What the Left gets Right: Something is wrong with public education (part 1).
I come from a long line of passionate, gifted, committed public school teachers. I went to public schools for every year of my K-12 education. Today's is not a knock on the thousands of men and women who faithfully serve the next generations in the trenches (and public schools truly are trenches now: I was seven minutes away from The Watershed of Shootings - Columbine - in America's first lockdown at my middle school and knew two of the victims. I remember thinking, "Surely the adults will never let this happen again." So much for the innocence of youth). Nor is it a lack of gratitude for the opportunities my education has afforded me. This is to stand in agreement with The Left when they say that something has gone very wrong in our schools.
It's well beyond the race-Marxism, gender/sexuality, oppressor/oppressed-identity indoctrination young children are being subjected to when they should be learning how to read, write and do math (and here I mean real math, the kind that actually has right and wrong answers. The kind that Oregon and now other states think is racist.). That sort of ideological radicalization of our youth started to get serious when I was a young student with the nihilistic climate-change scaremongering: I was actually told by my kindergarten teacher that it was immoral to have children because because "we can't guarantee them a livable planet," but it unfortunately has gotten even more deranged since - mostly in the last five to ten years. (This is not the subject of this email, but I, as a former flaming environmentalist and climate activist, invite you to do your own research about climate alarmism and what the climate change narrative is really about.) The push for ideology over education certainly some of what's deeply wrong in our schools.
But the root of what's wrong has been wrong since the 19th century and it started in Prussia. It promotes obedience, deference (as opposed to respect) for authority, conformity, and the worker-bee mentality that keeps millions disempowered, many just above the poverty line and almost all who've gone through it believing that if they work hard enough, they too, can have things that only the people who have broken out of this way of thinking actually get. The Radical Left acknowledges this, though maybe not always in these words. In fact, I learned about the soul-crushing, automaton-producing nature of the public indoctrination system I was subjected to (and literally feared for my life in all four years of high school; thanks, Columbine) while I was still a Radical Leftist.
It all started to make sense why I didn't believe I had anything to offer the world except what a boss "permitted" me to offer and why I still struggle to think beyond the framework of job titles and "benefits" (P.S. Employers that offer 401k matches are taking that money out of what they could be paying in higher wages and locking it away in unguaranteed containers that employees have the illusion of control over until they're 59.5 - subject to change (i.e. be raised) at any moment - in accounts that are, if you read the fine print, owned by the government). I took Advanced Placement Government and Economics in high school (and did well enough on the AP tests to get college credit) and was not told a whit about this (or about who really runs the government [the unelected bureaucrats that make up the rapidly expanding administrative state] or the economy [the federal reserve, which is neither federal nor a bank] or hardly anything else that's actually true about the world).
And that's by design. The map of the terrain the public, and increasingly private, education system teaches does not match the actual terrain of the real world. On purpose. But the Radical Leftist solutions will make the problem much, much worse. And that's what we'll get into in the next edition of Megan's Musings in a couple weeks.