“Society’s” Needs

Linn-Mar Community School Board (the district is on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids, IA) member Rachel Wall thinks she knows more about what “society’s needs” are and what should be taught “society’s” children than those children’s parents do. She posted—and she was deadly serious—on Facebook

The purpose of a public ed is to not teach kids what the parents want. It is to teach them what society needs them to know. The client is not the parent, but the community[.]

That got her enough public pushback, including calls for her resignation, that Wall added a post that she actually insisted was clarifying:

This post has garnered much ire and although I thought the sentiment was clear, it is obvious that’s not the case. Please allow me to clarify. This post doesn’t say that parents don’t matter or that students don’t matter. It doesn’t say that parents shouldn’t be involved or that students shouldn’t be our focus. What it says is that public education is an ecosystem.

Public education is an ecosystem. And she gets to define who the members of her ecosystem are. They plainly do not include the parents. Parents are not, in her exalted view, part of society. Notice, too, that while Wall doesn’t say that parents and students don’t matter, she also doesn’t say that they do matter.

She’ll hear politely what parents say, and then she’ll proceed without further regard. Children are not to be educated, they’re merely tools with which Wall and her cronies intend to mold their version of community. That status as mere tool, of course, makes the children her focus. Who uses a tool without focusing on it?

Please allow me to clarify. Parents are society. Their children are tomorrow’s society. No one is better suited to determine the needs of society today and tomorrow than society’s members: parents today and tomorrow and today’s children grown into tomorrow.

All teachers are qualified to teach is the mechanics of how to operate in society—STEM materials—how we got here—the facts of history—and how we’ll interact with each other—political history and current civics.

Sadly, dangerously, teachers of Wall’s ilk are unqualified even for that, and district managers like Wall are unqualified for anything related to our children.

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