Skip to comments.Our Most Divisive Political Issue
Posted on 12/26/2015 4:58:56 AM PST by Kaslin
Can you name the most contentious issue in American politics?
Here's a hint. It's being fought at the federal, state and local levels. And it doesn't go away. The struggle is persistent, ongoing, unending.
Here is a second hint. The issue is not gay marriage, or gun control, or police brutality and or immigration. Those issues are either settled, largely settled, isolated or completely out of the control of local and state governments.
Here is a third hint. The issue divides Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals. But it is especially divisive among Democrats and among people who call themselves "liberal."
The most divisive issue in American politics is: What should we do about the education of children from low income families?
To appreciate how divisive the issue is among Democrats consider that Bernie Sanders can't talk for two minutes without bringing up the issue of inequality. But when it comes to allowing poor children to escape bad schools and go to better ones he is virtually silent. He opposes public money going to private schools and has little encouraging to say about public school choice. Yet the state he represents (Vermont) has the oldest and most extensive system of school choice found anywhere in the country.
Hillary Clinton's unwillingness to vigorously stand up for the kids is costing her big campaign contributions. Although she has supported student testing and charter schools in the past, her recent cozying up to the teachers unions is making wealthy school reform Democrats close their checkbooks to her presidential campaign.
To make matters more complex, parents are becoming more of a factor. In a recent election in Los Angeles pro-reform Latino parents managed to prevail against the teachers unions and white voters in affluent suburbs in what USA Today called "the priciest and most bitter school board race in history."
The Obama administration has been completely inconsistent. Under Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the administration tied state grants and waivers from onerous federal regulations to support for charter schools and the linking of teacher pay to student test scores. His replacement, John King, is a charter school co-founder who, as New York's education chief, pursued reforms designed to root out bad teachers.
Yet the administration's Justice Department fought a losing battle in court in an effort to stop Louisiana's new state-wide voucher program. And the administration joined with Nancy Pelosi and other congressional Democrats in an ongoing struggle to end Washington DC's Opportunity Scholarship Program. Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform explains the issue this way:
Democrats oppose this program not because it is failing but because it is succeeding. They fear that as these choice programs succeed, poor and minority moms and dads are going to figure out the Democrats are selling their kids out to the teachers unions.
To appreciate what's at stake, consider two Harlem schools that operate side by side in the same building: Wadleigh Secondary School (a public school) and Harlem West (a charter school). At both schools 95 percent of the students and black and Hispanic and most are from poverty level families. As one of the teachers describes it:
The students … eat in the same cafeteria, exercise in the same gym and enjoy recess in the same courtyard. They also live on the same blocks and face many of the same challenges.
Yet not one of the public school students met state standards in math (a typical question: What is 15% of 60?) or English, while the passing rates at the charter school were 96 and 75 percent, respectively. The city wide scores, by the way, were 35 and 30 percent, despite New York City average spending of $20,331 per pupil.
So, should there be more Harlem Wests and fewer Wadleighs?
Hard to believe, but that is currently the most contentious political issue in New York City and maybe in the whole of New York state.
Also hard to believe, the CNN panel asked not one question about the public schools in last Saturday's Democratic presidential debate.
I’d first ask: What is the goal of education?
Interestingly, the issue is never discussed by the GOP candidates, and certainly GOP promotion of charter schools would gain them some votes from places typically Democrat.
Expecting Marxists to be consistent on anything is a fool’s errand, because lying is the only tool in their kit.
The teachers were hired to do a job and they clearly failed. They should be fired.
To provide good paying jobs to liberal democrats.
DISMANTLE the Dept. of Indoctrination.
17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism
The number one issue in America today is our borders.
Education needs to revert back to local control, period. The Federal and State departments of Ed should be disbanded. Yeah, that’s gonna happen.
This is how the government runs the healthcare system. If it's good enough for the health care system, it's good enough for the education system.
Hillary says she’ll close all below average schools. After 4 years of her reign, we’d only have 6.25% of all schools still open, which would all be populated by only Clinton, Bush, Obama, Congressional, and media grandchildren only.
The rest of us will need to home school and use religious schools.
(10% of 60=6
The answer is 9%
The #1 issue in America is the danger of Terrorism by ISIS
You are using eurocentric, masculinist, heteronormative, and racist math, which yields the false conclusion that half of all students and schools will fall below the median. In progressive math, all students and schools will be above average if we give the teachers enough money, and any testing regime that does not ratify this goal is illegitimate.
yup. that’s a major failure on the part of the educators to teach children to perform simple and straight forward calculations. shameful. fire them.
I say it makers vs takers and the gov’t policies that favor creation of the latter.
Stop immigration and most problems go away.
Oh, yeah .... /s
If conservatives had a stronger influence in the nation and via education many of these minority and all kids could be taught the principles of it and the DemonRat party would be sunk low and the RINO’s too.
So it would seem.
I’m now against federal dollars going for private schools. I’ve seen too many times non-profit organizations compromise thier values to continue to receive public money.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.