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The destruction of America's public education system


Captainant

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Honestly not sure if it deserves it's own thread because it intersects with so many other existing topics, but there's been some significant movement and ramping up of efforts to strangle out public education in favor of "school choice" to send tax dollars to religious private schools. Most recently, Arizona passed legislation to give parents $7000 for every child that isn't in public school. Of course there's no requirement or educational standard for those who opt to take the money, so we are now seeing red states directly funneling taxpayer money into private, religiously-affiliated organizations and schools, and doing whatever they may with it.

I'm morbidly fascinated to see just how bad it'll get. Public schooling and a free, high quality primary education is no longer a probability in America - it's been reduced to a possibility.

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How long until we have government-funded Christian madrasas dotting the deep South?  Obviously, it's not enough to keep people stupid - the GQP wants to be able to actively indoctrinate kids every day, not just on church days.  

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1 hour ago, Gap03 said:

How long until we have government-funded Christian madrasas dotting the deep South?  Obviously, it's not enough to keep people stupid - the GQP wants to be able to actively indoctrinate kids every day, not just on church days.  

Why build madrasas when the public schools are already there?  There will be religious litmus tests to become teachers.  If you're not in with the First Baptist Church of Podunk, then go look for a job somewheres else, you commie lib hippy!  Then the pious Miss Jones prays every morning, noon and afternoon.  Why, she's just using her Constitutional right to proselytize - I mean, er, prayer - and there you go.  

 

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2 minutes ago, Chad Fuck said:

Why build madrasas when the public schools are already there?  There will be religious litmus tests to become teachers.  If you're not in with the First Baptist Church of Podunk, then go look for a job somewheres else, you commie lib hippy!  Then the pious Miss Jones prays every morning, noon and afternoon.  Why, she's just using her Constitutional right to proselytize - I mean, er, prayer - and there you go.  

 

Fair point, but if it's public, a student with an opposing viewpoint might end up tainting little Kaden's indoctr ... - er, schoolin', and we just can't have that.  No, sir - private schools with full-blown codes of conduct and consents / waivers for caning/other punishment for anti-Christian rhetoric is the only way to get this great country out of the moral crisis we're in.

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20 minutes ago, F250 said:

This is a fun read about what is happening in Florida.

 

Teachers alarmed by state’s infusing religion, downplaying race in civics

 

 

 

 

 

Insane. Total indoctrination, which of course raises the whole accusation-is-confession deal that they're hammering the left with regarding "woke" and "groomers" etc. 

Evil shit.

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45 minutes ago, C-Man said:

Remember this: 

 

There is some irony somewhere in the "education is poor" and "misspelling in the youtube title" cross-section. But I'm a dumb pub-educated rube so I'll need one of you trust fund private school kids to point it out for me.

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1 hour ago, Vegas64 said:

There is some irony somewhere in the "education is poor" and "misspelling in the youtube title" cross-section. But I'm a dumb pub-educated rube so I'll need one of you trust fund private school kids to point it out for me.

Yeah, I noticed that as well. LOL

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Rufo and Hillsdale are succeeding in accomplishing their goal of fomenting the anxieties of middle class Americans into the rise of charter schools. In their eyes, the founders were just kind men who totally felt awful about owning black slaves and were definitely going to free them someday. It's totally a coincidence that they seem to have omitted all of the wicked acts committed against Frederick Douglass in their presentation, yet they espouse his Fourth of July speech. I wonder why?

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5 minutes ago, George Clooney said:

Rufo and Hillsdale are succeeding in accomplishing their goal of fomenting the anxieties of middle class Americans into the rise of charter schools. In their eyes, the founders were just kind men who totally felt awful about owning black slaves and were definitely going to free them someday. It's totally a coincidence that they seem to have omitted all of the wicked acts committed against Frederick Douglass in their presentation, yet they espouse his Fourth of July speech. I wonder why?

so when is the GQP going to demand the 40 acres and a mule back?

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7 hours ago, Chad Fuck said:

Why build madrasas when the public schools are already there?  There will be religious litmus tests to become teachers.  If you're not in with the First Baptist Church of Podunk, then go look for a job somewheres else, you commie lib hippy!  Then the pious Miss Jones prays every morning, noon and afternoon.  Why, she's just using her Constitutional right to proselytize - I mean, er, prayer - and there you go.  

I’m in Texas.  Every time somebody I know tries to bring up “more God in schools” I remind them that the Catholics are the largest group in Texas and out number the Baptists by over a million, and I WILL NOT HAVE MY KIDS TAKING ORDERS FROM THE VATICAN AND IF THEY WANT THEIR KIDS INDOCTRINATED BY THE POPE IN SCHOOL THEY ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND CATHOLIC SCHOOL THANKYOUVERYMUCH!

It shuts up a lot of these people.  The Pope is up there with Joe Biden in their eyes.  

I would love to see the Baptists try to tangle with the Catholics in Texas though.  Because it wouldn’t just be the Catholics they’d be tangling with, it’d be the Methodists, Lutherans, Mormons, etc. 

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The "school choice" and "religious freedom" angle has been at the heart of the modern American Christian Conservative movement since the jump (especially post Brown).

Interestingly enough- public education was a hallmark of the social gospel movement in the second half of the 19th century- Christians who saw their calling in educating kids who were otherwise working in factories or on farms, leading to public schooling (contemporary of Mann and Dewey) and child labor laws.

Of course, American fundamentalism (and evangelicalism) were responses to the social gospel movement... so the Religious Right's pushback and the modern equivalent certainly make sense. 

Ironically, families who are likely to reject "gub'ment" being involved in education are often from economically depressed areas where other schooling may not be possible. Ah, well... better to be ignorant than "indoctrinated"

Edited by NWBuck
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24 minutes ago, atomheartbevo said:

I’m in Texas.  Every time somebody I know tries to bring up “more God in schools” I remind them that the Catholics are the largest group in Texas and out number the Baptists by over a million, and I WILL NOT HAVE MY KIDS TAKING ORDERS FROM THE VATICAN AND IF THEY WANT THEIR KIDS INDOCTRINATED BY THE POPE IN SCHOOL THEY ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND CATHOLIC SCHOOL THANKYOUVERYMUCH!

It shuts up a lot of these people.  The Pope is up there with Joe Biden in their eyes.  

I would love to see the Baptists try to tangle with the Catholics in Texas though.  Because it wouldn’t just be the Catholics they’d be tangling with, it’d be the Methodists, Lutherans, Mormons, etc. 

Needful Things, imo.

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Charter schools are an inherently evil consortium. They are pillaging the public schools and I am 100 percent against their existence. They are destroying public school education here. The students are nothing more than a paycheck and a nice profit at this point.

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16 minutes ago, 956 Worldwide said:

Their goal in government is to make it worse and less effective. 

To be fair, it's an easy objective.  It's not like many of the "make government more powerful" ideas are great ones either.

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1 hour ago, 956 Worldwide said:

This is absolutely happening. Not to distract from the narrow focus at education, but you can at this point just say “the destruction of America’s public ___”.

It can’t be a emphasized enough that the beating heart of today’s right wing is the hostility to the idea of government as anything but a cudgel to wield in the service of private interests. Their goal in government is to make it worse and less effective.  They tell you they want to do this. 

Ron Swanson GIF by Parks and Recreation

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I can see vouchers and private schools becoming more of a thing in urban and suburban parts of Texas. But will that happen in the rest of state, which is pretty much the Republican base? If we’re diverting education funding to private schools, at least a fair amount of people–say in the DFW area–have some choice to go private if their public schools get even worse with less money.

But what about people in East Texas? Won’t their public schools get even shittier, but without an option of using a voucher toward a private school?

Maybe I’m underestimating how much resources religious denominations will put toward new private schools in the more rural parts of Texas. 

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3 minutes ago, South Austin said:

Maybe I’m underestimating how much resources religious denominations will put toward new private schools in the more rural parts of Texas. 

My bigger concern is my tax dollars directly subsidizing someone's religion. Bit of an anti-pattern there in my opinion. 

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1 minute ago, Captainant said:

My bigger concern is my tax dollars directly subsidizing someone's religion. Bit of an anti-pattern there in my opinion. 

I get that, but with kids in public schools right now my bigger concern is the state of their education. 

My oldest only has two more years left, but at least two very good teachers at her high school (McCallum in Austin) have recently left because the education environment (pay, mandated curriculum, underfunded and aging facilities, etc.) had become too unbearable for them. Thankfully she’s out of here in 2024.

But my youngest is starting middle school, and I hate to think how much worse it will get when he’s in high school if our state government moves more education dollars from the public to private column.

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Forgive my undoubtedly ignorant perspective here. I thought a key point of charter schools or school choice was to give minorities a chance to escape specific public schools that have failed their neighborhoods for generations. Obviously this is not the systemic solution anyone would like, but I can't help but consider the individual parent just trying to get their kid out of a bad situation. 

 

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13 minutes ago, South Austin said:

My oldest only has two more years left, but at least two very good teachers at her high school (McCallum in Austin) have recently left because the education environment (pay, mandated curriculum, underfunded and aging facilities, etc.) had become too unbearable for them. 

Do you know where they went?

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10 minutes ago, South Austin said:

I get that, but with kids in public schools right now my bigger concern is the state of their education. 

My oldest only has two more years left, but at least two very good teachers at her high school (McCallum in Austin) have recently left because the education environment (pay, mandated curriculum, underfunded and aging facilities, etc.) had become too unbearable for them. Thankfully she’s out of here in 2024.

But my youngest is starting middle school, and I hate to think how much worse it will get when he’s in high school if our state government moves more education dollars from the public to private column.

100% agree that the bad outcome is worse public education for everyone, but I think it's important to recognize the "why" as well. These parents don't want their kids in public schools because they're too secular and not religious enough - they're teaching evolution and that homosexuality is normal!!! 

Public schooling has unfortunately become yet another battleground in the culture war over control of ideas that are in the discussion and part of your intellectual process. It's not just public education they oppose, it's critical thinking itself, for fear of it undermining parental authority (read: control). Religion just happens to be an effective AND traditional mechanism for bringing someone under that control, so we tend to see more intersection on the education issue when the rubber hits the road, I think. 

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6 minutes ago, South Austin said:

...if our state government moves more education dollars from the public to private column.

I'd say you can count on that. Charter schools are not about investing in human capital, which is what our world should be about in general--for the good of the planet. charter schools in particular are about investment strategies for profit. The religious angle is a big part of that for some, scrolling around on RW media sites the talk is about government bending its knee to the will of God, and so on. But for the money behind the wall of the wealth class, it's more about funneling that sweet cash into their pockets under the guise of choice, better education, and so on. The grift, always the grift. It is a giant shell game and really hard to keep track of the players as they rebrand, hide behind nonprofit labels and so on. Private schools may offer some protection from the grift, IMO, but the cost to society for losing the foundation that was laid over a century is just sad.

This is only one article, but if you googlefu "charter schools as investment strategy" you will pop a few articles about investing in children and a lot more about making money.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2022/01/14/charter-school-for-profit/

 

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2 minutes ago, Captainant said:

100% agree that the bad outcome is worse public education for everyone, but I think it's important to recognize the "why" as well. These parents don't want their kids in public schools because they're too secular and not religious enough - they're teaching evolution and that homosexuality is normal!!! 

Public schooling has unfortunately become yet another battleground in the culture war over control of ideas that are in the discussion and part of your intellectual process. It's not just public education they oppose, it's critical thinking itself, for fear of it undermining parental authority (read: control). Religion just happens to be an effective AND traditional mechanism for bringing someone under that control, so we tend to see more intersection on the education issue when the rubber hits the road, I think. 

Agree completely. Our school-age population will get fucked in many ways—shitty facilities, an education and social environment that prohibits discussion or even acknowledgement of homosexuality and African-American history, and a decreasing pool of quality teachers who are willing to put up with that shit.

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There are lots of reasons people leave public schools for private. Both as students and as teachers.  I have a close relative who left a large metropolitan public school system as a teacher and moved to a religious school (not in Texas and not to a Christian school or a school that’s of her own faith).

She was willing to live with the crumbling infrastructure and fewer resources. She ultimately made the call because of her safety. She was shoved down a staircase by an angry high school student.  The school admin leaned on her to call it an accident because they didn’t want an assault with police involved and because they argued that the consequences would disadvantage the assaulting student. 
 

She doesn’t at all agree with the ideology at the new place but she damn sure doesn’t worry about getting pushed down a staircase and she is glad that the cleric that runs the school stresses respect and accountability. 
 

I totally agree that public schools have become a battleground of ideologies.  The main issue is that conservatives have become hostile to the idea of any sort of public education at all and are not trying to be a moderating force or even present a different vision. They just want to gut it and leave the bones for the poor people. 

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I can see vouchers and private schools becoming more of a thing in urban and suburban parts of Texas. But will that happen in the rest of state, which is pretty much the Republican base? If we’re diverting education funding to private schools, at least a fair amount of people–say in the DFW area–have some choice to go private if their public schools get even worse with less money.
But what about people in East Texas? Won’t their public schools get even shittier, but without an option of using a voucher toward a private school?
Maybe I’m underestimating how much resources religious denominations will put toward new private schools in the more rural parts of Texas. 

The thing with vouchers is that they’re only good for those already in private school. The good private schools operate at capacity. Good luck to anyone showing up waving a voucher that covers 25% of tuition. Double good luck to any minority or lower class kid that tries to use a voucher. Private schools can still discriminate for admissions as they see fit. I’m sure Lester’s House of Learnin’ will gladly take that check though.
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14 hours ago, atomheartbevo said:

I’m in Texas.  Every time somebody I know tries to bring up “more God in schools” I remind them that the Catholics are the largest group in Texas and out number the Baptists by over a million, and I WILL NOT HAVE MY KIDS TAKING ORDERS FROM THE VATICAN AND IF THEY WANT THEIR KIDS INDOCTRINATED BY THE POPE IN SCHOOL THEY ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND CATHOLIC SCHOOL THANKYOUVERYMUCH!

It shuts up a lot of these people.  The Pope is up there with Joe Biden in their eyes.  

I would love to see the Baptists try to tangle with the Catholics in Texas though.  Because it wouldn’t just be the Catholics they’d be tangling with, it’d be the Methodists, Lutherans, Mormons, etc. 

Yea there may be a million more Catholics....but they don't vote.  Not that anybody you are having this conversation with is intelligent enough to come up with that reply given all that runs through their head is Jesus, Jesus, Squirrel, Jesus, Squirrel, Jesus....like a Labrador Retriever out in a meadow.  

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The thing with vouchers is that they’re only good for those already in private school. The good private schools operate at capacity. Good luck to anyone showing up waving a voucher that covers 25% of tuition. Double good luck to any minority or lower class kid that tries to use a voucher. Private schools can still discriminate for admissions as they see fit. I’m sure Lester’s House of Learnin’ will gladly take that check though.

Yep.
When dental insurance become more common, the cost of dental visits increased.
When college loans become more subsidized, the cost of college increased.
Parents who support these measures are frequently looking at the current rate structures, not understanding that they will increase almost dollar for dollar with the subsidy.

Granted, the extra subsidies for the schools will create motivation for more seats, and more access. But, if it is at the expense of public school quality, it will also increase demand for those seats. If you can’t afford private school now, you still won’t with the vouchers. In the end, it’s still a question of competing with other people for seats and your relative position against your competition doesn’t change, neither does your access, assuming the same overall spend on education.
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1 hour ago, South Austin said:

But what about people in East Texas? Won’t their public schools get even shittier, but without an option of using a voucher toward a private school?

Maybe I’m underestimating how much resources religious denominations will put toward new private schools in the more rural parts of Texas. 

I’ll bet almost anything there are some big donors to Hot Wheels and Goeb that will be in the charter school start-up business. They are going to pop up all over the sticks and we’re going to be indirectly funding them through Texas Taliban fuckery.

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1 hour ago, B00M said:

Forgive my undoubtedly ignorant perspective here. I thought a key point of charter schools or school choice was to give minorities a chance to escape specific public schools that have failed their neighborhoods for generations. Obviously this is not the systemic solution anyone would like, but I can't help but consider the individual parent just trying to get their kid out of a bad situation. 

 

Charter schools don't have the same accountability/performance standards as regular public schools, and they can reject students they don't want. Data shows they don't perform any better than the public schools either. As Mrs. Wiggins said, it's just a grift with the added benefit of taking badly needed funds away from public education. 

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