Education Minnesota is the largest contributor to Democratic candidates and causes. It sets the tone and parameters of our education debates, which, among elected Democrats, are now predictably rigid and scripted — and this concerns a program that consumes 42 percent of the state’s operating budget, affects hundreds of thousands of children and has shamefully racialized results.
There are so many taboo topics, so many things that cannot be said for fear of setting off our funders, so many conspiracy theories, so much dismissal of data. Instead of leading on education issues, our elected Democrats, from school board members to legislators, act a lot like — God, this is painful — Republicans trying to placate their fundie base.
Our side on the education divide ducks, dodges and mostly dissembles. We block change and innovation. We defend the traditional system no matter what. And low-income children of color pay the biggest price.
How do you change a fundamentalist culture? You mostly can’t — it’s hard-wired to resist change. But for starters, we could at least admit it’s nutty.