The View from the Hudson
18 Agosto Ago 2011 1504 18 agosto 2011

Education, Education, Education

Following up on last week’s post about the Wisconsin Republican recall elections: Two Democrats faced recall this week, but prevailed. In other words, the Republicans did not increase their tiny majority in that legislative body.

Again, we’re following this state’s politics (although it’s a very nice state, it is just one out of 50) because of the brouhaha earlier this year involving their public workers' ability to bargain collectively.

All this got me thinking the lack of value we place on teachers and education in the U.S. It’s beginning to feel like a conspiracy.

Just as Republicans always fight measures that make it easier to vote (we had a big battle here in New York State over whether to make voter registration available at the motor vehicle bureau – guess which side they took), Republicans seems to like our populace dumb.

Here’s an example: How many citizens realized that the recent fight over the debt ceiling was not over new spending vs. new revenues, but about paying bills for money that had already been voted on and spent? Very few, believe me. That would require reading an article, or critical thinking or both. It’s better for the Republicans when things are nice and simple, just like the people they convince to vote against their own interests on any number of issues, including healthcare.

Understand, that the most holy thing in my household during my youth was education. We drove junky cars, the lawn was a mess, and we took very few vacations …. But there was always money for education. It’s a Jewish thing. If I asked to take a class, be it music lessons, language lessons, whatever, the answer was always yes.

Learning is at the center of Jewish culture – and some have even argued that it has a genetic basis, an idea put forward in a controversial study a few years ago. So it’s rare to find a Jew coming out against increasing teacher pay, etc. Even my many Jewish Republican friends wouldn’t dare take away from our dwindling Pell grants (the government’s tuition-assistance program).

So, “On Wisconsin” – keeping those education-loving Dems in office was a move that has every Jewish mother kveling.

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