Public Education’s Misplaced Priorities Pushing Parents Away
A new Gallup poll shows that people are losing faith in public schools.
What is the purpose of public education? Is it, as it was at its inception, to have a literate and conscientious populace able to make informed voting choices and facilitate a better society?
Initially, the education system was based on merit and infused with the moral grounding of Christian teaching. Schools had smaller class sizes and teachers who knew students well. Educators were held directly accountable by the community they were a part of. This was the original idea of American education.
Unfortunately, today’s system is more intent on doing away with the moral grounding of religion and traditional values and replacing it with nihilism, liberalism, and materialism. It is a system that is more accountable to the teachers unions and their political affiliations than the actual students and their families. It is a system that is becoming ever more divorced from celebrating actual achievement in pursuit of equity — the irony of which is that academic achievement is the great equalizer.
The massive shift in education had its dark underbelly exposed during the COVID lockdowns through at-home learning. Everyone could finally see what the movement that had been incrementally taking over since the 1960s had created. Students were being taught that achievement didn’t matter. Or if they were preforming poorly, it’s probably due to some form of systemic oppression. Students were being taught moral relativism — that individuals have the right to choose their own morality and that anyone who infringes upon that morality should be condemned.
Parents by and large have been horrified by what they are discovering within the public education system. This has led to a dramatic loss of faith in that system. According to a recent Gallup poll, just 28% of Americans have confidence in public schools. That isn’t the lowest that public sentiment has dropped (it was 26% in 2014), but it’s not far off the mark. By this time next year, that low may be beaten if the Department of Education, teachers unions, and activist educators and administrators continue to put their own political prerogatives and morally debunked worldviews ahead of the needs of the children they are supposed to serve. Between 2021 and 2022, Republicans’ confidence dropped 12 points. Only 14% have faith in public education. Democrats’ confidence, by contrast, only dropped two points, from 45% to 43%.
As more and more information leaks out of how schools are manipulating the children in their care and foisting ideology over achievement, parents and teachers alike are seeing a staggering increase in student anxiety and depression. Clearly, the ideological value system is having a degrading effect on them, and yet those in charge continue to push their rubbish ideas.
Last Friday, First Lady Jill Biden spoke at the American Federation of Teachers Convention, where she thanked infamous AFT President Randi Weingarten, saying: “It’s what makes you such a powerful leader here at AFT. So, thank you for your friendship. Thank you for caring. Thank you for putting this organization first every single day.”
Weingarten has indeed put the organization (i.e., the union) first by disregarding the needs of children, holding their education and mental well-being hostage for more funding from the federal government, and pushing left-wing talking points and policies to grab more power. Also of note, if you watch the video of the first lady’s remarks, you can see Ms. Weingarten masked. Perhaps she is already gearing up for the fresh COVID push for the midterms. Perhaps she never stopped masking as a symbol of her undying devotion to the left-wing virtue signal. Who’s to say?
It is this sort of bullheaded indifference to the needs of the children and of the parents that prompted Virginia to vote for a Republican governor last year. It is this sort of push that prompted notoriously liberal San Francisco to oust school board members for being more concerned with woke maxims than bettering child education. Parents on all sides of the political spectrum have noticed that public education as it stands is not working and that their children are suffering. An institutional fix will certainly not happen overnight. After all, this invasion of bad ideology and secular values had been seeping into the schools long before many of us passed through their doors. But the conservative pushback to help moderate these out-of-control guiding principles might ultimately be the only hope for the next generation.
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