A Liberal Perspective on Brooklyn’s Arabic Academy Brouhaha

Conservative media outlets like the New York Post have led the charge against a controversial Arabic-themed public school planned for Brooklyn, the Khalil Gibran International Academy. But, Richard Kahlenberg argues in a compelling New York Times Op-Ed, there’s reason for liberals to be wary as well:

Kahlenberg says that this need to foster a common American identity is the same reason that liberals oppose government vouchers for private schools.

Indeed, the right-wing New York Sun used the controversy to promote one of its favorite hobbyhorses: vouchers. The Sun editorialized:

To reiterate: As articulated by Kahlenberg (channeling Shanker), the liberal position is that our school system “should provide a common education to children from all backgrounds that teaches not only skills but also American history, culture and democracy.” The conservative position, as articulated by the Sun, is that we should subsidize parents who want “to educate their own children in a school that elevates their language, civilization, and religion at taxpayer expense.” In other words, we have a clear choice between E Pluribus Unum and E Pluribus Pluribus.

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A Liberal Perspective on Brooklyn’s Arabic Academy Brouhaha

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