1619 Project, Bernie Sanders, Charles Murray, Critical Race theory, distance learning, free college, higher education, inequality, joe biden, K-12 education, Kamala Harris, leftist indoctrination, long march through the institutions, systemic racism
The Communist “long march through the institutions” is bearing bitter fruit. I’m very glad I retired in time. “Distance learning” is a disaster, actually denying America’s children any effective learning opportunity. If that wasn’t bad enough, many K-12 schools are leftist propaganda indoctrination centers, and the colleges and universities are, if anything, worse. Far too many are graduating from college unable to read and write, and/or with degrees in leftist indoctrination and no marketable skills. A Harris/Biden presidency would make this already desperate situation immeasurably worse, as Stanley Kurtz at The American Mind, reports:
The campus free-speech crisis, kicked into high gear by the election of President Trump in 2016, has metastasized into the woke revolution of 2020, transforming American attitudes toward education in the process. A decade of educational culture wars running from Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind in 1987 through Nathan Glazer’s We Are All Multiculturalists Now in 1997 gave way to roughly two decades of popular conservative apathy toward the schools. Indecipherable postmodern jargon was dismissed in those days as irrelevant. ‘How can something no-one even understands endanger the republic?’ ‘They’ll settle down once they graduate and start paying taxes,’ we were assured. No more.
Since colleges and universities are almost entirely run by the terminally woke, how can they be cesspools of systemic racism and inequality?
The most telling and fundamental difference between our two political parties now turns on the unfalsifiable claim that America is pervaded by ‘systemic’ racism, a modern phlogiston theory once confined to the impenetrably jargon-laden and seemingly irrelevant corridors of the academy. Now, at last, conservatives—and not only they—cry, ‘the schools messed up! We must save the schools!’ Indeed. But how? Is it too late? And how will this election set the task?
The answer to the latter question is blindingly obvious. On the one hand, President Trump has determinedly pushed back against ‘woke’ educational trends, the more so as matters have deteriorated. His popular 2019 Executive Order on Campus Free Speech has been followed in 2020 by an Executive Order banning the use of Critical Race Theory, not only in federal training sessions but for federal contractors and grant recipients—very much including colleges and universities. This order has potentially profound implications for higher education that are only beginning to be recognized and explored.
If Harris/Biden are elected, Critical Race Theory will become the primary feature of post-American non-education and of post-American life.
The Department of Education’s recent challenge to Princeton University to explain why its confession of ‘systemic racism’ should not disqualify it from eligibility for federal funding was another brilliant stroke. This simple question deftly exposed the emptiness and hypocrisy of the promiscuous racism accusations disfiguring our culture.
This one caught academic Democrats/Socialist/Communists flatfooted and open mouthed. No one with the power of the purse had ever forced them to put up or shut up, to actually quit lying about the reality of their enlightened administrations. If Harris/Biden prevail, they’ll never have to put up or shut up.
In contrast, former Vice President Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris have enthusiastically embraced the woke ideology of systemic racism, have largely adopted Senator Bernie Sanders’s socialist plan to massively expand our education system and direct it from the federal center, and have promised a series of culture-war initiatives from the Left that will further undermine principles such as due process, religious liberty, traditional understandings of family and sexuality, and the right of parents to direct the education and socialization of their children.
It’s often said, usually carelessly, the children are our future. True enough, which is why D/S/Cs have always focused a great deal of time and money into indoctrinating rather than educating the young. It’s a stark choice on November 3-ish: Trump will work to return education to actually providing educational opportunity. Biden will work to do just the opposite in favor of the worst kind of anti-American, anti-western civilization agitprop.
For decades, this conservative education establishment has attempted to forge a center-Right/center-Left coalition for ‘education reform.’ To make that alliance work, conservatives downplayed educational content in culturally critical areas like history and literature, concentrating instead on basic skills like reading and math, with tests keyed to national standards and designed to hold schools and teachers accountable for success or failure.
As I’ve so often noted, this has resulted in fad-based non-education. Rather than focus on delivering an opportunity to obtain a classical, liberal education, to produce fully literate, thoughtful and productive citizens, education has become a broadly based scam.
This bipartisan centrist movement gave birth to the Common Core. Yet as Common Core emerged, our cultural polarization increased. The ‘bipartisan’ K-12 reform coalition increasingly took direction from the Left, which had long since consolidated control through its takeover of university schools of education, and of higher education generally. In consequence, misguided progressive teaching methods led to a decline in reading and math scores, history got short shrift, and such history as was taught sang from the same far-Left hymnal. Instead of leavening this coalition with a powerful alternative perspective, in practice establishment conservatives provided a de facto movement of the Left with political cover.
This led, inevitably, to The 1619 Project. I’ve written extensively on this dog’s breakfast of historical illiteracy, outright anti-America lies and D/S/C propaganda. This is a good start. To find all my writings on this topic, merely enter “1619 project” into the SMM home page search bar.
In the meantime, precious decades were lost that could have been spent fighting back against the Left’s takeover of curriculum content at both the K-12 and university levels. The conservative base went off to fry other fish, abandoning what seemed like a hopeless and in any case unnecessary battle against an academy protected by tenure, massive government subsidies, indecipherable jargon, and apparent irrelevance. The end result was 20 years during which the expanding grip of the cultural Left over both K-12 and higher education received virtually no systematic pushback.
I’ve often written about how “new, transformative” schemes are nothing more than repackaged concepts that failed miserably in the past. Always, coming up with new acronyms and jargon is an essential part of the repackaging. One of my favorites is the writing program that demanded adding “details” in writing be called adding “golden bricks.” If we don’t start pushing back now, unlike global warming hysteria, it really may be too late to save our republic.
…the only way to reverse the woke revolution is to shrink the higher education sector. Americans need other, less expensive and time-consuming ways to train for rewarding careers. So long as higher education enjoys a de facto monopoly as the entry point to middle-class and upper-middle-class employment, reform will be impossible.
As I’ve often written, college isn’t for everyone. In fact, according to Charles Murray, only about 10-15% of the population have the IQ necessary to do true college level work. This is why colleges have, more and more, dumbed down, in some cases, doing away with grades, and replacing actual curriculum with political indoctrination and “field work” that consists largely of protesting against America. They accept anyone, regardless of academic ability, with a solvent bank account, suck tens of thousands out of their accounts for remedial high school level courses that yield no college credit, and then complain about the quality of Freshmen.
Biden’s higher education plan is the polar opposite of a strategy to shrink the sector. Biden takes it for granted that college is the key to economic advancement and effectively adopts Bernie Sanders’s socialist program for massively expanding public higher education. Although Biden doesn’t say so directly, his proposals will result in ever more Americans spending ever more years not only in undergraduate but in post-graduate training, subject to woke indoctrination all the way.
As more people are drawn in by free undergraduate education—even those less suited to college and more likely to flourish in the private sector—the feds will likely force a leveling of quality by demanding high graduation rates in return for subsidies. Employers will come to doubt the value of degrees, and graduate education will become the preferred way of distinguishing yourself from the crowd. Free undergraduate education also means that more people will be able to afford a post-graduate degree. Biden’s plan thus spells an enlargement and extension of the higher education sector on a par with the GI Bill after World War II or the infusion of the baby boomers in the years of post-war prosperity.
Recognizing, from practical experience, the absolute necessity of skilled craftsmen/women, President Trump is all in for apprenticeships and technical schools. In such training programs there is no time for political indoctrination. In a short time, they turn out productive people able to support themselves and their families.
The absence of campaign debate over the Biden-Sanders free-college plan holds another lesson for conservatives. Consider this stunning bit of sleuthing from Rob Berger. Berger shows that Biden wiped the estimated cost of his college plan off his website shortly after adopting the gist of Sanders’s free-college stance. Instead of posting a new estimate based on Sanders’s calculation of his own program’s cost, Biden has refused to put a price on his proposal.
Why? Even Biden and his D/S/C handlers recognize the costs for such boondoggles are shockingly outlandish, absolutely requiring massive taxes on the Middle Class to pay for a generation of unemployable incompetents, unable to produce when production defines financial and societal success. Even so, there is no amount of money sufficient to pay for D/S/C demands.
Biden’s higher education proposals are sure to set off a series of culture war battles. Biden promises to restore Obama-era guidance on Title IX, stripping male students of their due process rights and subjecting them to expulsion after hearings before campus kangaroo courts. If Democrats manage to pass the Equality Act, transgender students will win dorm assignments and compete in college sports based on their chosen gender identity rather than their biological sex. Privacy and basic fairness for female students will be a thing of the past. Faith-based institutions will be thrown back on the courts for protection. That protection will surely fail should Democrats pack the Court.
D/S/Cs are already calling for packing the lower courts, and also for impeaching or “rotating” judges that won’t do their bidding. Here Kurtz speaks of college graduates, greatly benefiting from years of indoctrination at the public trough:
Better still, borrowers who go to work for non-profits dedicated to ‘community service’ will get tens of thousands of dollars in additional loan forgiveness. This fulfills the Obama administration’s long-held goal of stocking leftist ‘community organizations’ with college graduates paying off their loans. This is yet another way in which the Biden higher education plan serves to lock in the woke revolution.
But what about K-12 education? President Harris and place-holder Biden would cause even more damage than they would in college.
On K-12, I’m at least as concerned about what Biden doesn’t say as about what he openly promises. Remember, the Obama-Biden administration imposed Common Core on the country via a Rube Goldberg mechanism designed to circumvent the prohibition on federal curriculum controls. That mechanism was powered by money tucked away in the stimulus package and passed without debate. Obama hadn’t run on Common Core, and there was no national consensus in favor of it. Instead this ill-conceived experiment was imposed by stealth with the help of massive funding from the Gates Foundation, various businesses, and an education bureaucracy decidedly at odds with parents and voters.
There is every indication that this process is about to repeat itself under a Biden administration—this time in the culturally critical area of history and civics standards. The effort to create a civics version of the Common Core will be made by the ‘bipartisan education reform movement,’ regardless of who wins in 2020. Before turning to that, however, let’s have a look at Biden’s public K-12 promises.
Biden pledges to massively expand the education system, not only on the post-secondary level but early on through universal pre-K as well. Universal pre-K has been a Democratic rallying cry from Obama, through Hillary, to Biden.
Universal pre-K is a costly fraud:
The real cause of childhood success was caring parents, who were more likely to send their children to preschool than parents who were less involved. Control for that parental variable, and preschool turns out to provide no significant boost to educational or psychological outcomes.
There can be no question. Kids with involved parents, whose family and community culture highly values genuine education, always do far better than kids with disengaged parents who don’t value education. I’ve lived it for decades.
Why, then, would Biden commit the country to a massive and hugely expensive expansion of pre-K, thereby distorting the market and driving out private providers who offer parents genuine choice? [skip] The cynical interpretation is that Biden wants to expand the membership of teachers’ unions, enlarging the Democrats’ political arm with a vast legion of employees newly dependent on federal largess.
It’s a cycle. D/S/Cs write laws forcing people into unions. This greatly enriches unions, who in turn fill the campaign coffers of D/S/Cs. D/S/Cs also write laws, and engage in coercion of companies with whom the unions bargain for wages and benefits, further enriching unions and the D/S/C politicians that benefit from them. In states where unions cannot force membership—right to work states—union membership is tiny, as is their influence on politics.
By all means, take the link and read the entire Kurtz article. He speaks to a variety of measures by which K-12 education will be even further dumbed down and turned into little more than busy work and D/S/C indoctrination. Biden’s plan is truly destructive:
He promises to restore the Obama-era prohibition on school discipline that disproportionately affects various racial groups, even when discipline is imposed in an equal and unbiased manner for the very same offense. The effects of such policies on schools have been disastrous.
Go here to find a great many examples of how this kind of non-thinking utterly destroys actual safety and educational opportunity for all students and teachers.
Biden also promises to resurrect Obama-era ‘desegregation’ plans, which are in fact tax redistribution schemes designed to dissolve local control over suburban school districts. The Biden-Sanders Unity Platform also announces plans that would all but drive charter schools from the educational field.
Why would they want to be rid of charter schools? They’re not under the strict control of a centralized government. They allow parents far too much control over their own children.
Go here too to find a stunning, but all too common example of anti-police propaganda being taught to fourth graders(?!) in Minnesota public schools.
Final Thoughts: There is no doubt: a Harris/Biden presidency would not only continue, but greatly accelerate, all of the worst aspects of D/S/C driven non-education. There are no positive aspects.
Joe Biden is right. This education is about the soul of America. And for once, it really is about the children, and the future.