This piece will give every bicoastal elite enclave parent traumatic flashbacks. I can't improve on it, but will highlight: 1. All the political debates of the day, which prompt so much performativity, are just cosplay until your kids are involved.
A brilliant discussion of what's going on with Social Justice and the New York City schools systems.
This is a must-read for parents. It’s about NYC but it is also about San Francisco.
Big/thorny/important piece, about much more than the culture-war stuff mentioned in the headline. Love woke gentrifying parents coming into a NY public school and explaining to the long-time residents that urinals = patriarchy. Insufferable people.
“To be a parent is to be compromised …” George Packer begins his essay on democracy, meritocracy, and schools.
This brilliant essay by George Packer gets right to the heart of the degeneration of American education
“At times the new progressivism carries a whiff of the 17th century with heresy hunts and denunciations of sin and displays of self-mortification. The atmosphere of mental constriction, the intolerance of dissent—these are qualities of illiberal politics.”
Woke whites are raising a generation of incompetent ideologues, while tiger parents in the US & abroad have zero hangups about meritocratic striving.
"Liberals are always slow to realize that there can be friendly, idealistic people who have little use for liberal values." - George Packer.
"To be a parent is to be compromised. You pledge allegiance to justice for all … but when the choice comes down to your child or an abstraction … you’ll betray your principles to the fierce unfairness of love." George Packer is one of the best
George Packer is one of my favorite non-fiction writers. His essay in on the foibles of elite Manhattan education from K-middle school is engrossing and depressing.
Great (and disturbing) read that may turn you into a rabid reactionary 😛
If your 9 y/o asks, "what are humans good for besides destroying the planet?" If your kid wishes she weren't white so she "wouldn't have slavery on her conscience" The frog's boiled. The canary's dead. This is mental foot-binding, performed on your kids.
outstanding piece by George Packer, about how even the most active, informed and progressive parents have become beaten down by a NYC education system that now caters to educators' own guilty woke narcissism instead of kids' actual needs ...
"The atmosphere of mental constriction in progressive milieus, the self-censorship and fear of public shaming, the intolerance of dissent—these are qualities of an illiberal politics."
It’s long and sometimes torturous, but I’m going to be thinking about this piece for decades.
A lot to unpack in this fascinating George Packer essay, but if there's one thing that drives me crazy it's citing the "people don't like political correctness!" poll. There is no definition of "PC" and it's used as a mocking term virtually as a rule.
Divorce is way down among elites because parents are desperately afraid of seeing their kids fall downwards, as George Packer notes here in :
"That pragmatic genius for which Americans used to be known and admired, which included a talent for educating our young—how did it desert us?"
Excellent piece "When the Culture War Comes for the Kids", on meritocratic despair around getting children into elite NYC schools Throughout reading, couldn't shake idea of "overproduction of elites" as (cyclical) cause of social upheaval
Fans and detractors alike of George Packer’s controversial education culture-war essay are not emphasizing the fact that, when it comes to the biggest policy change produced by the progressives who irritate him, Packer’s a *supporter*, not an opponent. 1/
Honestly, George Packer needs to chillax
"By age 10 he had studied the civilizations of ancient China, Africa, the early Dutch in New Amsterdam, and the Mayans. He learned about the genocide of Native Americans and slavery. But he was never taught about the founding of the republic."
George Packer is a wonderful writer and this is an important piece. ‘New York City Public Schools Have Embraced the New Left - The Atlantic
"... a large majority of every group, including black Americans, thought 'political correctness' was a problem. The only exception was a group identified as 'progressive activists' ..." ...
This is an extraordinary essay by George Packer.
“It was as a father, at our son’s school, that I first understood the meaning of the new progressivism,” writes George Packer, “and what I disliked about it.”
I'm only up to the bathroom part in the Atlantic essay on NYC schools but just want to urge people to understand that this insanity is not "Brooklyn." There is a large swath of Brooklyn residents who would not recognize their borough in this piece.
Only 10% of US children attend private schools and a good chunk of those are not in elite schools but questionable religious schools. Yet the premise of the essay is that he's the one in tune with reality and real people unlike left/liberal activists
This essay in the Atlantic is very well done + personal to me. I've covered the same issues for years: education practice and policy, dangers of progressivism, the political outcomes resulting from those issues. This article left me shocked however!
“To be a parent is to be compromised …” George Packer begins his essay on democracy, meritocracy, and schools.
My very 90s education about race and gender was that everyone should be treated equally and get a fair shot at life. As corny as it was then, 90s Public Service Announcement culture about diversity was basically right. This stuff we have now is a plague
Move to just about any town or small city. Send your kids to the public school. It won’t be great, but will be warm and nurturing and nothing like this horror story.
'When the Culture War Comes for the Kids' by our current guest George Packer
JFC, some of my fellow New York parents are so weird sometimes.
"At times the new progressivism, carries a whiff of the 17th century...The atmosphere of mental constriction, the self-censorship and fear of public shaming, the intolerance of dissent—these are qualities of an illiberal politics."
“It was as a father, at our son’s school, that I first understood the meaning of the new progressivism,” writes George Packer, “and what I disliked about it.”
This is a REALLY good piece and all I can say is that I've never been more sure of the fact that we will be homeschooling kids all the way through until they go to college.....if they go to college
Legt-liberal mugged by woke progressives in NYC schools. Struck by how the kids are the only sane ones - like when they, on their own, effectively re-introduce boys and girls restrooms after the school officials have marked them all gender-neutral
What preschool you get your kind into doesn’t influence their chances at an Ivy League education. Unfortunately, many parents believe it does so they launch a hyper competitive educational arms race. I worry this article perpetuates that harmful myth.
This was an exceptional read
ICYMI, piece by George Packer on is insightful & important. The critics miss its essence: when ideology loses touch with our best instincts, we need to do a rethink.
A huge percentage of this is conservative cultural reaction (I want my kid to use a gendered bathroom and learn about the "founding of the republic," not other cultures!) masquerading as a critique of meritocracy.
There’s a lot to process here but Brooklyn New School is perhaps not a good match for someone expecting traditional academics and accustomed to private school?
When Blank Slatism comes up in political discussion, it's usually about group differences and egalitarianism. This article (which I'm the last to read; I know) suggests a third: The dream of educating the next generation of your opponents out of existence.
George Packer's essay in The Atlantic. Between Common Core, opt-out, deseg, and of course, meritocracy, it touches on most of the hot-button Ed topics of the past few years!
"The fierce unfairness of love" -- That's a strong and accurate way of putting it, as George Packer does here
This is my kids elementary school. When he learned about settler colonial genocide and slavery we thought he *was* learning about the founding of the republic. 🙄
OK, I'm not meant to be here but this article is just too good. Read it and be inspired, liberals. We can push back at this stuff in the name of liberal principles of equality & freedom and I think we must.
“It was as a father, at our son’s school, that I first understood the meaning of the new progressivism,” writes George Packer, “and what I disliked about it.”
“New York City Public Schools Have Embraced the New Left” - The Atlantic
I don't live in NYC and don't have kids and this piece still gave me anxiety hives
An anti-bias training presentation for New York Public School employees included a slide warning that “Individualism,” “Objectivity,” and “Worship of the Written Word” were white-supremacist values.
"Donald Trump could sneer at Mexicans and rail against Muslims and kick dirt on everything decent and good, but the American promise still breathed whenever the Puerto Rican Hamilton and the black Jefferson got into a rap battle over the national bank."
“A teacher in Saratoga Springs, New York, found a ‘privilege-reflection form’ online with an elaborate method of scoring, and administered it to high-school students, unaware that the worksheet was evidently created by a right-wing internet troll.”
This is a fascinating piece to read, but I kept reading the word meritocracy and it sounds way more like the new progressive aristocracy, not the meritocracy.
“It was as a father, at our son’s school, that I first understood the meaning of the new progressivism,” writes George Packer, “and what I disliked about it.”
This piece about the New York public school system is the one I'm going to make my friends read and talk to me about this weekend. Both liberals and conservatives will read and react to whatever supports their existing biases, but it's super interesting.
This is such a phenomenal piece of writing
Part of the reason this is a such a great piece is because Packer doesn't shy away from talking about the problems with meritocracy, before explaining how some of the proposed SocJus solutions are even worse. He's also a wonderful writer.
No one is hurt more by the madness Packer describes here than poor, minority children. “It was as a father, at our son’s school, that I first understood the meaning of the new progressivism,” writes George Packer, “and what I disliked about it.”
“Our son knew about the worst betrayals of democracy, including the one darkening his childhood, but he wasn’t taught the principles that had been betrayed. He got his civics from Hamilton.”
The competitive excesses of meritocracy are bad—but the authoritarian excesses of the new progressivism might be worse. George Packer reports on the crisis in American education--and what happens when the culture war comes for our kids
Packer: "The politics of identity starts out with the universal principles of equality, dignity, and freedom, but in practice it becomes an end in itself—often a dead end, a trap from which there’s no easy escape and maybe no desire for escape."
“Wokeness prettifies the success race, making contestants feel better about the heartless world into which they’re pushing their children. Constantly checking your privilege is one way of not having to give it up.”
Pretty depressing piece about the politics of New York City schools
This piece is extraordinary. How you can see first-hand the consequences of your ideology and contradictions, accurately recognize them as evil, and still hold on to and justify the root causes is beyond me.
"In recent decades, the system has hardened into a new class structure in which professionals pass on their money... to their children, while less educated families fall further behind, with little chance of seeing their children move up."
NY Public Schools is spending $23 million to train educators that objectivity is part of #WhiteSupremacy Culture. #Genius #BeyondParody *Finally reading George Packer's epic ed #CultureWar essay
The NYC school ecosystem is broken and getting worse. I feel so sorry for these kids.
Wokeness finished the murderous work of the spreadsheet meritocrats, it killed the last remnants of genuinely progressive state education. In education, as everywhere, wokeness is cancer.
This is a truly incredible, eye-opening read for any parent
“It was as a father, at our son’s school, that I first understood the meaning of the new progressivism,” writes George Packer, “and what I disliked about it.”
Sigh... the joys of parenting
so i'm reading this george packer thing on schooling in nyc in the atlantic and it's pretty clear he doesn't know much about schooling in nyc. and he's one of those annoying upper middle class white guys trying to be liberal but failing hard. /1
Wow, this is an amazing piece. Very much worth your time.
"Progressivism without hope."
This story pisses me off so much
"human connections require certain omissions"
As a former new Yorker, this isn't about meritocracy. It's about making sure your kid doesn't get stuck in a majority black/Hispanic school. And this goes for black and Hispanics parents, who also want their kids in majority white/Asian schools.
“It was as a father, at our son’s school, that I first understood the meaning of the new progressivism,” writes #GeorgePacker, “and what I disliked about it.” via
This is a very important read
“If you fail seventh grade you fail middle school, if you fail middle school you fail high school, if you fail high school you fail college, if you fail college you fail life.”
I love stories about an intellectual arc. This is long and compelling on so many levels.
curious if there is going to be a rebuttal to this piece or if it's just going to hang there