To Promote Republican Ideology in Private Schools, and worse...
Disgusting and so much easier to execute, for its simplicity, than the more complex goals of inclusion and excellence for all. I was thinking last week about how politeness in the South (however fake sometimes) is reinforced by everyone in schools, churches, and the home. No parent could single handedly cultivate that internalized sense of decorum without the broad social reinforcement. Same for excellence in public education. Once the broad social support is gone, there’s no propping it up. Iowans will have to learn the cost of this folly the hard way.
Also: great work by Asa!
Your words are perfectly accurate - and timely. Thank you for naming all the atrocities, boldly outing the real mission, and creating a sense of urgency for accountability! These are frustrating times - teachers, teacher librarians (now apparently “unnecessary”), administrators and school board members in Iowa have watched -aghast at the rapidity of legislation that was mostly NOT bipartisan that created “solutions” to “problems that never were. Model legislation from other states and think-tanks isn’t good at all. We need collaborative, bi-partisan legislation that serves public schools, who are apolitical and serve ALL KIDS. Thank you for your brilliant piece!
Thanks, Denise! I think we overcome it in part by what I wrote here in July. https://rleonard.substack.com/p/values
Thanks Scott. I have hope--this post from July shares it. https://rleonard.substack.com/p/values
It is clear what a political system under GOP control would look like. All we have to do is look at Florida, Iowa and a dozen other GOP controlled states. You have hit the core of the issue Robert...it is about creating a Christian nationalist oligarchy that works for a few, not the many. It is inherently anti-democratic, and it is dangerous.
I've tried to distill those thoughts into something coherently haven't been able to do so. You did it perfectly. Add in the destruction of newspapers and discrediting television news and you have the perfect storm. I'll share this far and wide.
I know what you write is true. How to overcome this undermining of democracy is the challenge. Your analysis is disturbing but accurate.😡
Again, you have succinctly and absolutely accurately recounted the situation. It is nearly impossible not to despair that so many have been so propagandized. A recent New York Times op-ed noted how those of us most disturbed by how successfully misinformation and disinformation produce votes, then start losing faith in democracy. The original delineation of that view is attributed, I believe, to Plato.
A realistic look at what is happening, thank you. I forwarded this on to friends. I did have one comment/question. I believe it is important to not overstate or miss the mark on the facts. It is my understanding that the train derailment was caused by an overheated wheel bearing that was caught by the crew when the sensor rose to the temperature that set off alarms. So is that really a derailment caused by deregulation or just a heads up that more safety regulations need to be considered.
Thank you for writing this column, Bob. You have summarized what is going on here with pinpoint precision. I have heard much talk about how all of this will be viewed as "over-reach" and people will make their disgust known when they vote - much like Kansas. I do hope that is true, but there are two years left for these people to continue to damage children and others who have no voice in our state. My biggest fear? I am very afraid that, perhaps, this in not considered overreach by a majority of voters who show up to vote in 2024. God help us. To quote Julie and Rekha, "What in the Hell Has Happened to Iowa?" Thank you for your continued good work to report what is happening these days in Iowa.
Many years ago when I worked for a private school, Kim Reynolds showed up and said as much. I did my best to warn people about it. Besides everything you mentioned, we also had an explosion at a shingle recycling plant in Marengo, our cancer rate is going up here in Iowa, and a toxic pit of manure remains festering in Algona. And much of Iowa's budget surplus and projects in art and infrastructure are funded by the American Rescue Plan--which gets no mention when our politicians tout the projects. Iowans need to be more aware! Please, Iowa, drain the bathtub!
Brilliant piece, Robert. You boldly call out the elephant in the room that so many are afraid to emphasize -- voucher programs are a strong pillar of the Christian Nationalist takeover platform. As an Iowa taxpayer I am forced to fund Christian schools (yes, that's the vast majority of "private" schools). Curriculums across America are devolving to remove reference to critical events that shaped our nation, scientific proof of climate change, and using religion as a smokescreen to hide hatred toward and exclusion of minority groups. Isn't it ironic that they accuse modern public schools as being the "groomers"? Sadly, the negative impact of this trend may not be realized for a decade or more. By then it may be too late to save us from a generation of children indoctrinated into conservative Christian philosophy.
Thanks for articulating so well what we are facing. Almost 18 years ago, I moved back to WI from the west coast w/an infant in tow, motivated in large part by "better schools." Today, this essay could just as easily be about The Badger state.
to get what they want, our elected leaders are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. They are throwing out the values of diversity and govt openness-- and more--with the bathwaters of policies that taste woke to them. And the leaders don't care if our democratic values drown in the process.
Thank you, Bob.
Thank you for pulling all this together. This is just terrifying when we reflect upon it. All I know is that we cannot allow our nation to be hijacked like this. The path ahead is foggy but please keep clearing it for us. Leaders will emerge!