FILE - Mehmet Oz, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)
FILE - Mehmet Oz, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)

In today’s right wing political universe, there is no easier target than educators – especially those working in public schools. And one could easily argue that the attacks on public education are more intense in Pennsylvania than in any other state in America.

And Dr. Oz has just joined the attack:

What’s important to understand about the “school choice” hashtag is that it is a very specific appeal. It says in unambiguous terms that Oz is in favor of replacing the non-profit public education system with a for-profit system.

It is important to know that there are many different branches on the “school choice” tree, from charter schools to homeschooling, vouchers, online programs, etc. and most advocates support some but not all the branches. But what binds them all together is simple: they take tax dollars paid by working families and turn them into profit for corporations and CEOs.

“School choice” advocates began their crusade in the mid-1950s, almost entirely in opposition to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. The movement, if it can be called such a thing, has its roots not in a choice about how we want to be educated, but rather in who we want to be excluded.

And while the current version of the movement is more about greed than anything else, that desire for exclusion remains. From CRT hysteria, to the wave of book banning, to nationwide smear campaigns accusing teachers of being “groomers” for child sex trafficking, the attacks are constant, based on false pretenses, and extraordinarily well funded.

And they’re working.

It is still unclear just how much of the right-wing anti-education agenda Oz supports, but recent comments remind many of his approach to public education during the pandemic, when he suggested that opening schools in the height of the crisis “may only cost us two to three percent in terms of total mortality” as if that was a number parents should simply accept.