Check trustee candidate Rowe’s conservative ed philosophy, dismissal of value of unions

To the editor:

Rather than exchange views in the comment section of someone else’s letter to the editor, I decided to write my own to express my concerns with the candidacy of Ian Rowe, who conservative intellectual Glenn Loury describes as a “leader in the charter school movement,” for the board of education of the Pelham Union Free School District. My principal suggestion is that voters do their own research.

Rowe might be a “great guy to have a beer with,” as folks used to say about George Bush. That does not mean we should overlook his policy prescriptions for schools, and, more broadly, his solutions to the ills that affect our society and children’s life chances—see “Success Sequence,” which posits marriage as the solution to poverty. He is a public intellectual with a public body of work, much of which is easily located on the internet. Unlike many if not most school board members, Rowe has a long and public history of opining on education and poverty, and I urge everyone, those who know and like Rowe personally, and those who have never met him, to spend as much time as they can reviewing that history and those opinions and pronouncements before they vote on May 18.

I am listing below some links to writings, panel discussions, interviews, and last but not least, Rowe’s twitter feed, touting such conservative luminaries as Thomas Sowell and Glenn Loury. Rowe publicly espouses and promotes, on many and varied platforms, a conservative educational philosophy. I encourage others to watch, read, and listen to any or all of the below. There is, I assume, a lot more to be found. Make a decision with full knowledge of this public body of work, on the educational philosophy you want guiding the decisions of the governing body of the Pelham school district and guiding Pelham children’s education and experience in the school system.

“The next conservative K–12 education agenda”

With Glenn Loury talking about charters and his work at Public Prep, his chain of “single sex charter schools in the Bronx:” (Scroll thru the feed for more.)

To my mind, it is worth also reviewing the charter school movement’s, and Rowe’s, dismissal of the value of unions (see Loury interview). If more charter school kids’ parents were in unions fighting for decent salaries and working conditions for themselves, think how much better those children’s lives would be. Coming from a family of teachers who were nothing if not hardworking and dedicated to the education and wellbeing of their students, and who, without unions, would be paid as poorly as we pay our childcare workers and those in other female-dominated professions, I find the denigration of unions, and of teachers, in these and recent discussions about reopening schools during the pandemic, profoundly disturbing.

This may be your cup of tea, but it is not mine.

Maryanne Joyce

142 Nyac Avenue