Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Of interest in regard to Betsy Kraus' article below are comments by Whitney Neal, a spokesperson for Freedom Works. Whitney, fortunately, is being honest regarding her misunderstanding related to the federal funding and subsequent federal control of charter schools. Good for her!  Would that the rest of the neoconservative groups supporting tax-funded school choice and charters understood what Whitney finally understands! Nothing more refreshing than one who admits he/she was wrong. 

Click on: ABCs of DumbDown: CLUELESS AT FREEDOM WORKS for Whitney's courageous observation!]

By Betsy Kraus, 3D Research Group
Recently someone asked me what Neo-conservatism or a Neo-con is, so I did some digging.


During the early 1970s, Socialist Michael Harrington was one of the first to use "neoconservative" in its modern meaning. He characterized neoconservatives as former leftists – whom he derided as "socialists for Nixon" – who had become more conservative. These people tended to remain endorsers of social democracy, but distinguished themselves by allying with the Nixon administration with respect to foreign policy, especially by their endorsement of the Vietnam War and opposition to the USSR. They still endorsed the welfare state, but not necessarily in its contemporary form.
Social democracy is a political ideology that officially has as its goal the establishment of democratic socialism through reformist and gradualist methods. Alternatively, social democracy is defined as a policy regime involving a universal welfare state and collective bargaining schemes within the framework of a capitalist economy. It is often used in this manner to refer to the social models and economic policies prominent in Western and Northern Europe during the later half of the 20th century." The Neo-Conservatives had their beginnings under such influences as Marxist Leon Trotsky, Leon Strauss, and Irving Kristol.
Irving Kristol was called "godfather" of neoconservatism
Please read the article below from Politico while keeping the definitions of "Neoconservatism" and "Social Democracy" in mind. Consider these definitions in light of some conservative groups and individuals fighting Common Core. Heritage Foundation,considered a leading "conservative" organization" fighting "Common Core" is listed as a Neo-Conservative Organization.(3) Heritage Foundation, along with many organizations, which are considered to be conservative, are fighting Common Core while promoting so-called "choice" and charter schools.  
 Politico article:
"For right, Common Core fight prelude to bigger agenda,"
by Stephanie Simon, 1/7/14.

This article demonstrates how conservative organizations appear to be instrumental in a government take-over of all schools through "choice" and charter funding. Keep in mind that hundreds of public schools and private schools have already been closed due to the establishment of charter schools. Charter schools ARE public schools and must subscribe to Common Core, but they are privately run in most instances. Charter schools have no elected local school board. There is no local control of how these "public schools" are to be run ,and we, who will supply the students and pay for all of it, have no say. This is far from our constitutional American way.

Currently the government allows Charter Schools to be "innovative." How long do you think that will last once they have private schools under their control?  A "government-free/ voucher school" is an oxymoron.  Vouchers are an open invitation for the state to hold private schools "accountable" via funding and state standards! Isn't that what happened in Indiana which is now known as the "Voucher" state? Tuition tax credits are a drain on either a state's treasury or a state's school fund. Since credits entail government money they will no doubt be followed by government accountability. Some states are already writing such legislation.

Once real choice has been destroyed by government control of private schools through charter and "choice" funding, the government will control ALL schooling in America. The government will then be totally free to "partnership" with global business and industry to complete a Soviet style "planned economy" through school workforce training.

Surely we can understand why President Obama and Arne Duncan appear to support charter/"choice" chools. Duncan and Obama are both strong supporters of public school "choice," including charter schools.(4) They understand quite well the "government control concept." Such a concept doesn't seem to be difficult to understand, so why do "conservative" organizations appear to be backing this leftist government control concept of "choice" and charters? Why in the world did our supposed conservative Republicans, under the leadership of now defunct Eric Cantor, pass H.R. 10 Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act?

The Politico article describes the efforts of one of the conservative organizations battling Common Core and working on behalf of "choice":

"FreedomWorks lays out the effort as a series of stepping stones: First, mobilize to strike down the Common Core. Then push to expand school choice by offering parents tax credits or vouchers to help pay tuition at private and religious schools." (Emphasis added).
Why are organizations labeled "conservative" and fighting Common Core, supporting schools and "choice" which destroy education in America? The Heritage Foundation and The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) are among those listed as neo-conservative organizations.(5)

The AEI supports choice. The Heritage Foundation is one of the most prominent leading organizations opposing Common Core and supporting school "choice."(6) It seems that many other organizations are following the lead of the Heritage Foundation, including Freedom Works, along with Americans for Prosperity, both fighting Common Core and supporting "choice." Americans for Prosperity is just one organization backed by "choice" promoters, the Koch Brothers, out of Wichita, Kansas,  And what is the position of Concerned Women of America's (CWA) (in Missouri) with regards to charter schools? This group is also backed by Koch money. Libertarian Rex Sinquefield of St. Louis with his Show-Me Institute is also backing school choice.

The Politico article goes on to say: 

"Concerned Women for America held a conference outside Kansas City, Mo. this weekend that opened with denunciations of Common Core and built to an address by state Sen. Ed Emery, a voucher proponent who has compared the current public education system with slavery because it traps students in government-run schools. Concerned Women, which is part of a Koch-backed network of conservative organizations, will hold additional seminars across the state this month." (Emphasis added)
Shane Vader Hart says the American Principle Project "has been a choice advocate since our inception."(7) Hillsdale College now promotes and runs it's own charter schools. Pioneer Institute also supports charters and "choice", as does the Heartland Institute. They are all fighting Common Core, as does Eagle Forum. Where does Eagle Forum stand on the charter/"choice" issue?  How about the Catholic bishops and the USCCB? (See this blogpost: HERE.)

Are organizations or individuals who think like Heritage Foundation exerting influence on others to follow neo-conservative views? Why are most or all of the major "conservative" organizations which are battling Common Core also advocating for charter and/or "choice"?  Is the battle against Common Core being orchestrated to lead true conservatives like lemmings into the charter/"choice" trap? Why do such organizations share President Obama's and Arne Duncan's quest in pursuing  programs that will destroy any kind of true private education or any hope for parental control of their own children?

Either such organizations and individuals are ignorant or they need to change their label.

1. Neoconservatism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: