As liberals everywhere light cigarettes in the afterglow of their inauguration paradise, sane Americans with queasy stomachs can focus their attention on the many areas where the left’s fingerprints look more like infantile graffiti than any sign of constructive or rational achievement. Clearly, education is one of these liberal crime scenes. As an educator for over 20 years who taught in an urban public school for three years, I have seen why liberals repeatedly fumble the opportunity to properly educate our young people.
Dysfunctional Perception of Education’s Role
Liberals see education as a means of indoctrination in their agenda, not necessarily as a means of personal improvement leading to overall societal gain. Many of these people will argue that they certainly want their students to improve and learn in the best possible environment, but this is a large tub of hogwash as evidenced by their own policies and track record.
To begin with, few can doubt that national and local teachers unions spend more time worrying about improving the environment of teachers than that of students. This is evidenced by such things as these groups passionately fighting against charter schools and other forms of school choice. If these people gave a hoot about students, they would welcome the opportunity to compete and defeat such schools with better policies, better teachers and better schools. Instead, these liberals apply the same philosophy that has them running behind legislation to wipe out conservative talk over the airwaves. Given a choice between defeating an opponent by being better or hiding behind laws or excuses and crying for mom, liberals will invariably opt for the latter over the former. This is why liberal educators fight against charter schools. They know that they cannot defeat educational competition in a fair fight, so they run away and whine.
A brief look at the topics discussed in national and local teachers’ union meetings reads like a pep rally at Democrat headquarters. Those who control this nation’s educational establishment are about as non-partisan as Katie Couric and, sadly, often about as reasonable. We have seen scores of horror stories of teachers attempting to brainwash students against conservatism and in favor of liberal policies. Between the time such teachers have spent attacking George Bush and overall U.S. policy around the world before and how much time they will spend fawning about Barack Obama in the foreseeable future, one wonders how any student will learn algebra or geography, much less accurate U.S. history.
Simply put, liberals control education in this country and such liberals see the role of education as training in becoming the right kind of citizen, which is directly or indirectly defined as being a drooling, fawning, and half-dazed groupie for liberal policies, agenda and perception. I have personally seen conservatism and conservatives described in the classroom in almost pathological terms, as if one were referring to some unfortunate, ignorant or mentally defective imbeciles.
Delusional Definition of Educational Ideals
Liberals love to spout on and on about diversity, tolerance, freedom and equality, but they do not have a clue how to effectively and constructively apply these ideals to education. A diverse education should be one which seeks ways to maximize unique and varying opportunities for students of any cultural, social, economic or religious background, but which does not therefore blindly toss everything else out the window in that effort. A tolerant education is one which allows for the free expression of all viewpoints and perspectives, not just liberal ones while mocking, ignoring or persecuting conservative ones.
A free educational system is one which gives parents and students the opportunity to seek the kind of education that best fits their needs and preferences, not one which selectively applies choice as it see fit, convenient or politically advantageous. Finally, educational equality is found not in treating bullies and lazy students as well or better than orderly and ambitious students, but in providing an equal opportunity for all students to be orderly and ambitious. We should encourage hard work and good behavior but clearly discriminate against those who refuse to work or allow others to do so. To do so is inherent in what effective and true education should be all about.
Good Education is about Good Discrimination
The word discrimination has become a curse in this politically correct, liberal-controlled society. It has been branded to mean mistreating people because of their race, national origin, religion or any other EEOC category. We are told that those who discriminate are ignorant, arrogant, evil and destructive to society. If truth be told, and it is rarely told by liberals, discrimination is evil only when it is used to unfairly differentiate between people based on those EEOC categories.
Discrimination which is based upon fair and accurate distinctions, however, is usually not evil at all and is very often quite good. Such distinctions would be whether one follows the law or breaks it, respects others and property or not, is diligent and conscientious or not, and sincerely wants to improve or not. To spend most of one’s time coddling dangerous, insolent, disruptive or disrespectful students is lunacy of the highest order. To ignore or abandon the needs of good, hard-working, conscientious and dedicated students in the process of dealing with those who are not these things is lunacy wrapped in stupidity. Liberals love to soothe the illegal immigrant, the criminal and the troublemaking student while letting the lawful resident or citizen and the dedicated student languish in the process. A close look at what American public education has become reveals it to be no better than a microcosm of what liberal public policy has always been.
Until we remind ourselves that the highest form of education involves learning to discriminate between right and wrong, effective and ineffective, respectful and disrespectful, and constructive and destructive behavior, ideals, goals and methods, we will continue to sink deeper into the morass that is present American public education. True to its name, any morass will only yield more asses in the long run.
Liberals love to pretend that equality means treating everyone the same no matter what and that success should be guaranteed and not earned. Any teacher with two minutes experience knows that such a policy is asinine at best and dangerous at worst.
Good Education is Not about the Little Rascals
I remember watching the 1930s children’s adventures of The Little Rascals as a child. I loved watching Spanky and the gang dress up like little adults and go to clubs where they would dance and tip the waiter. Liberals think that children are little adults who can and even should be exposed to everything and anything adults can handle. They may deny it, but showing how their beliefs, actions and policies contradict those denials is like shooting fish in a barrel.
I have seen students who cannot add being told to apply math to everyday problems and those who would not know a noun if it hit them in the face being asked to analyze the plot structure of stories. Liberals love to speak of “accountable talk” and encourage feelings and opinions over rules and strict procedures. They do this because, in the long run, it is easier to indoctrinate yapping romantics than thinking critical thinkers who follow rules.
We recently saw a massive math problem presented before our very eyes. The problem reads “How many delusional, indoctrinated and gullible sheep fit between two national structures?” The answer can be found in tapes of the recent inauguration festivities, where the indoctrinated outnumbered the educated by a wide margin. Reality dictates that we ask, “If a society falls flat on its face in the presence of empty minds, is there a sound?” If we want the Pied Piper of Illinois to have a short run, we better learn how to teach enough mice to distinguish between good and bad cheese.