Why Conservatives Hate Public Education

Today is one of those days that people use to "celebrate America" -- jingoistic patriotic memes, militaristic displays and unquestioning praise for our nation are in full evidence. But there is scarcely a word about education, really, in any U.S. holiday.

It took me a long time to realize how lucky I have been in my education. I have never owed a penny to anyone for it, all the way to my Ph.D. I think the same is true for my 2 brothers. My parents paid my bill for a private college, which they could afford; it was much less expensive then, anyway. After that, I went to public universities, where either I had scholarships, teaching assistantships, or my parents paid when necessary. By the time I had my Ph.D., I think I was able to actually save about $20,000 in a bank account.

My first clue that something is seriously amiss with our education system, was when it became clear that the cost of education was increasing faster than inflation on a consistent basis. Did that result in an improvement in education? Smaller classes? More fundamental research of great value? Hardly. As it turns out, the extra increases are apparently all paying for extra "administrative costs," including more administrators but not more educators. Research continues to advance, but it has certainly not shown a massive, space age style advance as the influx of money would suggest.

Secondly, there have been conservative led pushes to privatize education, with the advent of charter schools, vouchers for private education and attempts to privatize education in general. These attempts continue, and charter schools are now common, although vouchers have never caught on.

My last clue was that people I knew were telling me about having enormous student debt, such as my friend Benjamin, who owed something like $70,000 for his education, by the time he finished his Pd. D. Benjamin didn't know how he would repay it with his modest paying job. Now I have a long time friend, through social networking, who owes something like $120,000 just for his recent bachelors degree at a private college, and he only has a low paying, part time job so far.

Stories such as these have been verified as being common, if not the new norm, by statistics on college education.

That the cost of education has been increasing, is not a coincidence. Conservatives hate education, especially public education. They are making education less accessible, and more corporate oriented in order to serve their agenda. The deterioration of public education is a result of decades of predominantly conservative government in the United States.

But why do conservatives hate education? The reasons are very clear if one understands what education means. There is a reason that a broad education is called a "liberal education." Education tends to liberalize people. The research on this is very clear. In fact, academics appear to be growing even more liberal than before (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/10/24/survey-finds-professors-already-liberal-have-moved-further-left). Also, people who define themselves as liberals have the highest average education levels (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberalism_in_the_United_States). To quote Wikipedia, liberals "were the ideological demographic with the highest rate of college education. Of those who identified as liberal, 49% were college graduates and 41% had household incomes exceeding $75,000, compared to 27% and 28% as the national average, respectively."

Thus, when conservatives derogate education -- especially "liberal education" -- and make a good education less accessible to the public, they are serving their self-interests politically. It is no coincidence that liberals tend to be better educated and have higher IQs (http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/9664-focus-low-iq-a-conservative-beliefs-linked-to-prejudice) . The primary way that access to education is being limited, is by making it more expensive, especially for the "better schools."

The second reason also involves money, but probably not in the way that you might think. While some people are becoming rich directly as a result of high tuition fees, increasingly, schools are turning to corporate sponsors, who make cooperative ventures with schools which are aimed at helping the corporations to profit. I suppose it would be more accurate to say that conservatives love expensive education, then. Thus, education is being increasingly corporatized.

Third, conservatives want to limit the types of education that people receive. Much as conservative Christians typically want children to have a Christian education, sometimes home schooling in order to do so, conservative business people want students to have a business-friendly education. It is no coincidence that the most politically conservative faculty, as well as the highest paid, tend to be economists. Conservatives would rather brainwash students to advocate their world view, than let them explore the world of knowledge and ideas in an unbiased fashion.

By limiting access to education, and the content of educational programs, conservatives can keep more of the public poorly informed, and thus more susceptible to their propaganda -- and more likely to vote conservative and to endorse conservative values. That is really the crux of this issue. However, what I say of political conservatives, also applies to the ultra wealthy -- the financial elites of society -- who have been in cahoots with conservative polticians. Not only is it in their short term (which is apparently all that they care about) interest to make people less informed and more conformingly conservative, but also, it is in the interest of most industries to limit advances in technology or cultural changes. They like things the way that they are, and most of all love having monopolies on products, making the public dependent upon them. Thus, while we can see that science is advancing in research labs around the world, most of them probably in institutes of higher education, and the impetus for cultural advancement is given validation by the academic social sciences, corporate owners do several things to minimize progress.

The most basic one is copyright law. A patent allows a corporation exclusive rights to use a product. Patents have become ludicrous, in my view, to the point of patenting naturally existing products such as genes, in GMO technology, for instance. Fortunately, there is also a movement to make an end run around patent law, through what is now called open sourcing. This is the sharing of information without the use of patents -- people helping people. What a concept!

Also, corporations generally invest in products which serve their purpose, which means that any research that they support, is likely not to be looking into topics which might radically change society for the better, but rather, tweaking existing products to create a better market for them, resulting in planned obsolescence of products as slightly different (sometimes better but not always) versions are brought to the market. The third way that corporations suppress progress is to run smear campaigns against people who have better, alternate ideas, or misinformation campaigns to confuse the public and make them not believe the findings of scientists. When society moves away from a corporate model, these problems will not be as severe, at least.

Finally, of course, by degrading the quality of education, corporations can keep consumers relatively uninformed and relatively uninterested in or hopeful of, being able to participate in paradigmatic progress.

However, progress cannot be stopped, only slowed. The inevitable rise of the internet has brought information -- and the ability to easily self-educate -- to the fingertips of the world. Meanwhile, most educators (in my view) continue to fight the good fight to give their students a liberal education. Texas conservatives can dictate the textbook curriculum, but they cannot be present in classrooms across the nation to implement it. Educators do that to their own satisfaction. And while public education has taken a hit, it continues to be the most popular mode of education in the United States. Meanwhile, a major candidate in next year's presidential race, Bernie Sanders, is advocating free higher education for all in the United States, in addition to K-12 public education. This is a step that several European nations have taken recently as well, Germany being the latest to do so.

As people become more knowledgeable, they will become liberalized; although there are setbacks, overall the trend of world history is toward greater knowledge and more understanding, tolerant, liberal attitudes. Whether ideas and inventions that can advance humanity are being made in institutions of higher education, in peoples' homes, or even in corporate labs or boardrooms, people are growing in awareness of the need to implement paradigmatic changes. In order to do so, we need to support liberal education, whether it is in a public K-12 school, an institute of higher education, a discussion group or spontaneous discussion, or at home with the help of a computer. Remember that the people who oppose progress don't want you to be well educated and informed, but the real progressives among us do, and there is no stopping us if we set our minds to it.

Comments

Dexterous's picture
Dexterous 3 years 6 weeks ago
#1

No. Conservatives dislike public education because it doesn't work.

Roland de Brabant's picture
Roland de Brabant 3 years 6 weeks ago
#2

Sorry, Dexter, public education works fine. Forty years ago we had the best education and most educated population in the world. All we need do is keep Republicans away from it.

Roland

Dexterous's picture
Dexterous 3 years 6 weeks ago
#3

You are damned right we had better public education 40 years ago when

a teacher could knock you down if you smarted off in class,

when the leftie word PC was not yet jammed down everyone's throat,

when everyone didn't get a trophy, you actually had to earn one.,

you had to actually pass tests or be held back a grade,

you were held accountable for unfinished homework,

you were actually penalized for skipping or missing class,

there was no layer upon layer of unfireable school administrators whose huge salaries suck in up the budgets while pissing on the teachers.

Yes Roland, it was better before you lefties f*#@ked up the school system.

Robindell's picture
Robindell 3 years 5 weeks ago
#4

Conservatives long for a past that never existed as they imagine it. Interesting how some people who have no graduate degrees and, very possibly, no undergraduate degree, and no state teaching license, claim to know more about education than do actual educators, who have to teach classes and communicate with students day after day. Physical violence against students was only used in prescribed, approved ways. A teacher couldn't just assult a student; that is fantasy. As Natural Lefty, being a psychologist, if he would ever take the time to answer would no better than most, research has shown that physical punishment in the classroom does more harm than good. Some teachers I had yelled at certain students. There was paddling, but not all teachers resorted to it, and it was used relatively infrequently. Big city schools tend to have larger administrations than do suburban and small town schools, but then, they have bigger budgets and more students. Many school districts have zero tolerance policies for all kinds of different behavior, hardly a situation of lax discipline. School systems do have layoffs of administrators as well as teachers. I encounter middle aged or older people who went to school years ago, not recently, and some of them strike me as people who should have been made to repeat a class or two, if not held back for a year, which is still done today. There have been budget cuts in education for both economic and political reasons. I would say that someone expouses a completely biased, prejudicial, stereotypical, simple-minded, scapegoat-oriented ideology, then they no doubt spent a lot of time goofing around in school instead of reading and listening to what the teacher was saying. By the way, it was reported on the news that Congress is in the process of replacing the No Child Left Behind Act, which was supported and promoted by George W. Bush.

Legend 3 years 5 weeks ago
#5
Quote Dexterous:

You are damned right we had better public education 40 years ago when

a teacher could knock you down if you smarted off in class,

when the leftie word PC was not yet jammed down everyone's throat,

when everyone didn't get a trophy, you actually had to earn one.,

you had to actually pass tests or be held back a grade,

you were held accountable for unfinished homework,

you were actually penalized for skipping or missing class,

there was no layer upon layer of unfireable school administrators whose huge salaries suck in up the budgets while pissing on the teachers.

Yes Roland, it was better before you lefties f*#@ked up the school system.

Wow Dex, you are really a bitter old fart. What do you do spend your days yelling at kids to get off of your lawn?

Actually public education is alive and well. It is the righties in TX that want history books to ignore history and embellish Rush Limbaugh as a statesmen. Charter schools that do not teach evolution.

Robindell's picture
Robindell 3 years 5 weeks ago
#6

It occurred to me that, based strictly on what was said by this Dexterous, i.e., the specific phrasing used, the individual is advocating child abuse, which is illegal. The individual is hung up on the use of violence. When there is a criminal criticizing liberals, the criminal is 100% in the wrong, and the liberals are completely in the clear.

Robindell's picture
Robindell 3 years 5 weeks ago
#7

This topic of education is a complex one. My understanding is that there are standardized tests which are sometimes given to students on an international basis. The United States does well in language, but in math and science, we are behind quite a few other countries. We are living in an era when technology and technical fields, such as bioscience, predominates in economic development. Thom Hartmann to his credit has knowledge of what has been done educationally in some other countries, especially in Scandanavian countries, particularly Sweden and perhaps to some extent Denmark. In some of these countries, they have raised the educational requirements for teachers in the number of years of training that is required to become a teacher, and the standards that have to be met, but at the same time, as Thom has mentioned, they have increased the salaries for teachers, communserate with only the standards but with the idea that teachers are highly respected professionals.

In some states, schools of education in colleges and universities are having difficulty convincing the most able, talented students to major in education and become teachers. The people who are left are not always the most academically proficient. A newspaper article I read some time ago said that the test scores on a standardized test that students who are candidates to graduate with a degree in education are required to take at some point were not as high as might otherwise be desired. The trend toward associating job security for teachers with standardized test scores for their students and the emphasis on these standardized tests has caused teaching to have a high attrition rate -- of teachers leaving the profession -- as they are blamed for problems that are found in low-income families and neighborhoods.

As I once previously discussed with Natural Lefty, his state of California has a law that makes it difficult to fire public school teachers with tenure. Some students who were dissatisified with some of their teachers sued, claiming that these less-than-stellar teachers should have been fired instead of being protected. The judge sided with the plaintiffs and threw out the tenure protection, saying that it made it too difficult for school administrators to replace teachers with poor performance, thus harming education.

Another problem is that with state budget cuts to education, college students can see that they could make considerably more income going into a field other than teaching, which requires that they take various courses in education and serve as student teachers before being eligible to become licensed. In a small number of states, people who have a degree in a field other than education are now allowed to teach upon passing an exam in their area of expertise and undergoing a brief training program. The dean of the college of education at a state university in my state said that these "non-teacher" teachers are often too frustrated without the necessary pedagogical training and don't know the best way of proceeding with students, and so end up dropping out of teaching.

I am not sure that business executives are always that involved with making decisions about educational funding, staffing, and curiculum, and the better-educated ones believe in the idea of having a well-rounded graduate. Sometimes, specific methods and skills can become outdated, and knowing how to learn new things is just as important, if not moreso, than memorizing facts or learning specific practical skills. Some jobs like being a carpenter, plumber, computer security or network expert, and so on are inherently specific and practical. Even a teacher of literature has to know many specific authors and books very well. Some executives have complained that they have trouble filling certain positions which require some level of technical knowledge and skills. In Arizonia, I think there was an effort to cut back on the teaching of Spanish to students who may have a Latino background. One of the things that conservatives often complain about, other than illegal immigration, is "multiculturalism." The African-American, right-wing extremist, libertarian economist and syndicated newspaper columnist from George Mason University Walter Williams has written quite a few columns complaining about multiculturalism. The guy grew up in the same Philadelphia neighborhood, from what I have read, as did Bill Cosby. Williams also seems to be something of a Christian fundamentalist from what I can gather, but he doesn't emphasize that aspect as much as his political nonsense. I am pretty sure that Professor Williams also is connected with the conservative Hoover Institute at Stanford University, in Palo Alto.

MIT does not have a college of education, but I heard on NPR's Morning Edition that they have a professor who is creating an independent school of education, to train future teachers in a new way. He said something about the traditional way is simply to have college students spend so many hours in the classroom, taking required courses. Apparently, his approach is more flexible. The name of this new college of education is going to be something like the Woodrow Wilson College of Education. It is going to have the name of President Wilson in the title; that much I remember.

I have read of the criticism which you brought up that many universities have expanded administrative positions and pay these administrators higher salaries than they pay the actual instructors, many of whom have become part-time. As you know, some of them have built fancy residents halls, some of which offer private rooms. One private university down south has an upscale restaurant/steakhouse and other amenities on campus. I have heard that people who receive online degrees have greater difficulty finding employment than do students who attended college in person, but computers and the Internet might be the future for many, because of their efficiency and potential cost-savings.

Finally, even though you may not agree, I personally believe that some social students teachers somehow have taught people, even if that was not their intention, that it is o.k. to lie and distort the facts as best they can be determined in order to get across one's personal views, or at least teachers have not always found a way to overcome the narrow-minded views of lower middle class, poorly educated parents. Also, the emphasis on science and technollogy in many ways comes from educational institutions. Once upon a time, professionals such as physicians, psychologists, chemists, physicists, architectects, and so on appreciated the arts. Today, many of them have been turned into techocrats. There have been cuts in everything from physical education teachers, civics social studies teachers, and art and music teachers. But some of the narrowing of education I believe comes from regretable changes in the intersts and values of many educators, who have not always done an adequate job in conveying knowledge in compelling ways.

Robindell's picture
Robindell 3 years 5 weeks ago
#8

In the unlikely event that anyone is interested, I found an article on Inside Higher Education by Jacqueline Thomsen on the new school of education that is being created by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. It will be called, The Woodrow Wilson Academy for Teaching and Learning. It will be a highly selective graduate school. It will be competency-based; the students will have to demonstrate learning rather than be required to attend for so many hours with required classes. It will teach science, engineering, technology, and math, but the curriculum could expand to cover other subjects over time.

rs allen 3 years 5 weeks ago
#9

It has been a systemic dismantling of the educational system Robin. Consider just the latest craze of standardized testing limitations placed on schools and teachers, it purposely narrows the focus of any teacher in any class room. You don't really think no money or time for any liberal arts studies just aren't there any longer is an accident do you? The liberal arts study programs create critical thinkers....and the people that own amerika don't want those kind of people loose on the street much less another entire generation of them.

Robindell's picture
Robindell 3 years 5 weeks ago
#10

The educational system still has many strengths, but it also tends to reinforce inequality in too many instances. If you are from a poor household or are disabled, your prospects while at school and after you get out may often may not be that good. Where I disagree with rs allen is that the problems of our educational system go back over 50 years. I also don't agree that deliberately mispelling the word America is in any way helpful, mature, meaningful, or grammatically correct. The one point where I agree to a certain degree with some conservatives is that more funding alone does not guaranty improvement in educational outcomes. Baltimore has low-performing schools and a high dropout rate, and yet they are among the highest-spending, highest-funded school districts in the country. Cuts are detrimental, but not all states have cut education funding to the same extent. A.S. Neil wrote about a unique school in England in, Summerhill. Paul Goodman wrote Growing Up Absurd. There was a famous report, the Coleman Report, from what year I don't recall, but sometime in the last century, which found fault with American high schools. Johnathan Kozol was a social critic and commentator who I think wrote about problems with education. John Holt, a teacher, wrote a number of books back in the 1960s in which he unabashedly and rather harshly criticized American public schools and teachers. One of his best-known books was called, The Underachieving School. One of his chapters was called, "Teachers Talk Too Much."

On an informal basis, I have been observing people in the local community, including some who I would size up sociologically as being lower middle class. Most of these people are decent enough individuals, but my impression is that their education level and world knowledge tend to be limted. Although these people are probably not rich, they are comfortable enough and have a sufficient income. Some of them, including many women, are angry, authoritarian, and highly suspicous of other people. They seem to value material possessions more than people and are sort of like sociopaths in how they relate to others. I don't know anything whatsoever about their backgrounds. My theory, however, parallels what has been found to be the case with many poor children. These people had such a disappointing, mediocre educational experience particularly at an early age with inadequate brain stimulation and boredom that they possibly suffered from stilted brain development, resulting in both cogntive and affective developmental setbacks and problems. Maybe they are bitter because they have a dysfunctional marriage or went through a bitter divorce. I am not in a position to interview them and gather background data, but they seem to awfully small-minded and petty. Another thing I notice is that people in my region are impatient and drive and otherwise act as if they all have ADD, which they obviously don't. That is cultural. Part of it is that people have responsibilties and jobs and are busy. Some of it may be poor upbringing. But some of the behavior is so excessive, such as fast, reckless driving or being so quick to leave a checkout lane that they leave behind some of their bags of items, that I believe that the schools fail people somehow in teaching them not only cognitive skills and information but in conveying basic common sense to students to be used in everyday, practical situations. Some people seem to be illogical, while others are forgetful. These are middle-aged or older people who have not experienced "the latest craze" in education. The problems go back a lot longer.

Where I somewhat but not entirely disagree with Natural Lefty is that he has a kind of boilerplate message about education. For one thing, not everyone who is progressive is well-educated. Some people have a narrow range of knowledge, but still may be critical of some of what is happening. On average, from what I have read, people who graduate from college, including those with graduate degrees, earn more over a livetime than do non-college graduates who are either only high school graduates or who have some kind of vocational certificate or a two-year associate's degree. Of course, there are some technicians and trades people who make more than do some college graduates. A liberal arts undergraduate degree is not necessarily of no value when it comes to finding employment, but the job market has become more technical than it once was, and liberal arts graduates and many teachers don't usually make as much as do engineering, computer science, or scientific people. Therefore, as people become better educated, they tend to make more money, which can have the exact opposite effect that N.L. said: it can make people more conservative rather than more liberal. That might be less true of people who become biologists, physicists, or climatologists than of other techies. But upper-middle class people are not necessarily all that progressive. And Chris Hedges who has been both a journalist and social critic has written about how college faculty are often not the liberal stalwarts that they once were, as they become emeshed in their careers and funding for research. Also, you have to consider what is going on right now, in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of allowing gay marriages. The Christian evangelicals are on the warpath. Already, they are hosting conferences on how other evangelical, fundamentalist preachers (I call them preachers instead of ministers or pastors, because I think it is more descriptive of what they do) can run for public office, if only on the local level, and then eventually try and move up the ladder to state senator or even Congress. They may not make that much progress in lieu of the recent Pew Research survey of religious affliation, in which there was somewhat of a drop in the number of respondents who said that they have a formal, religious affiliation with a congregation. But I think the evangelical branch of Christianity is the fastest-growing area within that religion. These people want power, as did the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. (It seems that the Bible has a lot of passages that have nothing to do with either Christ or Christianity which these people cite.)

Formal education is not the only form of education, and some people find informal ways to help their children or themselves to learn outside of formal schooling. In a local newspaper, there is an article about a camp, which is being offered at a local vocational public school by the city's art center, to provide 38 middle school students with learning experiences in music, dance, and the visual arts. One activity that is mentioned was decorating cupcakes as a way of appreciation design through the visual arts. The kids get to eat their creations. Also, the students learn some dance routines, and there are musical excercises to learn about rythm and so forth.

Purdue University's regional campus sponsors a program of speakers on topics realting to public affairs. The program was originally started by and took place at a local synagogue, but the university took it over. The program consists of a series of 6 talks. They sell a pass so that you can attend the whole series. They usually have one speaker who is a well-known T.V. network journalist. This year, that person is Jane Pauley from CBS News, previously of "The Today Show" and "Dateline" on NBC. One of the subjects she talks about is her personal experience being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder at age 50, which might be of interest to N.L, being a psychologist. Another speaker is a former U.S. Naval commander who commanded a nuclear submarine, which was also President Jimmy Carter's area of knowledge and operations when he was in the navy. Another one of their speakers is going to be William B. Taylor, who will speak on "Russia: Threat to Ukraine and the World." I'm not sure Russia is all that threatening, but this man is a former state department ambassador who was stationed in many of the world's "hotspots" in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Another speaker will be Nomi Prins who will give a talk called, "Wall St. in the White House." She is a financial analyst, journalist, and author who has appeared on the various cable news networks and on PBS. She is a senior fellow at the non-partisan think tank Demos. The final presentation will be a one-man play called "Ernie," by Dr. Jerry Holt of Purdue's English and Modern Language Department. It is about the Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent and Indiana native Ernie Pyle, who was not afraid to go right to the battlefield to file reports on World War II.

The schools should encourage people to seek out educational activities such as the ones I just mentioned, but some people may be too busy, while many Americans unfortunately are too narrow-minded to open themselves to new knowledge or experiences.

rs allen 3 years 5 weeks ago
#11

Robin, I said 'take the latest craze of' as a for instance in the latest round of assults against education, I did not say that was the only issue at stake or how far back those assults of one sort or another go.

I remember the Summerhill study when it was a still new concept in this country quite clearly as the last time I lived with my father he allowed me his own variation of the same till the school department came down on his neck.

And I don't care how you feel about my spelling.

Robindell's picture
Robindell 3 years 5 weeks ago
#12

The idea that higher education is a bastion of progressivism may not hold up, depending on what occurs in the future. We have supposedly educated people who are not always well-educated. I once picked up a copy of the magazine The Week, and there was a very short item in which a business school professor said that the reason there is sometimes a lack of ethics in business is because "we don't teach ethics" to business administration students. We already know that these schools produce a lot of overpaid, greedy executives. Professors of artificial and intelligence and robotics are interested in greed for them, their students, and for corporations. Some of these devices and software applications might be of some help to physicians, but I have heard so-called experts claiming that some jobs performed by radiologists might someday taken over by computers, which in some cases might be better able to diagnose tumors in images than actual human doctors. This idea has been taken to the extreme by some commentators, who talk in terms of the complete elimination of jobs, in some cases, in reference to higher-level, professional jobs in others with lower-level jobs, performed by people whose background does not afford them any other options. These A.I. robot people are not qualified to practice medicine, no matter how helpful some medical computer program might be. They are unqualified and ignorant in economics, or in being able to understand the obstacles faced by those disabled people or older workers who are doing certain jobs which might be threatened by technology. As far as I can see, they have no answers to social and economic problems as they relate to the adverse impact of technology on society, especially when it comes to employment. We have enough unemployed and underemployed people as it is.

When I was in a bookstore not long ago, I found a book that claims that the high-tech digital industry and Silicon Valley have on balance done more harm than good. The author was critical of the elititism that results from highly-paid software engineers and technology industry executives. When it comes to education, the trend is to make sure that all students have "smart tablets" or laptop computers. Many of them also have cell phones, which are probably also smart phones. I didn't read the book but I could see that the author seems to be onto something in his criticisms.

Teachers and lessons should be respected, but not all students are equally able in all areas. The problem I have detected on this Web site in in America is a kind of mass rebellion of sorts to education, like the lower middle class people I mentioned above. A woman who I thought met that description said in public that history should not be taught in school, because it is a waste of time. She also threw in a negative opinion about President Obama. She said that she only cares about what is happening now.

I inconsistencies like this are why I am not as sanguine about the quality of education as is N.L.

Natural Lefty's picture
Natural Lefty 3 years 2 weeks ago
#13

Sorry it has taken so long for me to get back to this. I went on vacation shortly after writing this and have been busy ever since. I didn't have my computer with me during the vacation. Several of my wife's relatives are coming today from Taiwan, so we have been busy preparing.

I wonder what kind of scholastic experience Dextrous has. Has he never set foot inside a public school, or has he and blamed his failures on it?

Conservatives are trying to dismantle public education; there is no doubt about that. Also, they are trying to make what is left of it, less of a liberal institution. They have been succeeding at that in terms of economics programs in college, but not other topics so much. Even the success of conservatives in selling a conservative economic business oriented agenda may be eroded by the failures of the very system which they are promoting. There is a self-correcting process in science, thankfully.

I agree about the standardized testing programs limiting teachers, but that is a conundrum. In order to compare students, standardized tests are the best means, but creating a standard curriculum, limits teachers.

The lack of funding for liberal arts is a good point too, since they play a large role in the development of critical thinking as well as a broader perspective on life.

MacontheRock's picture
MacontheRock 2 years 30 weeks ago
#14

Thom Hartman are you kidding me? Your recent article about why Conservatives hate public education is so debased it is stunning in its entirety of falsehoods. From your vantage point of of a silver spoon academician, it is obvious your are attempting to misinform the disadvantaged The wealthiest amongst us are liberal progressives on Wall Street. It they who benefit most from corporatism in bloated inefficient Central Government. Look at Fortune 100 of Billionaires you will find 3-1 ratio of liberals billionaire to conservative ones. Look at the Top TEN you will find two conservitives. (They are Brothers). On the private Sector subject it was large Educational foundation of the Progressive Movement created the Think tanks that dumb down society through failed Public School system. This biggest American made was allowing Our Government to educate our children like it did in Europe. Europe 1% average GDP in the 40 years and massive out wedlock birth rates is not to be held up as positive standard for American Society. The Federal Department of Education could be developed and embedded in society at the turn of the 19th Century that fostered the dumb down creation the perfect assembling line worker. This was my design by John D. Rockefeller himself as the Ziepzig Connection at the University of Chicago He founded in 1918. All puritan ethos of the time fast Reading writing arithmetic with repetition was out the window . In its place think tanks full of Experimental psychologist white paper instilled 'cause and effect' and 'stimulus response' teaching techniques to brainwash student at looking a societal ills instead of self-analysis of the individual 's flaws. The Dept of Education has inflated the cost of education by student loans and grants making easier for University to increase it size without increasing the quality of educators. Inflated the tuition for higher education effect is no diffrent than a Federal Government printing money and devalue the currency on macro-economic level. As it is easy to get tuition money as all universities must expand their marketing to get a bigger piece financial aid pie offered by Federal and State Governments. It a classic Ponzi Scheme of Government. No different and design than a State Lottery or Social Security bandoozle. Promising the world then you get half while SS Check only pays for your utilities and cable TV.

MacontheRock's picture
MacontheRock 2 years 30 weeks ago
#15

In Closing,Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and a fool.”
-Plato (427 BC)

MacontheRock's picture
MacontheRock 2 years 29 weeks ago
#16

[quote=Dexterous]

No. Conservatives dislike public education because it doesn't work.

[/quoteStrange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and a fool.”

-Plato (427 BC)

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Democrats Should Steal Trump's Thunder on Trade

It's time to run bigger, better and harder on trade policies.