An Ohio state legislator posted a blog entry denouncing the U.S. public education system as “socialism” and advocating for a marketization of American schools. Talking Points Memo reported that state Rep. Andrew Brenner (R) posted the entry to his website Brenner Brief news earlier this month.
Brenner began by quoting the Wikipedia definition of socialism: “a social and economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy.”
He then went on to suggest that “(p)ublic education in America is socialism” because “It is owned and cooperatively managed by the public.”
“It is interesting that tea party members will attack Obama-care relentlessly as a socialist system that brings about mediocrity and failure,” he said, but that they do not immediately recognize public schools as symptoms of the same big-government mindset. Teachers’ unions, as well, he said, are outgrowths of socialist-minded reasoning.
“(O)ur public education system is already a socialist system,” he argued, “and has been a socialist system since the founding of our country.”
Therefore, he argued, it must be stopped.
He argued that reformers like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) had instituted the Common Core system into elementary and secondary education as a means of raising test scores and improving the minimum standards expected of all students in the country.
“So how do we improve our education system so students learn the basics, and learn how to think?” he asked. “The only long-run solution is to move to a more privatized system.”
He painted a picture of a dreamy education utopia where “the parents and students have the ultimate say, not state and federal legislators, not unions, not government bureaucrats.”
“In a free market system parents and students are free to go where the product and results are better. Common core and standardized tests under such a system will not be necessary, because the schools that fail will go out of business,” he said.
“Government will not be there to prop them up with more tax dollars and increased regulations. Successful schools will thrive. The free-market system works for cars, furniture, housing, restaurants, and to a lesser degree higher education, so why can’t it work for our primary education system?” he wrote.
Brenner proposed that U.S. school districts ape those of the former Soviet Union and “sell off the existing buildings, equipment and real estate to those in the private sector.”
Businesses, he theorized, will then compete with each other to attract the best and brightest students and the tax monies allotted to each of them by the state for their education.
“It will not be an easy transition and it will take open-minded people who want successful students,” he warned, but in the end, the U.S. should “(p)rivatize everything and the results will speak for themselves.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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