How to destroy the public school system
By Rob Jenkins
Unlike many conservative commentators, I've long been a supporter of public schools. I enjoyed many positive experiences with them growing up, and my four children received an excellent public education here in Gwinnett County, Georgia, for which I am grateful.
Plus I've always thought there's something uniquely egalitarian and therefore American about the idea of public education, providing opportunities for all children to better themselves. I know that some conservatives like to call them "government schools," and that is technically correct. But I've always preferred to think of them as community schools, passing on the values of the community. At least, that used to be the case, and I'm hopeful that, in many places, it still is.
However, if I were vehemently opposed to public schools, and what I really wanted was to destroy them, I know exactly how I'd go about it.
First, I'd help elect radical, neo-Marxist ideologues to the local school board. As a bonus, they wouldn't have much experience running a school system or kids of their own in the county schools.
Once my radical leftists held a majority on the board, they could begin enacting their extremist agenda — starting with keeping as many kids out of school as possible for as long as possible by pushing popular superstitions about COVID-19.
We know, based on multiple studies, that children are not at high risk, nor are they likely to give the virus to adults. But my radical school board wouldn't let that stand in the way of its fear-mongering.
The inevitable widening of the "achievement gap" caused by keeping kids out of school and relying on "digital learning" can then be held up as an example of "white supremacy" and blamed on the very people who opposed it.
To promote these efforts, I would enlist the help of teachers' unions and "associations," even in right-to-work states like Georgia. Since unionized teachers across the country have made it clear they have no intention of going back to work anytime soon — education be damned — they have become powerful allies in the campaign to keep children out of the classroom.
Another good tactic: Force those kids who do show up at school to wear masks all day, so that as many as possible will not want to attend — or will change their minds after a few weeks of restricted breathing. Two decades' worth of randomly controlled tests — the highest level of scientific evidence — show that masks are ineffective against airborne viruses. In fact, for children, they might do more harm than good.
No matter. If kids want to come to our schools, they must "mask up." And if they or their parents aren't willing, fine. That just hastens the system's demise.
Beyond COVID, my radicals would institute several other extreme policies, such as eliminating school resource officers. Then they would insist on race-based disciplinary procedures — so-called "restorative justice" — meaning that no matter who commits the offenses, school leaders would be required to make sure that all races were proportionally represented in the final statistics. If that resulted in some students getting away with severe misbehavior while others were unjustly punished, all the better. The abandonment of fairness and the resulting disintegration of order would be essential to my plans.
Similarly, placement into gifted and other advanced programs, to the extent they were not abolished altogether, would also be based on racial quotas. And once again, if that means admitting some students who aren't qualified based on academic merit, while denying admission to others who are qualified, then all the better.
Next, my board would require that students be indoctrinated in Critical Race Theory, a hateful, racist, neo-Marxist ideology. All would be branded as either victims or oppressors, good or bad, based not on the content of their character, but on the color of their skin. What better way to foment division and distrust?
Finally, as its coup de grâce, my board would institute a policy allowing boys to enter girls' bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers at will. At the high schools, especially, this policy in conjunction with already raging hormones would quickly break down any remaining social order.
And if anyone stood in the way of my radical agenda, such as a superintendent who had run the system with spectacular success for many years, with stellar bond ratings and numerous national awards to prove it, that person would need to be removed forthwith.
The beauty of my plan is that, as the school system circled the drain, and families fled the county for saner climes, property values would plummet, providing even less money for the schools. The result? Equal misery for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, or socioeconomic circumstances — in other words, "equity."
So, yeah, if I wanted to destroy the public schools, that's how I'd do it. But here in Gwinnett County, it looks as though somebody already beat me to the punch.