Out of the tragedy of the Parkland, Florida, school shootings has come a hashtag (#NeverAgain) and renewed calls for gun control. However, it has also created potential leaders in members of the student body. On the pro-gun control side, students David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, and Emma Gonzalez have been treated to media interviews, town hall meetings, and other high profile events where their voices have been amplified.
Then, on the pro-Second Amendment side, there’s Kyle Kashuv. He’s visited the White House, spoken to numbers members of Congress, and engaged people of all stripes on Twitter.
But this week’s edition of the Leftist Lexicon isn’t about gun control; it’s about public education. The same school produced Hogg, Kasky, Gonzalez, and Kashuv, but they have radically different viewpoints, and it may be because of the current state of public education.
What the Left thinks it means – a system that teaches children the fundamentals necessary to become informed citizens
What it really means – a Leftist indoctrination factory where the fundamentals are barely taught
By way of full disclosure, I am a public school graduate, as are the members of my family. However, even back when I was roaming the hallways of my high school wondering why cute girls thought I was a nerd (maybe cause, well, I was one), I noticed standards were slipping a bit. Sure, I had some of the same teachers my older brothers did, but it was still noticeable.
Seeing some of the high school students today, I’m pretty sure standards have slipped more than a con artist who makes a living filing bodily injury claims. And it’s not because the students today are lacking access to technology or Internet coverage. You’d be hard-pressed to find a student without a smartphone attached to their bodies in some fashion, and they use hashtags, emojis, and other online forms of communication better than they can speak or write their native language.
Some would say the teachers are to blame, and to some extent, they’ve earned it. Outside of your parents and family, teachers represent most of the adults kids get to know. That’s a pretty big responsibility. You are shaping the minds of young people who will lead this country in the future.
And many of the people with that responsibility seem to think it’s vital to indoctrinate the next generation. After all, we don’t want them growing up thinking government isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread, right? Now, imagine year after year of being told the Left is right and the Right is wrong. By the time students graduate high school today, they may have been exposed to somewhere in the neighborhood of 13-14 years of Leftist propaganda. And that indoctrination will continue into college where you’re more likely to find a unicorn that farts rainbows than you are a conservative teacher in a prominent position.
A large part of this has to do with teachers unions. Like with most other labor unions, teachers unions tend to be Leftist politically, which means it becomes another way for Leftists to launder federal tax dollars (i.e. our money) through public education, which go right back to the politicians who gave them the money in the first place. Combine that with the number of tenure jockeys out there who lost the passion to teach a long time ago, how schools are desperate enough to hire any teacher who can breathe, and how it practically takes an act of God to get a teacher fired and you have yourself a situation that screams “perfect job for a Leftist.”
Of course, if you’re a Leftist parent, you see nothing wrong with this. But for some of us who would like to get a fast food order filled right the third time, let alone the first, it’s not ideal. That’s why homeschooling, private schools, and school vouchers have gotten so popular in the past couple of decades. And this is why public school advocates and teachers unions like the National Education Association have been working so hard to derail the exodus away from their gravy train. Fewer public school students means less money going to public schools and less power in the political realm.
Look at how the Left has demonized Betsy DeVos, the current Secretary of Education. They say she bought her way into the position (more than likely true), hasn’t set foot in a public school so she isn’t qualified to be Secretary of Education (actually, that sounds more like a selling point than a point of criticism), and she wants to promote homeschooling over public schooling (again, more of a selling point). Having seen DeVos in action, you can make an argument that she isn’t the best person for the job, but to say she’s the spawn of Satan for wanting to improve public education is a bit much. For all we know, she might only be a second cousin to Satan.
Just kidding, Secretary DeVos.
With public education, anyone wanting to make a difference or to improve the overall quality is fighting an uphill battle, one that discourages more people than encourages them. But all is not lost. It is possible to educate a child caught in the public school system, but it takes work. If you can’t afford to send your child to a public school or to homeschool, you need to be attentive to what your children are learning and show an active interest in it. If you see something you’re not comfortable with what your child is learning, ask questions and balance the lessons with information you’re more comfortable with. Don’t forget education isn’t about spouting what a teacher says; it’s about exposing your children to multiple sources of information so they can learn and grow. An educated student is the bane of public education because he or she will have the tools to make up his or her mind on his or her own. (If I say his or her one more time in this piece, I get a free sandwich. And there it is!)
Not every public school teacher is horrible, but enough are that we need to take a serious look at the public school system to make sure we are getting the best results we with the money being spent. Although I may not agree with the David Hoggs of the world, the fact he is speaking up is admirable and shows his teachers did a good job. The same can be said of the Kyle Kashuvs of the world. If we had more students like these and fewer students who can name more Kardashians than Supreme Court Justices, the world might wind up a better place.
Of course, you realize this means we’re doomed.