Why do many conservatives paint the entire public school system with a broad brush?

So publicly funded private schools with non-union teachers.

They hate it for the same reason they hate benefits to the poor or aid to refugees or public transportation. It’s tax dollars going to something that doesn’t directly benefit them.

There’s a whole lot of simplistic generalization, not to mention hatred and loathing of conservatives, in this thread.

In the interest of fighting ignorance, let me educate the idiot assholes in this thread who are ignorantly bashing conservatives as to why conservatives don’t like public schools.

The biggest issue is the unions–not simply and solely because they exist, but because they actively cause harm to the students. The unions have decided to protect themselves, and (for the most part) the teachers, at the expense of everything and everyone else. Thus, we have situations like New York City’s “rubber rooms.”

When Michelle Rhee became chancellor of the DC school system, she tried to to right by the students, and retain the good teachers while getting rid of the bad teachers. The union fought her every step of the way.

There have been many proposals over the years to improve student outcomes. These range widely – for example, vouchers; charter schools; ranking and paying teachers based on performance; making it easier to fire poor-performing teachers; etc. No matter what the proposal, no matter what the jurisdiction, every single one of them has been viciously and vehemently opposed by the unions.

The unions want only one thing – MORE MONEY! – and they want it now, and they want it forever and ever. They want it even though there is no correlation between test scores and how much a state spends per pupil. There is no amount of money that will do more than temporarily satisfy them.

There are other reasons why conservatives don’t like public schools; for example, the absolute refusal in recent decades to use any sort of effective discipline. It used to be that teachers were allowed to spank misbehaving students. They kicked out spanking, and brought in police officers, security cameras, and metal detectors.

Teachers in some schools are quite literally at risk from their students, and yet they are not allowed to respond in any effective way.

Now, some of these issues could be overlooked if schools actually did their job, and taught their students. But they don’t. An astonishing and depressing number of students are allowed to graduate from high school without having the knowledge that they are in school to learn.

In short, the public school system as a whole is a greedy, dangerous, dysfunctional mess. And most of the people in power in the system do everything they can to keep it that way.

Meritocracy is nothing but rationalization.

This is obviously false, since the vast majority of students in the US go to public school and do just fine in college and in life.

Modnote: Please do not insult the other posters this way. Do it again and it will be a warning.

When the Supreme Court ordered school integration in 1954, conservatives fought it with every tool they had, legal and illegal. When those failed they simply moved their kids to private schools that they could keep all white. And they used state legislatures to cut public school funding. According to U.S. News and World Report, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, and Louisiana are ranked in the bottom ten. Not one northeast or midwest state is.

Public schools are disproportionately minority. They draw students disproportionately from homes who have low incomes and are more likely to be headed by single parents. Students have fewer resources, fewer mentors, less supervision, more problems getting food, fewer opportunities for jobs and after-school activities, and far more exposure to crime. They attend - despite the insane rightwing meme Bootb described - schools which have metal detectors, public and private officers who notoriously beat minority kids, and gang activity, as well as neofascist principles who think that harassing kids for a million possible reasons will keep them focused on studies. And the distance learning of the pandemic has been an absolute disaster for minority kids, without being in any way attributable to unions.

The Republican party has two and only two core principles: hypocrisy and white supremacy. Both are glaringly apparent when it comes to public schools. Having systematically destroyed them for decades, they now trumpet their inadequacies. Having driven out white middle class students, they now see only the color of who are left. Having renounced reality in science and history, they now denounce teaching the real world.

When the finger of blame points, it points right and nowhere else.

So, basically for the same reasons that they think that Trump won the 2020 election.

Well, no, that’s not what @BigT said. They believe that they are better, and deserve more, even if they are not smarter, more talented, or work harder.

That’s why they want to cripple the public school system, so that those undeserving people don’t get a chance to compete with them.

If it were a meritocracy, everyone would get the same school system, and compete on an even field. That’s the last thing that conservatives want. They want advantages for their children over others.

Or they moved into the suburbs, white flighting their way out to areas where they could count on the policies of redlining to keep their public schools fairly homogeneously white.

Teachers unions in most states have been severely kneecapped - and in some cases rightly so. You don’t get to abuse kids and keep your job. But it takes a generation to remember “hey, school isn’t like when I went.” By that time…

Public schools traditional design was to give a minimum education to workers so that they’d be good workers - they’d read and be able to do math at a basic level - required for following instructions, making change, etc. They’d be able to communicate in writing. They’d have instilled in them a sense of Civics, based of the American Mythos. You could give them a gun and send them to war, or put them in a factory. There was no need to have them college ready - public school kids didn’t go to college.

After WWII (and to some extent after WWI) that started to change. If we were going to risk our sons for the American Dream, they should get some buy in. And so should our daughters. Civil Rights movements started to take hold. There wasn’t any reason a smart kid from public school shouldn’t go to college as rule, not as an exception. And not just trade school - college.

But you learn different things to go to college - you learn critical thinking. You learn a little economics. You learn History as something other than “great White Men forged our country off pure gumption, turning a barren land into this land of milk and honey without any mention of First Peoples or Slavery.” And as our awareness of all these issues has grown, you can’t just expect kids to read The Great Gatsby and never read Zora Neale Hurston, or learn American History and not mention the Tulsa Race Massacre. You can’t teach “Washington came first and he was perfect…”

And creating citizens who have a broader view of History, who have skills to make themselves something other than commodities willing to work for starvation wages, who have even a college bound high schoolers understanding of Math and Science…that’s threatening.

In some places, this idea that public schools had an obligation to not just give kids a basic education, but instead an education that would allow them to be fuller citizens didn’t really take off. An eighth grade education was fine. The status quo was fine. And instead of using public education as a springboard to a better life for their kids, communities felt threatened. Often helped along in their opinions by the privileged classes who benefited from the feudal/capitalist structure. These kids won’t learn to respect God, they will develop smart mouths, they will question your authority…of course, what we are really scared of is that they will just question authority - that they may no longer want to work a factory job for starvation wages.

Its been going on for a long time…a tug of war that was accelerated by school integration that moved more middle class white people to send their kids to private schools, which then disincentivizes the community to spend on schools their kids don’t go to, which allows you to turn public schools into a bottomless pit for YOUR TAX DOLLARS which YOU SHOULD BE KEEPING because after all, you make $7 an hour at Walmart.

Our friends on the right are highly vulnerable to binary thinking. If part of X is bad, it all must be bad.

Nonsense. For every such instance we have tens of thousands who would be fired simply because of their politcal or religious beliefs or because they did not “put out”.

There is a segment of the evangelical community that believes that the “liberalism” in public schools is undermining the religious values they are trying to instill in their children.

Their religion believes that girls should be subservient to their fathers and women to their husbands, but the schools fill their head with talk of empowerment and self-esteem and stories of strong independent women.

They believe their children should believe, without question, anything their parents tell them, then the school fills their heads with talk of critical thinking, which they consider to be the work of the devil.

They believe it’s their God-given obligation to physically discipline their children in order to train them properly but the schools tell their kids that’s it’s a crime for their parents to severely beat them, and they report signs of abuse.

They believe strongly that homosexuality and transgenderism are sins, and that people that practice those things should be eschewed and marginalized, while the schools teach acceptance.

They think public schools corrupt their children with secular ideas, and don’t want to send their kids to them, but they don’t want to pay for private schooling ….hence the focus on charter schools.

Or because they didn’t pass a student with influential parents.

And the liberals didn’t? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I think they justify their belief that they are better, and deserve more, with the idea of meritocracy.

Parents want advantages for their children over others. How many die-hard Democrats are willing to send their kids to the bad inner city schools if they can avoid it? Parents spend a lot of time and money trying to give their kids every advantage they can. It’s something we’ve evolved to do over millions of years, so good luck changing it.

No as such, no.

I’m not sure your point in this whataboutism. For one, you can see based on the voting patterns of urban vs suburban areas that the far more of the liberals stayed, while the conservatives fled, so your premise is flawed from the start. Then you have the very nature of whataboutism in the first place, not denying that they did something, just claiming that someone else did something similar, and that therefore justifies it.

So, did you actually have something to contribute there, or are you content failing in your attempt at justifying maintaining segregation?

But if you start with an advantage, and you are able to keep others down, then that’s not really a meritocracy, now is it? They aren’t looking for a meritocracy, as it may turn out that other people are smarter, more talented, and work harder than their children, and they certainly don’t want what they believe their children deserve to go to people that they think that they are better than.

I thought you said they wanted a meritocracy. Now you change your story.

Democrats support those schools and want them to be better. They don’t want there to be bad schools at all. They would like everyone to go to a good school.

That they don’t want their own children to suffer doesn’t mean that they want other children to suffer.

And that there is exactly the conservative mindset that explains why they hate public schools, or anything that would allow others to be competitive with their own children.

There are many things that we as animals want to do. Those things are not often what is in the best interests of civilization. Democrats recognize that, and attempt to overcome their base animal instincts. Conservatives excuse their behavior by claiming to simply be following them.

We know non-white voters disproportionately vote Democrat, so that doesn’t show that white flight was confined to conservatives. You can blame all your problems on conservatives if you want, but that isn’t going to help you solve them.

Have you stopped beating your wife yet?