Race to the Bottom with Luke Rosiak

Show Notes

By Joe Duffus

Critical race theory and school bathroom policies get all the attention, but a new book by author and journalist Luke Rosiak of The Daily Wire shows how much deeper and destructive the forces active within American K-12 education really are. Luke joins Peter Schweizer and Eric Eggers on today’s episode of The Drill Down.

While he was a Visiting Fellow of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), Luke investigated these issues for two years. His new book, “Race to the Bottom: Uncovering the Secret Forces Destroying American Public Education,” has just been published. GAI staff helped Luke with research, fact-checking, editing, and promotion and his book. We plan to expand this program to give authors like Luke the freedom to work on long-term investigative work like this.

Peter has praised Luke as “the best young journalist in America today.” He is, Peter says, “relentless, not reckless” in digging out the facts. The Drill Down is proud to welcome Luke back for his second appearance on the show. He joined Peter and Eric last November to talk about how the education issue affected the Virginia gubernatorial election.

Luke’s research indeed does show how teachers’ unions have been pushing left-wing politics into school curricula in the form of a watered-down version of critical race theory and Marxist historical revisionism. But they and school districts in large cities have also conspired to eliminate the only true measures taxpayers and parents have of gauging students’ educational performance and a school’s effectiveness — honest, unbiased, unrigged testing.

After he completed the manuscript, Luke broke the story of a female student who was raped in a school bathroom by a boy wearing a skirt in a high school in Virginia. The Loudoun County school district tried to cover the incident up.

But his book shows where the con really happens: Under the guise of “promoting better academic outcomes,” educational bureaucrats have played games with test scores to maximize the money their schools will qualify for from various “equity and diversity initiatives” passed by politicians at the state and federal levels. As Luke shows, the problem goes back to 2001 when “No Child Left Behind” policies encouraged more testing, a commonsense idea. But education bureaucrats, afraid of what those tests showed about student achievement, began moving numbers around to make those tests easier, scores and graduation rates look higher. They began a “race to the bottom” through lowered standards.

Parents are waking up to the scams and the misdirection, as the recent recall of several school board members in San Francisco has shown. But there is a long way to go to restore America’s schools, raise standards, and teach children what they need to be productive citizens, not political pawns or statistical tricks.

As Peter says in the show, Luke’s book is alternately sad and hopeful. If it drives parents to regain control of local school boards and remain invested in their local school’s educational rigor and standards, it will have succeeded. If it makes the professional educators nervous enough to rethink their latest schemes, so much the better. If it shames school administrators into growing a backbone and resisting the intimidation brought by politicians and activists to inflate test scores or do away with testing altogether, great. And if it chases critical race theory back to the far margins of exotic, sparsely attended law school classes, even better.