With Betsy DeVos as Trump’s Education Secretary, we now know more about Republicans view of the world, and that part of it labeled as “Public Education.”  It is a dismal view heavily influenced by evangelistic Christianity and the GOP mantra of “Profits before People.”   I even think now that Republicans have come to the secret view that dumbing down the general society is beneficial to them on three fronts:

  1. They can get their leaders elected by having the dumb people vote for them.  Trump’s very election being the prime example.  Just appeal to their reptilian instincts and “you are in like Flynt” (an old 1960’s movie title and not the disastrous water situation in Michigan also caused by the GOP).
  2. By having dumber people you establish a cheap pool of workers who are immobile in a current society dominated by technology.
  3.  You establish a base of consumers (and voters) who are always clamoring for the next new thing and are unable to to intelligently discern between products (or candidates) and just gravitate between the next shiny thing (you actually saw this in the Republican Primary of 2016 whereby people first went for Jeb Bush, then Ben Carson, then Ted Cruz and finally Donald Trump; and in 2012 when they went first for Howard Cain, then Rand Paul, then Mike Huckabee and finally for Mitt Romney).

The early assault on Public Education occurred in the Nixon Administration when it was obvious that college kids were against the Vietnam War and 18 years olds were about to get the vote.  Youth suddenly became the enemy of the Silent Majority (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_majority) and the Moral Majority (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_Majority).  A major player in this was of course California Governor Ronald Reagan who saw the protestors and hippies receiving free education in his state as a direct threat to his Presidential aspirations.  So he ended a free education.

Nationwide there was a notion of a Free and Appropriate Public Education, or “FAPE” that started in 1958 and was codified into law in 1973 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Appropriate_Public_Education).  The idea being that everyone school be educated even those who were the most poor in our society, because it lifted up the entire workforce and the country to be competitive around the world.  Moonshots couldn’t be accomplished by a bunch of dumb people.  “Dumb people” can be, in fact, dangerous: take the example of the janitor who can’t read and mixes clorox and ammonia to wash the floor and maybe stores it in the broom closet where the HCAV system intake is (A WWI style gas attack occurs).

The direct attack on Public Education was of course started under Republican Ronald Reagan when his idea was to disband the U.S. Department of Education (his Secretary was Bill Bennett).

The GOP ideas of late are “starving the beast” or cutting funding to schools and then when performance inevitably goes down, you label them as “failing” and this gives cover to divert more money to your alternative ideas like Charter and Private Schools where you hold a monetary interest in them.  More GOP mantra of “Profits before People.”

Then you (as the GOP) attack the Democratic Party idea of finding out what is going wrong with the schools by asking for more testing.  The testing under “No Child Left Behind” is statutorily obligated to use the test forms developed by former Education Secretary Bill Bennett (the seven million dollar gambling man as detailed in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bennett) and President G.W. Bush’s brother Neil Bush (the billion dollar saving and loan theft as detailed in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Bush).  Bill Bennett’s contract for developing a test was $14.9 million and the tests had to be purchased from him annually at about $100 a pop instead of photocopying them at less than a $1.  So it is a racket ( like the book War is a Racket by Smedley Butler on the GOP – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Is_a_Racket).