The Corner

Education

Our Woefully Politicized Education Schools

Signs at a rally as public school teachers strike for a second day in Denver, Colo., February 12, 2019. (Michael Ciaglo/Reuters)

A book that happened to catch my attention long before I was working in the field of higher-ed policy was Rita Kramer’s 1991 Ed School Follies. In it, she showed how many of America’s schools of education — the training grounds for future teachers — had been overrun with leftist ideology. And how do things stand 28 years later?

No better and probably worse is the answer.

The Martin Center’s Jay Schalin has just written a study on the politicization of ed schools and he discusses it in today’s article.

If you wanted to influence the education of the nation’s young people, education schools are the place to start.

That’s where ideas from the rest of academia are inserted into the curriculum for elementary and high school students, and where politically unsophisticated young people are turned into classroom teachers. Control the schools of education, and the education system will eventually be yours to forward your political agenda.

The Left has succeeded in doing that. The education-school curriculum is saturated with authors who push collectivism, multiculturalism, and other aspects of their worldview on impressionable students. The indoctrination is pretty easy since ed schools attract mainly weak students who don’t want demanding courses.

One notion that’s taught by a UNC education professor is that science isn’t universal but rather depends on the student’s background. And, Schalin writes:

Some of the other ideas commonly espoused in education schools today include:  race and gender are social constructs; meritocracy is unfair; knowledge of dates, events, and great personages are unnecessary for the study of history; all social knowledge is suspect due to racism and sexism being embedded in the language and culture; and to be white is to be unfairly privileged and must be atoned for.

The fact that most teachers have been steeped in Leftism helps to explain why we find today’s students espousing the stuff they do. For the most part, you can’t get a public-school teaching job without having gone through an ed-school program.

Schalin sees no quick fix here. He concludes:

 . . . if there is any hope for renewal, it starts with awareness. It is time our policymakers stopped ignoring the disastrous trend to politicize education.

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George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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