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The War on Children: the Target on the Education System

The War on Children: the Target on the Education System

A nation suffers when its leadership makes the wrong decisions. While many used to look at the US not only as a bastion for democracy but the author of the American Dream and all the underlying opportunities it came with, including through education, the status quo provides a stark (and frankly concerning) contrast to that narrative. As far as education is concerned, test scores are down, and violence is up.

Parents are screaming at school boards, and children are crying on the couches of social workers. Anger is rising. Patience is falling. Not only this, but for public schools, the numbers are all going in the wrong direction. Enrollment is down. Absenteeism is up. There aren’t enough teachers, substitutes or school bus drivers.

But, we know that there is an adversary who is working behind the scenes to drive this nonsense; and so, let’s unpack the war on children with the nuance of looking at the education system as the fighting ground.

Public education is facing a crisis unlike anything in decades, and it reaches into almost everything that educators do: from teaching mathematics, to counselling anxious children, to managing the school building. In addition to this, political battles are now a central feature of education, leaving school boards, educators and students in the crosshairs. Schools are on the defensive about their pandemic decision-making, their curriculums, their policies regarding race and racial equity and even the contents of their libraries.

While parents and politicians who see education as a winning political issue — are pressing their case for more “parental control,” or the right to essentially veto educators’ choices that affect their children. Meanwhile, an energised school choice movement has been progressively pushing for the promotion of alternatives to traditional public schools.

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