Conservatives are mounting an attack against our nation’s public education system

Who’s screwed? Students. Conservatives are mounting an attack against our nation’s public education system. Pennsylvania and Florida are the latest states that will consider voucher legislation that would give away millions in federal dollars to private schools so those states can close down public schools. More and more private schools are sprouting up across the country – headed by CEOs who are making a fortune in this new industry. And the people behind the voucher bills have boatloads of money that they’re throwing at politicians. Led by the likes of the mind-bogglingly wealthy DeVos family and the Koch brothers – a slew of right-wing private school groups have launched a coordinated attack against free public education.

It’s all about the money – and Conservative are trying to turn what’s left of our floundering education system into a another get-rich quick scheme.


gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 8 weeks ago

The Billionaires’ Tea Party

I was watching a video by astro-turf wars. The Tea Baggers are pawns to billionaires; they follow the rich and their policies; they claim the government is the enemy; and they are working against their best interests. WE NEED MORE GOVERNMENT AND NOT LESS GOVERNMENT. BIG GOVERNMENT IS NOT THE ENEMY. Transnational corporations and the rich are the enemy and they seek to control American citizens. They lust for more and more profits at the expense of the poor and working classes. Beck is the darling among Tea Baggers. More and more Americans want transnational corporations and the rich controlling our lives. THE TEA BAGGER PARTY IS THE TRUE AMEICAN NAZI PARTY. Tea Baggers are for predatory capitalism. They are working to shut down government. The Tea Baggers are the stooges and the tools for the American elitists. Plutocracy reigns in fascist-Nazi America. Tea Baggers are benefitting corporations and the rich and not average American citizens. Tea Baggers are not free; they are slaves to corporate interests and money. I PREFER GOVERNMENT CONTROLLING MY LIFE AND NOT HAVING CORPORATIONS CONTROLLING MY LIFE BECAUSE I AM A SOCIALIST.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 8 weeks ago

I was watching “Good Bye, My Fancy” with Joan Crawford and Robert Young. Joan said that if you want to destroy freedom you put a blanket over education. We need to take a good look at what the fascist-Nazis are doing to education from our fascist-Nazi governors to the Texas publishing companies. Keeping Americans ignorant and stupid is an ongoing process for the fascist-Nazis.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 8 weeks ago

This morning (April 25, 2011) I had a chance to watch the History Channel. The program featured the Rise of the Third Reich in Nazi Germany. As I watched, I saw a parallel between the Rise of the Third Reich and the Rise of the Fourth Reich in Nazi America. It was truly a frightening similarity between our evil nation and Nazi Germany.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 8 weeks ago

The poem below by Langston Hughes reveals his feelings and thoughts and his feelings and thoughts are similar to my personal feelings and thoughts.

gerald's picture
gerald 13 years 8 weeks ago

This mystery is finally solved. The United States of Mortal Sin is the Anti-Christ!

The United States of Mortal Sin is home to the Anti-Christ. The United States of Mortal Sin and the Anti-Christ are synonymous.

With each passing day my energy diminishes and I tire more easily. I will go to my grave firm in the belief that the United States of Mortal Sin and the Anti-Christ are synonymous.

gurjeet 13 years 8 weeks ago

very soon we will see another India where majority of population is uneducated because of want of finances to educate their children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! way to go America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if people are smart they should abandon this land and go to places where these robber barrons have shifted the jobs and now are attacking public education, which is the last resort to common people..................

Thom please print in bold letters this old saying............................... IF YOU WANT TO KILL ANY CULTURE TAKE ITS EDUCATION AWAY> the America we know is going to fade away very quickly our life time............ALAS WE COULD OPEN OUR EYES TO THESE VOES and THROW THEM OUT OF OFFICE ..................... NAY OUT OF THIS CONTINENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

noirskate's picture
noirskate 13 years 8 weeks ago

This is a true case of three things: 1. Taking public tax dollars and giving it to big corporations 2. Dumbing down our kids (All these schools will do is teach kids how to become test takers and not "real thinkers" 3. Breaking up whats left of teacher unions. I think it is now time to speak up and vote the conservatives out !!!!

jgpaton's picture
jgpaton 13 years 8 weeks ago

"People for the American Way"?? Not Michael Keegan's PFAW!! Who was it that you really meant to name? Please set the record straight and apologize to the PFAW.

dianhow 13 years 8 weeks ago

IF we get another GOP Pres Say good bye to any hope of better schools- fair pay- Pell grants .Medicare will be privatized- seniors who spent all their funds then have to go on medicaid will be up a creek without a paddle- many poor will have no heat- cuts will be made for disabled - inc Fla GOP Gov just did !! RYan / GOP hatchet bill is the real death panel . You betcha

jkh6148's picture
jkh6148 13 years 8 weeks ago

WITH republicans - no matter what the issue is - education, health care, public utilities, war, some one has to get rich.

AJ's picture
AJ 13 years 8 weeks ago

Just about money? It's not just about money Thom. When did America start hating it's teachers? Well, it's not just the teachers, it's the entire public system. I am a Euro-American retired to Florida from Wisconsin just recently, and I know the story there. The story of what is happening to Florida teachers is happening all across America . My response is not easy, nor gentle. The attack on America's public education system and it's teachers has been an organized and planned attack for 30 years at least. Think busing in the 60's, and anti-religious court rulings over the years, and of course workers rights attained over those years. In Wisconsin the effort for 2 decades has been to create charter schools and voucher certificates, and faith based initiatives to fund private and sectarian schools, which have it much different when hiring or firing and what students they accept for enrollment. This final undoing of rights for teachers to have group bargaining representation, and the changes in funding of schools is all part of the undoing of America 's public school system. It's the resegregation of America's schools. The New Jim Crow system. The new schools of America will be private, non-union, segregated by color and belief, full of religion, and will be tax payer funded. This is what's happening now, and it's being done very slickly while the mass majority of citizens don't have a clue. This country is being brain-framed down the path of religiously motivated, corporately funded, and militarily supported cultural reconstruction. To me, it's the New American Fascism. NAFIs!

Berry's picture
Berry 13 years 8 weeks ago

Growing Comfortably Numb ! We put those in power thinking their American's with fair and loving conscience like ourselves. So we go about our day and family business on automatic pilot, growing comfortably Numb. But today. The seat seems to be getting hotter. More Worry;" Radiation just could be raining down on us now. This is Very bad , And bad for our small children's safety. So much for home land security. Will they tell us just how bad it really is, so we can try and protect ourselves? I think not! Unfortunately we have to look for a independent source for our information.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 13 years 8 weeks ago

The conservative attack on public education follows the trickle up truth of privatization and reaganomics. A few CEOs make a fortune, while educators end up unionless, with dumbed down wages, or unemployed. The darkside motivation behind all this is pretty clear. EDUCATED PROFESSIONALS WITH UNIONS ARE THE KOCH'S AND DEVOS FAMILY'S WORST FEAR. We all know how an informed and educated electorate vote! It's so DEMOCRATIC and JEFFERSONIAN !

dugmaze 13 years 8 weeks ago

This is what I hear:

If conservatives are for charter schools.

And President Obama is for charter schools.

Then, President Obama is a Progressive.

How long must I be tortured?

delster's picture
delster 13 years 8 weeks ago

I feel education even through higher learning should be a right (entitlement) Early on in history children were taught by their parents in agriculture, family business etc. It was absolutely essential for economic stability and growth. As society become more sophisticated and technological education literally propelled the industrial revolutions and economic growth we enjoyed in the 50's and 60's. Education is a right of an individual and a necessary investment of any nation to enjoy continued stability and economic growth. It paves the way for a secure and ethical productive society cognizant

of the responcibility of citizenship. It also defrays any cast system destructive of democratic principals.

I feel we have all had enough upitty behavior from bigots who create their own exclusive rules for segregation. It is time we share upitty with all citizens of the United States. Lets tear down the economic boundaries that separate citizens of America and adopt justice that inhibits economic cast systems.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 13 years 8 weeks ago

The religious zealots who want science removed from the basic school curriculum are the same folks voting us into Armageddon. Their influence on elections is being dangerously underestimated.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 13 years 8 weeks ago

I watched the same program and had exactly the same thought about the 4th Reich right here in the US.

Imagine if Germany had won the war and THEY wrote the history...the holocaust would have been just another crazy conspiracy theory that no sensible, intelligent being would have bought in to. Just like some people seem to think that it is so unthinkable that 911 was an inside job and they buy the official conspiracy theory hook, line, and sinker. Yes, many Americans would have made excellent Hitlerian Nazis.

dnarnadem 13 years 8 weeks ago

I believe most everyone misses the point here. This is not about money. This is about ideology.

Privatize the schools so you can bring in Religion. Privatize the schools so you can bring in Creationism and stop teaching Evolution. Privatize the schools so you can teach the "White" kids Religion and Creationism and Anti-abortion. Privatize the schools so you can "Dumb" down everyone else who is NOT White, assuming they will be taught at all!

This is a recipe in the making for disaster for Democracy as we know it.

The neo-cons know what they are doing. This is time worn Racism and Fascism. This is no different than what happened in the South after the American Civil War. The south did not want the freed slaves to have education. So they burned the schools down and lynched the Teachers. In no way were the white southern post-slave owners going to allow "Black Folk" to get an education.

This process is still on-going. It is no accident that most of this ideology derives from the South and gets a lot of Southern support. But the disease has spread nationwide - Racism has no borders in America. America was not ready for a “Black” President, supposedly, more so for the rabid “White” racist. This was evident after Obama’s election, and now so evident that most don’t even try to hide it anymore. These latter day modern-day post-slave racists DO NOT WANT OBAMA to succeed! You see, every supposed “White” bastion of superiority has been destroyed and BESTED by what the white man had stated the freed slave could never do. But one. And that was the Presidency. Ever ask yourself about the Birther movement? This is nothing more than delegitimizing your enemy, to make him insignificant, to make him other.

For Obama to succeed with anything, would destroy the Racists belief that a black man cannot succeed at anything a white man can, especially a President. For Obama to succeed, where a super white low IQ previous president from the south did not, would be cataclysmic for the neo-con ideology and white racist belief. So they do not want him to succeed at anything, even if it means the destruction of our Nation.

Even now, today, a full 160 years after the Civil War, the South (Texas, Arizona, Mississippi, etc) talk of succeeding from the United States. The south still venerates the Civil War and re-enact it every year. They espouse the Rebel flag like it was some sort of religious icon. They lost the Civil War, but they have never lost their believe that a “Black Person” is inferior to a White Person. After all, they were slaves!

So this whole education thing, this privatization, is code for white supremacist indoctrination; Code for getting Religion into the schools; Code for propping up the White Race and marginalizing the non-white and everyone else; Code for propping up a new fascist state.

This is all this is. And it must be stopped at all costs. If we want to save Democracy for future generations.

U.S. Citizen's picture
U.S. Citizen 13 years 8 weeks ago

The Tea Baggers are what some dictators call "useful idiots". But, be careful what you ask for. It's not the size of government that is the concern, it is who the government serves. Right now, our government puts corporate interests over the public good. We need democracy, not corporatocracy!

U.S. Citizen's picture
U.S. Citizen 13 years 8 weeks ago

The conservatives have pretty much won. They pretty much control both parties. The corporatization of America and The New Gilded Age are bipartisan efforts. Regarding the specific topic, the counter Reagan quote should be, "Privatization isn't the solution to the problem; privatization is the problem."

U.S. Citizen's picture
U.S. Citizen 13 years 8 weeks ago

It is happening here.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 13 years 8 weeks ago

Two professors of economics Michael Hudson and Richard Wolf are interviewed on The Real News News Network.
Professor Hudson says that the Democrats and Republicans are playing "good cop, bad cop" with the American people while slipping through the policies of the rich...and that the wealth-controlled government is using a Ponzi-like scheme in their current policies of tax reductions...especially from the rich. He is essentially saying that Obama and the Democrats are not being up front and honest with the American people and that they are really playing the good cop but they really don't have our best interests in mind.

Professor Wolf is saying that the rich have been waging a class war on the rest of us for at least 40 years.

They are both saying that we are in very deep trouble, economically, because of failed policies that are coming from both the Republicans and the Democrats. They are playing the bubble economy game hoping that yet another bubble will get us out of our mess....but it will only get worse.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 13 years 8 weeks ago

"The rhetoric of the Democratic Party and the neoliberals sustains the illusion of participatory democracy. The Democrats and their liberal apologists offer minor palliatives and a feel-your-pain language to mask the cruelty and goals of the corporate state. The reconfiguration of American society into a form of neofeudalism will be cemented into place whether it is delivered by Democrats, who are pushing us there at 60 miles an hour, or Republicans, who are barreling toward it at 100 miles an hour. Wolin writes, “By fostering an illusion among the powerless classes” that it can make their interests a priority, the Democratic Party “pacifies and thereby defines the style of an opposition party in an inverted totalitarian system.” The Democrats are always able to offer up a least-worst alternative while, in fact, doing little or nothing to thwart the march toward corporate collectivism." --from Chris Hedges column "The Corporate State Wins Again"

leighmf's picture
leighmf 13 years 8 weeks ago

South Florida School Hell- I was there in 1985 raising a son, and now my younger friends still are in it even worse. People here lie about their address and make up all kinds of ruses to avail themselves of the better public schools. Many people start out with Christian schools and find themselves stranded in grade 8. Then they are forced to private school because public school would be too nasty. So called Charter Schools require not only tremendous fees, but tremendous burden of work placed on parents who were once free to work their own jobs and housekeep for themselves.

Our young friend who is a public high school science teacher was told by his principal he was giving too many failing grades and had to cease and desist from such practices.

It is not simply a matter of conservatives making money on education. Conservative schools mean conservative values taught along with brainwashing and the perverted culture of bribery which has come to be Conservatism.

Conservative schools teach there are the "More Fortunate" and the "Less Fortunate," so please leave off a wrapped gift in Room 202 before Ski Holiday, for our yearly contribution to the Home for the Feeble Minded.


Linda Wyatt's picture
Linda Wyatt 13 years 8 weeks ago

A liberal democrat friend on facebook had this article on his page so I came here. Interesting piece but what was even more interesting and telling is the shocking comments, hateful, venomous and disjointed rants-- spewing forth, little facts, not on topic, name-calling. This could be a clue as to why the public and the conservatives are not big fans of public schools. Gerald says, he wants to be controlled by government, others showing a small, close minded attitude. I look for solutions, I believe in open discourse as a means to this end. Clearly, this thread demonstrates the need for private schools. This thread isn't a whisper for better schools, better teachers, privatization, it's a cry for help.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 13 years 8 weeks ago

Thanks again for another great show, Thom,

I have often wondered just when we might become the united states republic of China. Too bad they don't speculate on labor the way they speculate on oil. Wouldn't it be great if they drove up the cost of labor and actually had to pay for it? As I talk to my neighbors here in rural KY, I am struck by how many want to buy local, but it's either unavailable or too expensive. God knows labor is available here, but global companies can no longer afford American workers. In order to avoid being hostily consumed by their competition, they must shop for labor in the cheapest markets. I am not siding with any CEOs here. They have come to view us as greedy spoiled brats because we won't work in deplorable conditions for .10 cents/hr.

As for education? '#@*sigh...Lots of money to be made. Throw 'em out on their ears and open a nahahieece prahahvitt schuool! Regroup, Reorganize, keep fighting!


Maysville, KY

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 13 years 8 weeks ago

I agree with you re. 911. My friends brother was in the FBI at the time...munitions expert...I could go on.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 13 years 8 weeks ago

Yes, please do go on...sounds very interesting! There has to be a lot of people who were hired, employed, by these insiders who know a lot more than they are saying about 911. Many of them, I highly suspect, drank the neocon-neoliberal cool-aid and are probably sold on the necessity of what they did. Others are most probably too afraid to say anything...just like in Nazi Germany some people paid dearly for speaking out against Nazis. Problem is that when the masses are too dumbed down and afraid to think the unthinkable...not to mention the effect it would have on their beliefs in America-the-beneficent being shattered into America-the-wicked....they would tend to preserve the lies. What are a couple of thousand civilians lives in the WTC anyway when these neocon/neoliberal criminals have obviously sent many thousands more of our men and women, sons and daughters to die for a lie in the Middle East? What are a couple of thousand 911 lives compared to the many thousands, or perhaps eventually, many hundreds of thousands of American citizens who have lost their savings, retirement funds, homes, health care, and eventually even being unable to feed themselves or their families eventually resulting in mass starvation. Don't think it will happen here? Don't think it is already happening? Then, people, just keep your minds closed and your mouths shut and continue to go along with the current neocon/neoliberal propaganda agenda.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 13 years 8 weeks ago

Looks like CIA may have hooked up w/Pakistani intel to give Cheney (and Bush) an excuse to profit big time in Iraq. Check out,, or 

Schmice's picture
Schmice 13 years 8 weeks ago

Tom, maybe you or you listeners can help. In Los Angeles, the LAUSD has fired the librarians and many of the libraries in the (non Charter) schools have been locked. (Literally!!) Students cannot use the libraries or take advantage of the books in them. They have also started a new computer cataloging system but they refuse to teach the current librarians how to use it because they don't know who will be left with a librarian job come September. What it means is that the thousands of books that have been checked out but never returned will be lost. Students with books outstanding will not be able to be tracked in order to get them back.

The fact that school libraries are locked and librarians dismissed is the death knell for education in public schools here in Los Angeles. The worst part of this LAUSD plan is that the classropm teachers will be acting as librarians for their students. Librarians have advanced degrees in Library Science and know things that regular classroom teachers cannot possibly know in order to help students learn to research complex subjects. It is bad enough that budget cuts always seem to come from schools, the poor and others without a voice, but now, they are destroying the students' ability to learn how to research. I understand that an educated citizenry is dangerous to many individual politicians, but what will this do to our future?

LAUSD is more than happy to cut funds from teachers, books, lunches and class offerings and yet, they are willing to spend $130 million for building one school. Contractors are crooked and not audited. One example is that my wife was a library aide several years ago at a public elementary school. Her library was remodeled. The cost was to have been $75,000. Two years later, her little library was finally finished. The cost was $250,000. Many days workers would not show up, or else one or two would. In the end, the work turned out to be shoddy. No accountability by either the contractors or the School Board. Again, who suffered? The kids.

Is there anybody these poor librarians can turn to? Are there any voices out there who could help turn this around?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 13 years 8 weeks ago

Somebody did not pay attention to an important FACT in Thom's blog. In every study that's been done on private charter schools- parents pay more and results are not better. I think this clearly points out political and religious motivations are also involved in the elimination of the Public School system. How dare a teacher's union stand up for the rights of "WE THE PEOPLE ", and coincidentally vote that way? Fossils are real, trickle down is a lie!

Laird8's picture
Laird8 13 years 7 weeks ago

Again the Clean Elections Party solves this problem as found in Nader's new book Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us. More info at

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