In the 1970s the U.S. Dept. of Education was founded, and various states set up their own departments of education, or else greatly expanded the powers of those already in existence. These steps drastically altered the state of public education in America… not that it ever was all that good an idea in the first place.
I was a newspaper reporter and editor in those days. Among other duties, I covered three school boards and had part-timers covering the rest. When a major story came along, we worked on it together.
Very important changes were put in place back then. These happened right before my eyes: and I’m ashamed to tell you that I didn’t see them. Right out there in front of me, and I might as well have been wearing a blindfold. I can only say I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Too many distractions kept me from seeing the big picture.
I saw the state education bureaucracy swallow the authority of the local boards–and didn’t realize what I was seeing. I remember now a meeting of the Matawan Board of Education, in which a nerd from the state came and told the board members what New Jersey would be expecting of them from now on.
One member objected. “What is this?” he said. “It sounds like one of those old Soviet five-year plans!” The response was a coy “Tee-hee! Once you buy into the program, you’ll have a clearer understanding.” What I didn’t realize was that he already had a very clear understanding of exactly what the state was doing! But he wound up resigning, and it never occurred to me to sit down with him for an in-depth interview.
Dammit all! I was a newsman, and this was news! I had it in my power to inform the public that they were all being taken for a ride. That they were down there in Trenton growing the government at the community’s expense. That the teachers’ union had the state wrapped around its little finger.
So the people who paid for the schools, and sent their children there, would no longer be getting what they thought they paid their taxes for, but what Far Left teachers’ unions and quasi-Marxist, grey ponytail “educators” in Trenton thought they ought to get.
By and by the newspaper workload became too heavy a burden for me and I resigned, too.
People who don’t much like us, and want to change our way of life, have been working on our schools for fifty years.
Pull your kids out of there. That’s all that’s left for us to do.