The National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s biggest union, is a militant purveyor of “critical race theory” (CRT), basic Marxist class struggle recast along racial lines. The NEA will offer resources for teachers to deploy “when they are attacked” by critics of CRT. Parents who defy this racist jihad should understand the powerful alliance now arrayed against them.
The three-million-members NEA works in alliance with the federal Department of Education. This power couple dates back to 1976, when the NEA endorsed Jimmy Carter for president and the Georgia Democrat proved grateful to a fault.
The U.S. Constitution gives the federal government no role in education but in 1979 Carter created the federal Department of Education. As NEA boss Terry Herndon admitted, “there’d be no department without the NEA.” Despite NEA support in 1980, Carter lost to Ronald Reagan, but the DOE carried on in a tacit alliance with the NEA.
The U.S. Constitution does not demand that parents send their children to a government school. The newfound DOE, like the NEA, did not support the right of parents to choose the school their child attends, and take their government funding with them. That was the pattern of the federal G.I. Bill, which empowered students to select UCLA, Brigham Young, NYU, or any accredited university. In this arrangement, the dollars follow the scholars.
With K-12 education, on the other hand, taxpayer dollars must trickle down through four layers of bureaucratic sediment – federal, state, county and local district – before they reached the classroom. The system forces parents and students seeking a quality education to pay twice, a clear case of separate and unequal treatment. Even so, against furious union opposition, Milwaukee’s parental choice program proved popular and successful.
African American activist Polly Williams, prime mover of the program, noted that President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary sent daughter Chelsea to the prestigious Sidwell Friends School. That prompted Williams to proclaim, “Bill and Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be the only people who live in public housing who can send their kid to private school.” In similar style, the Obamas sent daughters Sasha and Malia to Sidwell Friends, bypassing the dangerous and dysfunctional schools of the DC government system.
For most parents, particularly African Americans, the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, operated by Congress, provided the only way out. The NEA opposed the program and found a strategic ally in the federal Department of Education.
For education secretary Obama chose Arne Duncan a white Harvard alum and former Chicago education boss. Duncan not only failed to support the DC Opportunity Scholarships Program but actually rescinded 216 scholarships already awarded for the coming year. As the Washington Post observed in an editorial, “nine out of 10 students who were shut out of the scholarship program this year are assigned to attend failing public schools.”
Like segregationist governors under Jim Crow, Duncan blocked the schoolhouse door facing both ways. African American parents and students shut out of the scholarship program could be forgiven for regarding that action as officially sanctioned racism. The Department of Education did not come to their aid, and the National Education Association continued to oppose parental choice in education.
In the 1983 A Nation at Risk, the Department of Education warned of “a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.” If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose such mediocre performance, “we might well have viewed it as an act of war.” By that time, government monopoly education had become a collective farm of ignorance, mediocrity and failure. In 2021, the NEA is transforming government schools into indoctrination centers.
Critical race theory divides the people along racial lines and essentially encourages students to hate themselves. The New York Times 1619 Project contends that the United States of America was a slavery operation from the start and remains bastion of “white supremacy,” to be hated by students even as they hate themselves. If parents and students oppose this hatred, the NEA will deploy resources to attack them.
President Trump slapped a ban on CRT indoctrination but NEA-endorsed Joe Biden quickly rescinded the ban. Biden’s choice for education secretary was Miguel Cardona, Connecticut schools boss and promoter of the first state mandated ethnic studies course. The mandatory curriculum is rooted in critical race theory that claims America is intrinsically racist. True to form, National Education Association president Becky Pringle, a “fierce social justice warrior,” decries “systemic racism,” and the union looks forward to “partnering” with Cardona “in taking on these challenges together.”
A federal bureaucracy that should not exist joins forces with the leftist NEA to block freedom of choice and indoctrinate students in racist, anti-American ideology. This act of war is what happens under government monopoly education. Victory will come when the nation establishes full educational choice for all, as a matter of basic civil rights.