The Republican party has revealed their new party platform and in addition to attacking women’s rights, the GOP plans to “reform” education.
Republicans across the country, at the state and local level and on the national stage, have been talking about privatizing many programs and education is at the top of the list. According to the Republican platform, the GOP plans to essentially privatize education in the United States. The plan moving forward is to use taxpayer-funded vouchers and credits to send children from failing public schools into private and religious schools.
“The Republican Party is the party of fresh and innovative ideas in education. We support options for learning, including home schooling and local innovations like single-sex classes, full-day school hours, and year-round schools. School choice – whether through charter schools, open enrollment requests, college lab schools, virtual schools, career and technical education programs, vouchers, or tax credits – is important for all children, especially for families with children trapped in failing schools.”
The Republican plan is simple, gut education to fund bloated tax cuts, and through vouchers, or “coupons,” send children out of the public sector and into a private or religious education system. The Republican platform also calls the expectations of teachers bigoted.
“Today’s education reform movement calls for accountability at every stage of schooling. It affirms higher expectations for all students and rejects the crippling bigotry of low expectations. It recognizes the wisdom of State and local control of our schools, and it wisely sees consumer rights in education – choice – as the most important driving force for renewing our schools.”
Gutting the education budget, attacking teachers and holding back public education seems to be all part of the conservative agenda and with their new party platform, they’re one step closer to achieving their dream. While “school choice” is a major issue, the conservative attack on sex-education is another area where Republicans plan to make drastic changes.
“We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with abstinence education which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior. Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS when transmitted sexually. It is effective, science-based, and empowers teens to achieve optimal health outcomes and avoid risks of sexual activity. We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception.”
The conservative obsession with sex and abstinence is nothing more than a theocratic encroachment on a free society. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control, teen pregnancies are the highest in states that teach abstinence-only education. Additional studies have shown that abstinence-only education could increase the risk of unintended pregnancy due to the lack of information given to the students about contraception.
The Bush administration’s “No Child Left Behind” act only further damaged education in the United States, putting emphasis on test scores rather than educating the student. Instead of giving up on our country’s education system and the future of our nation, we should be finding ways to strengthen and improve it.
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