Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

On education, the left is mired in the fifties

Jerry Stratton, July 20, 2022

The left loves to accuse conservatives of wanting to turn the clock back to the fifties. This, it turns out, is typical projection. From government to education, the beltway left is stuck in the industrial assembly-line mindset of the fifties. They believe that any attempt to modernize either government or education is an attack on morals.

Even today, any attempt to allow parents a choice in schools other than the one-size fits all government-run approach is met with end-of-the-world nonsense. This is often even true when those choices are other government schools such as schools in different districts or charter schools.

The ridiculous lack of even basic security in schools is a direct result of schools being run as a fifties-era government monopoly. You often hear older people lamenting that they used to be able to keep their doors unlocked, but times have changed. Businesses used to be able to keep their buildings unguarded, but times have changed.

And it’s true. Times have changed. We used to be able to keep our doors unlocked. We used to be able to open the unguarded doors of our businesses and not go bankrupt from crime. But we recognize that times have changed. And so we no longer keep our doors unlocked and our buildings unguarded.

Schools, because monopolies tend to get stuck in their heyday, still keep their doors unlocked, despite the ease of having one-way doors that only open from the inside. They still keep students unguarded, despite the dedicated teachers available in every class. Teachers who often end up protecting children by dying to defend them, rather than protecting children by training to defend them.

Pretend your school is a bank. Or a sporting event. Or anything not run by government. All of them storing important things or hosting important events, but none as important as educating children. All of them have better security than schools. Much of it is simple security that doesn’t even add more expense: doors that only open from the inside, and training for employees. And of course, others forms of security does add expense, such as security guards and automatic alarms. But businesses pay for these because they work.

The left pretends they’ve never even heard of basic security. Suggest one-way doors that any student can open, and they’ll complain about turning schools into prisons. Their only solution, ever, is more laws that won’t stop criminals and wouldn’t have stopped whatever the most recent tragedy was.

Suggest changing with the times in our schools, suggest that children are more important than bank vaults, that education is more important than football, and that we should implement the basic security procedures we’ve learned since 1950, and they’ll accuse you of irrationality.

Irrational is ignoring everything we’ve learned about security in the last century and leaving children completely unprotected, as if the lack of security that worked in 1950 should still work today.

We can’t design a system as a fifties-style monopoly, and then be surprised that it acts like a fifties-style monopoly. Public schools—our entire educational system—must join the 21st century.

In response to No room for education reform in spending frenzy: In a year of record spending, the one thing we apparently can’t afford is saving money on better education.

  1. <- DC scholarship fund