Thursday, December 24, 2020

Kick 'Em While They're Down

That seems to be the emerging Liberal plan for education and their core constituency, as contained in the Covid "Stimulus" Bill. Who are we talking about? Well, most the few articles that address what's going on coyly speak of "lower income, working class, and special needs families". We all know that's code language. An article at The Hill today has the virtue of at least breaking out of the coded language, to the extent that it refers to "vulnerable children of poverty and color." In this day of BLM the more forthright way of saying it would be: black kids. Here's the story:

American education 2020: A tragically unreported catastrophe

The author begins by sketching the disgraceful Liberal method of taking advantage of the less advantaged:

Despite the devastation of the pandemic, the American economy generally demonstrated a remarkable resilience and capacity to bounce back against all odds. In striking contrast, however, a key element of that economy — the education industry, K-12 and post-secondary — displayed an alarming acceleration of a decline already years in the making.

... the highly disparate impact on the Two Americas has been stunning — coping okay for the well- resourced affluent, and pure havoc for the unresourced non-affluent.

In order to justify the lockdown of K-12 in-person education, the “powers that be” had to propagate the following myth: “The kids will be just fine with at-home virtual learning supervised by their solicitous parents and seamlessly delivered by ever-efficient technology.”   For millions of our most vulnerable children of poverty and color, this was a total fabrication, ... 

However, don’t look for their stories in the local newspaper. This reality was a truth that could not be told because it would gravely embarrass higher-ups who were busy pursuing other agendas — none more disgracefully, perhaps, than teachers unions who made a good thing out of a national tragedy. 

Far be it from me to fail to criticize the teachers unions, but let's not pretend that the politicians--and especially those on the Left--didn't know what they were doing, and why they were doing it. It was all to advance the two things dearest to their hearts: Submission of the middle class, and power for themselves.

For an eye opening look at just how malevolent our masters can be, look no further than this article at Reason. It explains that, far from content with the "pure havoc" they've already inflicted, they're ready to double down:

Congress Blocks School Choice in New Stimulus Package

Even as the pandemic has exposed the desperate need for disruptions to the calcified public school system, Congress just voted to restrict some of the very creativity that's sorely needed.

Because they'll tell us what "choice" means and for whom:

Seemingly in response to the fact that several governors used the first round of GEER funding to launch or expand school choice programs, the new stimulus bill explicitly excludes "vouchers, tuition tax credit programs, education savings accounts, scholarship programs, or tuition assistance programs for elementary and secondary education."

Because why should parents have more educational options for their kids at a time when many traditional public schools are refusing to reopen, right?

... the new restrictions on how GEER funding can be used were included in the bill at the behest of teachers' unions.

Good on the libertarians at Reason for championing education for all, but I wish they'd give that "traditional public schools" nonsense a rest. They're talking about government schools, operated for the benefit of our rulers as our rulers see fit. There's precious little traditional about these government schools. It's all just one more good reason for Trump to do everything he can to block some of these spending bills.

Still, there is a silver lining to the educational lockdown, and our author at The Hill points it out:

Meanwhile, for the leaders of higher education, the real tragedy was the sudden collapse of their revenue streams, ... 

Also greatly undermining the reputation of the “product” has been the transformation of our campuses into something reminiscent of China’s Cultural Revolution of the 1970s, complete with suppression of free speech, mandatory groupthink and zealous persecution of dissenters.

So, where is the silver lining — if there is one — in this dystopian education landscape ...?

There are two particular beacons of hope. The first is the public charter school movement where student enrollment has grown by 62 percent since 2013, ... Despite furious efforts by teachers unions and their political allies to suppress, legislatively block and misrepresent their consistent record of success, charters have come to be seen by millions of parents as a last, best hope for educating their children.

The second is that the entire education system may have hit a financial wall from which there is no escape. ... in state after state the obscene aggregate costs of salaries, benefits and pension liabilities to support a system now unconcealably approaching total dysfunction has generated grassroots outrage from an economically battered public that no longer will tolerate politicians who dare to say, “We’ll just have to raise your taxes again.”

Probably the best thing that could happen for the country at this point would be to extend the shutdown of government schools even further, to rub the lesson in so that even the most hard core members of the Dem base will learn the lesson they should have learned long ago. And maybe belatedly appreciate what Trump tried to do for them.


  1. Somewhat o/t, but still about grifting in Higher Ed, see Zman blog today, on "Springtime for Grifters" in publishing and Higher Ed:

    "the Naomi Wolf blunder of 2019. She was doing the rounds, to promote her forthcoming book on the treatment of homosexuals in 19th century England....
    ... based on her *doctoral* thesis at Oxford.
    In other words, the basic errors she made in reading the historical documents were not caught by her advisor, or the thesis *review committee*, that eventually granted her a title based on this pile of nonsense.
    They just rubber stamped the work....
    Grifters are a part of human society, but we seem to have entered into a unique phase in which the grifter is ubiquitous.
    Not so long ago, the book business had standards and the media did fire people for getting things wrong.
    Politicians went to jail for crimes, and even rich people feared the law.
    The collapse of standards, combined with material excess, seems to have resulted in a blossoming of grifters..."

    1. @Mouse; Grifters who philosophize their philosophy with other philosophers. Quite the gig if you can get it I guess. Both parents were teachers... How did I not think this through and become a career educator.