the so-called feeders, you see the numbers have plummeted. Going to one of the storied private grade schools and working hard is seemingly no longer palatable to ivy leagues that are hyper focused on quotas dictated by immutable characteristics, political affiliation and proof of activism, and identity,” says Undercover Mother.
The Left, which controls education in totality, has issued sweeping changes to private schools since George Floyd and Biden’s assumption of office. There’s a full throttled embrace of Marxism and repudiation of meritocracy. To keep up with the diversity quotas the Left insists upon, there has been a dramatic dumbing down of private schools. Advanced placement and accelerated classes have been removed, without any logical explanation. (They do explain it by saying it gives teachers more freedom).
California schools have just ended honors classes in the name of equity. Classic literature has gone the way of the dinosaur, extinct, and replaced with modern books focusing on race, racism, sexual identity, social justice, and climate activism. Grades, tests, SSAT/ISEE have either been canceled or are in discussion to be canceled.
Private schools are not islands unto themselves as has been the long held belief. There’s an invisible hand controlling private school boards of trustees. It’s called NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) and a long list of other third party accreditors.
Every parent should take a look at this, whether in public school fighting for school choice, so you know exactly what the other option is, and certainly those in private schools with zero clue why your school operates like a public school
As per NYSAIS, “This revision to the NYSAIS Manual for Accreditation includes several new and revised criteria for accreditation in the areas of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) following an extensive review of the instruments used by schools to undertake the comprehensive self-study by the NYSAIS Commission on Accreditation and Board of Trustees with support from members of the NYSAIS Diversity Committee.” In case private school parents are wondering why the mission has changed without any parental referendum, be advised - this is the new mission for private school dictated by NYSAIS; “MISSION Include the mission of the school and any other statements of purpose, core values, philosophy, and diversity used to support the mission statement.” Moreover, “Baseline Criteria These criteria are rated by both the school and the visiting committee with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ The school provides a program of instruction that is substantially equivalent to that which is afforded in the local public schools. Courses are offered in mandated subjects. The school day and year are substantially equivalent to those in public schools. If the school has a secondary program, the school is registered by the New York State Education Department.” Manual for Evaluation and Accreditation | NYSAIS
“The NAIS agenda is to break down the wall between public and private schools. Things took a decisive turn for the worst when the Substantially Equivalent Instruction for Nonpublic School Students was adopted at the September 2022 Board of Regents Meeting,” says Undercover Mother.
“Our state is rich in diversity, from our cultural, racial, and religious backgrounds to the languages we speak,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said. Here’s the part that is key; “After hearing feedback from nonpublic school representatives, public school representatives, parents, students, and others, the Department incorporated key elements into its new proposed regulations for determining substantial equivalency of instruction.” Why are public school representatives weighing in on private schools at all?
Since the pandemic and George Floyd, private school parents didn’t understand why these tony individual institutions did two things, send emails identical in language to other private schools and mirror public schools vis a vis pandemic closures and the implementation of CRT, DEI, SEL and all sorts of woke lunacy. Private school parents didn’t understand why amidst lost school time, there was an emphasis not on core curriculum to catch students up but on hiring DEI (diversity equity inclusion) or DEIB (diversity equity inclusion belonging) czars. Private school parents, the customers who buy in good faith, were apoplectic that there was zero parental input as to why this new job position was added, the origin of the change in mission, the cost of the new hires, the hiring process, and the impact they’d have across all aspects of school life from curricula, to sports, to after school clubs, to physical and emotional well being of both the student and parent body. There was zero transparency and nothing but pushback from private school boards and administration. NAIS offers a clue as to why inquiring parents were rebuffed, they were part of the 5% labeled “mentally ill.”
Welcome accreditors. “Independent schools are not private in the sense of the definition; they don’t have autonomy over how they govern their individual schools because they’ve abdicated this right by belonging to accreditors, which is a stamp of approval from the NYSAIS (New York State Association of Independent Schools), an affiliate of NAIS. To be clear, having an accreditor is optional. Meaning, if these private schools want to remain a self-governing body (accountable to parents and the board of trustees) and eschew all the woke craziness, they can by not opting into an accreditor,” explains Undercover Mothers.
There are other problems with private schools that choose to be beholden to accreditors. Public schools are held hostage by unions. Teachers unions are politically biased and donate 99.9% to Democrat candidates or causes. Private schools are heading down the path of unionizing. Some examples in Manhattan are Fieldston, LREI, Friends Seminary, Bank Street, and UNIS.
Undercover Mother notes, the consumer is dead. It’s the government that prints the money which floods the educational industrial complex, estimated to be a $3 trillion dollar market. They have entirely taken over the educational system, whether it is public or private. Once the flood of taxpayer funds washes over the private school system, the Marxist agenda of CRT, DEI, SEL, and ESG will be codified into every aspect of formerly independent schools.
We’ve seen how this works out. This past week, Silicon Valley Bank, wholly committed to woke ESG, failed. It’s not alone. Companies that are married to “equity” and “diversity” are collapsing because the public rejects what they’re pushing and they’re hiring total incompetents whose only qualifications are fulfilling government quotas . The same thing is happening with private k-12 grade schools and universities. Stanford University students demand the DEI dean is fired for ambushing and heckling a conservative judge that was invited to speak at a recent law school event after the college refused to get rid of her.
Here’s what Undercover Mother says you can do to fight back. “Demand private schools dissociate from accreditation. Circulate the NYSAIS manual which next to no one has seen, let alone read.” If you’re unhappy with public school and believe in school choice, there must actually be a choice and private schools must remain self governing. Government is trying to “fix” something that was not broken, private schools. Now, private schools are virtually the same as failed public schools, minus the hefty price tag.