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View Diary: Why the Great Experiment is failing (149 comments)

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  •  And I say it's no accident (4.00)
    that the Right is going after the concept of free education:

    • by gutting aid to public colleges
    • by encouraging and diverting government funds -- in the form of vouchers or line items -- to ideologically driven private schools
    • by suppressing science where it conflicts with their ideology (global warming, evolution, the list goes on)
    • by going after teachers' unions as "special interest groups"
    • by suppressing open-mindedness in the class setting as "political correctness"
    • by encouraging the commercialization of the classroom through companies like Channel One (in grammar schools) and the infiltration of corporate dollars for "project-based" programs in colleges and universities
    • by encouraging narrow-minded parents to comb through school libraries and denounce on spurious and ignorant grounds any books they deem harmful
    • by reducing funds for need-based scholarships in favor of "merit-based" scholarships (to those "worthy" of receiving them) thereby discouraging upward mobility among the poor by denying them access to higher education
    • by reframing higher education to "career training" and scoffing at the traditional liberal arts as "ivory tower elitism"
    • by encouraging ordinary people to be suspicious of or hostile to those with more education than themselves. We've seen this phenomenon among black urban teens (getting educated is "acting white") and it's filtering into the general population
    • and finally, by encouraging the success of one's education by the amount of money that piece of sheepskin will get you in salaries, perks and power.

    It's easier to create a political underclass if the raw material for that underclass is kept willfully ignorant, or coopted at an early age.
    •  Well said! (none)
      Now, I am about to use a comparison that is NOT meant to suggest that Republicans are in any way racist.  I am not making any generalizations.  That said, to support your point of encouraging ignorace, remember that slave owners did all they could to deny slaves any education.  This was because slave owners certainly knew that the ability to reason and think critically would inevitably lead to a mass uprising.  Once a person can think on their own and see the world with their own eyes, they cannot be controlled.  I think that was what Plato was getting at with his Aligory of the Cave.

      "The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country." -RFK

      by apmiller on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 12:50:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A four (none)
        for the Republic reference! Although I was momentarily confused and thinking that our great Socratic teacher may have owned some type of englightened crocodile like creature... :)

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