It is no secret to anyone that education has become a divisive issue. Liberals and conservatives have clashed over things like critical-race-theory, LGBTQ+ issues, history standards and even bathrooms. This has played out in school board meetings among parents across America and recent research suggests that the arguments are spilling over to the students themselves. The image of shouting at a school board meeting may make a better photo but a recent interview with Mike Pompeo is actually a better representation of the divide.
Pompeo is the former US Secretary of State under the Trump administration. He is regarded as an expert in foreign relations. Typically, he is consulted for his expertise on threats to the United States as was the case in a recent interview for the publication Semafor. So who does Mike Pompeo consider the world’s biggest threat? Randi Weingarten, the President of the American Federation of Teachers:
“I get asked “Who’s the most dangerous person in the world? Is it Chairman Kim, is it Xi Jinping?” The most dangerous person in the world is Randi Weingarten. It’s not a close call. If you ask, “Who’s the most likely to take this republic down?” It would be the teacher’s unions, and the filth that they’re teaching our kids, and the fact that they don’t know math and reading or writing.”
As crazy as this answer is, I know he actually believes it and that is actually the biggest issue. We have lost all perspective and objectivity in these educational debates. There is a difference between having disagreements about curriculum and threatening a nuclear holocaust. But the Secretary of State sees the latter as less of a threat and apparently by a wide margin.
Additionally, the idea that schools aren’t teaching math and reading is ridiculous. Some teachers actually complain that’s all they teach.
If the highly educated foreign policy expert who was only a couple of untimely deaths away from being president believes that a teacher’s union boss is the biggest threat to America then what does the layman believe?
We have to get back to a point where we are having rational discussions. If not the educational landscape will only get more and more divided and that is not what is best for students.