For some reason, it’s suddenly important to be teaching children about drag queens in American public schools.
Forget the Three R’s — in case you’ve forgotten, they’re reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic — we now need fifth-graders to know 47 different genders (there are even different sexualities and genders in Indigenous Native American communities).
The dire state of education in the U.S. is encapsulated in Illinois. Take Spry Community Links High School in Chicago. Its hokey “vision” is to “provide a challenging and supportive environment … to enable our students to succeed in the 21st century.” Its top goal: “Increasing reading and math scores to or above grade level.”
The school — with just 87 students — spends an eye-popping $35,608 per student each year. The number of students who are “reading proficient” at their grade level — zero, according to a report from Wirepoints.
The same goes for Douglas Academy High School. With just 44 students — spending per student is $56,611 — not one can read at grade level.
Spry and Douglas are among 30 schools in the state where not a single student can read at grade level, and there are 53 schools in Illinois in which not a single student can do math at their grade level. Those 44 kids at Douglas also can’t do math at their grade level.
As they often do, Democrats in the state blame … well, everything but themselves. State Senator Willie Preston, a Democrat whose district includes part of Chicago’s South Side, blamed the pandemic.
“I believe this is something that is a byproduct of some of our policies that we were taking during COVID,” Preston told Fox News on Monday. “This is a very serious issue and one that as a father and as a lawmaker, I’m going to be addressing feverishly.”
And he said it’s not the teachers’ fault — it’s the kids.
“I don’t know that it’s fair to lay this all at the feet of teachers. I think there are other factors,” Preston said. “There are a lot of children that are facing homelessness that are not attending classes regularly … a lot of these children are coming from poverty-stricken communities.”
“As a community, we just can’t focus on the dollars being put in the classroom,” he added. “We have to reengage a working-class, rebuilding working-class communities.”
But Wirepoints writers Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner say the problems weren’t caused by the pandemic.
“Defenders of the current system are sure to invoke Covid as the big reason for the low scores. But a look at the 2019 numbers show that the reading and math numbers were only slightly better than they are now,” they wrote.
The reporters also note that per-student spending at some schools that perform the worst has significantly increased since 2019.
“The absolute failure to teach even a single child to read and do math in so many schools is yet another indictment of the state’s educational system,” they wrote, noting that there are 622 schools “where only 1 out of 10 kids or less can read at grade level. That’s a whopping 18 percent of the state’s 3,547 schools that tested students in 2022.”
“And only 1 out of 10 kids or less can do math at grade level in 930 schools … that’s more than a quarter of all schools in the state,” the reporters wrote.
The U.S. fares poorly when compared with the rest of the world. Pew Research Center reports that American students place 24th in both science and reading and a dismal 38th in mathematics.
Maybe it’s time to get back to the three R’s and give drag queen story time a pass.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.