Objectivism in Action at Texas Schools

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Parents in one of the wealthiest towns in Texas are lobbying to get Ayn Rand into schools, and in a classic case of life imitating art (or art being chosen to reflect and enact a desired worldview, perhaps) they intend to do so at the expense of ‘The Working Poor,” a contemporary anthropological study by David K. Shipler. The parents’ stated objections concern the quality of Shipler’s writing, its depiction of women, and violent content—concerns not to be taken lightly, to be sure, but ones that seem less genuine when considering the proposed replacement texts (such as Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust, which features some fairly explicit scenes of injury and suffering). The LA Times notes the timing of the controversy coinciding with a new report on income inequality by Oxfam, and it’s hard to ignore the question of the value of schoolbooks in expanding students’ horizons.


Dinah Fay is a poet, copywriter, and social media maven living in Brooklyn. She is the co-host of the Brick City Speaks reading series in Newark, where she is pursuing an MFA in writing from Rutgers University. More from this author →