Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools
Patriot Post July 20, 2016 Arnold Ahlert
On Monday night, Hillary Clinton attacked GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, calling him “one of the most hostile politicians in America when it comes to public education.” Give Clinton credit for one thing: She clearly recognizes the single greatest threat to progressive hegemony is well-educated Americans. That’s exactly why the Democrat-educrat alliance will attack anything that threatens their de facto monopoly control of public schools.
The alliance is unquestionable. So far in the 2016 election cycle — just as it has been in every election cycle — the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) have directed millions of dollars in campaign contributions almost solely to Democrats, at 100% and 98%, respectively.
The results of the Democrat-run education industrial complex have been nothing short of catastrophic. “Twelve million poor children, mainly black and Hispanic, are trapped in failing government schools that are teaching them nothing,” David Horowitz explained in 2014. “As a result, they will never get a chance at a middle-class life. Virtually every school board and every administration in inner city districts is controlled by Democrats, and has been for over fifty years. Everything that is wrong with inner city schools that policy can fix, Democrats are responsible for.”
Even worse, the “fix” as they say is in, and even the reliably leftist New York Times was capable of smelling the stench. In December 2015, the paper revealed that while “the number of students earning high school diplomas has risen to historic peaks … academic readiness for college or jobs [is] much lower.” How much lower? “The most recent evaluation of 12th graders on a national test of reading and math found that fewer than 40 percent were ready for college level work,” the Times revealed. “College remediation and dropout rates remain stubbornly high, particularly at two-year institutions, where fewer than a third who enroll complete a degree even within three years.”
How is this possible? “Grade inflation is rampant in New York City’s (NYC) public schools, reports a new study by StudentsFirstNY,” columnist Heather Kays reveals, further noting that in schools “where fewer than 10 percent of students pass state tests, 85 percent of students were passing their school’s coursework.”
New York is hardly an outlier. Public schools all over the nation have been steadily inflating grades since 1990. The 2007 National Household Education Survey revealed an astounding 81% of students got mostly As and Bs in high school.
Moreover, many school districts are abandoning anything resembling real standards to facilitate the process. California, South Carolina and Tennessee recently eliminated a requirement that students pass exit exams to qualify for a diploma, and Alaska, California, Wisconsin and Wyoming lowered the number of credit requirements needed to graduate. In Connecticut, social promotion is all that matters. “Promotion and graduation require no actual learning,” writes Chris Powell, managing editor of the Journal Inquirer. “Rather, only simple attendance is required. Promotion and graduation are left to the discretion of local school boards, which have lost the nerve to enforce standards that measure learning.”
Other school districts are making 50 out of 100 the lowest grade a teacher can give a student, provided the student a makes a “reasonable attempt” or “good faith effort” to do the work. Many are also embracing “standards-based grading,” a term designed to obscure the reality such “standards” allow students to turn in work late, retake exams, and limit the percentage homework can count in the calculation of one’s overall grade.
Theresa Mitchell Dudley, president of the Prince George’s County Educators' Association, explains the transparent flaws: “You can’t go to an employer and say, ‘Here’s my work, it’s two weeks late,’ and expect that your boss is not going to fire you.”
Perhaps not. But you can certainly cultivate a sense of utterly misplaced indignation in millions of weak-thinking students who will be subsequently drawn to a Democrat Party that assures them they are victims of an inherently unfair society that only the ministrations of benevolent government — controlled by those same Democrats — can ameliorate.
And if one thinks it gets any better at the university level, think again. “It’s raining As in America’s higher education system,” reports the Atlantic. A’s that now account for a whopping 43% of all grades given in college. Science professor Stuart Rojstaczer cuts through the calculated nonsense. “Students aren’t getting smarter,” he insists. “They aren’t studying more. When they graduate they are less literate. There’s no indication that the increase of grades nationwide is related to any increase in performance or achievement.”
Rojstaczer misses the point. Despite all professions to the contrary — and more than 50 years of evidence-based failure — Democrats have a vested interest in students who are not only undereducated, but marinated in progressive indoctrination. Indoctrination that begins as early as kindergarten in Washington state, where children will be taught about gender “identity” beginning next year. In addition to radical sex education, children also get heavy doses of the radical environmental agenda, learn contempt for religion, and are subjected to anti-traditionalist, anti-assimilationist, “blame America first” curriculums.
And perhaps most disturbing, students are being groomed to accept totalitarian concepts as normal. In several school districts, students are required to wear RFID tracking badges. The 2009 stimulus bill contained a provision encouraging states to develop data systems aimed at collecting voluminous amounts of student data — as a condition for receiving stimulus funds. Data that included “information on health-care history, family income and family voting status,” from a “captive audience” the New York Post revealed in 2011.
Data the Obama administration was “essentially rewriting the federal privacy statute” to acquire, the Post added.
None of this is remotely possible absent a virtual monopolistic system that requires children to attend schools in assigned districts, even if those schools are failing, or pay tuition many Americans can’t afford to attend private alternatives. Clinton attacked Pence because he favors school choice, charter schools, career and technical education, and merit-based raises for teachers — every one of which are wholly anathema to Democrats and their union allies who want absolute control, absent a shred of accountability.
Make no mistake: Education is the primary arena in the battle for the nation’s soul. Everyproblem we currently endure, from cultural pollution to endemic political corruption, and all things in between, can be traced back to the decline in standards and the ongoing indoctrination afflicting America’s schools and colleges. “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted,” promised Marxist champion Vladimir Lenin.
Four years has become 12-16 years of institutionally sanctioned dumbing-down, courtesy of a Democrat-educrat alliance that is arguably the biggest scandal in the history of the nation.
And it’s about time Americans deeply concerned about the future of our country started treating it that way.