Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers union, spoke Thursday in Washington, D.C. about her opposition to the Trump administration and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. In the process, Weingarten, who was front and center as a supporter of Hillary Clinton, decided it would be a good idea to compare the concept of private school vouchers to racial segregation.
Weingarten’s speech was focused on school choice reforms, a conservative approach to the public school disaster that has long been endorsed by DeVos and many other Republicans. She told attendees that vouchers and other forms of tuition tax credits amounted to “slightly more polite cousins of segregation.” This is, of course, not a radical thing to suggest in liberal education circles, despite the fact that study after study has concluded that one does not lead to the other. But in a desperate attempt to make sure that failing schools never actually get fixed by anything other than government expansion, the left (and teachers’ unions, especially) will use any argument necessary to guide us away from the cold, hard facts.
But to people like Weingarten, the game is to make the conservatives look like the kooks. So she naturally compared DeVos to a climate change denier, which is of course among the WORST things you can be from a liberal perspective. She said that DeVos needed to recognize “the good in our public schools and their foundational place in our democracy,” which is an idea we’d love to hear her expound upon using something more than platitudes. Oh, and without admitting that the increasing purpose of public schools is to pump the taxpayers dry and send all American children on an assembly line through the left’s indoctrination theories.
But on this last point, the game is, once again, to make it look like the OTHER side is guilty of what YOU are doing. To wit, Weingarten said that private and charter schools would be able to use taxpayer money to “hide a dangerous ideological agenda.” Not at all like the benign, appropriate ideological agenda being thrust upon today’s children, which includes demonizing Christopher Columbus, the Founding Fathers, and virtually anyone in history who did not magically conform to 2017’s norms and values. God, that Thomas Jefferson! Such a transphobe!
But you don’t have to loathe the “public school system” as a whole to believe that parents should have the option of yanking their students out of a terrible school. Is that not the very essence of freedom? Why do so many Democrat-voting parents think they should be told, without any meaningful consent, that their children must continue to suffer a terrible education? Well, it’s because you have powerful unions supporting powerful politicians who produce powerful propaganda to keep Americans enslaved to a broken system.
We have a terrific opportunity right now to at least start trying a different way. But it will only work if we stand behind this administration and against some of the anti-democratic forces that have stolen liberty out from under us.