Friday, March 15, 2013

Republicans lead Democrats by the nose

Part 2
In yesterday's blog I made the point that the old set of rules for broadcasting in America  was thrown out during the Reagan administration. There had been an idea that the airwaves belong to the people and therefore broadcasters have a legal obligation to the people. I argue that the entire electromagnetic spectrum belongs to the people, so therefore no provider's use of the internet should never become a monopoly.
The other actors in the game of keeping folks misinformed are our politicians. I blame Democrats for being mealy-mouthed and spineless as a group because the Democratic Party has failed to perceive and/or act upon so many problems that even a lowly citizen such as myself have seen coming. Another of these problems is school reform.
I was a teacher for 17 years. The main thing I saw as a teacher was that every new president brought a new perspective to education leading to a situation of constant turmoil. Every four or eight years Americans throw the babies out with the bathwater in the name of getting politicians reelected. Republicans make steady progress in demonizing teachers in order to destroy their unions and to force them to teach propaganda instead of fact-based reality. Democrats compromise away the very Constitutional basis of the educational system. However did Larry Burl Dunn receive such first class educational opportunities in Amarillo, Texas from 1956 to 1968 without the overwrought guidance and money of the federal government?
How? Well, for one thing Amarillo had the same superintendent of the school system during all that time. For another, the political landscape was not poisoned with the the lie of privatization and the dilution of money forcibly given to charter and religious schools. And no one should dismiss the fact that, as the tax-payer revolt begun in Ronald Reagan's California spread outward, the federal tax burdon imposed because of the Military/Industrial/Secrecy Complex increased apace so there was never a net gain for taxpayers. This has brought us to the point where one political party wishes to create an oligarchy that sucks the best of everything away from the little man and lays it upon the altar of the super-rich. They won't be happy until government does nothing beyond collecting taxes for war, exercising police-state control, and incarceration. The other party TALKS about getting back little pieces of the freedoms and benefits WE the People once had - the very freedoms and benefits they voted to end. 
Nothing in my blog should be construed to be anti-Obama. I am talking about the arc of the two political parties during my lifetime, not the brightest American political mind of our time.
The arc of the Republican Party ends in contempt of WE the People. The arc of the Democratic Party ends in whimpering.
The biggest threat to education posed by Republicans is that we will still pay taxes for education, but those taxes will go to international corporations who run "private" schools as money-making businesses. Privatization is taxation without representation.
The greatest threat posed by Democrats (and unfortunaltely supported by Obama) is the drive to make a "good" education a Constitutional right. This will play directly into the Republican game plan because the only people who will ever suffer from denying this Constitutional "right" will be teachers, thus furthering the Republican goal of privatization. The first people who are guilty of denying education, people who deny it from the womb to pre-school, are parents. All scientific studies confirm that the first years of a child's life are the most crucial in determining the brain-potential of a child. The Jesuits knew it. "Give me a boy for seven years and I will give you the man." (We can do without the cheap-shot wisecracks here. You know what they were saying.) Do you think the government is going to start arresting parents for the violation of their child's Constitutional rights? Okay, do you think the government is going to arrest hard-working WHITE people for the violation of their children's rights?
Example - I know some parents (educated, with good jobs) who recently withdrew their daughter from the public school and put her into a church school that assured them they had better abilities to teach their girl how to read. She was in the eighth grade and they just found out she couldn't read! I grant you that the school system failed that child miserably, but I also say that parents who don't notice their 12-year-old can't read have failed as parents. Who is going to prosecute them? They must not have engaged their child with books when they were young and any child who shows up at the schoolhouse door without excitement over books is already on a losing path.
Finally to the issue of educational standards, especially social studies standards with which I am most familiar. Read your state's standards. Are they written in language such as, "The student will show an appreciation of the importance of ___________ in American life"? Fill in the blank. In Texas the ultra-right have removed some historic personages, such as Jefferson, and added such noble greats as Phyllis Schlafly! But there is a larger issue involed. You need to be able to see the propaganda angle. The student is not being asked to develop critical thinking skills, such as the separation of "fact" and "opinion" or the rules of honest debate. They are being asked to accept and internalize an opinion without question. American students can't perform a critical reading their Constitution. They are told what it says, meanings are garnered second hand. Education becomes catechism. America becomes more stupid by the day, but that's okay because there are plenty of kids receiving good educations all over the world and many of them want to emigrate to America and become rich. So, no problem. We will still have plenty of doctors and nurses, scientists, and technicians. And the stupid American kids? Lock 'em up. It's the American way.

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