The Patriot Post® · Upending the Leftist-Dominated Educational Status Quo
“The power of the cultural left can be felt everywhere — in entertainment, in the arts, in the media, and in corporations. But it all starts in education.” —columnist Milo Yiannopoulos
Yiannopoulos is exactly right. Of the many things the election of Donald Trump revealed, few are more distressing than the gargantuan levels of infantilism and indoctrination that infest America’s education system — every bit of which is nurtured by the American Left.
We begin with colleges, or rather de facto nursery schools purporting to be colleges. Cornell University held a “cry in” with hot chocolate and tissues handed out by staff. Tufts University made arts and crafts available. University of Maryland astronomy lecturer Alan Peel canceled a test scheduled the day after the election because he feared “the monumental effort necessary to accept what must be a personally threatening election result” would affect students’ test-taking abilities. An unnamed Yale professor made a test optional, and Yale students requested a biology exam be postponed because, they argued in a letter to the professor, “the majority of the student body at Yale will be emotionally distraught and distracted … and our performance on the midterm will be hindered massively.”
At the University of Kansas it was “therapy dogs,” and at the University of Michigan, the office of Trey Boynton, director of multi-ethnic student affairs, was the place where a steady flow of students spent the day comforting themselves with Play-Doh and coloring books. Plymouth State University community advisor Kirsten Elizabeth also embraced the collective thumb-sucking. “Today during my office hours, 4PM to 7PM, I will be bringing my personal coloring books, crayons, markers and colored pencils for anyone to use in order to de-stress and relax from the election results,” she posted to Facebook (emphasis added).
“For years, progressives have sheltered children from failure or pain,” writes columnist Tom Knighton. “Athletic events for young children no longer keep score, and everyone gets a trophy. Schools try to minimize competition and achievement because of insane theories about fostering self-esteem. Unfortunately, you can’t shelter kids forever. At some point, something is going to invade their safe spaces and smack them upside the head.”
It’s not going to happen at college. In fact, it’s going in the other direction. The latest absurdity involves an unnamed professor at a Midwest college who decided the PG-13 movie “Clueless” necessitated a “trigger warning” lest the reference to a gay character as a “disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde-reading, Streisand ticket-holding friend of Dorothy” induce emotional trauma among LGBTQ viewers. An East Coast professor, speaking to Heatstreet — on condition of anonymity that suggests fear of reprisal — estimates trigger warnings have more than doubled between last year and now because “more and more academics are issuing them on the basis that it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Does it get more pathetic than college professors surrendering to the delicate sensibilities of social justice warriors?
Actually, it does. A college education is optional. Thus, if one wishes to attend the University of Virginia, where President Teresa Sullivan was chastised by 469 students and faculty for using school founder Thomas Jefferson as a “moral compass,” one is free to do so — or not. Same goes for Duke University, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill or Dartmouth College where students can attend classes on “toxic masculinity.” At Gettysburg College however, freshman are required to attend an orientation class that states the “three most destructive words” a boy can hear growing up is “be a man.”
By contrast, a public school education, or its equivalent, is mandatory. Unfortunately, it is here where students are not only coddled but indoctrinated by leftist dogma. Hundreds of teens on both sides of the nation took to the streets to protest Donald Trump’s election. In Los Angeles they were applauded by the United Teachers Los Angeles union. In Maryland they were chanting “we reject the president-elect,” and blocking traffic. In Portland, Oregon, they marched to march to City Hall, disrupting shoppers. At New York City’s elitist schools, Beacon High students were granted illicit permission by their history teachers to cut classes for anti-Trump protests, the Avenues school made “pettable pooches” available and sent out a letter revealing its faculty had supported Hillary Clinton, and others offered disaster counseling to “traumatized” students.
That Avenues’ entire faculty backed Clinton is completely unsurprising. There has been an unambiguous alliance between the Democrat Party and the educational status quo-mongers for decades. That reality is precisely why the two biggest education entities in the nation, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, respectively donated 98% and 100% of their campaign contributions to Democrats in the 2016 election cycle.
In return, these educrats and their pro-union apparatchiks, like NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio and the NAACP leaders, are more than willing to sacrifice the future of millions of kids by opposing any kind of educational competition. They have a special animus for charter schools whose record of achievement far outpaces the union-controlled disasters that have become the norm in Democrat-controlled inner cities. Leftists also despise vouchers, private schools and home-schooling as well.
And what has America gotten from this unholy alliance? A 2014 National Assessment of Educational Progress test revealing three-out-of-four students lack proficiency in history, civics and geography. A 2015 study revealing 32 million American adults are virtually illiterate. An American Institutes for Research study revealing more 75% of two-year college students and 50% of four-year college students are incapable of completing everyday tasks.
And it’s all happening while grade inflation spirals higher and higher, and the cost of a college education has outpaced the Consumer Price Index by a more than two-to-one ratio from 1980 through 2014.
It’s time for the nonsense to stop. Trump has proposed some ideas, such as forcing colleges to have some “skin the game” regarding student loan defaults. That alone could go a long way toward bringing down tuition costs and eliminating frivolous majors that yield little in the way of decent job prospects.
But that’s only the tip of a leftist-controlled iceberg. Congress needs to hold nationally televised hearings and summon teachers, administrators and other education officials from kindergarten right through graduate school to testify. Nothing would be more illuminating than public school officials explaining why, after 50 years of reform promises, the average black 12th grader still reads at the same level as the average white 8th grader, or why kids lacking basic skills are marinated in the Left’s take on global warming and transgenderism. Imagine college administrators having to explain how campus speech codes align with the First Amendment, why conservative speakers remain unwelcome on campus, why liberal professors outnumber conservatives by nearly a 5 to 1 ratio, or why they embrace campus re-segregation.
Imagine former prosecutor Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) asking NAACP President Cornell William Brooks to explain why his organization would prevent the children of 700,000 black families from attending charter schools. Or Department of Education and Justice officials to rationalize raced-based discipline standards that penalize all students at equal rates, utterly irrespective of their behavior.
Once again: this is the primary battlefield for the nation’s soul. The American Left’s effort to create legions of dumbed-down, government-dependent victimist Americans must be exposed as the most despicable power play in its political arsenal. Now is the time.