I love the beach and the surf, real surf where waves pound the sand and if you are not paying attention, it hurts. This red wave people are predicting is a nice thought and it may stem the tide of insanity that is currently circulating, but it may look more like the waves you see near Tampa, little bitty warm lip waves that kiss the powder-sugar sand. Fluffy and without threat, lulling the beach comber towards the cooler for another beer.
We need red waves like those that accompanied Andrew, Ida and Katrina; waves that are unmerciful and create palpable fear.
The Virginia election results will change the leadership at most levels. The Governor (and Lt. Governor), Attorney General, and Legislature all flipped from blue to red. Now what? What will this red wave accomplish? Will it change entitlements? Will it alter K-12 education demands? Will it improve roads? Simplify the tax code? Reduce taxes? Tackle prison reform? Streamline Judicial expediency? Tax higher education endowments? Reduce drug prices? How will it address homelessness? How about the Fentanyl and other drug problems? Simplify business reporting? Stop subsides? How will it curb spending? How will it create transparency and bring back civil debate?
What will it change?
Will it simply impede, however slightly, the seepage of CRT into school curriculum or will it say it is time for wholesale change? Will it obliterate the power of the teacher’s union with sweeping education reform that creates real assessments that are completed with a frequency that allows functional reaction? Will it demand personal responsibility, not only from the student, but from the parents. If the student can’t pass the biweekly assessment, the parents along with the child, are sentence to night school. Still can’t pass the following assessment, night school AND Saturday school for both parent and child, until the child passes.
The wave is attributed to the awakening of parents to the teachings of CRT in public schools (and BTW, it is not only public schools that are pushing equity and other CRT principles), but when will parents wake up to the general abysmal state of the whole of K-12. Our world ranking continues to shrink and it has nothing to do with funding. Look back many decades and examine exit testing from high schools, or even from specific classes, and our regression will be clear. The standards are effortlessly lowered to elevate the pass rate. It is laughable, the disintegration of American Education is real. China’s standards for higher education entry are extremely aggressive and competitive while ours are moving at a brisk pace towards a participation trophy.
Once upon a time, our graduates were highly skilled, innovative and fearless. Now, as a whole, the quality of graduates is tough to ascertain. If admission standards are a mystery and graduation requirements must be equity based, not excellence driven, it can’t bode well for industry or the country.
If the Virginia victory can’t destroy the equity language and demand the return of personal responsibility and other substantive changes both within and outside of education, the victory will not equate to change and will deflate the wave’s energy. The result will be like ripples in a pond. The citizenry will continue to desire change that both sides promise, but neither deliver.
Virginia has an opportunity to show the country how it can be different than New Jersey.