If some on the left had their way, children would enter state-subsidized daycare soon after birth, enter union-run public schools a few years later, and then finish up in the overwhelmingly progressive university system. In this entire educational process, nary a conservative view would enter their ears, except caricaturized strawmen presented for the purpose of immediate dismantling.

This plan, at least in K-12 and the university system, was pretty near accomplished too. But then, something monumental happened — conservatives began fighting to reverse the direction of these institutions. Not only that, they began to win battle after battle.

Maybe this pendulum swing was an effect of COVID, when parents saw exactly what their children’s schools were teaching. Maybe it was pent-up frustration from daily ridiculous “woke” provocations, now constantly visible on social media.

Whatever caused it, conservatives are in a fighting mood and have discovered that the progressives at the helm of the education establishment are on much weaker ground than it may have appeared.

It’s shocking to consider the major victories from just the last few weeks — when the dam has seemed to break.

First, there is the swift move against DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) among those who oversee the state’s public universities. DEI, for those who aren’t aware, is often a way administrators police language, select the proper demographic balance of students and employees, and weed out those with improper opinions.

Rumors came in April that the UNC System as a whole, maybe paired with legislation at the General Assembly, would end DEI on public university campuses. A couple weeks later, a UNC System committee got the ball rolling on this process.

A few days later, NC State University’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution to affirm institutional neutrality on political topics and to support free speech. Then a couple weeks after that, this Monday, UNC Chapel Hill’s Board of Trustees voted to defund DEI on campus and reallocate the $2.3 million to campus safety instead.

But it doesn’t stop with public higher education. The K-12 system is seeing similar changes. Also in the last couple weeks, a civil case between a former English teacher at the NC Governor’s School and the NC Department of Public Instruction was resolved in favor of the teacher. The teacher, David Hoyle, taught an elective seminar that was at times critical of left-wing ideas and allowed students to openly debate their soundness. After some students and faculty complained, he was summarily fired, without a warning. So, as he wrote for us, he sued the state DPI.

The settlement in his favor was another sign of the major momentum shift. Not only did Phillips receive four years pay, but the school changed its policies and will no longer enforce left-wing orthodoxy among their faculty. Instead, the Governor’s School will “offer elective seminars that present a wide range of viewpoints” and give “faculty members the freedom and responsibility to craft academic and intellectual experiences that reflect their unique viewpoints and expertise.”

In addition to more balance at public universities and the Governor’s School, parents are getting greater ability to choose a school for their family that lines up with their own values. After a rush of parents applied for one of the limited private-school vouchers through the Opportunity Scholarship Program, there was a backlog of about 55,000 students. The state Senate, after some lively debate, voted to fund all the additional students and added recurring funding to prevent future backlogs.

This drove the educational establishment, who are used to dictating which ideas get taught in public institutions, into fits of rage. Many objected to public money being given to schools that teach flawed worldviews. Ironically, this is exactly how many on the other side of the aisle have felt for years, as views they found objectionable were taught to their children.

Fortunately for those on the left, rather than overreaching and using this momentum to change the status quo from left-wing propaganda to right-wing propaganda, conservatives seem more intent on creating policies that simply encourage neutrality and intellectual diversity.

In a highly pluralistic society like ours, intellectual diversity is the only way to prevent a constant battle over whose truth gets taught. Requiring that public institutions, like universities and district schools, offer many viewpoints and not pick sides on current hot-button issues is one way to ensure this diversity of opinion. Another is by providing the opportunity for families to choose from among many schools grounded in various traditions.

With conservatives firmly controlling a majority on the state Supreme Court, a supermajority in the General Assembly, and majorities on countless key boards and commissions, there isn’t much the education establishment can do now to stop this revolution. The polls show voters are solidly in favor of the changes too. The next generation of North Carolinians, it appears, will be educated in an environment with many more choices and where many more ideas are considered.