America is losing faith in its system of free public education. Test scores are down. Violence in schools is up. There’s a growing perception that things are out of control.
What’s odd about it all is how no one, seemingly, is interested in exploring why. State legislators don’t want to do it. Local school boards have other things on their minds. And the press is too busy covering real problems, like Donald Trump’s refusal to return classified documents to the National Archives, to spend any time exploring the reason kids are still being allowed to graduate from public schools without anything close to the mastery they need to get ahead in life.
Occam’s razor, named for its progenitor, 14th-century English philosopher and theologian William of Ockham, suggests the simplest answer is most likely the correct one. This would mean, one can infer, that the plight of our children is the fault of the teachers and administrators who run the schools.
Before continuing it is important to reflect on how teachers, especially, are like Members of Congress. Most voters believe, and have for decades, that while Congress as an institution is corrupt, moribund, and beholden to special interests, their representative is a fine, upstanding individual who is not part of the problem. That is also, the evidence suggests, how parents feel generally about the teachers whose responsibility it is to educate their children.
They too, it is reasonable to suggest, may fall victim to bureaucrats who, in telling them what to teach and how to teach it, end up perverting the process of education until our children’s minds are filled with mush.
Then again, perhaps not. It has been reported – but not as widely as it deserved – that some weeks back the Colorado Education Association, which claims to be the voice of 39,000 public educators in the Centennial State, adopted a resolution condemning capitalism. To wit:
The CEA believes that capitalism inherently exploits children, public schools, land, labor, and resources. Capitalism is in opposition to fully addressing systemic racism (the school-to-prison pipeline), climate change, patriarchy (gender and LGBTQ disparities), education inequality, and income inequality.
It is as alarming as it is illuminating. If most teachers in Colorado or indeed throughout the nation believe this, it becomes quite clear why the education system is failing our children. Those who teach are unable, unwilling, or unprepared to make our children see the world they are being prepared to enter as responsible adults.
Helpfully, and thanks of all things to the unnecessary pandemic-era lockdown of the nation’s schools undertaken at the apparent insistence of teachers’ unions and professional associations, parents have had enough.
There is no way to replace the learning and socialization lost to school closure. Leaders in some states like North Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida, and Arkansas are heeding the cries for help coming from parents by expanding education savings accounts and reforming the system so that education dollars follow the students rather than fund the systems.
To do this, they are showing great courage. They have taken on “Big Education” and in many places are defeating it by giving parents a role in deciding which school their child will attend.
As a practical matter, that means more and more children will be able to attend schools where Marxist doctrine is not presented as scientific fact, where a greater emphasis is placed on the “Three R’s” than the various ways to avoid pregnancy, and no one is going to be fighting over who gets to use what locker-room to shower and change after an athletic event.
Restructuring public education using free market principles like the supremacy of individual choice will break up the “Big Education” monopoly that is wrecking our children’s futures. Finally, after many years, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
A former UPI senior political writer and U.S. News and World Report columnist, Peter Roff is a senior fellow at several public policy organizations including the Trans-Atlantic Leadership Network. Contact him at RoffColumns AT gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter and TruthSocial @TheRoffDraft.
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