Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of social machinery.
President Trump, a billionaire, has demonstrated elitist hatred for our most public democratic institution and its teachers. It is the institution, despite its problems, that has the greatest chance of taking a poor person and lifting them to a better place in society.
President Trump, if allowed, will put a lock on public schooling for good.
President Trump and his choice for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, another billionaire, also displays a lack of connection with the middle class, those who struggle to make ends meet. They do not seem to understand the need for good public schools for all children.
And public school teachers who struggle against all odds to give our students hope and a good place in life are considered failures by those on their golden thrones.
Senator Bernie Sanders asked DeVos in the confirmation hearings: “Would you be here if you weren’t a multi-billionaire?”
President Trump has demonstrated he will end public schools if allowed. He speaks against public schools with vengeance and acts like they are despicable places.
- He chose Betsy DeVos after interviewing Michelle Rhee and Eva Moskowitz, all privatization shills.
- On the Eve of his inauguration he stated that education is “easy. Very very easy….”
- He also bashed public school test score results with unsubstantiated accusations.
- And in his inauguration address he said: “An education system flushed with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.” Kellyanne Conway also states that billions are spent on public schools without results (Meet the Press 1-22-17).
I have never seen President Trump visit a traditional public school. In fact, I have never seen him visit students and teachers in any school.
And Trump isn’t alone. Many individuals in the top 1% hate public schooling and see dollar signs in their privatization.
But it isn’t just about money. It is elitist ideology.
It is about keeping poor children in their place.
Think about what will happen with school privatization.
- A few students will get a voucher to a good private school if they are lucky, but most exclusive private schools don’t want vouchers. They don’t want challenging students either.
- Most students will go to religious schools or substandard charters with little regulation.
- Such schools can be selective too. So if a child has disabilities or difficulties, they will not wind up with peers who will accept them for their differences.
- The teaching profession has been deregulated so anyone can teach. Students will not have access to well-prepared, credentialed teachers.
In Michigan, schools in general have declined due to charter schools that are failing, which have sucked precious tax dollars from public intentionally underfunded schools.
And millions are being poured into unproven technology for schools without the research to show it works.
The DeVos family opened their own Aviation charter school, apparently the best charter school in the state. But it not only gets public dollars, they pour their own money into the school, and it gets donations from wealthy donors–from the aviation industry.
How many schools can sustain such a set up? What about the students left in defunded public schools–schools left to flounder so elitist schools can succeed?
And how many children from that school will graduate and get actual jobs in aviation?
Also, should we be placing students on a career path so early in their education?
The ideas of the elitist are to leave in place well-endowed private schools and create substandard tech schools for others. These tech schools will create service workers.
If this weren’t the case, why aren’t they creating charter schools that emulate the very best private schools in the country that provide students with a wide variety of subjects?
Instead, those with an elitist ideology believe “no excuses” charter schools, where the poor are pushed to shape up and behave themselves, to do what they are told, are what is needed in society.
They do not see children as equals but as those who need rescuing and rehabilitation for the jobs they eventually want them to do.
There are three kinds of elitist reformers.
- Those who inherited their money and never set foot in a public school.
- Those who made their money in business and went to public school, but don’t attribute their success to public school. Or they believe public schools went downhill (think Eli Broad or Sam Walton).
- Those who are not wealthy, but who believe in and even idolize the ideas of wealthy people–if they are rich they must be right.
- Or, those who rely on the wealthy because they are powerful.
Some senators are caught up in elitism themselves. How many are supported by wealthy billionaires? How many will have to say and do what they are told to get enough money for their campaigns—so they will get reelected?
We will all see which ones have the courage to stand up against the selection of Betsy DeVos. It is quite evident that she is not qualified.
But even if DeVos is not selected, who will be? Michelle Rhee? Eva Moskowitz?
My guess, if we get to this point, is that it will be someone who is able to tell us IDEA is federal law, and what’s different between proficiency and growth scores. But the new selection would still be on board for the elitist agenda of privatizing schools.
Horace Mann wanted schools to bring about equality for all children. But let’s face it. Equality is not what the top 1% want. And getting rid of the institution that hails equality is the best move to keep it that way.
ciedie aech says
HIDING OURSELVES BEHIND WORDS LIKE “DEMOCRAT” OR “LIBERAL” OR “PROGRESSIVE,” we avoid recognizing that long years of invasive school reform mandates — viciously disconnected mandates pushed by both parties — haven’t been just about the money, but about an elitist ideology: “It is about keeping poor children in their place.”
Nancy Bailey says
Thank you, Ciedie.
Why don’t you work with the new secretary? You can’t object to everything or you will be considered among the other whinners. You are closing a door that is open & staying open. You can walk through it and pray for the change needed in our systems and be part of the fix. As a parent and grandparent I can tell you from my perspective it’s broken. If you can’t work with her then leave. Otherwise you continue to be part of the problem. Sometimes it takes someone looking in to bring in new ideas. I may hate what she brings to the table but damn if I am going to stand for this #NotMy movement people are starting in order to divide our country! This is my country and Mr Trump is my President and I am very respectful of those in office until they prove me otherwise. You have given them no opportunity. You based some of your arguments on fake news. I beg you to use your time supporting and colsberating with her instead of negatively working against her. Patriotism is still alive and we want it back. Without that, THERE IS NO FUTURE. In 2012 the DNC voted God out of the Democratic Party. They voted nay (3 times as the cock crowed). They have gone downhill since. God is back because We the People brought him back with the help of Trumo and God has blessed this nation because of it. I urge you to pray with us as we restore our country’s identity & purpose.
Nancy Bailey says
I really disagree with what you say. And I have written repeatedly that the problems in education come from both Democrats and Republicans.
Betsy DeVos has shown that she is not qualified. And President Trump is not going to support public schooling. That is what my blog post is about.
Thank you! her comments aren’t about spell checking..they are about an understanding or lack of understanding of what is happening to our rights to an education.
Nancy Bailey says
Hello karafree! Good to hear from you again!
I never left….. I remind you to review John Taylor Gatto,,,,, he predicted what is happening.. the complete control of education… the elite get an entirely different education than the rest of humanity. Lets start with the Trivium! Always question, use your imagination, question authority, be creative, question authority..oops said that, but seriously most important.
if you click on the link for John Gatto you will be given a selection of many interviews that might be of interest to those who want to understand what the elite (power ruling) establishment is up to in taking truth and education and power away from the citizens of the world. and mandating us to specific tasks based on their mandatory tests to place us in standard measurements… to them we are all the same, and to them we will be treated as such.. we will be standardized, we will be defined. we will be made something much less than what we are capable of and we will be forced into a life that serves their definition of us.
Jon Gatto says
Jon (originally John) A. Gatto— sadly no close relation to J.T. Gatto that I know of..
Let’s start with the issue of
God is the expression of our highest good, our highest goal in any endeavor. No body can say “This is the best thing of its kind ever done or ever will be done”. Or, “only I can fix this or that” Anyone who claims that is A LIAR, A MURDERER, AND THE THIEF OF VIRTUE, Keep that in mind when D. Trump says : “I alone can fix it —- as he does.
Please remember that only God is good in the ultimate sense.
D. Trump’s denigration of women and our Free Press is disgusting and an enemy on some deep and troubling level, of free speech and democracy. All together. The Press is “The 4th Estate”. If anyone reading this doesn’t know what that is ……look it up immediately.
All of that should give you a clue.
But of the many heinous
remarks and actions our one time President has done this remark hurts me the most, for whatever reasons you might imagine.:
“These people [ Men and Women of our armed forces ] are suckers and losers”
For further information read or recite The Lord’s Prayer, and parse out every
One last thing, and we’re all guilty of this :
He who sees the devil is working for the devil. And he who seeks the devil will find him everywhere.
I apology for my typo’s I should have waited until I got out of the doctors office & spellchecked on something other than my cell phone before sending it. I apologize.
Nancy Bailey says
This is for Kara. I like many of John Gatto’s thoughts, but he is against compulsory schooling. A public school advocate hits a wall with that. That’s the problem. I believe public schools have plenty of problems, but they can be great environments for students when they work. I believe we should work to make schools better not dissolve them.
The philosophica foundation of public compulsory schooling in America was imported from Prussia where the goal of schooling was to produce obedient citizens and unquestioning cannon fodder..
Public schools are prisons. The students are held captive for nearly 12,000 hours of lobotomizing cultural Marxist propaganda masquerading as curriculum. No sooner are they spat put of the sausage grinder of primary school only to be further indoctrinated and made debt slaves by the University racket.
You are advocating an institution that damages children. At no point do these government run gulags of the mind teach students HOW to think critically, On the contrary, their young, fertile and naturally inquisitive minds are bludgeoned and programed WHAT to think.
You either know this, and willingly advocate for it, or are a hopelessly lost true believer.
Nancy Bailey says
So what do you suggest? I believe democratic public schools should be enjoyable places for children to learn and socialize, but corporate-driven reforms have changed that throughout the years. There are still some good public schools but many are defunded and struggling.
I never worked in a public school that pushed Marxist propaganda. I wonder what exact schools you’re talking about.
It sounds like you had a difficult school experience for which I am sorry. Maybe you could volunteer to help teach a skill or something you’re good at in your local public school, I think you might see first-hand how teachers struggle with large class sizes. I’m sure the teachers would appreciate it.
Thank you for your comment, even though we disagree.
Nancy, I absolutely understand. He does not advocate for compulsory education but rather homeschooling, which just does not seem like a solution for many people, What I find helpful, by listening to him, is learning about how compulsory education came into being in the first place, how it has been planned to be carried out for over a century. He literally has predicted what we are now seeing. Through his insights we may be able to come up with a way to save education for all people, But first we the people must need to be informed about how the elite are operating against us.
oh and ps… You have done a wonderful and dedicated job to inform us. Much of what you point out in this article reminded me of my days of listening to John Taylor Gatto.
Nancy Bailey says
Thanks, Kara. Sorry for the delay. There’s a lot about Baltimore going on with the blog.
I like a lot of what Gattos says. But I disagree with him too. When he says, for example, that any child can learn anything, and he uses calculus as an example, that is exactly what many of the reformers subscribe to who are critical of public schools and teachers.
I appreciate teachers like Jaime Escalante (Stand and Deliver), It’s a great movie! But to think that all teachers are going to succeed the same way is troubling. Many do! I would argue there are many Escalante’s out there. Not all his students passed the AP calculus test the first time either!
We have to be careful of the narrative of the “perfect teacher.” By damning them all we are moving towards online instruction only and no brick-and-mortar schools. This is extreme.
Having worked with students who show up to school with severe learning disabilities, the key is to find how to help them overcome those problems, yes. But it isn’t always possible. When it isn’t possible you teach adaptation.
Teachers are not always miracle workers–nor are doctors.
No one can argue that we need to make schools more interesting and focus more on the individual needs of children. We need well-prepared teachers too.
But he is not for formal schooling. He also doesn’t think much of teachers. That’s what troubles me about Gattos.
I also don’t know what he studied in college.
Spencer Nixon says
John Taylor Gatto is also an unapologetic supporter of Trump and Betsy DeVos. It’s hard to divorce political sentiment from this, but a rational person would be hard pressed not to see these people as antithetical to the hope for an educated citizenry. Gatto is full of ideas, many of them original and hopeful. But he is buying too much of his own b.s. at this point to be credible.
Andrew K says
Your argument is completely ad hominem. You don’t state the facts as they are before putting in your opinion but immediately ignore the substance of the argument, which is the school system, and attack the people on the other side of the aisle. I can’t take the argument seriously whatever side you’re on.
Nancy Bailey says
You don’t elaborate specifically what you are referring to.
I don’t state the facts? So President Trump supports public education? I think not. He and Betsy DeVos have nothing but harsh words for public schools and teachers.
I am a democratic public school advocate. That is what I argue for. Of course I will be critical of those who are about destroying that system.
But thank you for your comment, and I will be glad to debate you more if you specify what you mean.