So U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan invited every Education Department employee to attend Rev. Al Sharpton’s Glenn Beck counter-rally. As David Boaz explained in the Examiner, it was a ”highly inappropriate” thing to do, pushing people who are supposed to serve all Americans to support one side of a “political debate.” But that’s just the most obvious problem with Duncan’s weekend doings.
Perhaps just as troubling as his rally-prodding is that Duncan declared education “the civil rights issue of our generation” at Sharpton’s event. This only about a year after helping to kill an education program widely supported by many of the people he and Sharpton insist they want to empower. I’m talking, of course, about Washington, DC’s, Opportunity Scholarship Program, a voucher program that was proven effective. But the heck with success – Duncan and President Obama let the union-hated program die.
The cause for concern, though, doesn’t end there. According to the Examiner, an Education Department spokeswoman tried to gloss over the boss’s out-of-bounds play by suggesting that Sharpton’s rally was but a mere “back-to-school event.” Sound familiar?
That’s right! As I just blogged about, last year the Obama administration scared parents and taxpayers across the country by sending politically charged material to all public schools to prepare them for the president’s planned address to the nation’s children. Only after it took serious heat for that did the administration have the most alarming material changed. And then what did it do? Declared that the address would obviously be but a simple back-to-school speech, and tried to make everyone who knew what had actually transpired seem like a partisan attack dog.
As long as politicians run education, education will be hopelessly politicized. Unfortunately, that’s the simple back-to-school lesson for today.