It is time to call public education what it really is. That being a bipartisan failure, almost three-quarters of a century in the reckoning. Frances Perkins, the first female cabinet member, and Secretary of Labor under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, did not fight for workers’ rights, or protecting women and children’s rights in the workplace, to watch this public education debacle created and perpetuated by both the Democratic and Republican parties.
Let’s call a spade a spade. Republicans have been pushing an anti-public education, anti-teacher union crusade since the creation of the Party. Democrats are sheep in wolves clothing and pretending to fight for public education and teachers, while pushing anti-public education initiatives like Teach for America, for-profit and not-for-profit charter schools and a corporate-America-driven set of long overdue national standards, known as “Common Core.” Common Core like No Child Left Behind has become a toxic brand for anyone running for a Congressional Office.
To be clear, I am not against having national standards for America’s public schools. I will forever believe that our children are not the property of roughly 14,000 school districts across fifty states. Our children must learn to compete with each other and in a global marketplace. What I am against is corporate-driven, “Common Core.” What I support are national standards designed to meet the needs of children in a “universal design for learning” environment, and crafted by our nation’s wealth of knowledge housed in our universities and colleges, and teacher preparation programs.
True Democrats are not against organized labor and that includes the teachers unions. What they are growing appropriately louder about are our teachers unions that are warehousing bad practices instead of protecting workers’ rights, and thwarting the necessary overhaul to our nation’s teacher preparation programs. America’s fabric, while torn and tattered is woven with the threads of truly public education. Our children and their right to globally enviable public education must again become a national priority.