One Of The Most Striking Failures Of Liberalism Has Been Its Proven Inability- Or Unwillingness- To Adequately Educate Our Children.
By Perry Hicks Filed 12/18/05
The corner stone of Marxist dogma is the rich are made rich by exploiting a permanent social underclass. Owing to a century of civil rights struggles, African Americans and other minorities meet this socialist criterion. This is why socialists are so eager to continue “assisting” them in their “struggle” against their “capitalist masters.”
Marxism, being a totalitarian philosophy, is wholly inflexible and utterly inadaptable. Thus, a “permanent” classification is by definition unchangeable. Therefore, socialists cannot admit that a member of an “underclass,” much less the entire “underclass” itself, could ever rise to a higher standing; just as they cannot see western prosperity as being good.
This lock-step insistence that a higher station in society is unachievable does have ancillary benefits. By maintaining poverty in perpetuity, welfare recipients of all colors can be counted on for keeping their socialist masters in power. It is thus a virtual enslavement; making that so-called underclass permanently dependent on the government through entitlements in Great Society programs.
As such, the Great Society, of which the War on Poverty is but a part, has done a great deal of harm to America by virtually destroying entire communities. It has resulted in a massive upturn in urban crime, it has fractured families (or kept them from ever forming in the first place,) made men irrelevant, and cheapened marriage causing children to grow up without fathers in the home.
While not all Democrats are socialists, the party leadership is undoubtedly dominated by the far left wing. Because Democrats cannot afford the revolution of the 50s, 60s, and 70s to end, they have initiated a perpetual search for new victims and issues needing coercive Federal intervention. Thus, when liberals did a good thing by breaking down separate but “equal” education- mandatory segregation in public schools- they did not stop there, but through the deranged logic of activist judges, went on to break down classroom discipline itself.
Knowing that they cannot win in the state house, Democrats seek to have judges legislate from the bench. The courts obliged by rendering decisions ruinous to classroom order and discipline such as Goss v. Lopez (1975.) Through liberal activism, most everyone, but particularly inner city residents of which African-Americans are a disproportionately a part, lost the most important entitlement of all; a first-rate public education.
Of course, to the left this would make perfect sense. You don’t really expect educated people to stay on welfare, do you?
If Democrats admit that American education is substandard at all, they reason that it substandard simply because we are not spending enough money on it. It does not occur to them that there is a problem with their paradigm. Furthermore, students and parents have no responsibility within the system whatsoever. Evidently, expecting as much would be unfair and insensitive.
A second benefit to an inefficient educational system is the ability to blame failure on inadequate funding and thus education becomes an excuse for confiscatory tax policies: People won’t stay poor if they can retain their hard-earned wages.
This funding on education argument is a weak one at best. Results for one of the highest spending per student school systems in the country, Washington, D.C., belie the premise that a good education can be linked directly to dollars. For example, at the very height of the educational controversy during the 1999-2000 academic years, Washington, D.C. spent $9,993 per student and what they got was truly tragic.
New York City spent even more.
Not wanting to own up to their failures, liberals blame lousy test scores on the tests themselves. SATs, they contend, are inherently racist and so it should be no surprise that white students do better on them. Besides, in their view, tests don’t really measure a person’s ability, anyway.
Of course, if SATs are inherently racist, critics are loath to explain how these tests don’t affect all minorities equally. Nor are they willing to explain why private and home schooled students do far better academically- when spending per student in much less than a public education.
Foreign students, not having been advantaged by an expensive socialist education, out perform our own kids in our own colleges- even though English is not their primary language. The one prerequisite being the student being able to learn, or is already functional in English.
Up until 9-11, when tightening visa requirements depressed the number of foreign applicants, doctorates taken by foreign students in computer sciences and engineering could actually better 50%. The total number of doctorates conferred in the U.S. foreign students exceeded 25%.
Then there are those who would redefine improper English as a kind of foreign language thus enabling them to stay in ignorance.
Besides poor classroom discipline, many public education problems have been with the lack of accountability; the educational focus has too often been put on self-esteem rather than attaining critical fundamental skills.
“Outcome based” education, favored by the educational elite, directs their objectives more toward political and social indoctrination over providing students with a solid educational foundation. Interpretation: Johnny and Sally cannot read. Or write. Or do math. Nor do they know history. Nor civics. Nor…. You get my point.
Hence, President Bush and congress strengthened the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 with what should be a very liberal-sounding “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) act of 2001.
However liberal sounding, the National Education Association vehemently opposes it to this day. Why? The act calls for- you guessed it- accountability. According to the NEA, NCLB “presents real obstacles to helping students” by providing “punishments rather than assistance, rigid, unfunded mandates rather than support for proven practices,” and creating “bureaucracies rather than teacher-led, classroom focused solutions.”
The problem with NEA’s position is that any teacher you talk to has complained of all of these things for years- and the Bush administration wasn’t there to institute any of it. In fact, it was liberal educators themselves who built up these massive bureaucracies that consume more resources than they give back and ultimately hamstring the teacher.
Instead of formulating a new remedy, what the NEA proposes is more of the same gobblety-gook such as; “pursuing flexibility that supports student learning;” making “sure students, teachers, and schools are evaluated by more than just test scores;” and “provide parents and policymakers information that helps get at the causes of school failure, not just the effects.”
Translation: Leave us alone and for gosh-sake what ever you do don’t require us to be measured in any empirical way. If there must be teacher/school accountability, let’s add a nebulous component to it so our sophists can twist failure around to look like ringing success.
By the way, if the president’s NCLB policy is so damaging, one might ask why has SAT scores continued upward in the intervening years? In fact, there have been so many “perfect” scores of late that SAT was redesigned for 2005 making it both more difficult and with a higher maximum score.
One might wonder how the liberal elites will maintain their upper class standing if their children are educated in dysfunctional public schools. After all, doesn’t the ruling class have to be smart? Answer: They send them to private academies, of course.
At the same time many of their members educate their own children in private schools, NEA opposes school vouchers that would enable every child a private school education.
NEA also opposes home schooling, not because they do not recognize that home schoolers are top academic achievers, but because they are concerned that home schooling may not meet certain state-approved curricula.
Evidently, without attending public school, the NEA fears home schooled students will not receive a “comprehensive educational experience.”
I could only hope so.
In Part 6, we will see that while Democrats set themselves up to be arbiters of Civil Rights, they have become every bit as racist as their Ku Klux forbearers.
Part 2 - Monumental Incompetence: Radio Talk Show Host Michael Savage Identifies Liberalism As A Mental Disorder. In Other Words, A Democrat Government Could Be Likened To An Insane Asylum Run By The Inmates. Filed 10/11/05
About the Author.....
Perry Hicks is a former Mississippi Coast resident and was a correspondent for the old Gulfport Star Journal. He has appeared on Fox News Channel. Perry has also hosted his own radio talk show on the auto industry with a mix of politics. Perry is a former college professor and a frequent contributor to GCN writing on stories of national importance with local interests. His articles can be found in the GCN Archive.
Contact the Author: firstname.lastname@example.org