Tancredo’s Tea-Party Position on Education Aligns with Jeffco School Board

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Tom Tancredo.

Tom Tancredo.

ColoradoPols has called on gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo to address rumors that "GOP power-brokers" are pushing for him to be Superintendent of Jefferson County Schools.

Pols didn't get into whether Tancredo, who's currently leading the gubernatorial GOP primary field, would be a logical selection for the Tea-Party-controlled Jeffco School Board. No need to fall off your chair because yes, unfortunately, Tancredo's views on education are thoroughly right-wing.

He's not only a consistent supporter of diverting public-school funding to private schools through vouchers, but he also sees the public school system as a way for public officials to control the small minds of America's children.

Tancredo: "Why we can’t at least give kids in those [poverty] circumstances, a key to that door – called a voucher. Tell me, why it is so important to keep them locked into a government school system. Well, we know why they want to. They want to determine how those kids view the world, as we just got done explaining."

Where's the evidence that public-school education is about anything but freedom from indoctrination? Teachers wouldn't tolerate it. They don't want to indoctrinate their students. They want to teach them to understand how the world works and ask questions about it. American public education is about mind control?

Tancredo expressed these views on the Peter Boyles show April 1, with Chuck Bonniwell subbing for Boyles.

Jeffco teachers, supported by community members, are at an impasse with the Jeffco board, whose current leaders would certainly applaud Tancredo's views, as expressed here:

TANCREDO: That’s for sure! And what a great debate to have over the implementation of that. I just – I relish the opportunity to debate that issue with the governor, or with the CEA, the teachers union, and all the people that are opposed to such an idea. “What?” you know, they say. “What? Are you some sort of chauvinist–"

BONNIWELL: Racist pig.

TANCREDO: “– suggesting that America is actually a better place to be than anywhere else?” Yes! The answer to that is, “Yes!” And it’s empirically prove-able. This is not subjective. You have—you have – when – as I remember my old boss Bill Bennett used to say, “When you open the gates, all over the world, people only run one way, and that is a pretty good indicator that there is something better they’re going to. People don’t leave hearth, home, kith, or kin to go to something as good or worse. They only leave all of that for something better. We have it. We have to — We have to maintain it. Because if you do not teach children what is good about this country, instead of all of the stuff that they read constantly about, you know, how – about the negative things. And I don’t mean to whitewash this. I don’t mean that children should not be told about the problems we have had. But, you know what? In comparison to what we’ve accomplished, in comparison to what we have provided for so many millions, that — you know, those problems pale in comparison to the great things America has done, and the idea of a republic, and what those founders did, how they put it together. Yeah, I want to debate this, whether or not kids should be taught that, and taught to actually appreciate it. That’s the important part.

BONNIWELL: That would be – that would be a great debate with Hickenlooper, who is the head of the NGA [National Governors’ Association] – he’s head of the NGA this year, and I assume is a Common Core supporter. That would be a great – a great debate.

TANCREDO: It certainly would, and I intend to make it a very important part of our agenda and of our campaign. I mean, there—even – because, for one thing, it is a responsibility of the state. You know, so many things really aren’t, and yet the government gets involved. But, this one is. I mean, the Constitution talks about providing a free, thorough, and uniform system of education. And that doesn’t mean, however, you have to own the system. It doesn’t mean that you have to build the buildings, hire the teachers, and determine the curriculum. You know. And so, yes, you can provide choice. And here is another thing I want to debate. I want to debate whether or not Hickenlooper agrees that if you are a child who is from a family that is below the poverty line, or locked in[to] a school that is failing, that you should you be forced to stay there because you’re too poor to make any other choice. I want to just go ahead and debate that — why we can’t at least give kids in those circumstances, a key to that door – called a voucher. Tell me, why it is so important to keep them locked into a government school system. Well, we know why they want to. They want to determine how those kids view the world, as we just got done explaining.

13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. HappyWarrior says:

    Alan Franklin is right (as usual)  If they hire Tommy T in Jeffco that board will be recalled faster than you can say Angela Giron

  2. ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

    When I was in public school in Ohio we had to do something call "asian inventory".  We were required to go through everything in our house and right out what was made in Asia.  This was supposed to teach us that free trade was a bad thing.  The same teacher pointed out, in his view, how great FDR was for saving us from the depression.  I think he was the teacher who had us read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle as well.  

    While I really liked that 7th/8th grade teacher on a personal level, there is no question in my mind that he was attempting to steer our class towards a more democrat/socialist mindset.  And while this was in Ohio, I don't believe that this is all that uncommon through the schools. 

    • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

      "write out" not "right out".  

      Too early in the morning.

      • ct says:

        I had a right wing geometry teacher who said he wished he could kill  kid in front of the class and hang him on the door, then none of his students would misbehave agaain.  He also said he wanted to kill someone (different time), anyone, just to experience it and would if he could gt away with it.  A class of 10th graders.  Shall we continue with random anecdotes?  I went to a lot of schools, being a military brat, that had quit conservative teachers that were trying to ipart more than just 'facts' in impressionable minds.  And your point, was? 

    • Ralphie says:

      Nothing wrong with Upton SInclair's "The Jungle."  We had to read it too, as an example of literature of the Muckraking Era.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      It's called "literary studies". Authors set stories in historical settings, and it is up to the reader to interpret, guided by the teacher. The lessons learned are not always what the author intended. To look at just recent American novels:

      • Sinclair's "The Jungle" alerted people to the dangers of meat production in Chicago. Sinclair said, "“I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.” 
      • Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" was the first American novel to have a three-dimensional black character, (Jim) and the first to deal frankly with child abuse and alcoholism. (Huck's father)
      • "To Kill a Mockingbird" is on its surface, a coming-of-age-in-the-old-South story. It also exposes prejudice, hypocrisy, and integrity.  Harper Lee never wrote another book. 
      • Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" told stories of people living through the Depression and the Dirty Thirties. Who else was telling those stories? Would we know as much about the Dust Bowl and have any soil conservation practices without it?
      • Walter Dean Myers' novels, "Monster", and "Fallen Angels" told very graphic stories of young black men swept up into the prison system and the Vietnam War, respectively. Who else tells those stories?

      What would you want, a body of literature limited to "Atlas Shrugged"? Is that the only story you would want to be told?  And it's Democrat –IC, when used as an adjective, "Democrat", only when used as a noun. Leaving off the adjective suffix is a subtle way to characterize a political party as over-reaching. But you knew that, as does everyone who deliberately misspells it.

      Most teachers try to get students to think critically. This usually includes reading great literature about controversial topics, discussing, thinking and writing about it. This is rather different than "Read the text and answer the comprehension questions".

      Conservatives had their crack at molding young minds, for over 200 years. Everyone in my generation were taught in social studies that the white pioneers "discovered" America, bravely overcoming the Indian Menace, and rightfully taking Mexican lands away from uncivilized people.  We were told that racism went extinct when slavery was abolished. We were told that women should be homemakers and not have any other ambitions. 

      It was all lies. Those were the "good old days" of the heyday of right-wing hegemony over American education. You can't bring those days back by nostalgia, nor by breaking teacher's unions, nor by trying to fund all education monies to charter schools, nor by ungrammatically referring to the Republican and "Democrat" parties. I'm sure you'll keep on trying, though.


      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        Intellectual integrity is unknown to our counselor…he is a follower of the "whatever works" POV…a correlary to "the end justifies the means". As a result, he will someday be a successful O&G lobbyist…or some equally onerous creature.

  3. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    corollary…that is.

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