On Fox, a Panel of Public School Graduates Debates Whether Public Schools Should Exist


On Thursday’s Outnumbered, a panel of five Fox News personalities debated whether public school is something that should even still exist in the United States. The discussion, which has generated a fair amount of controversy, was prompted by a bill from Oklahoma lawmaker Dan Fisher, who wants to ban AP History because it teaches too much actual history, and not enough propaganda.

(Okay, as Fisher phrases it, the course “emphasizes what is bad about America,” and doesn’t teach American exceptionalism.)

Now, Fox generates business by manufacturing controversy and liberal outrage, and I try not to support them too much here, but this time the hypocrisy was just too much for me to resist. Why? Because every single person on the panel debating the merits of public education got there by attending public schools. Two (arguably three) of them attended public high school and public university.

Five national television personalities; one of them a judge and adjunct law professor, one an anchor, one an accomplished political appointee and former VP at a major corporation, two of them syndicated newspaper columnists, two of them professional motivational speakers. All of them public school graduates, and yet with no sense of hypocrisy one will suggest that perhaps public schools shouldn’t exist at all, and another will insist public schools don’t provide a basic education and that the Department of Defense should be abolished.

From left to right:

Andrea Tantaros, by far the most outspoken critic of American public schools, who suggested the Department of Education be abolished and that public school kids don’t even get a basic education because “they’re getting a bunch of this meaningless liberal crap, every day,” is a graduate of the Parkland School district near Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Harris Faulkner, a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara (part of the University of California system) seemed less opposed to the core concept of public education, and couldn’t help remarking that while Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech was great, “He was assassinated though.” Nevertheless, she sided with Dan Fisher, explaining that “the bad things have more stickiness,” and she believed history lessons need more “good things.” Fisher grew up in a military family, and almost certainly attended military high schools, which is kind of a toss-up: funded by taxpayer dollars, yes, but under the Department of Defense rather than the Department of Education.

Judge Alex Ferrer, who seemed the most defensive of the AP system (“We shouldn’t have to sugar-coat everything and tell [kids] America was always wonderful,” attended the public Rockway Junior High School, and later taught as an adjunct professor at Florida International University, a public college in Miami.

Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, AKA “Kennedy,” is a graduate of Lakeridge High School, a public school in Indiana, and went on to college at UCLA, also part of the University of California system. Kennedy initiated the conversation with the provocative question, “There really shouldn’t be public schools, should there?” She was kind enough to address this topic in a brief Twitter conversation, in which she mentioned that her children currently attend a public charter school, and that her initial question was “a personal exploration. Not entirely answerable, but an intriguing theoretical,” and that it stemmed from a question: “how will my kids best learn?”

Kirsten Powers spoke against the “idea of people sort of teaching their kids whatever they want,” but still tried to walk a fine line, appears to have graduated from public Lathrop High School in Fairbanks, AK, and went on to study at the (public) University of Maryland before studying law at Georgetown.

Hat tip to The New Civil Rights Movement


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