1619 Project editor pushes false information about school vouchers

June 19, 2024

By Tim Worstall

It’s alarming how little some ideologues know about the school system. This is Ida Bae Wells, also known as Nikole Hannah-Jones – that’s right, the deviser and editor of the 1619 Project.

Voucher programs have not been shown to improve results for poor Black children because most cannot get into high-quality private schools.

The background here is that Roc – the company of Jay Z – is working to promote vouchers to private schools in Philadelphia. The problem with the statement from Hannah-Jones is that it’s simply wrong.

The greatest beneficiaries of nearly any form of school reform – vouchers, private school subsidies, charter schools – are poor Black kids. Simply because they are those worst treated by the current school systems.

We have proof of this from the work of Thomas Sowell. It is precisely poor Black – and usually urban – kids who gain the most.

As to why this is an indication. If you’re being educated by an unaccountable bureaucracy – the local school district – then you’d better have some pretty fierce ability to fight that system for your rights. Exactly what poor urban – both Black and Hispanic – kids are unlikely to have. Or more technical research from the education press:

Charters Close Achievement Gap With District Schools, Study Finds, With Black and Low-Income Students Making the Greatest Gains

Charters, vouchers, the ability to escape the school district is what matters. It’s also one of the strongest effects we see in education. That it’s those at the bottom – those poor Black kids in the inner city – who benefit the most from these schemes and plans. Mainly because that’s where the standard education system is at its worst, in those inner cities, therefore the ability to exit it is most valuable.

The poor have no other opportunity to escape the vileness that the bureaucracy is willing to offer them – therefore that escape route of vouchers, of charters, is worth the most to them.

“Accuracy in Media has been leading the fight for school choice, and this is a prime example of why this work is so important,” said AIM President Adam Guillette. “The 1619 Project has already been debunked, but Hannah-Jones is still allowed to spread falsehoods to scare parents into keeping their children in schools where they are being indoctrinated with radical beliefs.”

That Hannah-Jones doesn’t know this – or refuses to admit it – is perhaps ignorance or just a refusal to agree with reality. But whatever it is it does cast doubt on her ability to write a project, help to design a part of the syllabus like the 1619 Project, no?


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