by Al Benson Jr.
Ever since Karl Marx advocated “Free education for all children in public schools…” socialists of all stripes have literally tripped all over themselves trying to be first in line to support the institution of public education–government run education. Public schools are government schools. The socialists know this. They just hope it takes you generations to figure it out. By then they will have completely propagandized your children enough that you won’t even recognize them.
To grasp the socialist support for and promotion of public schools all you have to do is read their literature and statements posted on their web sites. The platform of the Socialist Party USA is very explicit. It is posted on http://socialistparty-usa.org and says, in part, “We support public child care starting from infancy, and public education starting at age three…” Public child care from infancy means they support the idea of some federal child care service taking care of your child until he or she is three and then shipping them off to the local government school. Total government involvement in the child’s upbringing from infancy. This program is designed to make sure the government educrats have your child in tow from when he or she is weaned right on through;. And this is supposed to be “good”???
Among other things opposed by socialists is merit pay for teachers. This would guarantee that the mediocre will get as much as the teacher who excels at his or her vocation and would eventually guarantee mediocrity because what teacher will want to take the trouble to excel if their lazy counterpart across the hall will always get just as much as they do for doing little or nothing?
The socialists also support “…vigorous affirmative action programs so that the faculty and student body reflect the community at large in terms of race/ethnicity, gender…We support multicultural, multilingual, experimental education at all levels.” Wonder what they mean by “experimental” education–possibly some of the “gender liberation” psychobabble now going on in public schools under the guise of education?
Another group, the New York Citiy socialists, http://www.nycsocialist.org takes pretty much the same tack. They tell us that “Public education is under unprecedented attack. The powerful people who want to privatize our schools are using many different means: charter schools, mayoral control, high stakes standardizing testing, school closures, merit pay and attacking teacher unions are all part of the assault.” As for charter schools, they are still basically public schools. They may operate on a little higher standard then most and the funding may operate a little differently, but they are still public schools, not private ones. And the socialist are very concerned about who is behind the effort to “privatize” education. These folks dread the concept of private education. It means that the kids enrolled in private schools or taught at home will not be subjected to the subtle brainwashing program that the public school kids are and so they will think differently. That bothers the socialists no end. Everyone has to think the same to satisfy them. Kids who learn to think differently will ask questions, they may question authority, they will want to know why the educational and political systems in this country operate so poorly, etc. These are questions the socialist mindset does not want asked–at any level. And their wish to control education from infancy on will guarantee that the youngsters under their care will never ask the wrong questions.
And the Socialist Labor Party http://slp.org has posted a statement titled “What’s Behind the Attack on Public Education?” These folks also support public schools and they believe the problems with those schools are caused by capitalism. They note the problems with public schools as well as growing parental disillusion with them and feel these problems are being exploited by “reactionary politicians and self-interested promoters who urge people to shun the public schools land opt for ‘home schooling’ or more often their own ‘private schools’ not infrequently ‘religious schools.'” I suppose that makes me a “reactionary.” Over the years I have advocated to many people that they home school their kids and I have not made a thin dime out of it but I suppose I’d still be a “self-interested” promoter because I dared to disagree with their agenda. Religious schools or home schools–horror of horrors–can’t have that kind of thing out there undermining the socialist dogma the public schools present, can we? Might upset the apple cart, or, worse yet, some people might begin to find out what really goes on in public schools and be more than willing to consider other options for their kids–and that would be the kiss of death for the Public School Movement.
Jacob Hornberger, writing on http://www.fff.org has observed of public schools that: “The public school system, like all coercive redistributive programs is founded on the Marxian concept of ‘from each according to his ability to each according to his need.’ The political system is used to plunder the wealth and savings of everyone, even those who don’t have children, to pay for the schooling of other people’s children.” Over the years, I, along with several others, have advocated the idea that only those who use the public schools should be forced to pay property taxes to support them. Maybe that is an idea whose time has come.
Although the socialists attempt to blame the capitalists for the “failure” of public schools, Mr. Hornberger correctly notes that: “The tragic failure of socialism in public schooling is as well known as the failure of socialism all over the world.” While I agree with Mr. Hornberger’s intent here, I have to disagree with his conclusion. Public schooling has not been a failure. It has been a resounding success at doing what it was intended to do from the beginning–indoctrinate instead of educate.