We have been watching the decline of public education for decades….at least as far back as the GOP icon, Reagan.
The full-court press against public education began in earnest during the Reagan administration. The publication of A Nation At Risk (1983) was like the Boston Massacre of public schooling in the US. There was less blood loss in the march toward privatizing public schools in the US than during the American Revolution, but the intent to destroy yet another public function and institution of government was there. Kill off public school after public school throughout the US and a major source of unionism, and teacher unions in particular, began to wither. Teacher unions were always a reliable base of support for what remained of New Deal liberalism in the US, even though in some large cities like New York City, teacher unions had been purged of leftists during the witch hunts of McCarthyism.
Even a casual observer could see the trends in the demise of jobs, the growth of prisons, the growth of charter schools, and the decline in support for public schooling in the US. In many places, largely in urban areas, public schools were in decline. School buildings in many places were relics of the past and deteriorated along with the general public infrastructure. Drive across any major highway where snow falls in the winter and see the deteriorating bridges: public schooling was like those bridges.
Then came the standardized testing frenzy of the last several decades. That frenzy began in the 1980s and took off, in a largely bipartisan effort, to turn public schools into testing centers. Some schools began doing test preparation with students as a major thrust of their curriculum, with prep sessions carried over into weekend classes where some kids were forced to wear the uniforms required during the regular school week. Many educational initiatives, such as during the Obama administration, rewarded schools with better test results with increased federal funding. It was sort of like the Kentucky Derby of public schooling.
A certain level of testing students is necessary, but not for use in destroying public schools. Charter schools are publicly funded schools that don’t answer to the public like public schools, are operated privately and for profit, and can turn away students that public schools must accept. Standardized test results from charters are often no better, or worse, than their public school counterparts.
Then there is our colleges and universities….qua;lity professors are being purged because of their supposed ‘leftist’ teachings…..and the corporations are behind most of these purges…..
When the University of North Carolina tried to hire a distinguished journalist, for example, Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk had this to say: “Nikole Hannah-Jones is a racist and a liar.” He urged allies to “find the names of the biggest donors at your school and email them”—and monitor faculty with his ProfessorWatchlist.org. Campus Reform obtained the offer letter sent to Hannah-Jones and Fox News cranked up its outrage machine. We know the rest of the story.
Such groups have actively targeted professors who teach about structural racism in American history. The latest buzzword is “CRT,” critical race theory, which they claim is dividing students at all educational levels, even though CRT is mainly a law school elective.
Such clashes have multiple sources, but the least understood one is how they serve a long-term strategy to disrupt and transform higher education so it better serves corporate interests.
These are two ways you get a more compliant work force and less informed society.
This should be stopped!
Education should be priority one no matter what silly political ideology you choose to worship.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”