Fox’s Kennedy Wonders Why We Even Have Public Schools

On today’s episode of Fox’s “Outnumbered,” the hosts tackled Oklahoma’s recent decision to ban AP History classes. While not everyone on the show said insane things (except for one part where one was kvetching again about freaking “American Exceptionalism.”), former MTV VJ Kennedy kicked things off by flat-out saying “Theere really shouldn’t be public schools anymore.”

She then went on about how she wanted AP History classes to learn about things like the Gettysburg Address and the Founding Fathers and whatnot.

I have so many things to say about this. First of all, that if you have made it into an AP History…YOU PROBABLY ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THE GODDAMNED GETTYSBURG ADDRESS.

Like most people, I learned about the Gettysburg address at some point in elementary school. In fact, literally everything these people seem to be mad that people aren’t learning in an AP History class are the things one covers in elementary school and middle school. By AP History time, all that is done–checked off! It is time for you to get off the Magic Schoolbus.

The thing that really bothers me though, is Kennedy’s assertion that we do not need public schools. Like poor people don’t even exist or have children and everyone can afford private schooling. Or like those kids don’t matter and shouldn’t get to go to school anyway because they failed at being born to the right parents.

I recognize that my own feelings and ideas about public schools are too radical for most people. Some might even say they’re more radical than a plan to abolish them entirely. You see, I am on the complete opposite of the spectrum from Kennedy on this. Not only do I think public schools are 100% necessary, I think that all schools in the whole country should get the exact amount of per-student funding, regardless of whether or not their parents happen to be able to live in a well-off area.

I think it is bullshit that some schools have piles of cash for extra-curricular activities and fascinating electives while others are still in crowded classrooms, using books from 20 years ago, have no school nurses and considering cutting down to four days a week. I believe in equal opportunity and I feel like the whole point of public schools is to provide that. I hate that it doesn’t.

I just really don’t think that how much money your parents have should determine the kind of education you can get. I think college should be free too. No one “earns” being born into money.

Kennedy says she would prefer to eliminate public schools entirely, have only private schools, and allow parents to use their tax money to pay for private schools that cater to their personal beliefs. Except the thing is, a tax cut is not going to help the vast majority of people in this country afford private school. If this were to actually be a real thing, there would be a ton of kids unable to attend school.

This, of course, ignores the fact that everyone–not just parents–pays taxes to fund public schools. Why? Because educating children does not only benefit children and their parents. It benefits us all.  I may not ever have children, but I will certainly benefit from a generation of well-educated, competent humans.

[TalkingPointsMemo]

[Media Matters]