It’s a candid display of how pleased ideologues are about how they have captured the education establishment.
The two on the audio are Ralph Martire and Gina Harris, both professors at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and both on the Oak Park and River Forest High School board where the recording was made.
Ralph Martire and Gina Harris
Martire is a major figure in Illinois, with frequent media appearances and op-ed publications. He served on Gov. JB Pritzker’s transition Finance Committee and is executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, a public union advocacy shop. He played a major role drafting Illinois’ school funding formula.
Harris is teacher and an Illinois director of the National Education Association – a teachers’ union, and a member of the NEA’s Black Caucus. She’s also Human and Civil Rights Committee Chair at the Illinois Education Association, an NEA affiliate.
On the tape, Martire says he’s glad Harris is teaching at Roosevelt because she fits in so well, to which she says, “I mean, it’s all social justice. All day, every day I get to talk about all the things I love all the time.”
“All day every day,” responds Martire.
“All day at the day care, all day at my night classes, all day when I’m here. I mean, really, I’m living the life over here,” says Harris.
“Yeah,” says Martire. “I always flip out the kids that take my master’s class on fiscal policy and public budgets within the first three or four classes are devoted to philosophy of social justice and how you organize society. We don’t talk about one, you know, budgetary item. They’re like, Oh, man. Professor Martire, this is a really weird way to teach a budget,” [laughter].
Harris: “Now it’s part of everything, right, what a foundation!”
Martire: “If you don’t understand your values, you can’t allocate resources among public priorities that are scarce, but all needed. Right?
Someone: “Just so you guys know, you’re out there, you’re on the mic in the auditorium, OK?”
It’s good to hear that some grad students are “flipped out” by having social justice philosophy the first three or four of their budget classes, but their concerns evidently don’t matter.
Earlier this week we wrote about a poll showing that Illinoisans don’t like political indoctrination in schools, but two-thirds admit to not objecting.
Martire has every reason to laugh at how thoroughly Americans have let schools become instruments of political dogma. That’s no doubt why, at the end of the tape, he said he didn’t care that he was being recorded.
Martire is actually a gracious guy when you meet him. My colleague Ted Dabrowski and I have met him often in various debates and panels. Last time I saw him I said, “You know, Ralph, we are actually on the same side because we are both trying to help the little guy, it’s just that we have different means for how to do it.” I had barely finished before he answered, “Yes, yes, I know.”
I was thinking in terms of government policy when I said that, but it’s more than that. We would never support replacing education with indoctrination of any kind. No viewpoint should be taught as dogma that cannot be questioned, which is common now for social justice and critical race theory, from kindergarten through college.
“What a foundation,” indeed, for those who preach it.