Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Tea Party candidate tries to rewrite history

Of all the wacky ideas espoused by all the teabaggers running for office, this has to be one of the most radical.

David Harmer, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in California’s 11th District, proposed 10 years ago that the United States abolish public schools.

In an op-ed published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Harmer wrote that getting the government out of the business of running schools would help the United States “attain quantum leaps in educational quality and opportunity.” He went on to claim that this is “the way things worked through the first century of American nationhood . . . .”

No one would dispute that America's public schools could do better, but when it comes to the history of education in America, Harmer doesn't know what he's talking about.

It's true that education remained largely private until the mid 19th century, but not entirely so. Harmer would know this if he hailed from my home state of Massachusetts. Fortunately for the Bay State, he does not.
  • Boston Latin School, the oldest public school in America, was founded in 1635.
  • In 1647, Massachusetts made school attendance mandatory, and passed a law requiring every town in the colony to create a grammar school.
  • The Constitution of Massachusetts, ratified in 1780, says “it shall be the duty of legislatures and magistrates, in all future periods of this commonwealth, to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them.”
  • In 1821, the first public high school in the United States opened its doors in Boston. 
  • In 1837, Horace Mann, now known as the father of public education in America, became secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, where he promoted increased funding for schools and improved teacher preparation. 
Tea Party types are so adept at ignoring reality, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised when they try to rewrite the past as well.


  1. and further to the point..... Glen Beck says grandparents should home school their grandchildren. That way, he says, public schools could be closed to save taxpayer money.

    Where do these coo-coo's come up with this stuff?

    By way of tabulation of tea party ideas:

    Scrap the minimum wage
    Scrap unemployment compensation
    Scrap welfare
    Scrap corporate taxation
    Scrap social security
    Scrap medicare
    Scrap health care. It's only for the wealthy
    Scrap public education
    Abolish the Departments of Health, Education and Environmental Protection at the Federal and local levels
    Take the U.S. out of the United Nations
    Allow people to settle political disputes with their second amendment rights..... guns.

    This is quite a nasty brew these folks are putting together.

    Picture this: Workers are paid 25 cents per day of work. Dumb down the kids. No maternal or child health care. No protections against corrupt corporations. No workers protections in industry. The top 2% of the population will have all the money and power. There are wretched poor farms which will see all the goods produced go to the super wealthy who have all the money.

    Just a thumbnail of what the tea party puppets want to provide for their corporate handlers.

  2. CA11 is in a tough spot with Harmer if it's true he is leading. Let's keep the fight up.

    We have to inform voters out there with everything we have like running blogs and creating media. I found some new videos of him on YouTube
    I thought this ad on Harmer was better crafted than most:

    Have you seen it on TV at all?