Education Week cannot pass without presidential recognition, no matter how mediocre the state of America’s public schools may be.
As a political exercise, these statements serve to bolster morale among the members of our nation’s teachers’ unions and colleges, while simultaneously concealing the abject failures of our system from those it was intended to serve, parents and children.
This year’s effort is long on boilerplate and short on accomplishments. In fact, the only nod to educational achievement was a half-hearted acknowledgment that America’s schools are continuing their pre-pandemic trend of underperformance – an admittance swiftly followed by self-congratulatory paragraphs detailing the glories of increased federal spending and the tick-like swelling of government programs.
The overall message is rather pedestrian in nature. No new ground was broken, no fresh horizons revealed.
While a more self-aware president might have taken this occasion to offer a heartfelt mea culpa for the educational refuse left in the wake of faddish social engineering, this one chose instead to give the failed system a dog-like tongue bath.
The public-school teachers who grudgingly returned to in-person classes are described as “heroic educators” who have “sacrificed so much to help students catch up,” when in fact the general character of their heroism consisted of shuffling from bedroom to bathroom to Zoom class, while demanding their union keep the kids home for yet another semester.
Oh, and flip us a bonus for wearing a mask during “remote learning.”
The overall tone of the President’s proclamation is one of condescension toward parents and ceaseless mirror worship. Narcissus himself would blush at the turgid self– esteem of this current crop of Leftist indoctrinators.
Private schools, home schools, Catholic, and other religious schools are wholly ignored. It seems only government-controlled education can produce children capable of being “the kite strings that hold our national ambitions aloft.”
Equally insulting is the realization that in President Biden’s world, only students of certain racial and ethnic backgrounds are deserving of carveouts from the federal trough.
“We have invested billions of dollars in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority-Serving Institutions, such as Hispanic-Serving Institutions,” he proclaims.
It’s as if the Biden Administration doesn’t believe students at these institutions can succeed without him.
Surely, we’ve learned by now that reinforcing the bigotry of low expectations is both corrosive and counterproductive. It diminishes the individual achievements of minority students, and transfers credit for success to a bureaucracy.
Perhaps the most distressing element of this presidential missive is its presumption of ownership of America’s children. Biden all but declares that the responsibility to feed, clothe, transport, protect and educate our kids rightfully belongs to a government flack, as if the parent is nowhere to be seen. In fact, he doesn’t mention “parent” a single time in the entire proclamation.
While parental absence or indifference may be the case for some students, it’s not for most, and for those parents who are involved and engaged, the President’s words will be an insult.
When government goes out of its way to tell you what it wants to do for you, rest assured the price to be paid is substantial. As we see from Biden’s Education Week proclamation, the price of all that assistance is nothing less than handing over your children to government-approved child raisers.