Are Public Schools A Propaganda Arm Of Liberals?

Before we direct our attention to the question of whether the public schools are a propaganda arm for liberals we need to first lay some groundwork. This groundwork helps us understand what is truly going on in our schools. In Massachusetts, in April 1998, "close to 60% of aspiring teachers flunked the state's certification exam."1

In July 1997, "a school district in Suffolk County, N.Y., gave teaching applicants an 11th-grade reading test. Three-quarters of them flunked the test. Similar results are reported from other parts of New York and the nation. One-third of the applicants in Virginia flunked a basic-skills test."2

The schools that train our teachers are known to be "underperforming." To illustrate, "fewer than 70 percent of graduates [of our schools of education] meet state licensing requirements....Sandra Feldman, the [former] president of the American Federation of Teachers...acknowledges that the quality of teachers isn't high enough."3

Emily Feistritzer, an expert on teacher training at the National Center for Education Information, noted the "dismal reputation of these schools [i.e., schools of education]."4

From Phi Delta Kappan: "It's true that, in years past, the shortcomings of academic teacher education were demonstrably scandalous."5

"[C]ritics have lamented the intellectual emptiness of the curriculum at ed schools....A recent survey of teachers about their graduate-school training drew comments like 'the shabbiest psychobabble imaginable' and 'an abject waste of time.'"6

According to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education: "Like unruly schoolchildren, the teacher-education programs at many colleges have been labeled as underachievers and allowed to slide by with poor grades....For too long, the colleges of education have been cash cows--with big classes and little quality control."7

"[G]raduate schools of education...remain at the bottom of academia's pecking order. As Prof. John Goodlad, director of the Center for Educational Renewal at the U of Washington, puts it: 'The only enterprise with lower status than teaching is the enterprise of teacher education.'"8

One statistical study showed that those intending to major in education had comparatively low ACT scores and high school grade-point averages. "Overall, these findings suggest that the more academically able students are not being attracted to teaching."9 Another study found that "most schoolteachers are recruited from the bottom third of college-bound high-school students."10

Given the fact that many teachers are not exactly academic standouts, should we be surprised to find that "many teachers and principals are 'tepid' about 'the value of advanced learning and study,' according to a report...by the Public Agenda organization....'Far from being strong advocates for high-level learning in their own fields, [they] seem to downplay the importance of the very subjects they teach.'...[There is an attitude of] prevailing anti-intellectualism" among many teachers and principals.11

"The new ideology [taking over public schools] is heavily anti-achievement...[and] sometimes actively hostile to brighter students because excelling is regarded as elitist, illiberal, and anti-democratic."12

More: "Jerry Rubin once said, 'Our generation is in rebellion against abstract intellectualism and critical thinking.' The goal was to dissolve traditional culture and its rational values. These attitudes now tend to dominate the [average college] campus."13

"Upon such an intellectually and morally barren landscape, how can colleges be anything other than what they have become--not a place where the discipline of mind and soul opens the door to great human promise and actualization, but to a dehumanizing place where children see themselves as being liberated from the constraints of a civil society?"14

To illustrate just how far off the deep end, just how corrupt, many of our colleges and universities are, let's consider the case of law professor(!) Catharine A. MacKinnon. In her writings she seems obsessed with demonizing men and making women the victims of male aggression. For MacKinnon, consensual heterosexual sex is basically rape. Her words: "for women it is difficult to distinguish the two."15

MacKinnon has co-authored two books with radical feminist Andrea Dworkin. This is a woman who has been a victim of sexual abuse, married a man who battered her repeatedly, and has obviously been traumatized by her bad experiences with men. She is so anti-man that she has described consensual heterosexual sex as "the pure, sterile, formal expression of men's contempt for women."16 MacKinnon and Dworkin, based on their anti-man rantings, are probably mentally disturbed, filled with an irrational fear (phobia) of the opposite (hetero) sex.

Professor MacKinnon is being allowed (and paid!) to teach her heterophobia to impressionable co-eds who undoubtedly are having many negative experiences with immature college males and are therefore fertile ground for anti-man propaganda. What an education they are getting!

If MacKinnon was the only one teaching such pathology things wouldn't be so bad, but there are plenty of other radically feminist teachers spreading virulent anti-man propaganda in colleges and universities. And that is occuring at the same time these "schools" are strongly promoting the acceptance of homosexuality. It almost seems as if these "schools" are being run by psychologically ill people who want to lead students into homosexuality by spreading heterophobia. So many college and university presidents deserve to be fired. It would be difficult to count them all.

Some professors have unusual views about mothering. At the University of Texas there is a radical feminist associate professor named Gretchen Ritter who has written in the newspaper Austin American-Statesman that: "Full-time mothering is...bad for children....[T]he stay-at-home mother movement is bad for society"17 (quoted in the Washington Times).

Many colleges and universities are also promoting and teaching pornography, including homosexual porn. "Credit-bearing courses in pornography abound in academia....[For example, at] UC-Berkeley, Linda Williams teaches a graduate course called 'Pornographies On/scene.' Movies viewed in class include Deep Throat."18 (For those who want to read a little more on this subject, the April 3, 2006 edition of Time magazine contains an article titled "Sex in the Syllabus" on page 80.)

Students, for all the money they pay to colleges, are increasingly being cheated out of a decent education. For example, as noted in U.S. News & World Report: "In 2003, the government surveyed college graduates to test how well they could read texts and draw inferences. Only 31 percent were able to complete these basic tasks at a proficient level, down from 40 percent a decade earlier."19 More: "Forty-five percent of college undergraduates fail to improve in critical thinking, reasoning and writing abilities during their first two years. A little more than a third show no improvement in these broad-based skills after four years in college."20 That from a 2011 book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, by two professors, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa.

High schools are also falling down on the job. According to a 2007 report in the Chicago Tribune: "U.S. high school students are taking tougher classes, receiving better grades and, apparently, learning less than their counterparts of 15 years ago [emphasis mine]....[C]ompared with students...going back to 1990, the 2005 [high school] graduates had racked up more high school credits, had taken more college preparatory classes and had strikingly higher grade-point averages [2.68 in 1990; 2.98 in 2005]. But the standardized test results showed that 12th-grade reading scores have been dropping since 1992....[And] Fewer than one-fourth of seniors scored in the 'proficient' range [on a standardized math test]."21

Our schools have been so dumbed-down, we even find this in The Education Digest (Dec. 2012): "Many schools are not challenging students and large percentages of students report that their school work is 'too easy.'...[For example] 51% of 8th-grade civics students and 57% of 8th-grade history students report that their work is often or always too easy....[And regarding 12th-graders] 56% and 55% respectively found their civics and history work often or always too easy....Policymakers must continue to push for higher, more challenging standards....Our findings highlight the need for more rigorous standards."22

Grade inflation is a real problem. As a 2008 USA Today editorial noted: "Twenty years ago 28% of students taking the SAT reported having a high school average of A-plus, A or A-minus. Ten years ago, 38% of students reported GPAs that high. This year [2008], it was up to 42%....[Yet] more than 40% of community college students and nearly a third of students at four-year colleges must enroll in remedial, non-credit classes."23

College faculties tend to be overwhelmingly Democratic and liberal. To illustrate: "Northwestern University law professor James Lindgren did a survey of law faculties at the top 100 schools and found that 80 percent of the scholars identified themselves as Democrats, while only 13 percent were Republicans."24 And according to an article in Washington Monthly magazine: "62.2 percent of professors self-identify as liberal, compared to 19.7 as conservative....9.4 percent of faculty members say they're 'extremely liberal.'"25 This despite the fact that it is easy to show how seriously flawed liberal ideology and values are, speaking generally. (We expose some of liberalism's many glaring flaws in the section of our website titled Should We Have "Hate Crime" Legislation?)

Surprisingly, we even find these admissions in that great, liberally biased rag called The New York Times: "It's certainly true that professors are a liberal lot....[A]bout half of the professors identified as liberal, as compared to just one in five Americans over all....[Among academic] social scientists, for example, there were 10 Democrats for every Republican....There's no doubt that in terms of overall curricular content and campus culture, most colleges and universities do skew more to the left than to the right."26

We are witnessing in this country broad social and moral decline. Our public schools, speaking generally, are a major contributing factor to that decline, as are some private schools. (But they think they are "progressive" instead of regressive!) We clearly need to fix our schools. We clearly need more intelligent, better qualified teachers.

Another example of a way numerous public schools help promote liberal values is the fact that many schools allow student "gay/straight" alliances (GSAs) to meet in their classrooms. (Various state Supreme Courts have ruled that GSAs must have access to school facilities. But the policy makes so little sense, as we explain below, that those court decisions should be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which, as far as we can tell, hasn't been done. If the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of school GSAs, then changing that policy is not going to be easy.)

What if some students who engage in promiscuous sex decided that they wanted to form a student group devoted to promoting tolerance of promiscuous sex? And what if one of the reasons they gave for forming that group was that other students were calling them names like "slut"? And what if another reason they gave was to help reinforce the self-esteem of promiscuous students who may be depressed because other students called them names? And what if they said that the orientation to promiscuity was natural, that promiscuity can be found throughout the animal kingdom? Should schools allow such a group to meet on school grounds? Obviously not.

Any student groups that promote immoral sexual behavior clearly should not be allowed to meet on school grounds. If schools want to create a safe haven for ALL of their students, without singling out sexual orientations for special mention, where ALL students are welcome, where ALL students (even those morally opposed to homosexual activity) could go who need support and understanding and counseling or whatever, that is a fine and compassionate thing to do. But student groups that promote immoral sexual behavior are themselves immoral.

What if students say their group does not promote homosexual behavior, just understanding for homosexually oriented people? Why not then have a group which promotes understanding for promiscuously oriented people? Or, to get more ridiculous, necrophiliacly oriented people? There are many orientations out there in need of protection. How about the orientation to bully? Or the orientation to steal? After all, we wouldn't want to discriminate against other orientations that other people might be born with, would we? Stealing and bullying might be natural since animals do both.

Five final quotes here. One, according to Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College at Columbia University and author of a 2005 report: "The principals and superintendents who run the nation's schools are unprepared for their jobs by education colleges, where training ranges from inadequate to appalling....[M]ost graduate education programs that train these school administrators are deeply flawed, suffering from irrelevant curriculum, low standards, weak faculty and little clinical instruction."27

From a 2013 Wall Street Journal: "[T]he National Council on Teacher Quality released a report asserting that approximately 1,100 of the nation's 1,400 teacher-preparation programs are inadequate."28

Principals do such a poor job weeding out bad teachers, we find these words in the educational magazine Phi Delta Kappan: "The evaluation of teachers is criticized as perfunctory and haphazard, relying on limited information and subject to the whims of the evaluators. The image of a principal dropping into a classroom, watching from the back of the class for 10 minutes, and then filling out a form rating the teacher's performance as satisfactory may seem like a caricature, but there's enough truth in the depiction to cause anyone concerned with teaching and learning to squirm in discomfort."29

From a 2013 Education Digest: Teaching is "a profession that has become one of low performance standards and...low prestige."30

The last quote, this one about sex education: "Recognizing the gap between their lesson plans and most parents' sensibilities, mainstream sex educators openly embrace a policy of secrecy. The Centers for Disease Control lauds one program, Becoming a Responsible Teen, that insists students sign a contract of secrecy; if a student talks to his parents about what he has learned in class, he is thrown out of the program."31 We don't think words can convey the outrage we should feel about that.

Footnotes

1. Romesh Ratnesar, "The Bite on Teachers," Time, July 20, 1998, p. 24.

2. Garry Wills, "Teachers don't pass the test," Chicago Sun-Times, July 18, 1998, p. 16.

3. E.J. Dionne Jr., "Common sense," Chicago Tribune, June 17, 1998, section 1, p. 27.

4. Joshua Wolf Shenk, "A new emphasis on learning by doing," U.S. News & World Report, March 2, 1998, p. 91.

5. Daniel Fallon, "A Golden Age for Teacher Ed," Phi Delta Kappan, Oct. 2010, p. 34.

6. Joshua Wolf Shenk, "A new emphasis on learning by doing," U.S. News & World Report, March 2, 1998, p. 91.

7. Peter Schmidt, "State and Federal Officials Push for Improvements in Teacher Education," Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 28, 1997, p. A41.

8. Sandra Reeves, "Teaching Teachers," U.S. News & World Report, April 3, 1995, p. 69.

9. Gerald W. Bracey, "The Smarts of Teachers," Phi Delta Kappan, Dec. 1996, p. 330.

10. Evan Thomas and Pat Wingert, "Why we can't get rid of failing teachers," Newsweek, March 15, 2010, p. 25.

11. Thomas Toch, "The Case for Tough Standards," U.S. News & World Report, April 1, 1996, p. 55.

12. John Leo, "Don't listen to Miranda," U.S. News & World Report, June 16, 1997, p. 19.

13. John Leo, "Killing off the liberals," U.S. News & World Report, April 28, 1997, p. 19.

14. Dennis Byrne, "Pay attention, class: alcohol can kill you," Chicago Sun-Times, Aug. 31, 1997, p. 27.

15. Catharine A. MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (Harvard U Press, 1989), p. 174.

16. Ron Grossman, "Sexual Skirmishes in the Holy Land," Chicago Tribune, June 11, 2000, sec. 14, p. 4.

17. Joseph Farah, "Warning: Stay-at-home moms are 'bad for society'," Washington Times, Aug. 9-15, 2004, p. 33.

18. Eric Langborgh, "X-Rated Academia," Campus Report, March 2000, p. 8.

19. Alex Kingsbury, "The Measure Of Learning," U.S. News & World Report, March 12, 2007, p. 55.

20. Lisa Black, "Higher education suffers under lowered expectations," Chicago Tribune, Feb. 1, 2011, sec. 1, p. 2.

21. Mitchell Landsberg, "Study: Grades up but learning down," Chicago Tribune, Feb. 23, 2007, sec. 1, p. 4.

22. Ulrich Boser and Lindsay Rosenthal, "Do Schools Challenge Our Students?", The Education Digest, Dec. 2012, pp. 52-4.

23. Editorial: "Too soon to drop SAT," USA Today, Oct. 7, 2008, p. 10.

24. Steve Chapman, "Diversity vs. uniformity on college campuses," Chicago Tribune, April 19, 2001, sec. 1, p. 23.

25. Kevin Carey, "Tenured Moderates," Washington Monthly, Jan./Feb. 2010, p. 52.

26. Neil Gross, "The Indoctrination Myth," The New York Times, "Sunday Review" section, March 4, 2012, p. 12.

27. Associated Press, "Colleges do bad job of training principals, study says," Chicago Sun-Times, March 15, 2005, p. 29.

28. Barbara Nemko and Harold Kwalwasser, "Why Teacher Colleges Get A Flunking Grade," Wall Street Journal, Oct. 24, 2013, p. A15.

29. Aaron M. Pallas, "Measuring What Matters," Phi Delta Kappan, Dec. 2010/Jan. 2011, p. 68.

30. The New Teacher Project, "The Irreplaceables," The Education Digest, Feb. 2013, p. 61.

31. Daniel Mindus, "What to Tell the Children," National Review, Sept. 11, 2000, p. 46.