Let’s be very clear about this. The American educational system — mandatory universal K-12 education, funded by taxes, with government-run colleges and universities — is probably the single most successful progressive program in the nation’s history. Not only is universal public education effective at creating smarter people, it’s universal. Education is a government-run program that intrudes on everyone’s life, from a very young age, without regard to personal belief or family structure or social tradition.
I’m not saying it’s perfect. It’s really, really not. But the concept and execution are progressive to the core.
Which is why far-right nutjobs always try to defund it and privatize it. Not because of actual failures in the educational system, but because it’s a big ol’ government program that achieves some semblance of its goals. It’s not about budgets, and it’s not about test scores. The reason my college is woefully underfunded, and the reason my local school district produces such weak graduates for my woefully underfunded college to try and help, is that far-right nutjobs hate to see government programs working at all.