HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Editorials & Other Articles (Forum) » What it really means when...

Tue Feb 18, 2020, 10:04 AM

What it really means when Trump, DeVos and allies refer to public schools as 'government schools'

If you were listening to President Trump deliver his State of the Union address this month, you heard him refer to public schools as “government schools.” It was not the first time, and you can expect to hear it with increasing frequency from him, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and their allies as they push to increase programs that use public money for private and religious school education.

Trump and DeVos use the term most often with the adjective “failing” attached as a broad denunciation of the public school system, which advocates see as the nation’s most important civic institution. The president and education secretary say their goal is to provide families with the most education options even as they disparage the one that enrolls most of America’s schoolchildren and continues to get high marks from the public.

It isn’t entirely clear where “government schools” originated in this context. This term showed up in a 1929 encyclical from Pope Pius XI on Christian education in which he calls “unjust and unlawful” any “monopoly, educational or scholastic, which, physically or morally, forces families to make use of government schools, contrary to the dictates of their Christian conscience, or contrary even to their legitimate preferences.”

In 1954, a white Southern segregationist who opposed school desegregation used it, as did free-market economist Milton Friedman in 1955. In the mid-2010s, conservatives in Kansas invoked the term during a battle over public education funding. Now, Trump and DeVos use it as they push their No. 1 education priority: Getting Congress to pass a $5 billion tax credit program that would allow use of public money for children to attend private and religious school.

“Government schools” is invoked mostly by people who are suspicious of public institutions and see government as a problem rather than a solution. That sentiment was perhaps best encapsulated by President Ronald Reagan in an Aug. 12, 1986, speech in which he famously said, “'The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.'”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2020/02/18/what-it-really-means-when-trump-devos-their-allies-refer-public-schools-government-schools/

10 replies, 1398 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply What it really means when Trump, DeVos and allies refer to public schools as 'government schools' (Original post)
Zorro Feb 18 OP
Iliyah Feb 18 #1
Ohiogal Feb 18 #2
appalachiablue Feb 18 #3
Rver Feb 18 #4
Cracklin Charlie Feb 18 #5
Harker Feb 18 #6
lees1975 Feb 18 #7
appalachiablue Feb 18 #8
CaptYossarian Feb 18 #9
czarjak Feb 19 #10

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2020, 10:20 AM

1. So what . . .

Their proposal re: charter schools, future main purpose is to teach total students who can afford it a curriculum of religious bullshit and lies with distortion of facts concerning history, present and future.

In other words, mind control.

At least public schools are for everyone, poor to rich and teaching multi educational subjects, more prone to facts and reality.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2020, 10:22 AM

2. Married to a retired PUBLIC school teacher here

Nothing frosts me more or is more misleading than when the uptight wing nuts use the term “government schools” usually preceded by the word “failing.” And to hear our President bandy that right wing talking point around, at the SOTU no less, really infuriates me.

They love to create that image of kids toiling away in a gulag being taught to repeat the Communist Manifesto.

American PUBLIC schools used to be the shining example to the world .... but ever since religion nuts and “all gubmint is bad” types, and union haters have risen to prominence plus the way the right wing strangles public school funding, they are not what they could be. I am sick and tired of them funneling taxpayer money to religion schools but they have no concept of state and church separation. And many of the taxpayer funded religion schools aren’t held accountable for standards and many of them teach whack a doodle ideas. Seems like these conservative types want religion over science and fact. When I was growing up, you learned religion on your own time, from your parents or from Sunday school.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2020, 10:24 AM

3. Serious movement for decades. Bloomberg's educ reform policies:

- Bloomberg On Education Reform, The Guardian, Feb. 17, 2020
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/17/michael-bloomberg-education-reforms-public-schools

> Michael Bloomberg's education 'reforms' would be a disaster for public schools. Like Trump, Bloomberg is a fervent backer of privatizing and dismantling schools across the country.

Nominating Michael Bloomberg would be a disaster for public schools – and for the Democrats’ chances at beating Donald Trump in 2020. Because when it comes to education policy, it is virtually impossible to tell the two billionaire politicians apart.
Like Trump and his inept Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, Bloomberg is a fervent backer of privatizing and dismantling public schools across the country. Education, in their view, should be run like a business.

While other establishment Democrats have begun changing their tune in response to the “Red for Ed” movement, Bloomberg’s campaign spokesman has made it clear that privatization will be a core message of his 2020 presidential run: “Mike has always supported charter schools, he opened a record number of charter schools as mayor of New York City, and he will champion the issue as president.”

- Education, in their view, should be run like a business -

Indeed, Bloomberg succeeded in massively expanding privately run but publicly funded charter schools during his term as mayor, increasing their number from 18 to 183. His controversial push to “increase school choice” closed over 100 schools in low-income communities and entrenched New York City’s education system as the most racially segregated in the country...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2020, 10:39 AM

4. Nebraska's governor

Pete Ricketts (repug) is using that term too. Fyi

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2020, 10:43 AM

5. It really just means...

We’re here to steal the budget of the Department of Education.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2020, 11:19 AM

6. Maybe they have a problem with "government schools"

educating young students about how our form of government is supposed to work. And teaching history.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2020, 11:33 AM

7. The problem will always be perception

The public schools do indeed enroll most American school children, largely because the taxes required to support them make it difficult for all but the wealthy to enroll their children in an alternative type of school. I don't know where the idea of "high marks from the public" comes from, that sure would not be the case here, nor anywhere else I've ever lived.

"'Government schools' is invoked mostly by people who are suspicious of public institutions and see government as a problem rather than a solution."

I'd have to say that when it comes to the public school system, government has been a problem, not a solution. We don't have the best public school system in the world, not even close for a country with the kind of resources we have, because education is not a high priority when it comes to making sure billionaires get tax cuts.

We need education reform and we need a school system that teaches basic skills. Leave the social agenda out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2020, 11:40 AM

8. FINLAND School System Envy Of The World, No. 1, U.S. No. 26

FINLAND'S School System Is The Envy Of The World, It's Easy To See Why

*'Top of the class: Labour seeks to emulate Finland's school system.' After the party’s conference pledge to scrap Ofsted & private schools, does the envied Finnish education system provide the blueprint? The Guardian, Sept. 27, 2019. Excerpts:

It’s early afternoon in Lintulaakson school in Espoo, near Helsinki. The younger children are having a snack before starting their after-school activities. Upstairs a group of 12-year-olds are in a craft class, cutting patterns and making clothes on sewing machines. Outside, children play in an enormous outdoor space, equipped with a climbing frames, football pitches and basketball courts. “Hey, Petteri,” one boy yells casually at the principal, Petteri Kuusimäki. “Next year can we start school a bit later, at 10am?” Kuusimäki jokes with them. It’s all first names here.

The Finnish education system is the envy of the world. Along with Tove Jansson’s Moomins, Nokia phones and Iittala glassware, it has become one of the country’s most celebrated exports – and it’s easy to see why. Its students consistently score well at the top end of the Pisa international league tables, and as Kuusimäki walks me round his school he describes a kind of education utopia – a place where teachers are highly trained, revered and trusted, and children’s wellbeing is paramount. There are no Ofsted-style inspections, no streaming by ability, no national exams until 18, no school uniforms, no school league tables and no fee-paying private schools...
- More, https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016239954

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Feb 18, 2020, 12:40 PM

9. If public schools are failing and Trump & DeVos are dumber than f***,

what does that make the private schools THEY attended?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Wed Feb 19, 2020, 05:43 AM

10. Mostly a brown/black thing though.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread