I blogged about One Nation and that caught the attention of people who feared that what I wrote was true. They had never seen it put so clearly. The destruction of our basic educational system, mostly in elementary education, will end a cohesive nation and, many think, the American Dream. It is already happening in many states. America, as we know her, cannot be based on dozens of different cultural, religious and language differences. If every child does not receive the same curriculum and essential skills, if they are used by cults and nuts to further their religious and ideological interests, then America blows apart. I wrote about this in Vital Lies: The Irrelevance of our Schools in the Information Age. Readers all over the planet are using Vital Lies as a format for dialogue about what our education is, how it got this way, and what needs to be done to evolve public education so it works for 21st Century kids and educators.
The power of those who want to destroy a cohesive America was demonstrated in Wisconsin when the forces of Koch and creatures like them were able to skew and divide a complete state and severely damage its economic and educational systems. These same destructive forces are in place in AZ, FL, and at least 10 other states. Understanding what was done to Wisconsin led to an understanding of the way Koch-forces are working. One of their major ways to destruct public education and gain control of our education tax dollars is via the school choice movements. Guys like Jeb Bush, Klein, Rhee, Rupert Murdoch, many state governors, legislators, and even Billy Gates are part of, or are being used by, those who are set on destroying America’s middle class and public, comprehensive, interdisciplinary, fact-based education. Many political leaders put in place during the Bush administration, or by the Tea Party, are knowingly part of this destruction and take-over. Some are just dupes.
The result of what is happening is the seeming (pretend) support of Charter Schools, vouchers, On-Line schools, and Virtual Schools. Many dedicated and well-meaning educators are tricked into believing that they are creating better educational programs – and many are. But the awful truth is that they will be decapitated and taken over by corporate forces run by the minions of the Koch Bros and other profit-driven, greed driven, fanatics who want to destroy the America we believe in. They have already succeeded in weakening it. They are taking control of our economic systems. By destroying labor rights, and quality education they can exploit Americans and become dictators.
The lesson from Wisconsin requires educators to change direction. Many good people who believe they can help kids by putting their energy and ideas into practice have turned to the school choice movement as a solution to educational problems. They do not know that they are being set-up to serve corporate masters; that these movements are being used by corporations to access public tax dollars and destroy or bypass our public schools that have elected boards and legitimate financing. Right now, there are no movements to protect educational leaders from the monsters hiding behind corporate veils.
What will work, is that we make certain that no experiment or new educational program skips over the Americanization and socialization of children in a fact-based (not fact-adverse) universal system. That system must be based on the essential skills in at least 10 disciplines and a solid curriculum. If those things are lacking in any educational program, the program must be closed down. We cannot let experiments, regardless of how well intentioned, be the lubrication for the wedge of destruction of One America. If those essentials are in place in every program, the control of these billionaires and fanatics will fail.