If one thing separates conservatives from liberals it is their view of America. While conservatives are often accused of wearing nationalistic blinders, one can be sure that a liberal can always compare the United States to any loathsome socialist dystopia and find the United States wanting. Until its demise, the Soviet Union was held up as an exemplar. Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize by chronicling the evolution of the New Soviet Man while studiously averting his eyes from the slaughter of kulaks and the starvation of enforced collectivization.
Today the ideal is Cuba, or with increasingly frequency Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. Take this bit of nonsense from the “CEO” of Baltimore’s Public Schools:
When I was growing up in Cuba in the 1960s, I went to schools with 45 students in a classroom, where we shared textbooks and spent two months out of the year working in the countryside and attending lessons in buildings with dirt floors.
The country was undergoing a social revolution, with nearly a tenth of the population leaving for political exile. Everyone was poor. The great majority of the students were of color. And yet, there was never any doubt or even thought of the possibility that we would not learn.
Forty years later, Cuba still struggles politically and socially and has one of the poorest economies in the world. People leave in rafts. But the school system is a wonder of consistent educational achievement for all.
Let’s leave aside the obvious point — that we don’t really know what Cuba’s educational system accomplishes because it isn’t one of the most transparent societies — Andres fundamentally misrepresents the Cuban system. Does Cuba have special education? Does it allow trouble makers to intimidate fellow students? Or lawyers to sue the system on the behalf of the aggrieved?
Does Dr. Alonso really think that having “students of color” in class, as a majority, means anything? What, precisely, is this “consistent educational achievement for all”?
And what, exactly, has this educational paradise wrought? If the country “still struggles politically and socially” what has been accomplished other than political indoctrination. Nobel Prizes awarded to Cubans equals zero.
Does he really think Baltimore is Cuba?