Don’t blame the Koch brothers for bad American education — it was terrible long before they were born.
(07-05-2015, updated 07-14-2018) When I saw this video on Facebook, it didn’t surprise me how many Americans don’t know that the Fourth of July celebrates the American Revolution, and independence from Britain. What did surprise me, although I suppose it shouldn’t have, were a lot of the comments blaming the GOP and the Koch brothers for the state of American education.
To all of you out there blaming bad education, especially bad American history education on the GOP and the Kochs: Give me a break! You are no better than the folks who automatically blame everything on Obama. American education has always been bad. Just look at the ages of the interviewees. The Koch Brothers haven’t been around for that long.
My grandfather’s second wife, who was born around 1905, told me that when she was in high school in the Netherlands–at the highest level of high school, called gymnasium–one of her teachers went to a conference about colleges or something in America; I’m not sure about the particulars. In any case, that high school teacher came back and told his class that he had visited several American universities and all he could say was that even the worst students in his class could have easily taught there.
That must have been around 1920. No Koch Brothers active at that time.
And when I was a high school librarian and a college student in the Rio Grande Valley, Clinton was president. If you want to know what American education was like then, read the series on my Education page at Resident Alien: Being Dutch in America.
(This post was first published on the blog Resident Alien: Being Dutch in America, under the title: “Uh, Independence From What?”, 07-05-2015)