Federalization is about imposing a dominant ideology and worldview, and in the case of our educational policy it is about imposing “front rowness”— the idea that everyone should aspire to becoming a tenured professor or a widget engaged in a resume arms race with the rest of the world.
It is a system built by intellectual elites who want everyone to be like them, and humiliates everyone else. It is a system that says anything that can’t be learned in an advanced placement class isn’t that important, like being a good member of the community, or family, or church. Those things are impediments to success. Staying home to care for your parents rather than rushing off to Princeton is an unnecessary speed bump on your way to having your best career!
Those who fundamentally don’t buy into this ideology, which is most of the working class, end up sitting in the back row of whatever school, distracted and frustrated. Throwing spitballs at whoever because they don’t take easily to set theory, or Algebra, or Henry James or Nathaniel Hawthorne. Because they don’t enjoy memorizing whatever they have to memorize for the next standardized test.
They are kids who just want to learn a skill to get a job. Because they are really good with their hands and good with tinkering, always have been. Or they are really good with animals, or good at getting stuff to grow, or they have ‘always been good at caring for people, noticing when someone is a little off and need to be checked on. Like, I always been good that way, especially with my Grandma, who shines up when she sees me come to play checkers. So maybe I will go into nursing you know. But I keep getting D’s in math and history, but if I can get over that hurdle, I sure would love to be a nurse.’