AIM’s Ohio investigation shows just why it’s necessary to change the system, not the bureaucrat

January 23, 2023

By Tim Worstall

Accuracy in Media’s investigation into CRT and education policies in Upper Arlington, Ohio, has led some to think about Matthew Boaz, the district’s executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion. As our investigation shows, Boaz is quite happy to insist that the principles and outcomes of CRT will continue to be taught in the K-12 schools he is responsible for whatever the legislature decides. Call it diversity, call it equity, the content and meaning will be the same.

Should Boaz cease to be that executive director? Should he lose his job over this?

This is the wrong question. There’s no point in changing the people in a system, it’s the system that must be changed. Anyone who has the power that such an executive directorship endows will use that power. That’s just how politics and bureaucracy work. So, the task is not to clear out one set of people or another, but to ensure that the power isn’t available to anyone.

Some years back I worked with Nigel Farage and the political party UKIP. Our aim was for Britain to leave the European Union. Many of our stories of why this needed to happen were about ridiculous, silly and even stupid laws and decisions made by that EU system. But our answer was always not that we must fight back against any particular decision. Instead, we must leave the system that allowed such decisions to be taken.

One example. The EU passed a regulation that limited the power of electric motors in vacuum cleaners – Dysons, Hoovers and so on. Quite why was all a bit mysterious, some thought that smaller motors would use less electricity and so save Gaia perhaps. Without thinking that having to make two passes, not one, might use more electricity. We made fun of this silliness, of course we did. But we also kept pointing out that it wasn’t what the limits on electric motors should be that was important. It was the absurd system of having some bureaucrat deciding what the size of electric motors should be for 500 million people.

We must either change the system or leave it. As the EU won’t change then we should leave – and, when the British got to vote on the idea then we won. Britain is now outside the EU and the process of cleaning up the law so that such foolish decisions cannot be taken again is starting. Note, not by changing the decision on what the size of electric motors should be. But by abolishing the system which decides on what size electric motors may be.

This brings us back to Boaz and his job. If Boaz loses his job over this video and investigation then that will not be a solution to the problem. The problem is that there is a bureaucracy within which there is a job called executive director for diversity, equity and inclusion. One obvious problem is that such positions have to be paid for. So too do the staff that must support an executive director – no one even dreams that someone with such an exalted title actually does anything themselves.

But that’s not the actual problem, either the cost of the office or who occupies it. It’s the existence of the office. For whoever occupies it will inflict upon the local education system whatever ideas come into their heads. Which isn’t the point at all. We do not want our children to be taught as the bureaucrats say they should. We want our children taught as we say they should. They are, after all, our children, ours to raise, nurture and educate. They’re the most important thing in our lives.

The answer is to get rid of the bureaucracy. Given that it’s not the European Union causing this problem then leaving Europe isn’t the answer. All schools leaving the central educational bureaucracy is. We also have another name for this – school choice. Some call this charter schools, some academies, no doubt there are other names as well. But the central aim of the process is that each school becomes free to teach as the parents who send their children there desire. Yes, this does mean that other parents get to make different choices – just as you do. The effect though is that there is no longer that central bureaucracy, one dominated by any one set of ideas or, obviously, the teachers’ unions.

If political or bureaucratic power exists then it will be used, that’s just the truth about any such system. The way to be free is to not allow anyone to have that political power.

Whether or not Boaz remains as the executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion isn’t a problem that particularly interests us. That there should be no such job as executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion is something that we insist upon. The way to gain that is school choice. Simply for all schools to leave that system which has such a job in it and allow the job, the costs and the political power to fade away. 

We don’t even, not really and wholly, mind if they get to keep their offices where they can shout at the walls. Just as long as they have no power over the education of our children.


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