The main issues that binds this listserve were born in the acculturation of the past 100 years, with its noticeable acceleration these last 30 odd years. The ills of our schools are the result of the continual inculcation of subsequent generations by the academic left. I absolutely agree that we need to undo the problems created by the neo-whatever that was in-vogue at any given time throughout these past decades. This is why you are much, much more likely to see the Che t-shirt in schools and on campuses than you are likely to ever see a Jefferson one.
On that, I can compromise on John's terms that the goals of education are the three R's, plus science and history. Sure, even these subjects are prone to agendas, but they at least are central to a continued US culture.
Students who can't read are powerless to fight for their own freedom. Ideologies are never the products of the illiterate. The convoluted and muddled, yes, but never the illiterate. Karl Marx, etc., all had years of education before they wrote the tomes that enslaved the masses and resulted in hundreds of millions of deaths last century.
The central focus needs to be on how can schools improve their delivery of the three R's, plus science and history. Any other agenda or issue or idea does nothing more than take the focus off of what needs to be taught. Jay and I will say that the market will provide this, others say different. Regardless, as long as we advocate for those ancillary issues, we change education, whether public or market-driven, from a system of learning to a system of indoctrination.
Allow the parents, like myself, to indoctrinate our children as WE see fit, not as the unionized wing of government sees fit.
I like to push the envelope farther than some since I truly believe in a free market solution, and I bristle at government solutions.