Do Marxists Influence Our Schools?
Q. I think of schools
as places where our children should be taught reading, writing and arithmetic, along
with the other traditional school subjects and citizenship and phys ed and so
forth. But primarily, schools are for academics, and helping our children read,
write and figure well. But I keep hearing that our schools are being
"radicalized" and that radical Marxist ideas are heavily influencing
educational policy. Is there anything to this?
don't exactly see educators marching around in red outfits with large posters
of Joseph Stalin or Mao Tse Tung. But through the philosophies espoused in the
curriculum in teachers' colleges, and
speeches and workshops given by consultants who couch their radical agenda in
nice-sounding rhetoric, yes, the face of American education is changing rapidly
into a Marxist face.
with the way there is absolutely no connection between the taxing power that
the government has to get revenues for schools, mostly from the "haves," and
the lack of any accountability by the public over those who are spending their
tax dollars. That matches the Marxist credo: "From each according to his
ability, to each according to his need."
say they are spending mostly on the "have nots." But the achievement gap
between rich and poor continues to spread wider and wider in our schools. And
the public doesn't have any way to force the educators to change their ways to
narrow that gap instead of continuing to spend money to widen it. So the
Marxist philosophies that took root in the 1960s and have come into full flower
now that the Marxists are at the top of the education profession are revealing
themselves to be very damaging to the very kids who need good schooling the
most: the disadvantaged.
these five additional points:
Universal Preschool. Government
nurseries are straight out of the former Soviet Union. There's a big push from
the leftist education establishment to get taxpayer-paid early childhood
education funded as an entitlement for all children, ages 0 to 5. This is
despite the clear evidence from three states that have the most government
preschool, Georgia, Tennessee and Oklahoma, that government preschool holds
kids back academically and behaviorally, especially the disadvantaged children
that it supposedly helps. There's also a mountain of evidence that any
advantages a poor child might get from attendance at Head Start, the
multi-billion dollar government preschool program now in place, completely
vanishes by third grade due to a "washout" effect - so Head Start is
technically a colossal waste of money. However, those pushing "government
nannies" aren't deterred. This appears to be "free" day care as a government
power grab to indoctrinate young children in the government's worldview,
instead of letting their own parents and families shape their views.
Marxist education ideologues such as Lev Vygotsky of the former USSR, Italian
communist Antonio Gramsci and Marxist Paulo Freire of Brazil all influenced the
anti-intellectual trends in education that have done the most damage to
cognitive development: Whole Language reading philosophies instead of phonics,
and "fuzzy math" instead of traditional math instruction. They got educators to
buy in to the notion that kids learn best if they get to "construct" their own
interpretations of the meaning of words, and their own methods of obtaining an
answer to a math problem. Even if the interpretation of the text, or the math
answer, are clearly wrong, it's OK, under constructivism, because the student
"owns" the "process," and correct answers don't matter.
Anti-American, Anti-Family Political Correctness. Marxists beat the drum constantly
for ending grouping in schools by ability, ending recognition of academic
achievement, and depicting the United States as a racist, militarist country
with nothing in its record to be proud of. They expunge words like "mother" and
"father" from social studies texts and push same-sex marriage and other
aberrations on students as if they were normal and acceptable. Under the guise
of teaching children about "social justice," these "learning" activities and
curricula also teach that capitalism is unfair and oppressive. This is why a
high school history textbook may contain 14 pages of text about World War II,
but it's all about "social justice" aspects of the war, without a word
mentioned of the 40 million people who died, much less depicting the USA as
being the good guys.
collection on students. The alarming computer databases being built on each
student that record everything from dental records to political activities
inside and outside school all are cross-linked with other databases in and out
of the government and educational establishments, and able to be accessed at
the microrecord level. This is disturbingly similar to the dang'an, or file,
that is kept on every citizen in communist China.
management. To undermine the role of the elected school board, the concept
of "driving authority down to the school level" became a fad in the 1990s and
has hung around. Site councils are usually committees of appointed parents and
teachers that are easily steered by teachers' union members who can out-muscle
and out-talk parents or others without a hidden agenda to control curriculum
and spending. That's why charter schools are dangerous: they are of no use in
the long run as long as union members or those with teaching certificates are
in the majority of the board of directors. Site councils, also known as "learning
communities," for an individual school all the way up to a citywide council are
nothing more than the old "soviets" - government by committee. It makes it very
hard for individual citizens to make their feelings known or for citizens'
groups to have any input into curriculum and spending decisions.
Homework: Radicalism has been
shown repeatedly to FAIL to help students gain better academic achievement. Barack
Obama and former Weatherman murderous terrorist Bill Ayers, now a Chicago
education professor, were involved with the $150 million Chicago Annenberg
Challenge. Obama was chairman of the board, and Ayers wrote the original grant.
But the final report admits that all that money did nothing to help low-income
students. It was all about building political capital for Obama by giving the
money to "community organizations" with oftentimes radical agendas, not
academic ones. But there was no help for student outcomes. See p. 1 of the