Well, this is not something you hear every day.
Ohio state Rep. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) has raised some eyebrows with a blog post titled "Public education in America is socialism, what is the solution?" Written earlier this month and published on a right-wing news site founded by his wife, his post claimed privatization is the only solution to what he sees as a problematic "socialist" public education system.
“Socialism, defined on Wikipedia, ‘is a social and economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy,’” wrote Brenner, who serves as the vice chair of the Ohio House Education Committee. “That seems to summarize our primary education system.”
Touting privatization, Brenner held that a free market system in which parents and students have the “ultimate say” would fare better than the current education system. Failing schools would simply go out of business, he said.
“Bust up the education monopolies and do not settle for the lowest common denominator. Privatize everything and the results will speak for themselves,” wrote Brenner.
The conservative Republican also challenged the reasons behind tea partiers' opposition to the Common Core State Standards, a set of new education benchmarks adopted in more than 40 states, including Ohio, in an effort to make sure students around the country are being held to the same criteria. Some tea party activists fear the Standards are a federal intrusion -– even though the benchmarks were voluntarily adopted by states.
“It is interesting that tea party members will attack Obama-care relentlessly as a socialist system that brings about mediocrity and failure, and also blame Common Core for all of the problems in our education system because they are concerned that it will become centralized,” wrote Brenner. “However, they rarely (if ever) bring up the fact that our public education system is already a socialist system. [A]nd has been a socialist system since the founding of our country.”
Since his blog post went up, Brenner has been sparring with critics on Twitter:
.@WayneCountyDems The public owns our schools, we publicly manage our schools, what do you call it?
— Rep. Andrew Brenner (@andrewbrenner) March 11, 2014
.@cadfile Spreading lies are we?
— Rep. Andrew Brenner (@andrewbrenner) March 13, 2014
As a writer from liberal news site Daily Kos points out, the site that published Brenner's post also hosts a "news" article from February that suggests the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax designed to advance tighter gun control regulations. This conspiracy theory was dismissed more than a year ago, but someone on Brenner Brief News seems to think it still merits as much consideration as Brenner's rant about America's allegedly socialist education machine.
(Hat Tip, Talking Points Memo)