Class Warfare Blog

December 6, 2016

The Demolishing of Public Schools for Fun and Profit

Well, not for fun, and I have been wrong about it being only for profit. I have argued that since the plutocrats/oligarchs who really run this country have captured almost all of the major wealth producing activities in the U.S., that they have been more and more attracted to the billions of dollars of public funds spent annually on public education, that the “privatization” efforts going on (Charter Schools! Vouchers! Yay!) were fueled by greed for a share of that pile of money. I still believe that is true but that there is another source of fuel for the fire in the bellies of the current crop of education “reformers.” And, no it is not fun, but religion. And, as usual, it was right there, hiding in plain sight, ignored by the “usual news media suspects.”

“Well, not for fun, and I have been wrong
about it being only for profit.”

There is a long history in this country of fundamentalist religiosity, typically Protestant in nature. Currently, in parts of the country you can see extreme pushback at public schools for teaching mainstream science in the form of the theory of evolution and the phenomenon of climate change. This is understandable. If the theory of evolution is right, then the fundamentalist, “young earth” Christian worldview (and hence the promoting religion promoting that view) is wrong. If they lose the fight over evolution, they will lose the grip their religion has over a large segment of the U.S. population.

In surveys of Americans on the topic of evolution, a significant fraction of U.S. citizens do not believe in it, believing in magic instead, and that disbelief is securely linked to certain religious affiliations. You do not observe anything like it anywhere else in the developed world. The folly of “belief” in evolution is actually preached in their churches, not surprisingly as those pastors preaching it will be out of jobs if evolution is accepted.

The religious right in this country wants control over their school systems to be able to teach what they know is true, and it ain’t evolution. This is the other major force in the current education “reform” efforts. Consider the following:

The religious right has long had the goal of eliminating public education. Candidates don’t need to be closet Reconstructionists to be influenced by the work of Reconstructionists, but it’s worth noting that when R.J. Rushdoony wrote the Messianic Character of American Education in 1963 he argued that education is not a proper function of government. ‘Government schools’ were the vehicle for promoting the anti-Christian religion of humanism and should ultimately be abolished. Few outside his small circle took him seriously.” (“The Republican ‘No Schools Left’ Program” by Julie Ingersoll, August 8, 2012)

Few took Rushdoony seriously in 1963 because we had communists to fight, but now that we done whipped the commies, we have turned to fight the real enemy, the atheists that supported commies all of those years, which when they weren’t eatin’ babies, they was promoting God-less, atheist science in the form of evolution. (“We ain’t no kin to no monkeys!”)

While I poke fun at these folks as being untutored, etc. it really is not that anymore. Their attitudes are not due to a lack of schooling but from the general tendency of us to surround ourselves with other people who think and act as we do. The religious right live in communities dominated by the presence of other religious right people. In their churches they reinforce each other’s beliefs. In their schools, they teach the right way (pun intended), schools in which biology teachers are cowed into teaching something other than the theory of evolution, telling themselves they “ran out of time” to cover it. It is immensely fascinating to me that the religious right has gone all in for the GOP which, while they pay lip service to the religious rights “needs” and “family values,” in general worships only the God of Mammon. But, if a horse is going in your direction, you don’t check its worthiness, you just saddle up.

So, charter schools, vouchers, they are all good as far as the religious right is concerned. They can then set up schools that teach the Real Truth™ and use their own tax monies to pay for it. No need to invoke the Constitution or nuthin’ like that.

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7 Comments »

  1. Well said. They also want to privatize because they think our public schools and universities are too liberal and that would never do! No social fairness for them…only greed!

    Comment by Sylvia — December 6, 2016 @ 11:03 am | Reply

  2. Your paragraph #7 sums it up so well.

    It really disturbs me to the core when I consider that the teaching in public schools could very well go the way of the Religious Right with the GOP in control.

    Comment by Nan — December 6, 2016 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

    • It is going that way now. It will not be long before all Detroit students of color will be relegated to Charter Schools, schools that btw perform worse than their old schools.

      On Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 1:31 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 6, 2016 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  3. Did you see the Singaporians won some best school system again this year? It’s a model worth repeating, yet the US appears to be going in the completely opposite direction.

    Comment by john zande — December 6, 2016 @ 2:38 pm | Reply

    • The problems won’t be solved by copying the practices in some small city-state. That is because the practices are not the problem. The problem(s) are clearly defined when you break out the U.S. data. If you break out just white and black kids, the white kids performance are close to the top and the black kids are close to the bottom (similar for Hispanic kids). If you break out the rich kids v. the poor kids, same thing. Rich U.S. kids are near the top, poor kids near the bottom. So, our schools are apparently capable of doing an excellent job for *some *of our students, so the problem is *not *the schools! Or the curriculum! Or school management! The problems are poverty and racism, both of which we have enough of to reduce overall U.S. performance in these tests to “middle of the pack.”

      Interestingly, the disruptive “reformers” are using these “overall” metrics as a switch to beat the whole system with, and they do know better so they are just lying through their teeth. The U.S. has *never *done well on global tests for the above reasons since they were begun in the 1960’s. We do seem, however, to be able to produce “enough” brilliant scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, et. al. to create and maintain a large technology base from which to create prosperity (at least for the plutocrats now running the show).

      As usual, the plutocrats are running a “distract, distract, kook at the shiny bits, how does that make you feel?” campaign so that no one will see what they are doing “behind the curtain” until it is too late to stop them.

      Sorry, for the rant. These assholes are killing my country.

      On Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 2:38 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 7, 2016 @ 10:36 am | Reply

  4. There’s always home schooling … and beliefs like this: “The Only Reason Math Works Is That Jesus Created It”
    (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/12/05/christian-homeschooling-advocate-reason-math-works-jesus-created/

    Comment by Nan — December 6, 2016 @ 3:33 pm | Reply

    • I wonder what merchants, priests, and others did to keep accounts for the 4000 years of Christian history before Jesus was born? Just wondrin’!

      Comment by Steve Ruis — December 7, 2016 @ 10:37 am | Reply


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