Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently tweeted that he believes parents should determine what their kids are taught at school, but Nikole Hannah-Jones pushed back, noting that parents are not the only people who fund public schools.
She also claimed that Pompeo loathes having "an informed citizenry in a multiracial democracy."
"Believe it or not, it's not just parents who pay for public schools and not just parents who have a vested interest in public schools. Public schools are a common good designed to create an informed citizenry in a multiracial democracy — two things I know you abhor," Hannah-Jones tweeted, along with an image of Pompeo's tweet. "Further, parents who think they alone should decide what children learn are free to homeschool. But those of us with kids in public school actually want professional educators and subject-matter experts to determine curricula," she continued.
Hannah-Jones, a New York Times Magazine correspondent who won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in connection with the 1619 Project, is the Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at Howard University.
"She's right: Public schools are about collective shaping of minds through government power. Why we need #schoolchoice now," tweeted Neal McCluskey, the director of the CATO Institute's Center for Educational Freedom.
Hannah-Jones fired back at McCluskey, tweeting, "You already have choice: Homeschool or pay tuition."
"Nikole Hannah-Jones has written convincingly on school segregation & its lingering effects. But the greatest contributing factor to segregation today is that kids without choice are trapped in schools based on a zip code. 'Pay for private school' is quite the classist response," Reason assistant editor Billy Binion tweeted.
"Why do 'school choice' advocates never advocate eliminating school district boundaries/funding schools by local property tax and allowing poor, Black students to attend white, wealthy schools in neighboring municipalities? They don't really want choice, just privatization," Hannah-Jones inquired.
"I 100% support eliminating school district boundaries and letting students attend schools in neighboring municipalities. I don't want 'privatization.' I want real choice," Binion noted.
Dan McLaughlin of National Review tweeted, "The portability of school choice, and the benefits of that specifically for black kids in poor neighborhoods, has been a major part of arguments in its favor for decades."
"Nope. Not talking about portability. I am, as is clear from what I WROTE, asking where you all are advocating for the elimination of municipal school boundaries and the end of funding schools by local property tax," Hannah-Jones responded.