If we are going to discuss the US Education System, we must know the history to understand with the current trajectory why we are missing the mark. The first American public school was founded in Boston, MA in 1635 and made education compulsory in 1642. While the schools were publicly supplied the families were charged tuition for the majority of white males to attend school.
During the Reconstruction era, the south created the first public school system supported by general taxes.
By 1870, all state’s elementary schools were state funded. As time progressed the US established schools for the blacks, religions, and Native Americans all with thoughts of keeping whites separate. The rural areas where still the most undereducated populations. In 1880, high schools were established for college-bound students.
The American Public-School System was plagued with inequalities for people of color, the poor and special needs. The system created public laws, policies and funding to provide education for all, with programs such as special education, early childhood education, child nutrition, English as a Second Language, summer schools, and target literacy programs to name a few.
Now, let’s talk about the current situation with public education.
The current administration’s Sec. of Education DeVos (parents paid for her education), who heads an intuition that she nor anyone in her family has ever participated in, pushes the Republican agenda to dissolve public education labeling the massacre “School of Freedom.” Although the agenda has been in play for several Republican terms with the title School of Choice or voucher system,” DeVos stays on the path to wreck one of the great intuitions created by America – Public Education.
Last week the hot topic was defunding Special Olympics, which was a smoke screen while the administration passed other cuts to 29 other public education programs: 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Alaska Native Education, American History and Civics Education, Arts in Education, Comprehensive Centers, Innovative Approaches to Literacy, Ready to Learn Programs, Supporting Effective Education Development and Promise Neighborhoods (to name a few) totaling $6,688 million. In addition, the de-regulation of disproportionality safeguards, which data from the Department of Education supports that minorities are suspended five times more than others and minorities are placed in special education with an emotional disability three times more than whites. Oh my, that’s the same information DeVos is citing but with a different twist. Her lens is shaded with the Republican agenda.
One more nugget, the agenda to create schools of choice has cost the government over $1 Billion in funds for failed unregulated charter schools, while they fight to cut funding for public schools. Yet the current proposed budget asks for more funding for charter and private schools to provide freedom of schools which lack regulation.
As a nation we have made a 360-degree circle in our quest for being an educated people, the rich get educated and the rest get thrown out like trash.
The question that is posed: How are we going to prosper as a country when we do not value God and free public education?
© 2019 Alicia Sigee, All Rights Reserved
EMAIL Dr. Sigee: firstname.lastname@example.org