It’s time to take a wrecking ball to the leftist education edifice in America
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May 5, 2021 (American Thinker) – As the Biden/Harris/Obama wrecking crew seeks to destroy America, our federal system provides an effective response: The states must resist in every possible way. While there are many different items on the resistance menu let’s look at education.
For decades, the left has exercised a laser-like focus on capturing education and molding it to their design. They have been successful. If you can teach children how bad America is and promote a leftist agenda as the only answer, you are getting close to home in terms of turning the country towards a hard-left haven.
It is remarkable that any objectively educated people still exist. But thankfully, there are, and we can build on them right now to turn America around. After all, we know there are at least 75 million Trump voters and perhaps many more.
Education’s capture flows through the teacher’s unions, the state-level education departments, the local school boards, the effective opposition to education vouchers, and leftist control over state universities that “train” the teachers and subvert the overall student body in general – and most importantly through the legislatures and governors.
State legislatures control public education policy and funding. Unfortunately, conservative states pay little attention to what is really going on in public education. Legislatures in conservative states must learn from the left and laser focus on transforming education.
What should be done? Abolish teacher unions. Abolish state education departments. Take local school boards back from the left. Put education vouchers in place with no restrictions. Take back the public universities from the left.
Can teacher unions be abolished? While it may be impossible to eliminate teacher unions completely, it is possible to reign in their illegal activities and reduce their political power. For example, teacher unions often use blackmail-style strikes to secure higher pay or close schools, as we’ve seen with COVID. If teachers were fired (as air-traffic controllers once were), it would send a message that some things are off-limits. If teachers were informed of their right not to join or pay dues to unions, that would substantially curtail the union’s power to set far-left policies.
State education departments should be abolished because they serve no effective purpose. States should also decline any Federal money tied to education at the K-12 level. Catholic parochial schools get by on much less funding than public schools, and generally provide higher quality education. Public schools could get by on less funding if they followed this example. Finally, refuse to communicate with the U.S. Education Department and insist that it be abolished on constitutional grounds.
Local school boards can be taken back from the left in conservative states and even in some counties in highly progressive states. Well-organized local effort is required, but obviously quite doable. Recent organizational successes in Wisconsin provide hope for the future.
Put unrestricted education vouchers into place. While many states have voucher programs, the percentage of students enrolled is extremely low. This is causally related to hard-left opposition restricting access.
The argument against vouchers is that they will destroy public education. Unfortunately, the reason we need vouchers is that public education in many cases has already destroyed itself. Public schools’ monopoly status allows them to be bad. With vouchers, public education will benefit because the product will be forced to improve if the schools want to attract students.
Leftists control almost all public universities. To take the universities back, university administrators must be replaced with people who want real education to flourish. Amazingly, this probably means that the key administrators cannot be “educators.” Universities are somewhat like the DC Swamp. You can’t appoint a card-carrying swamp dweller to run a university. You must appoint outsiders to clean up, as President Trump had begun to do in D.C.
The outsiders must have unwavering backing from the state’s governor and legislature, and from the university boards. This means that the boards must be reorganized to reflect a full-court press. The outsider agenda and message must be about control and big changes, which mean firings and reorganization – think of the Bain Capital approach to revitalizing a failing company.
Areas ripe for reorganization are those having no business on campus, such as identity politic departments, which should be closed. Deans and department chairs would be replaced in many cases. Education and journalism schools would be heavily reoriented. The curriculum would need a redo. Qualified faculty, not students, would develop the requirements to include what used to be a full university education (just review 1950s’ requirements). Unqualified faculty members would need to be fired. Let the lawsuits come.
Any viable organization in America knows how to be fair in hiring. A diversity department sends false racist signals and is totally unnecessary in the America that exists outside DC.
The new university would have to be very careful about accepting money from DC or leftist foundations. In many cases, this would mean declining to accept such money.
Can this be done? Yes, it can!
Christopher Garbacz is a former economics professor, who thinks America is not done just yet. Hold the fork.
Reprinted with permission from American Thinker