Meet our demands or the children won't learn, say teachers' union bosses.
It could be a good thing. Never has the union been more exposed for having so little concern for educating children.
In this turbulent year of disease and political turmoil, the planets have aligned against the left-wing educational monopoly controlled by a union and its regional affiliates. If advocates of school reform seize the moment, they can fundamentally change K-12 and higher education.
Keeping children in traditional attendance centers protects the old one-size-fits-all establishment classroom model. Even worse, it protects the union's practice of influencing young minds with progressive ideologies hostile to Western civilization and Judeo-Christian values.
The political emphasis of modern public education probably explains why more than 50% of public school children cannot read, write, add or subtract at grade level. Among minority demographics, the percentage of underperformance rises as high as 75%.
"America's fourth and eighth graders are losing ground in their ability to read literature and academic texts, according to a rigorous national assessment released Wednesday," reported the New York Times in October.
"Two out of three children did not meet the standards for reading proficiency set by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a test administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the Education Department."
More than 3,500 high schools and most universities teach American history with a New York Times essay, known as the 1619 Project, which deliberately misrepresents the founding of the U.S. to promote a left-wing, anti-American ideology. It has young adults turning against their families, communities, religious institutions, law enforcement and the country.
None of this needs to continue. Consider the planetary alignment:
— The coronavirus pandemic shuttered traditional learning environments long enough for students and their families to discover alternatives, such as virtual learning and homeschooling at all grade levels including college.
— Violent civil unrest has alerted average Americans to the effects of anti-American sentiment taught at universities and in K-12 schools (i.e., the 1619 Project).
— The Supreme Court's June 30 ruling in Espinoza v. Montana neuters state laws that protect the teacher union's monopoly. The ruling opens a rich market of sectarian private schools to low-income children by allowing public funds to assist with tuition.
— The pandemic-era teachers union meltdown, in which union bosses — to the detriment of students, teachers, and working families — refuse to open schools unless society succumbs to extreme demands.
A classic example of the final bullet point comes from the United Teachers Los Angeles, which won't reopen schools unless California closes public charter schools; defunds police; offers Medicare for All; imposes a state wealth tax; fully funds housing for the homeless; agrees to "financial Support for Undocumented Students and Families"; and more. Similar demands will emerge throughout the country.
This dramatic moment creates the perfect environment for average Americans — for people who love this country and care about their children — to run for public office on promises to expand educational freedom for children of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It should start at the local school board level, with candidates running to represent the children with promises of new charter schools and programs to assist with the cost of tuition at all accredited private schools.
Where public schools don't open, held hostage to unions, school choice becomes a necessity for parents and the majority of teachers who care much about children and little about radical union political agendas. Parents must find schools the union does not control if their children are going to learn. So must teachers, if they are going to teach.
The pandemic and street revolution have changed the educational environment. Advocates of children cannot waste time in working to change the course of the future by rescuing students from the clutches of doctrinaire union leaders.
REPRINTED FROM THE COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE
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