by Barry A. Liebling
It is obvious that most of the education establishment is dominated by the leftist elite. They set the agenda and determine the policies at leading institutions including K-12, colleges, and graduate and professional schools. Of course there are a smattering of teachers throughout the country who object to the woke agenda. But because they are vastly outnumbered, and because their leftist opponents are highly vindictive, these teachers (who are not part of the woke herd) usually keep a low profile and do not directly challenge school policies.
However, parents who are appalled by the woke mind-set (they may be conservative, libertarian, or not really political at all but disgusted by the Neo-Marxist world-view and propaganda) have been speaking up. They are reacting to three related themes that are ubiquitous in most of today’s schools – Critical Race Theory (CRT) which is the dogma that white people are permanently guilty and responsible for all that is wrong in the world, Climate Alarmism – the quasi-religious belief that human productive activity is ruining the planet and must be suppressed to a trickle, and Radical Collectivism which endeavors to slander the virtues of rationality and individualism that undermine the best of Enlightenment philosophy.
Some particularly brave parents have gone to schools and objected to curricula that they believe is harming their children. Recently there have been attempts, some successful, to identify the teaching of CRT as detrimental to students and pass resolutions to remove it from the classroom. Both worried parents and concerned teachers (rebels who are not woke) are trying to “take back the schools.” Their intention is to remake the engine of education so that children are taught to see the world accurately and act appropriately.
Here is a message to parents who want to reform the public schools and reject the leftist agenda. It is too late. If you exert a lot of effort you may see small amounts of improvement, but the leftists won the war a long time ago. The only way to prevail in the current environment is to start your own schools from scratch.
Public schools, which more accurately should be called government schools, have an entrenched leftist membership that will never go away. Would-be teachers go to “teachers colleges” where they are infused with woke sensibilities. No matter how the “official policies” are changed by legislation, most teachers will continue to push (openly or surreptitiously) their personal sentiments (think social justice).
There are plenty of outraged parents who complain that the schools are pushing abhorrent political doctrines. These disgruntled citizens whine that they are paying for the schools through taxes and should have some control of the content. They are mistaken. Parents certainly are contributing money to the tax base, but once the money is collected, government officials decide how it is spent. Note that people who are not parents are also being taxed. Also keep in mind that about half of all tax payers in the country are sympathetic to leftism.
The solution to the problem is to start your own schools, and be sure to fund them with your own private (not government) money. In an ideal world, parents who are committed to providing an education that promotes the Enlightenment virtues of individualism and liberty will establish full-time schools that are an alternative to the default government classrooms. Consider this Plan A.
But realistically, we are not in an ideal world. It is very expensive in time, effort, and money to create and effectively manage a full-service, full-time school. So we can move on to Plan B. Form small-scale learning centers that provide students with an antidote to the leftist propaganda they are fed in government schools.
Students can continue to go to public schools where they would be exposed to the usual woke nonsense. But they will also attend (in person, or via the internet, or both) an Enlightenment school where they will be tutored in the proper way to interpret world events and to act. The new school (perhaps in the evening, perhaps on weekends, make it convenient and student-friendly) would provide them with valid counter arguments designed to give them immunity from toxic leftist struggle sessions.
Concerned parents might anticipate that this idea could work, but see that the same tactic could be used by leftist partisans. In fact, it is too late to worry about progressive-left after-school activities. They have been doing it for more than half a century.
In the 1950s and 1960s parents who were sympathetic to Marxism created a horde of Red Diaper Babies. Children were sent to summer camps, weekend study groups, and social clubs where the rationale was to instruct the kids in “political correctness.” Note well that the money and resources required to run these programs came from the parents themselves. The conservative-libertarian David Horowitz describes himself as a former participant.
Incidently, I am a baby boomer and when I was in elementary school some kids my own age boasted that they were being taught Marxism. Many of the brightest students joined an extra-curricular “liberal-training” club in my high school. When I was in graduate school at Columbia University there was an after-school Marxist study group that I declined to attend.
There is abundant evidence that when parents pay for their children’s school the parents are in control. For a long time this has worked for the leftist cabal. Parents who value liberty should assure that their children are presented with appropriate educational content.
*** See other entries at AlertMindPublishing.com in “Monthly Columns.” ***