Saturday, May 11, 2019

May 11, 2019

MY CORNER  by Boyd Cathey

DO AWAY WITH PUBLIC SCHOOLS  They Are Destroying Our Children and Our Civilization


That’s right: Disestablish our public school system, sell or lease the public school facilities to various independent associations (e.g., family groups, churches, corporations, etc.), and use the tax monies as vouchers for parents for their school age children so they may go where parents judge best.

It’s time, it’s right, and it’s necessary if the nation and our state survive.

Back on Wednesday, May 1, thirty-four public school systems in North Carolina closed for a day in the middle of the week so that teachers and support staff could travel to the state capital Raleigh to engage in an organized mass demonstration titled “Red 4 Ed.” The rally was organized by the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE)—and the object was to demand that state legislators give them large salary raises and additional benefits for their work in and out of the classroom. Dressed out in red T-shirts with a Marxist-style clenched fist emblazoned on the front, participants partially surrounded the State Legislative building and screamed out their demands. Some demonstrators at this “non-partisan” rally held signs demanding Medicaid expansion (a hot political issue in the state General Assembly) and, of course, “gun control” (e.g., “more funds, less [sic!] guns” a sign read—hopefully, this placard was not created by an English teacher!!). And anti-Trump sentiment was also present, if mostly just below the surface.

Raleigh Police estimated that “fewer than 19,000” attended the May 1 rally, fewer than the rally held last year on May 1. Yet, the loquacious leftwing Mark Jewell, President of the NCAE, estimated the total at 30,000, going so far as to tweet out a highly doctored photograph attempting to prove his assertion; when called on it by others and by other photographers, Jewell conveniently deleted  his post [“How big was the teacher’s rally? NC education leader posted an altered crowd photo,” The News & Observer, May 2, 2019:

Among the speakers at the rally was the irrepressible black extremist and radical social justice advocate the Reverend William Barber who...

Interestingly, the average salary (as of March 2019) for a public school teacher in North Carolina comes in at $53,975, [] and the General Assembly is proposing the restoration of extra pay for advanced degrees and pay raises ranging from 1 percent or $500 for school support staff to 4.6 percent for teachers, 6.3 percent for assistant principals and 10 percent for principals. The Republican-sponsored budget would bring teacher pay to $55,600 by 2020.  Such figures are actually higher than what the average North Carolina makes per year: $52,752 (by 2017 figures, Thus, teachers currently average $1,223 more per annum than the average Tar Heel makes.

Yet this is not seen as anywhere nearly sufficient by the unionized NCAE which is joined at the hip to the state Democratic Party. The NCAE is demanding a $15 minimum wage for school support staff, a five percent raise for all school employees and a five percent cost of living adjustment for retirees; Medicaid expansion statewide; and the hiring of “thousands of additional staff psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other health professionals” to meet the “national standard.” In fact, this effort was little more than politics at its worse: using teachers as pawns in a larger battle against the Republican legislature. No doubt, if the GOP General Assembly were to raise all salaries by $10,000, there would still be rancorous complaints from the NCAE and its minions.

One friend, a retired educator and college professor, remarked that given the state of public education in North Carolina, were our public school system a private business, probably half of those teachers would be terminated for ineptitude and inability to perform their jobs. Of course, there are many dedicated public school teachers who deserve our appreciation and support—but could they not do even better if not weighed down by excess bureaucracy and unqualified fellow personnel?

That comment is no exaggeration when you consider the relative success of the operation of charter schools in the state (cf., Lindsay Marchello, “A Public Decision: School Choice has a Long History in North Carolina,” Carolina Journal, May 2019, pp. 1 et seq.). The Raleigh Charter High School, for example, ranks as one of the top high schools in the United States, and it achieves that without an expensive sports program, without a cafeteria serving three meals a day, without an auditorium, and without all the additional “support staff” deemed so necessary by public educators.

Our public school system has increasingly become not so much a vehicle for educating our children as rather a massive Petri dish in which to incubate future social and cultural revolutionaries who are “woke” to the perceived “crises” in the environment, to the “racism” inherent in our history and societal structures, to the misogyny and “toxic masculinity” which has oppressed women (and increasingly the LGBTQ community), and to the absolute imperative to “overthrow” the institutionalized “prejudice” and “inequality” that characterize our society and our republic.

Thus, any opposition to such demonstrations as we saw on May 1, even the slightest demurrer or questioning of the basic premises of such manifestations and demands is met with shrieking accusations—the same ones we are now accustomed to hear about on so many other issues—about race, gender, prejudice, equality and “right-wing extremism.”

Here, for example, is long-time Democrat strategist and former special assistant to Democrat Governor Jim Hunt, Gary Pearce, making those accusations:

…why the anti-teacher, anti-public-school rhetoric and action? There are five reasons: race, religion, ideology, politics and – as is so often the case in politics – money….Under Trump, the Republican Party is dominated by a rural, high-school-educated whites. Hostility to “race-mixing” still runs strong….Sometimes this is camouflage for race, and sometimes its sincere conviction. The Supreme Court not only struck down school segregation, it “took God and prayer out of the schools….The Republican Party today holds to a rigid right-wing ideology that is rabidly anti-government….The rise of anti-public-school politics coincides with the rise of an ultra-wealthy, ultra-reactionary oligarchy…who have deployed their wealth to shape politics, dictate policy and reshape society in a way that serves their own selfish interests at the expense of most Americans. []

The message is clear: if you in any way oppose the full demands of the educational establishment--the REAL oligarchy--and the Democratic Party you must be a racist, a bigot, an intolerant Christian fanatic, or somehow connected to “ultra-reactionary, ultra-wealthy oligarchs”—and one of those [poorly] “rural, high-school-educated whites”!  (Notice the ill-concealed condescension.)

And you should just shut up.  Got that? 

Fascinating: back in 1981 it was a critical phone call by Pearce that assisted me in getting a full time position (initially pretty low paying, but it was still a job) with the Department of Cultural Resources. But in 1981, it seems, Pearce had not “evolved” into the raving social justice fanatic he apparently now is, and the old Democrat Party still had room for folks with traditional ideas about merit over race and gender.

So, yes, our legislature—and legislatures around the country—must continue the process of disestablishment: more charter schools, more support for homeschoolers, more voucher programs, with a final goal that our public school system—which is now serving as a vehicle for ideological and cultural indoctrination—be dismantled. Let newly-formed associations of parents, corporations (why not Duke Power, Red Hat, etc), church organizations, and others assume control of buildings and use them; why not take the tax monies collected and disperse them accordingly? Would not this be real school choice? And, if in some few cases, perhaps in some poorer counties, this would work less well, then certainly there would be no time limit in this process of disestablishment.

In the long run our students—our children—will be far better off, better educated, and better prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century. And the ideological incubation so prevalent today would, hopefully in large part, subside.

One of my favorite columnists is “The Dissident Mama,” and she has written extensively on education and our schools. Here is one of her excellent recent columns:

Public schools are killing our kids

Yes, you heard me right, folks. Certain death isn’t guaranteed, but the progressive path on which they’re led most definitely leads to undue suffering. It’s killing our youth mentally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically, and it’s killing their futures.
Yet, you have North Carolina “teachers” ditching their responsibilities last week to march in Raleigh to “demand respect.” Demand more funding for salaries, social workers, and Medicaid. Demand more and more, despite their lacking merit, despite their poisonous pedagogy, and despite the outlandish student outcomes, both academic and social.

The chants were telling: “Hey, hey, ho, ho! Defunding schools has got to go!” “Funds not guns.” “Down with vouchers.” Wow, so original.
Me First
“Education is a right! This is why we’ve got to fight!” was an appropriate slogan for an event taking place on May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day. Just create fictional “rights” and then demand subsidization. Huh, no wonder one of their branding efforts was “Red For Ed.”
Just like the 19th-century holiday that is celebrated every May 1st in communist countries the world over, the march should have really been called Me First. And just like MeToo, this malevolent movement doesn’t give a damn about facts, but by God are they willing to use emotion and slight of hand to benefit themselves. To hell with the collateral damage.
Like all good extortionists, these petulant protesters have a list of list of demands and they act as if they’re holding children hostage. Make no mistake: these aren’t “everyday angels among us,” as public-ed fanatics entreat in teary-eyed pronouncements.

Rather, teachers are opportunists whose business is “a jobs project and an agency for letting contracts,” said the late John Taylor Gatto, influential public-school critic and two-time New York State teacher of the year.
The air of sanctimony surrounding “teaching” knows no bounds.
“We are not skipping school when we teach the Golden Rule!” was another chant. Curious that the marchers would equate “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” with increased theft and the perpetuation of a deadly system.
Leftist Gov. Roy Cooper said teachers are “the first line of defense for crises big and small.” The ironic thing is that it’s through this monopolistic miseducation that so many crises are born.
Crisis creators
Activist teachers plant the poisonous seeds and water the rotten fruit, then wonder why students aren’t growing into functioning young adults. The schools are incubators for secular-humanism, and then the teaching establishment wonders why there’s an epidemic of drugs and suicide among youth.
The educrats foster the very ideologies that increase moral hazards and high-time preference, and then self-righteously demand money for mental counseling and medical care to fix the damage they themselves created.
Maybe students wouldn’t need so much “access” to psychologists if government schools were places of true learning, and not a “putrid Petri dish of social engineering,” the history of which I wrote about last spring (see inset).
Curiously, parents will gather at a school bus stop located within a stone’s throw from their house, sitting in their cars, shining headlights onto the children, sipping coffee in their pajamas or work clothes, while keeping an eye on the kiddos till the big yellow day-care vehicle arrives.
Public schooling “kills the family by monopolizing the best times of childhood and by teaching disrespect for home and parents.” — John Taylor Gatto
Some parents insist on overseeing their sons and daughters in their own neighborhood amongst their own neighbors, but then allow these young impressionable minds to be handed over to government employees – mere strangers whose job is to indoctrinate for 6-8 hours per day for approximately 180 days per year.
And being that most teachers are still female, it should be no wonder why schools are just brimming with leftist pet projects. As Christopher DeGroot explains, “research confirms what people have long observed: that women (on average) are more egalitarian … and more supportive of the welfare state than men. They are also higher (on average) in conformityless open to ideas, and value consensus.”

So, women support the unsustainable ideology of wide open borders way more than do their male counterparts, and then demand more money to deal with overcrowded schools. Leftist Logic 101.
Conservative Mom and traditionalist Dad’s social rules are out. Cultural Marxist schemes are in. These include the hyper-sexualization of children, and not just sex that can produce babies (which are considered disposable by all the cool kids and their progressive mentors), but deviant sex.
It’s the queering of youth, and students are told they can identify as boy or a girl or no gender at all. It’s fluid, they say. It’s about breaking down antiquated social constructs, they say. It’s about freedom, they say. The lies become normalized.
“Lucky is the man who does not secretly believe that every possibility is open to him.” — Walker Percy

It’s really a kind of bondage of immediacy, with no basis in reality or science or nature, and certainly with no worry of consequences. Gone are the days of deterring against fleeting fancies of the flesh or encouraging self-control. All this nihilistic permissiveness is leading kids to destroy themselves physically (through abortions, STDs, hormone-replacement therapy, and sometimes sex-reassignment surgery and other medical procedures like mastectomies for teenage girls).
Meanwhile, gender has never been more heightened. Boys who want to remain boys are constantly emasculated and told they’re toxic. They’re misdiagnosed with ADHD, and subsequently pumped full of psychotropic drugs to “cure” them of their God-given traits. It’s by design that the powers that be want to quell the rambunctious, inquisitive, driven, and sometimes defiant-to-the-status-quo nature of boys.
Conversely, girls are praised specifically for their private parts and for succeeding in a feminized miseducational system. Let’s all revel in the empowerment, y’all.
I guess the future may indeed be female if it’s run by anti-male feminists who insist on drugging young men in order to increase compliance and decrease their competition. Sadly, this is what passes for “evening the playing field” in 2019.
Diversity is our downfall
Similarly, students are told that diversity is our strength, while “people of color” are contemporaneously urged to identify themselves solely through victimhood. They become hostile to free expression, hostile to logic, and hostile to white males, who they blame for every ill of life. Personal responsibility and self-reflection are no longer required.
“There can be no true education without moral culture, and no true moral culture without Christianity.” — Robert Lewis Dabney
It’s how we get to the point of teachers falling all over themselves in order to ally with Muslim kids during Ramadan. Secularizing Christianity out of existence is part of the plan.
And so goes the spiritual killing of a generation. Silence Christian prayer, ban biblical teaching, nary a word about this fellow named Jesus. Equality is your God, kiddos, because the archetype must be made extinct.

“Egalitarianism leads inevitably to the government-sponsored equivalence of truth and error,” writes Dr. Boyd Cathey of the dangers of critical-race theory being peddled within American miseducation” at all levels. Rainbow flags are the new religious symbol, and ally clubs and safe spaces are church.

An oxymoronic existence
The system concurrently teaches children to be self-centered yet self-loathing. Mistrustful of intimacy yet sex-obsessed. Resistant to parental attention but yearning for familial love and kinship.
It ingrains in students an air of moral superiority, but is in no way based in moral truths. It proffers environmentalism while denying biology and nature. It touts a faux liberty while promoting tyranny,
The products of public schooling are peer-dependent radical individualists who loathe solitude. They’re pitiless social-justice warriors and brutal socialists who are simultaneously delicate flowers.
They’re dehumanized humanists. They’re a mess of frustrated feminists and desensitized dudes, drowning in a collective of dichotomies which are divorced from reality.
They’re a population perpetually monitored and micro-managed so they view privacy and self-determination as illegitimate. Oddly, they’re an utterly unsocial generation (and by “social,” I’m talking about face-to-face contact and communication, not social media) and one steeped in what Gatto calls “provisional self-esteem.”
It’s a perception of self-worth that can only be attained through the approval of others, most notably that of the “experts.” Thus, feelings of inadequacy result. It’s all such an utterly confusing and contradictory existence which kills a young person’s mental and physical health, but more school psychologists and condoms should do the trick.
Ritalin for all!
“Rich or poor, schoolchildren who face the 21st century cannot concentrate on anything for very long,” Gatto stated. “They have a poor sense of time past and time to come … (and) are addicted to distraction.”
“Young people are indifferent to the adult world and to the future, indifferent to almost everything except the diversion of toys and violence,” he continued.
They’re so frantic about pretend identities and obsessed with materialism that young people (hell, most Americans) are clueless about what can really ground them: family, faith, and community. And the diminishment of these pillars of civilization is undergirded by the centralization of schooling and its professionalized teachers.
“Is it any wonder Socrates was outraged at the accusation that he took money to teach?” asked Gatto. Even in ancient times, “philosophers saw clearly the inevitable direction the professionalization of teaching would take, preempting the teaching function, which belongs to everyone in a healthy community.”
Yet, Newsweek declares that it is teachers who are “in charge of our future minds.” Astounding that some parents will not only endure but celebrate oligarchs who want to belittle and replace them.
The educrats want students to be rootless, hopeless, and disoriented, so that they’ll remain loyal consumers of both the corporate and governmental systems. With easily pliable youth, statism is ensured, and student dysfunctions and apathy will in turn be the consistent cash-cow needed for growing the empire and lining the pockets of “public servants.”
Tyranny of the now
Students aren’t being given the tools to survive the real world, much less challenge the powers who want to manipulate and control them. They exude what C.S. Lewis called “temporal chauvinism,” an egoist fantasy that posits moderns as perfect, and the past as uninteresting due to its dimwits and racists.
They’re taught that Western heritage is hate. It’s a steady diet of negativity, with no nuance, no context, no appreciation for true human progress, and no thankfulness for ingenuity, sacrifices made, or lessons learned.
No wonder despite the myriad of identities from which a modern youth can choose (or the “intersectionality” of a few), kids today are condemned to a crisis of identity. This is why students so often cling to post-modern tribes that have no real value or tangible worth and will eventually kill a human’s very essence.
As long as little Johnny (who now identifies as Janie) pledges allegiance to globo-homo citizenry, who cares? Hulu and hip hop, Apple and the Avengers, Androids and activism, Netflix and the NFL, soy-milk lattes and LBGTQIA, carbon credits and coexist, porn and progressive politics, veganism and video games – anything to deaden his humanity will work.
Today’s youth are passive guinea pigs who think they’re so woke, yet “those kids will be no threat to the state apparatus … (and) they’ll fasten the chains to their own ankles,” as Lew Rockwell once astutely remarked. But they’re already in shackles.
Some of them realize it, which in turn leads to violence and hostility. This abomination of desolation can even lead to physical death via suicide or gun-free-zone shootings.
As the great G.K. Chesterton once opined, education is supposed to be “simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.” But instead, public schools are killing young souls and consequently killing society.
“The State did not own men so entirely, even when it could send them to the stake, as it sometimes does now where it can send them to the elementary school.” — G.K. Chesterton

Personal secession from the leftist indoctrination centers has never been more important. And by the way, anyone can homeschool. Anyone. It just takes sacrifice of material goods and time that, unfortunately, many Americans aren’t willing to do without. It has nothing to do with privilege; it has to do with priorities.
Now, in the teachers’ defense, they do seem to get what they want (like an average teacher salary of$51,214) whenever they make a dramatic fuss, so you can’t really blame the professional propagandists for pushing the “It’s for children” racket. This is how they get away with demanding even more from tax payers for what they call a “livable wage.”

I say it is government schools that are not livable. It is citizens concerned with the health of our kids’ minds, bodies, and souls who should be the ones marching in the streets. We should be mad as hell and shouting from the highest rooftops “NO!” to the establishment’s demands.
Instead of writing articles about how “disadvantaged” students lose when schools are closed due to protest, we should encourage teachers to skip school every day and break our children free from this mythical hostage situation. Let’s stop being such dupes.

And instead of falling all over ourselves to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, why not take this opportunity to ask educrats why public schools are killing our kids? Don’t let the do-gooders filibuster because this really is a matter of life and death. Everyone’s future truly depends upon it.

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