Arnold Ahlert / January 12, 2017

Make American Education Great Again

Time to take a wrecking ball to an utterly corrupt educational status quo.

“Beginning in the 1960s, from Boston to Berkeley, the teachers of America’s teachers absorbed and taught a new, CliffsNotes-style sacred history: America was born tainted by Western Civilization’s original sins — racism, sexism, greed, genocide against natives and the environment, all wrapped in religious obscurantism, and on the basis of hypocritical promises of freedom and equality. Secular saints from Herbert Croly and Woodrow Wilson to Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama have been redeeming those promises, placing America on the path of greater justice in the face of resistance from the mass of Americans who are racist, sexist, but above all stupid. To consider such persons on the same basis as their betters would be, as President Obama has called it, ‘false equivalence.’” —Angelo Codevilla, “The Rise of Political Correctness”

If there is a better summation of the cultural divide, one is hard-pressed to imagine what it is. And while the election of Donald Trump represents a repudiation of the insufferable elitist mindset cited above, it may only be a brief reprieve. As the daily depredations by the Leftmedia and its allies in Hollywood, academia and the corporate world indicate, our “betters” will not go quietly into the night. Moreover, they will do everything possible to undermine the current “aberration.”

Nonetheless, an opportunity, no matter how brief, exists. One that requires laser-like focus on the one entity whose co-option by the Left has paid them the greatest long-term dividends. In short, a Trump administration must work diligently to eviscerate the Democrats’ Education Complex. Unless this de facto monopoly of leftist indoctrination factories is leveled, America will remain oppressed by leftist hegemony.

“Fear of the Trump administration’s nascent education policy has coalesced around the idea that Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is the agent of a furtive movement for ‘privatization’ that seeks to destroy the public-school system,” explains National Review columnist Paul Crookston. “Teachers’ unions and liberal pundits and academics claim that mass defunding of public schools is the real goal behind ‘school choice.’”

Decent Americans should pray that this is so, and a recent New York Post article reveals exactly why. It talks about the United Federation of Teachers, whose budget increase from last year’s $168.7 million to this year’s $181.2 million pays for such “education-related” expenditures as Yankee and Met tickets, trips to New Orleans, Orlando and Las Vegas — and Cadillac salaries for union bigwigs, 65 of whom earn more than $165,000 each. Union boss Michael Mulgrew, who opposes charter schools and anything resembling genuine accountability, earns $283,804.

Moreover, while these hacks are living quite comfortably, courtesy of required teachers’ dues, they’re also busy solidifying their political clout by donating to hard-left political organizations like ACORN, which was defunded by Congress in 2009 after undercover videos revealed counselors advising a “pimp” and “prostitute” on how to commit tax fraud.

What does this toxic mix produce? “A scathing state report flunked 91 city schools Thursday for eye-poppingly low graduation rates and test scores — and cited 40 of them for a decade of teaching futility,” reported the Daily News in 2015. The paper further notes at least 50,000 children, 90 percent of whom are minority and/or indigent, attended schools “where less than half the students graduated and fewer than 1 in 10 were proficient in either English or math” — all despite an average spending boost of 13.8%.

New York is hardly an outlier. Millions of children across the nation are trapped in virtually identical union-run hellholes, all beholden to one contemptible idea that should be tossed on the ash heap of history: where one lives determines what school one attends.

To realize just how contemptible that concept is, one need only imagine a real world equivalent. Imagine needing a new car and only being allowed to purchase one from the car dealer you’ve been “assigned” based on your home address. Imagine the kind of price and service one might get when that dealership knows it has a captive customer. Now imagine certain groups of elitists who aren’t bound by the same restriction.

Those are the very same leftist elitists who wouldn’t dream of allowing their children to attend the public schools they so heartily support for everyone else. They support school choice — for themselves — while the “little people” get no choice at all, lest failing schools face defunding.

Or parent-empowered competition.

Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos is a staunch supporter of charters, vouchers for private schools, and tax credits for homeschoolers — or everything anathema to the status quo-ers, exactly because it transfers power from government bureaucrats to education “consumers.”

Hence, the predictable attacks. “Betsy DeVos lacks the qualifications and experience to serve as secretary of education,” insists American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten. “Her drive to privatize education is demonstrably destructive to public schools and to the educational success of all of our children.”

More like demonstrably destructive for an AFT/Democrat alliance whereby the union donates 100% of its campaign funding to the Party in every election cycle.

As for the educational “success” of our children, the title of an article by NPR says it all: “America’s High School Graduates Look Like Other Countries’ High School Dropouts.” American students are average in literacy, woeful in math — and dead last in technology, according to a Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies study.

Thus, the leftist-dominated status quo is all about keeping “stupid” Americans stupid. And given the achievement gap between minority and white students that has existed for more than 50 years, keeping minority Americans “stupider” than everyone else appears to be an acceptable part of the equation.

In other words, the same leftists who reflexively accuse everyone else of racism have arguably been engaged in maintaining perhaps the most enduring racist construct in the history of the republic.

Unfortunately, bad education is only half the equation. “A study by the National Association of Scholars, released on Tuesday, reveals how Obama’s ultra-liberal progressives have begun to turn American higher ed into a vehicle for left-wing activism and propaganda,” reveals columnist F. H. Buckley.

As NAS puts it in “Making Citizens: How American Universities Teach Civics,” today’s civics courses are all about teaching students that a good citizen “is a radical activist,” political activism is “at the center of everything that students do in college,” and that it is more important to learn “how to organize protests, occupy buildings, and stage demonstrations” than understand the foundations of American government.

“What is to be done with a political system in which no one any longer believes?” asks Codevilla.

Answer: Take a wrecking ball to an utterly corrupt educational status quo that spawned and nurtured that political skepticism.

The bottom line is that our nation can withstand virtually anything other than a leftist-cultivated loss of faith masquerading itself as public school and college education. Nothing less than a paradigm shift is required to restore that faith, one that wrests control of our educational system away from the Democrats’ Education Complex. Otherwise, the attempt to restore American exceptionalism will amount to little more than a brief detour on the road to permanent, leftist-dominated serfdom.

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