Designed to Fail (4): a history of American education

Part Four: Revolution and Counter-Revolution: Those with Wealth and Power have No Reason to Help Make Public Education Work.

Ira David Socol
Teachers on Fire Magazine

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Carnegie Summit 2024 — link: https://www.carnegiefoundation.org/carnegie-summit/ our presentation: Transforming Beliefs, Transforming Practice, Creating Equitable Schools Everywhere
The Carnegie Summit 2024 is about improvement and innovation: We’ll be there with a workshop on how to radically change public schools: Transforming Beliefs, Transforming Practice, Creating Equitable Schools Everywhere

A failing educational system benefits those who currently have wealth and power. They don’t want to share either of those things, nor do they want their children to have to compete with others who may have much more talent, creativity, and ambition. They win — they keep our public education in conservative turmoil — because they have the wealth and the power.

Painting: Barricades in Berlin during the Revolutions of 1848. The ideals of those revolts were smashed, yet the events determined the next 100 years, and 100 years later, the aspirations were largely realized.
Barricades in Berlin during the Revolutions of 1848. The ideals of those revolts were smashed, yet the events determined the next 100 years, and 100 years later, the aspirations were largely realized.

If you have ever listened to the Revolutions podcast (2015 to 2022 but still available including free on Audible), you know it is a sobering experience to understand the failure of revolutions — failure usually created by a counter-revolution of the rich and powerful.

Whether we are discussing France in 1815 or 1848, or Ronald Reagan’s US Department of Education in the 1980s, or Arne Duncan’s US Department of Education in the 2010s, or Ron DeSantis’ Mussolini-Style educational purges today, it is all as it has always been.

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Ira David Socol
Teachers on Fire Magazine

Author, Dreamer, Educator: A life in service - NYPD, EMS, disabilities/UDL specialist, tech and innovation leader for education. Co-author of Timeless Learning