A Short Rant on the Politicization of Education

Schools been political institutions, but recent decades have found them increasingly political. This appears to be grounded in the electoral benefits that can be gained by politicians who promise to “fix education.” Other societal factors including demographic changes, calls for accountability, financial influences of publishers and philanthropists, and rapidly-emerging industries have influenced school leaders’ decisions and classroom directions as well. Further, recent decades have seen a shift in the United States away from “education for the public good” to “education for the individual good.” The mantra “go to school to get a good job” is a rather recent phenomenon, and it has quickly become “the reason” for individuals to enroll and peruse certificates and degrees. Many instructors conclude these factors, “have nothing to do with me.” While instructors may avoid contemplating these issues when preparing for students, they do affect the context in which they work with students and the expectations placed upon them.