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The future of schooling, black lives don’t matter to Dems and other commentary

Education beat: The Future of Schooling

“Parents took advantage of education options like never before during the pandemic, to the point where K-12 schooling in the years ahead could look a lot different than it did pre-Covid,” predicts The Wall Street Journal’s Jason L. Riley. Not only did charter-school enrollments surge while traditional public schools’ fell; “thousands of families” created “learning pods” or “microschools,” with their children taught by hired instructors or parent volunteers. Many of these education “hubs” remain because parents and kids prefer them. Meanwhile, Team Biden and progressive lawmakers “have spent the past two years trying to undermine charter-school expansion” because it’s “a threat” to “the education status quo.”

Conservative: Black Lives Don’t Matter to Dems

Though homicides rose 29% in 2020 (the largest spike on record) and continue climbing, Democrats claim that either crime is “a racist fiction” or, as it’s lower than in the early 1990s, concern about it is “overblown,” charges City Journal’s Heather Mac Donald. Yet since blacks “have borne the brunt of the increased violence,” that’s like saying “black lives really don’t matter.” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, for example, blamed his midterm loss on the New York Post spreading “hysteria” over crime. Indeed, The New York Times “has chastely turned its reportorial eyes away” from crime; “only the Post among print outlets” covers it. But “that is not ‘hysteria’; it is honesty. Citizens have a right to know what is happening in their communities.”

Libertarian: FTX Fraud Bought Media Silence

“The public is only beginning to understand the full extent of alleged crimes committed by Sam Bankman-Fried,” notes Reason’s Robby Soave. SBF’s cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, was “little better than a Ponzi scheme” that used investor funds to buy credibility. SBF donated heavily to Democrats and “funded both progressive and mainstream media organizations,” including Vox, The Intercept and Semafor, with ProPublica getting a third of a promised “whopping $5 million.” Vox cofounder Matt Yglesias “laments that without SBF’s lavish funding of Democratic causes, it is ‘plausible’ that ‘Trump would still be in the White House.’ ” For “all the progressive and mainstream media fretting about” the corrupting influence of billionaires Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, “coverage of SBF is more than a little blasé.”

Culture critic: Read the Oldies

“All of us should strive,” concedes The Washington Post’s Michael Dirda, “to engage with the books of our own time.” But here’s a “case for the classic, the unusual, the neglected”: Old books, “besides adding to our understanding,” offer “repose, refreshment and renewal.” “The great books are great because they speak to us, generation after generation.” Yes, some “will make you angry at the prejudices they take for granted and occasionally endorse. No matter. Read them anyway. Recognizing bigotry and racism doesn’t mean you condone them. What matters is acquiring knowledge, broadening mental horizons, viewing the world through eyes other than your own.” You might “devote” evenings “to arguing with Plato, working your way through Dante and learning how to live from Montaigne” — but don’t forget: “In reading as in life, fun does matter.” Classic popular fiction is worthwhile, too.

From the right: Trump Wants Our Mag To Die

“Donald Trump issued, by his standards, a fairly mild denunciation of National Review the other day,” writes NR’s Rich Lowry. “He didn’t insult anyone’s wife, give us a nickname, or say that the title of our magazine somehow sounds Chinese. He only said that we are lightweights who serve no purpose and whose publication deserves to die.” So anyone who thinks “it’s more important than ever to have a fearless voice speaking the truth to try to get the [GOP] past the cycle of failure and frustration currently gripping it — thanks largely to the destructiveness of the 45th president” — might want to support the magazine, which remains faithful to its “conservative foundations,” unlike “both the ‘Never’ and ‘Always’ factions.” Trump “wonders who’s funding us, and that’s an easy one — people like you who believe in our cause.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board