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Opinion Roundtable: Behind America’s Public School Battles

Opinion Roundtable: Behind America’s Public School Battles

Update: 2022-09-107


Today we’re bringing you a special episode from New York Times Opinion: a roundtable, hosted by Lulu Garcia-Navarro, about how parents view the role of school. America’s schools have emerged as a battleground for the country’s most fervent cultural disagreements, and in many places, parents are finding themselves on the front lines. Three parents of public school students joined Lulu Garcia-Navarro to discuss the big questions underlying the new era of parental activism.

Letha Muhammad is a mother of three in Raleigh, N.C., and serves as the executive director of the nonprofit Education Justice Alliance, which works to dismantle the school-to-prison and school-to-deportation pipelines. Tom Chavez of Elmhurst, Ill., is a father of three who co-founded the group Elmhurst Parents for Integrity in Curriculum, which seeks to remove ideological agendas from the classroom. Siva Raj lives in San Francisco with his two sons and co-founded the group SF Guardians, which led the drive to recall three of the city’s school board members this year.

This episode was produced as part of a special series from New York Times Opinion exploring the purpose of K-12 education. 

This Times Opinion roundtable was produced by Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Phoebe Lett, Kristin Lin, Derek Arthur and Cassady Rosenblum, with help from Shannon Busta, Olivia Natt, Aaron Retica, Eleanor Barkhorn, Alison Bruzek and Anabel Bacon. Original music and mixing by Isaac Jones. Fact-checking by Kate Sinclair, Mary Marge Locker and Michelle Harris.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at

Comments (1)

Brent Lidstone

what a terrible discussion. almost nothing of real value was said at all, because the host is bad. She seems unable to discuss a topic any amount of depth or nuance. She keeps changing the subject and doesn't press anybody to go into detail about what they're trying to say. She lets the guests rant about whatever they feel like with no care for continuity or staying on subject. The guests only discuss extremely superficial subjects and come away seeming like they agree on everything, but only because they didn't actually debate anything complex but instead agreed on a handful of very superficial points like "children should indeed learn history, yes." All of this in my opinion is just due to the host being rather incompetent at this. She has no idea how to get the guests to discuss a single topic, indeed she seems to have no idea what they're really discussing, and to top it off she has the demeanor of a kindergarten teacher talking to a room of 4 year olds. Real disappointment of a conversation lead by a very disappointing host.

Sep 12th
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Opinion Roundtable: Behind America’s Public School Battles

Opinion Roundtable: Behind America’s Public School Battles

New York Times Opinion