Here’s what Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has to say about ‘Parents Bill of Rights’ laws passed by White Christian supremacist Republicans (boldface mine):
“I was hired to improve education in the country. I’m not a politician. I’m an educator. I’m a dad, and I want to talk about raising the bar in education,” Cardona said in an interview with POLITICO last week. “But I won’t sit idly when some try to attack our schools or privatize education.”
Cardona advocated for tighter gun laws after last year’s killings at Robb Elementary and has warned that the country risks failing students in Covid-19’s wake. Yet his newly public exasperation with school-centered partisanship comes as the Republican-controlled House approved sweeping “Parents Bill of Rights” legislation that captures broad strokes of pandemic-era conservative education wars.
“When we talk about politicization, when we talk about book banning, when we talk about Black history curriculum being picked apart — I think there are deliberate attempts to make sure that our public schools are not functional so that the private option sounds better,” the education secretary said. “I don’t doubt that’s intentional.”
Is our Democrats learning? Some are:
The Democratic Party of Illinois last week unveiled what it called an unprecedented effort to endorse dozens of candidates in nonpartisan local school and library board races. It also plans to funnel nearly $300,000 into an advertising and organizing campaign surrounding those elections.
One constant failure by professional Democrats has been the failure to describe what conservatives actually want, not what they say want when they are in moderate forums (at least Illinois Democrats are fighting. Many state parties are either too dysfunctional or too stupid to do this).
And make no mistake: the defunding (SWIDT?) of public schools has been the end game for conservatives all along, whether they are of the Milton Friedman variety or the Rushdoony variety.
Professional Democrats need to describe Republican radicalism far more often than they do.