How Low Can Public Education Get?



By Richard Eber

When referring to the current public education system in California as being “Marxist Lite”, I am sadly mistaken.  In the old Soviet Union and today’s China children spend long hours both in class and at home doing homework to further their academic achievement. Totalitarian governments know that promoting literacy is an important ingredient in building their economies.

Not so in California.  Both school boards and the teachers Unions are doing everything possible to sabotage students’ ability to learn and function in the real world.  These people are constantly pushing diversity, equality, social justice and various Progressive ideals.

At the same time during Covid-19, they are insisting on remote learning that discriminates against children from low income families. By definition the educational system is acting in a racist manor denying learning opportunities for the kids who need it most.

 Case and point are the crazies running the public school asylum in San Francisco.

Their latest brilliant idea is to eliminate testing to gain admission to the college prep oriented Lowell High School.  According to a committee of their School Board, instituting a lottery where everyone is treated the same is the best way to screen students for entrance to this prestigious place of learning.

Apparently diversity in bringing kids in of differing abilities is their remedy to leveling the playing field for preparing young people for college.

Under such a system it will not be necessary to read, write, and have knowledge of science, math, and history to be enrolled at Lowell. If enacted, such so called reform would destroy the proud tradition of this school.   Outside of my parents and grandfather graduating from Lowell, many other prominent people went there. These includes:

  • Albert Abraham Michelson, winner of Nobel prize in Physics
  • Famous cartoonist Rube Goldberg
  • Donald Fisher Founder of The Gap
  • Acclaimed Broadway star Carol Channing
  • William Hewlett Co Founder of Hewlett Packard
  • California Governor (Edmond) Pat Brown

The list goes on for this iconic institution that for over 150 years has stood for academic excellence associated with San Francisco in much the same way as cable cars. Such a proud legacy means nothing to the Cancel Culture- Identity Politics oriented school board of the “City by the Bay.”  Their actions are aimed at destroying the past to create a Diversity World environment where “no child is left ahead”.

Outside of ending Lowell High School’s proud history by eliminating entrance qualifications, they have directed several other arrows pointed in the direction of creating mediocrity.  During the Covid-19 outbreak when students are attending school remotely, they have gotten rid of “D’s” and “F’s” from report cards at all high schools

This is part of the progressive educational philosophy that proudly proclaims, “We don’t keep score because everyone is a winner”.  San Francisco is not alone in adapting such pathetic standards.  Both San Diego and Santa Barbara are in the process of adopting similar standards by eliminating low grades for students who fail to learn subject matter during Covid-19 times.

Apparently the current trend of giving so called participation trophies to build self esteem is now considered to be a viable substitute for academic proficiency.

The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), will not allow themselves to be outdone.  They are in the process of renaming 39 schools to comply with PC standards of Leftist ideology.  As it turns out every place I went to from the 1st grade to entering College is on the chopping block

 Despite writing the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and being the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson seems destined to be offed.  George Washington High, where I attended Summer school is also FOB Sidewalk.  It was not enough to eliminate an historic mural depicting slaves and Indians working in the fields.  Now the father of our country will no longer have a school named after him.

Even Abraham Lincoln High, where I graduated, is destined for the scrap heap.  Apparently Black Lives Matters (BLM) believes Lincoln, who authored the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves, did not do enough in the area of civil rights to suit their sensitivities.

Should the school board have it’s way, my alma mater will not only have its name changed, but will likely require a new mascot? By cancel culture standards, “Mustangs” are a special breed associated with male dominance. This  is  considered to be sexist because females and Transgender animals are excluded from their hierarchy.  I would imagine Lincoln’s  new mascot will be the Woke’s, Tepid’s,  Passive’s, Challenged,  or some other name that does not offend anyone.

All of this stuff going on  at  the place of my birth seems crazy.  To me it is an attempt by Cancel Culture advocates to rewrite history to conform to their vision of the world.  Nowhere in their list of so called non-negotiable demands is there any consideration that by studying the individuals they deplore, we might learn valuable lessons to avoid mistakes made in the past?

What concerns me most is that by eliminating grades and lowering educational standards, what kind of persons are we entrusting the future of our country to?

Who will fill the high tech jobs of tomorrow jobs tomorrow when the public education system is corrupted by the cancerous environment  which exists today?

Are we to believe that any amount of free breakfasts, lunches, additional counseling, and diluted curriculum might be a substitute for traditional emphasis on the 3 R’s previous generations grew up with?

Will sex education starting in kindergarten be a good substitute for learning social values taught at home?  By eliminating competition and awarding achievement, can this formula produce the leaders of tomorrow? How can we expect the next generation to possess traditional American work ethic standards, if so little is asked from them growing up?

Of course, no matter how bad public education becomes in California, there will always be cream that rises to the top.  The top 10% of students will be well educated, no matter how the system fails them. Despite this I am fearful public education will end up producing unmotivated adults who will become dependent on a socialistic government for their well being.

Perhaps I have been reading too much of my old George Orwell and Audios Huxley novels of late.  Only the future will determine if California will become a true Dystopian State.

Richad Eber studied journalism at the University of Oregon. He writes about politics, culture, education restaurants, and was former city and sports editor of UCSB Daily. Richard is president of Amerasa Rapid Transit, a specialized freight forwarder.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.

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