I’ve been threatening to write this piece for a bit now but there’s been too much happening that has distracted me.
Since it has been a bit, you can find part one here where I look at wokeness in sports and how it has destroyed viewership as people don’t want to be preached to by Olympic athletes that can’t even win gold.
In part 3, we’re going to look at wokeness in education and how it is creating an education system that is not sustainable going forward. Wokeness hollows out and destroys the institutions it takes over and our public schools and universities will face the same fate.
Don’t get me wrong – education isn’t going away but it will be transformed as we move away from a centralized public school education for children and a four year university for young adults.
The universal, publicly funded education system in America is currently undergoing a dramatic transformation. These changes started 20 years ago but were hurtled into overdrive due to COVID. For decades, a good school district was almost always the number one concern when couples with children would select where to live.
These districts were always some of the more expensive places to live as demand for housing always exceeded the available supply. This model is fast becoming irrelevant.
One of the best things the GOP can continue to push for families is “parents’ choice”, which allows vouchers for alternative schooling such as charter schools. Liberals are big mad over this push and accuse politicians that advance these positions as against both education and (gasp!) even democracy itself.
It’s a pretty hilarious position to take when there are multiple Democrats that do just that. Gavin Newsome shut down your kid’s school but his four children returned to private school. A teachers’ union president in Berkely, CA (where else?) was caught dropping his kid off to private school while he actively pushed to keep public schools shuttered.
These people have no shame.
Thanks to covid and remote learning, parents were able to listen in to what their kids where being taught and there were many that were really unhappy to find out how prevalent critical race theory has become enmeshed in our public education system. The backlash has been fierce as normies have started recalling school boards and getting woke teachers fired from their schools all across the nation. Some school board members are simply quitting rather than dealing with angry parents that are seething about the direction of their children’s education.
Leftists truly believe that the state and not you should be in charge of what your child thinks and learns. Terry McAuliffe gave the game away the other night:
The problems don’t stop with critical race theory. Besides instructing youth on racial grievances, they’ve also decided to relax the standards for real subjects like math and reading in the name of “racial equity”. Oregon’s governor recently signed a bill that suspends the proficiency standards for high school graduates for three years.
Maspeth High School in New York City details in a report how the principle pushed for teachers to pass students no matter how little work they did.
As usual, these acts are done in the name of “compassion” but they’re really just a race to the bottom.
Parents are standing up and taking notice. Charter schools gained thousands of students in 41 states while public teacher unions pushed to keep schools closed. Oklahoma led with a gain of 78% followed by 65% in Alabama.
It’s not just charter schools that are gaining as homeschooling as exploded during the pandemic. Nearly 2.6 million kids have switched from traditional school to homeschooling. There are also plenty of wealthier families pulling their kids from closed public schools to place them in open private schools. Will some of these students eventually return to public schools?
Sure, but public schools are on a downward trajectory and I know if I had children I’d be figuring out some plan to make sure whatever education option we selected we’d keep them away from the woke public schools.
As much as wokeness has infected our public education system – academia is the original crucible where it all began. The issues here are only amplified because there’s money to be made, baby! These universities are really pulling off a pretty good grift.
- Have you considered a B.A. in Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies from California’s Humboldt State University where you can take classes like “Community Activism” or “Act to End Sexualized Violence”?
- Maybe James Madison University’s “Feminist Blogging: Writing for Shout Out! JMU” would tempt your interest? I mean – I blog and I can assure you it’s a worthwhile use of your time and absolutely will put you on the path to financial…. HAHAHAHA! Just kidding. You’ll never make a dime, kid.
- If those haven’t convinced you, then perhaps a Social Justice in Public Service Certificate from the University of Central Florida will get you seeing dollar signs?
Student loans should never have been federalized. When the decision to give student loans were taken out of the bank’s hands there was no accounting because there was no risk associated with the deal. The banks wanted a return on their investment. With the Federal government, it’s extremely difficult to make those loans disappear through normal measures like bankruptcy. At the very least, universities should be forced to take on some of the student’s debt.
That may be a market incentive to stop offering classes like these for $650 per credit hour that will yield zero financial rewards after graduation.
Besides the woke degrees that have saddled a generation of young people with less than stellar job prospects and large amounts of debt - there are further structural problems with our universities.
Since 1980, inflation adjusted tuition at public universities has tripled; at private universities it has more than doubled.
The largest driver of this increase has not been from costs for faculty where the student to faculty ratio has remained relatively constant but from the additional hiring of administrators as Federal and state governments have imposed more rules on universities. Campuses must report their on-campus crime activity, comply with Title IX regulations, and decide when it’s legal to provide educational records.
Campus administration used to largely lie to professors but with the advent of these new rules, universities have to hire individuals with specialized knowledge of how to implement them.
It isn’t just administrative hires that have increased costs. Universities are in an arms-race to attract the greatest amount of new students and much of that has come from amenities not related to education. For example, want to relax at LSU? Have you thought about taking a cruise down the Lazy River feature built as part of an $85 million upgrade to the student rec center?
It even spells out LSU – nice touch!
What about a wave rider at Pensacola Christian College appropriately named FlowRider? The old cafeterias at many universities have been replaced with specialized food courts and dorms boast balconies for sitting outside.
The shift away from the traditional four year on-campus degree began long ago but is only going to accelerate as the cost of a college degree continues to increase without the necessary increase in salary to repay it after graduation.
Trade schools have been increasing in popularity. The in-class / working intern model which was very popular just 70 years ago has started to increase in popularity again.
Online courses that offer certificates have replaced degrees in some industries. I know a couple of younger coders that were able to get jobs without getting the normal computer science degree.
Ultimately, these trends away from traditional education is a positive thing. Both our public schools and universities have been taken over and remade into little more than indoctrination centers for our youth – completely bereft of critical thinking and places where intellectual curiosity is discouraged. Thankfully, we have other alternatives that are beginning to be recognized as valuable and necessary to the current status quo.
Maybe after wokeness burns itself out we can think about rebuilding those old institutions.
In the mean time – a better future awaits us as these new institutions slowly become the power centers.