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Defenders of US Public Schools Call on Biden to Ditch Trump's Disastrous Education Policies—and Obama's Too

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/24/defenders-us-public-schools-call-biden-ditch-trumps-disastrous-education-policies


Biden could put emphasis on getting more people of color to become teachers.
Until there is some parity among public schools the elite will keep trying to segregate.


Progressives are going to have to accept we do not have a Supreme Court that will be onboard with this:

Reject efforts to privatize public schools, whether those efforts be via vouchers or charter schools.

If you look at the Court’s litigation trajectory, it’s toward broader taxpayer funding for private schools.


I have no problem with tearing down all of the ghetto schools and have ALL students attend private, federally funded schools instead.

Sadly, public education was attacked from the right by both political parties, beginning with Bush II, continuing through Obama, and ending with the pro-voucher views of Betsy DeVos. GWB pushed for No Child Left Behind (No School Left Standing!) with its high-stakes testing, punishment for schools that were failing, and teach-to-the-test pedagogy. Obama made a few cosmetic changes to that program, but largely clung to its basics. Both of them insisted the capitalist model of competition would result in better schools, competition weeding out the worst. Scores on tests were equivalent to dollars earned in commerce–schools that got high scores received perks, while those that did not were made to jump through all sorts of hoops (if not closed). Both Bush and Obama believed charter schools would heighten competition–which they did not. Trump wished to destroy public schools in another way: defund them by giving money to private and parochial schools. Here, at least DeVos, was unsuccessful in her campaign–thank the deity.

These attacks on education from the right have failed. Scores have not improved at all–kids hate school because of a curriculum unsuitable for all students, teaching methods that emphasize drill-and-practice, and increased requirements that make it impossible for students to work on what interests them.

If Biden picks Rahm Emanuel for his Education Secretary (as Obama did), then we can expect more of this misguided practice. Odd how all three presidents–Bush, Obama, and Trump–spent no time in the public schools, yet feel confident they can manage them, though politicians often venture into realms they have never explored themselves.


Since the Vietnam protests there has been an effort to dumb down if not starve our public schools. This is another conservative victory and tragedy. It is one of the reasons Trump has so many followers.

This battle is part of a greater misguided war on socialism. Without socialism there would be no polio vaccine, no public schools, no roads, no clean water or sewage treatment plants, no fire or police protection. Every nation on this planet has a unique blend of capitalism and socialism. Completely free markets are unstable will always end with a few winners and millions of losers. Anyone who has ever played the board game Monopoly should have learned this.

Yet ALL Republicans, with libertarian leanings, wants to privatize everything, prisons, roads, schools, everything where they can enjoy a monopoly. Its truly disgusting, crony capitalism.


Yes bay, you hit it: what politician would want intelligent
third graders seeing through their lies and sowing death and
destruction throughout the world for their future?


Require all children in this country to go to public schools. Then the rich will fix them.


Yes. This is the solution. Brilliance may emerge from any student this way. Thus doors may open for smart poor kids as well as for smart rich kids.


Capitalism counts on an ignorant electorate. So don’t go expecting too much from Biden in the way of significant reform. Although, it may be interesting as his wife is an educator to see how much influence she might have. At the same time I’m sure Biden realizes in that thick skull of his that had there been an intelligent electorate, Bernie would have been or be prez.

And, after Devos, someone who is incredibly more ignorant than drumpf himself, how could Biden not pick someone who looks like a genius as education secretary. But, he could still blunder, as Biden too often mistakes, confuses, and places his goals (political benefits) ahead of objectives.


Finland has a great model. no homework and excellent results. no teaching to the test. teaching is developed around the specific student by well trained teachers.


First we have to get some politicians that the rich haven’t bought, then hundreds of bills and amendments can be passed.


Less than 20 percent of teachers are minorities nationwide, compared with more than half of students. In fact, the teacher diversity gap is “larger than expected based on racial differences in bachelor’s degree attainment alone,” according to a 2017 Brookings Institution report on teacher diversity and educational attainment

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Too many Citizens think public education is nothing more than day care to over paid baby-sitters.

The abuse that teachers go through - underpaid, under-supported by unions, expected to be social workers, counselors, AND get students to participate despite almost no consequences for said lack of participation…

And to add insult to injury, they constantly have to go through hoop jumping to PROVE that they can in fact be educators. What other industry makes professionals jump through hoops like this every couple of years? Lawyers? Doctors? Dentists? Nope. NADA.

It’s the “anti-socialist” pathos at work, I’m sure of it. Just like the USPS, public schools are obviously socialist endeavors and must be by nature Evil-Incarnate.

DeVos is the logical result. Biden will take us back to Race To The Top or some other absurdity.


Progressives don’t have to accept that or anything else, as there are things that could be done about the Supreme Court as well, even if that were true. Biden could do a lot with executive orders, but he won’t, because the Democrats nominated possibly the worst person imaginable at this moment in time. We will have to deal with the fact that your party’s nominee isn’t going to do much of anything to change a fundamentally broken system, and neither will most of your party and all of the other party. We will all have to all accept things continuing to get progressively worse. If Biden governs as we think he will, we also have to prepare for the blowback too. I expect no positive and sustainable change for the better any time soon and will increasingly turn my attention to changes outside of this political system. I think Biden will be particularly disastrous for down ballot races in 2022 if he governs as we think he will. But, if people on the left want to make the Democrats a little less worthless, I will support them if I can. Is what it is. As you said before, if I am wrong about this, I will gladly admit it.


Reed Hastings, one of the founders of Netflix, is one of the earliest proponent, along with Bill Gates, of charter schools. He is currently building a secretive Colorado luxury retreat for training school teachers in education “policy.” Like Netflix avoiding Writer’s Guild minimums by being a “tech” company, not a studio, Hasting’s main target is destroying teachers’ unions. When you see billionaires talking about “education reform,” it means crushing the public school system and creating large, tech-based school systems unbound by local and state boundaries.

Betsy DeVos was simply expanding programs started by Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, a big supporter of charter schools. Why does half the “bad” policy blamed on Trump always lead back to a foundation built by the Obama administration?


Thanks for the helpful information.
Probably the best part of this site at CD.


Okay. What do you propose? There is not going to be a Senate majority large enough to change the make up of the Court, even if Democrats get a majority. And, of course, the Court plus a Republican Senate is going to limit what Biden can do as well. The Court effectively amends the Constitution—we don’t call it that—with every ruling interpreting its provisions. Should Biden just ignore the Court? Is that a precedent you feel is worth setting?

There are three branches of government, and Republicans are likely to control 1/2 of one and all of another. That’s just reality.

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Wonderful ideas.

We are going to hit a lot of resistance on this.

I worked at an Obama-awarded university during the latter parts of his administration. Supervision of instructors was draconian, structured like corporate information services, with lower-level supervisors overseen by higher-level supervisors to assure conformity.

Rubrics were logically broken, with a couple exceptions. Lower-level supervisors encouraged me to publish my observations thereon, “but meanwhile, we have to use the rubric.” Supervisors insisted that buzzwords from the rubrics be used in grading reviews, and that comments involving probing of topics or of critical thinking be omitted. “You can be creative in class discussions,” they said.

The neoliberal cum neoconservative elements in both parties are dead set against any independent thought in this. Their idea of “thinking outside the box” means finding solutions for the problem that you are instructed to solve, and solutions that will satisfy the company, not the student. Libertarian-leaning Republicans have other difficulties, since they tend to imagine that education can be commodified without distortion and that endless debt does not amount to coercion.

There is a lot of support for genuine education, but very little in public life. It is not just the courts that are not in favor, but the executive and the legislature as well.


Anyone’s better than phony piece of right wing crap Betsy F-cked Up Devos!

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