The Back-To-School Battle Shows That Public Education Is More About Social Control Than Education

There is a rather vociferous debate raging on the subject of reopening schools. For reasons that are definitely not scientifically supportable (see Phil Kerpen’s excellent takedown over the bullsh** fearmongering about children and Wuhan here)

Answers to Anti-Schoolers o… by Phil Kerpen on Scribd

 

The issue, as I see it, is two-fold. The teachers’ unions and a lot of teachers are using Wuhan virus as a way of doing a lot less work and getting paid the same. And there is zero indication that amalgamation of FAIL ever envisions a return to a traditional classroom environment. Using Boston as a microcosm, we can see that teachers do not want to return to the classroom with students, they do not want to return to the classroom with reduced frequency of meetings:

Hybrid schooling could be a public health disaster, experts say: Many school districts in Massachusetts are opting to follow a hybrid teaching model, seeing it as a middle ground between a fully remote plan and a full, in-person return. But some public health experts say it could actually be a public health disaster, even more risky than returning all children to school full-time. With children only in school two or three days a week, many are likely to spend their other days in a third location, in addition to school and home.

and they do not want to return to school even if there are literally no children in the classroom:

State criticized over calls for teachers to work from empty classrooms this fall: New state guidelines calling for K-12 educators to work from empty classrooms while students learn remotely from home was blasted Saturday by teachers unions who said the plan needlessly risked public health as schools move to reopen amid the pandemic. That guidance, rolled out by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Friday, was aimed at districts that had responded to pandemic public health concerns by keeping staff and students at home.

What is developing, though, is an insight into a certain mindset that has permeated public schools. The mindset sees state-run schools as the only legitimate provider of education.

As it became apparent that the teachers’ unions were campaigning for remote education, parents in affected school districts sought a workaround to provide their kids with useful educational experience. That was not acceptable.

I suspect, given the similarity of the “equity” language, that this communication has been repeated in thousands of school districts. The subtext here is that not only do teachers refuse to teach, but you are also a very bad person if you try to educate your child. This is a monopolist point of view that reduces children to something that exists merely to provide jobs. It shows the public education system in a lot of places has the same relationship with kids that a landscaper has with grass.

But why this “dog in the manger” attitude? Why the resistance to parents taking up the slack if teachers will not do their job? Because what parents probably won’t do is indoctrinate their kids in the latest Woke-ness. This made the rounds a week or so ago.

The coronavirus-fueled transition to online learning has shifted the domain for pushing far-left propaganda on American students from classrooms to homes, and some teachers – specifically Matthew Kay of Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy – are frustrated the shift will complicate their ability to spew their radical beliefs.

Kay took to Twitter to explain how the prospect of parents listening to class discussion could “damage” conversations about race, gender, and sexuality, providing insight into the far-left indoctrination of American schoolchildren.

The public high school English teacher also worried that parents – especially conservative ones – could hinder his “work of destabilizing kids racism or homophobia or transphobia.”

 

Is this nutter just a one-off? Or is he an exemplar for what takes place and sees himself as sufficiently bulletproof that he can say stuff like this to the world without fear of repercussions? (Just a note, I don’t send my kids to school to have some lunatic talk to them about transsexual/homosexual/any-kind-of-sexual issues; I don’t send them to school to discuss racism beyond what is needed to grasp the basics of the class they are in, that’s why they have parents at home.)

We may have an answer:

Parents of students who attend Rutherford County Schools (RCS) must agree not to monitor their child’s online classroom sessions.

Officials at all county schools are asking parents to sign forms agreeing not to watch these virtual classes.

The Tennessee Star received a copy of such a form this week.

“RCS strives to present these opportunities in a secure format that protects student privacy to the greatest extent possible, however because these meetings will occur virtually RCS is limited in its ability to fully control certain factors such as non-student observers that may be present in the home of a student participating in the virtual meeting,” according to the form.

“RCS strongly discourages non student observation of online meetings due to the potential of confidential information about a student being revealed.”

The form asks parents for their signature and warns that “violation of this agreement may result in RCS removing my child from the virtual meeting.”

RCS spokesman James Evans addressed the matter in an email to The Star this week.

“We are aware of the concern that has been raised about this distance-learning letter that was sent to parents. The intent was not to prevent parents from being involved with their children during distance learning, but it was intended to protect the academic privacy of other students in the classroom who are visible during certain virtual class sessions,” Evans said.

Apparently, this has been changed to a request that parents not record or share information about other children in the class, an entirely reasonable position.

Again, we don’t know where else this has happened and we only know about it here because one of the parents receiving the notice is an activist.

The idea that there is even such a thing as “academic privacy” is ridiculous. But when you assert that such privacy is not violated by the presence of 20-30 other kids but is violated by the presence of adults, you’ve entered the realm of self-beclowning, and you’ve just used Gorilla Glue to stick that clown nose to your forehead.

The resistance on the part of teachers’s unions to reopening schools, the hostility of school administrations to alternatives to traditional classroom eduction, and the insistence that the education of children to be conducted free from the oversight of the parents of the children in the classroom, and the willingness of a non-trivial number of teachers to use their position of authority to propagandize their students all says that the real agenda here has nothing to do with educating children and everything to do with the arrogation of power.