Thursday, April 4, 2013

Where Do We Go From Here?

It is something approaching a universal truth that when conservatives have bad ideas, their ideas--bad as they are--are at least rather specific and actionable. Witness Bush's No Child Left Behind. Sure it's really a frontal assault on public education in general and teachers' unions in particular, but at least it's a plan. And look at how efficient they were in getting that plan rolling.

Liberals, on the other hand, tend to talk about ideas. And when it comes to education, one might very well ask, "Where's the plan?" More often than not, those plans tend to be reactionary. Witness Obama's Race to the Top, which just adds another filthy layer of competition (and corruption)  to the still reeking, shambling mass of NCLB. For all of the Liberal platitudes about education, we sure don't hear much constructive being brought forward.

And more often than not, liberal politicians seem easily swayed by the conservative camp's way of thinking. Education is a bipartisan topic, the thinking seems to go, ignoring the effects bad policy has on very specific populations of students.

If you need specifics, consider Chuck Rangle's piece on the importance of education in furthering the civil rights struggle. Who could disagree? I might go farther and say that soon education will be THE civil rights struggle. But what would Martin Luther King Jr. make of this piece?

He'd have little use for it, I think, as he'd have little use for the anemic policy of the so-called American Left. Say what you will, the Right seems to have taken the lead when it comes to activism.

How can we--in good conscience--point out the necessity of education in the lives of our children, especially our at-risk children, and how can we look at the shameful data regarding schooling and incarceration numbers, and how can we have nothing to say about how to make this better?

Where are the calls for real school reform? Where are the calls to dismantle the phony school reform that is further crippling American education?

When will someone decide that education is actually important enough to do something about?

It better be soon, because the other guys have a real advantage: they've got themselves a stupid plan.

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