Shorter Freddie deBoer, apparently a part-time Balloon Juicer now: “Without
public government schools, kids wouldn’t, like, learn how to get along an’ shit”.
Freddie’s 1343 words particularly aim at the conservative school voucher (read: roundabout tax dollar funnel to bible-thumpery as “education”) crowd at first. Those people obviously care not a single lick about choice, or education at all, so it’s an easy target and one I don’t really quibble with. After all, I suppose if I thought the sole choices were schools funded by taxation as they are now or “schools” funded by taxation that consisted of locking kids in a room with priests for several hours a day, I’d consider the status quo suitable too. However, his finishing flourish hugs the “government is US, Kum-bay-yah!!” falsehood so tightly I think it’s turning blue, even suggesting basic socialization as being impossible outside of a state-run education system.
How any society maintained itself prior to the creation of tax-funded education is apparently a mystery, at least in Freddie’s mind. What particularly gets me about his social grooming/representation argument is how blatantly obvious the friction disproving it is. For one thing, there is the continuing degree of re-segregation by ethnicity and class that shuffles less socially privileged kids into shittier than average schools: if
public government education is supposed to be this great wrecking ball of barriers, how come it facilitates their construction? Beyond that, we have the regular spectacle of political hissy fits over content — evolution in science classes, depth in social studies classes that people claim pass merely teaching about other cultures to endorsing them against Real Merkins, wingnuts in Texas rewriting history, etcetera. For the idealistic government-is-us perspective, every crumbling ghetto school with persistent failure & dropouts ignored, and every attempt at molding curriculum to conform to pre-existing biases is a question: “who is this ‘US’ you speak of?”. For such a key civic totem, it sure doesn’t get followed much.
*awaits willful misinterpretation*