We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I understand that teachers tend to be Lefties (I do not know why - maybe because government employees?), but I think anybody can get a solid basic education in the US with good structure and good parental support. Just look at the NYC charter schools. We know that the government schools do not enjoy competition though. I like the Swedish model: A school voucher to all.
Re the protesters, I completely agree with Scott. The kids (mostly white) are playing games and having fun trying to provoke the grown-ups. It is not useful and can be dangerous. Scott wonders why these kids do not take up teaching jobs and do something real to help people.
I think you don't quite get the picture: these kids are working--they are getting paid, or rewarded in some way, for demonstrating, rioting, protesting, etc. There are adults out there who believe they are agents of change and they have recruited young people to "make the world a better place by showing your courage., etc.,etc.,etc." Some of them get paid in US dollars, others get rewarded with better jobs, some even get their student loans reduced by some work/study grant to pay down their loans. Who are the organizers you ask? The women in your school unions, the women on faculty at your local university. The women who moved up in their professions by the same system of rewards for deeds.
Some public school teachers are devoted professionals who really want to teach young people. Others are looking for a job where they don't have to work during the summer (between 1/3 and 1/4 of the calendar year). I know because I have had teachers tell me that.
Why they are lefties? People who don't want to work much tend to skew toward the left.
I believe that public school teachers began to be lead off the path when universities starting giving out undergraduate and graduate degrees in "education" instead of specific fields. The various colleges in each university could have presented courses in how to teach their fields, and produced excellent teachers. Instead, the universities funneled people into a catch-all "college of education" which only concentrated on the theory of the year, and attracted a whole lot of people whose mindset and personality shouldn't be trying to teach anybody anything.
The brats in the street are not original. They appear to be the product of a youth facing life in the bureaucracy as happened in Germany prior to WWI. Many were killed off in the war, but those that survived were conditioned and made excellent servants to Hitler, then Stalin.
Perhaps, like many of the punks of the 1960s, they'll become successful businesspeople, like Jerry Rubin. It does appear that sinecures in academia won't be as available since they are exposing the academy for what it is.
In the decade preceding the First World War Germany, the country most advanced on the path toward bureaucratic regimentation, witnessed the appearance of a phenomenon hitherto unheard of: the youth movement. Turbulent gangs of untidy boys and girls roamed the country, making much noise and shirking their school lessons. In bombastic words they announced the gospel of a golden age. All preceding generations, they emphasized, were simply idiotic; their incapacity has converted the earth into a hell. But the rising generation is no longer willing to endure gerontocracy, the supremacy of impotent and imbecile senility. Henceforth the brilliant youths will rule. They will destroy everything that is old and useless, they will reject all that was dear to their parents, they will substitute new real and substantial values and ideologies for the antiquated and false ones of capitalist and bourgeois civilization, and they will build a new society of giants and supermen.
The inflated verbiage of these adolescents was only a poor disguise for their lack of any ideas and of any definite program. They had nothing to say but this: We are young and therefore chosen; we are ingenious because we are young; we are the carriers of the future; we are the deadly foes of the rotten bourgeois and Philistines. And if somebody was not afraid to ask them what their plans were, they knew only one answer: Our leaders will solve all problems.
It has always been the task of the new generation to provoke changes. But the characteristic feature of the youth movement was that they had neither new ideas nor plans. They called their action the youth movement precisely because they lacked any program which they could use to give a name to their endeavors. In fact they espoused entirely the program of their parents. They did not oppose the trend toward government omnipotence and bureaucratization. Their revolutionary radicalism was nothing but the impudence of the years between boyhood and manhood; it was a phenomenon of a protracted puberty. It was void of any ideological content.
The chiefs of the youth movement were mentally unbalanced neurotics. Many of them were affected by a morbid sexuality, they were either profligate or homosexual. None of them excelled in any field of activity or contributed anything to human progress. Their names are long since forgotten; the only trace they left were some books and poems preaching sexual perversity. But the bulk of their followers were quite different. They had one aim only: to get a job as soon as possible with the government. Those who were not killed in the wars and revolutions are today pedantic and timid bureaucrats in the innumerable offices of the German Zwangswirtschaft. They are obedient and faithful slaves of Hitler. But they will be no less obedient and faithful handy men of Hitler’s successor, whether he is a German nationalist or a puppet of Stalin.