One of the most important doctrines of our democracy, of any democracy, an important condition required for the successful functioning of our society, of any free society based on democracy, is providing universal public education to all. Educated citizens are required to adequately govern ourselves. We are best served when the general public has a solid foundation in academics, at least the basic fundamentals of reading, writing, arithmetic, the sciences, and certainly, critical reasoning skills. Critical thinking skills are essential to understanding and plowing through the mountains of information and propaganda thrown at us every moment.
It is a terrible thing to see our public school systems being targeted for destruction, in favor of private sourced corporate-provided market-based schooling. The volunteer program of core values offered to help struggling school systems to meet the needs of their pupils has been vilified by those who would destroy public schools so that their private academies run by corporations and religious groups can prosper.
Do we have issues in some schools? By all means. The urban inner-city schools struggle to stay above water as the challenge of educating kids from low income and single parent families who have little or no time for participating in education programs. We complain that the money spent on those kids is wasted when the scores come out poorly. Budgets are slashed as a result, plunging the system into a downward death spiral. The outcome is predictable. Rural schools suffer from a lack of resources, as well.
More budget cuts are made to public schools while at the same time funds are shifted to private schools, many run by religious and secular organizations that have their own agendas. Our taxes, which should be used for educating through public school systems, are diverted to those private, religious, for-profit organizations, many of which do not provide a proper education. Testing results of charter schools, and private schools do not justify the transfer of public funds to private businesses.
When our kids are taught that evolution is a fraud, that science is unproven, that global warming is fiction, that creationism is fact, then we are in deep trouble. WE ARE IN DEEP TROUBLE. When the general public is dumbed down to the lowest level of thinking skills, then those who would grab the power has the reins. For instance, check out the popularity of cable news programs which are not news at all, just fountains of gibberish, slanted opinion, and political hype. Most of Fox news is wrong, incorrect, or just plain lies. They are not alone.
As a prominent spokesperson of note recently said: “Facts no longer matter; Perception is all.” sadly he is correct.
May we have a moment of sorrowful inner weeping.