Friday, February 26, 2010

The inevitable

David Brock mentioned in his book Blinded by the Right that after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Soviet Union broke up in 1991 he was at a meeting of top Republicans when the question came up what they attack next. The answer was public education.
The attack started prior to this meeting in 1983-4 under Ronald Reagan with his panel on education that released the report A Nation At Risk. This started all the bad mouthing on how our education system was broken and the teacher's unions were keeping incompetent teachers on the job. That the schools should be run like a business, blah blah blah.
What they were really fussing about was that the schools were working too good. Lower income children were not only graduating and going on to college, but that those lower income, mostly minority cannon fodder were becoming educated enough to not shed blood in some silly war that only benefited the rich. Low and behold it worked so well that Bill Clinton could actually achieve the American dream of going on to an ivy league college, become a Rhodes Scholar, protest against Vietnam, become governor and president. Too much equality, and to put the cherry on top we now have a highly educated African American who went through the public schools and on to the ivy league and is now president. Public education is way too successful for the Republicans.
Now the successes I've mentioned all happened before a Nation At Risk. Clinton and Obama had already graduated from public high school. Since then the Republicans have starved, bad mouthed, lied, bullied and tried to create such an impression of failure that the majority of Americans now feel that public education is a waste of money. Charter Schools and Vouchers were sold to the public as an alternative to bad public education by the media. Bush ratcheted up the failure mindset with No Child Left Behind. The testing all schools are graded on have an impossible bench mark. By 2012 all schools will be 100% proficient. Not even Harvard could meet this requirement.
Two days ago the first leak in public education's dam appeared. A town in Rhode Island has fired all it's teachers and administration for poor performance. When school ends this spring they will not have a high school only an empty building.
I hope this is an eye opener for all those who rely on public education of things to come.
Corporations don't want educated employees anymore, they want drones. Our service sector society doesn't need anyone who's read Shakespeare to scan your groceries. Minimum wage workers are happier the stupider they are, and are more willing to enlist in our endless wars. There is a method to their madness. No more Clintons, no more Obamas, no more letting the riff raff into their ivy league schools. That's for the politically connected Bubba's like Bush.

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