Community Schools Are the Trojan Horse of Education

Community Schools Are the Trojan Horse of Education

Could the introduction of modern art into our culture be a Trojan horse against traditional art? "The Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy," circa 1760, by Giovanni Tiepolo. (Public Domain)

Ken Williams

Ken Williams

1/17/2024

Updated: 2/1/2024

Commentary
The Greeks left a wooden horse as a trophy or symbol to the people of Troy, a city located in the northwest corner of modern day Turkey, after a failed and desperate 10-year blockade of the city.
First mentioned in the Homer’s “Odyssey,” this wooden horse was later brought within the city walls as an offering to the goddess, Athena. Forty of Greece’s best warriors, however, lay hidden inside the wooden horse structure, and by entering the gates of Troy, the Greek warriors and King Agamemnon’s army was able to eventual take control and destroy the city. This literary account of the Trojan horse is rich in symbolic imagery and epitomizes the modern-day understanding of subversive tactics, ruse, or deception.
A modern-day equivalent to the Trojan horse is a novel term that is disguised as school choice. It is advanced by the state legislature, billions of dollars of state grants and money, and by California’s 800-pound gorilla, the California Teachers Association (CTA). It is known as “Community Schools.”
With the concept of parental choice in education and school choice rapidly gaining popularity since the pandemic, the CTA has become worried that public education and schools are losing public opinion and support by California’s families. To combat this, the CTA is promoting the new concept of Community Schools through social media and paid advertising as an innovative concept that is equivalent to parental choice and charter schools.
Parents, community members, and activists gather at a Glendale Unified School board meeting to protest district policies in schools in Glendale, Calif., on June 20, 2023. (Courtesy of Hasmik Bezirdzhyan)

Parents, community members, and activists gather at a Glendale Unified School board meeting to protest district policies in schools in Glendale, Calif., on June 20, 2023. (Courtesy of Hasmik Bezirdzhyan)

Comparable to the Trojan horse epitome, however, Community Schools are defined and disguised with euphemistic and innocuous language and are not the same as student or parental school choice.
The frameworks for Community Schools were earlier approved by the state Board of Education, an out-of-control state legislature, and unelected bureaucrats. Community Schools are a knee-jerk reaction to the CTA’s negative influence on public education, progressive-left laws, and general dissatisfaction of public education. Community Schools will not change the direction of public school failures but will further advance a quicker demise of public education.
Unfortunately, today public education has become a vehicle for political indoctrination rather than subject matter excellence and perusing fundamental academic goals.
The public displeasure of public schools has not come about in a vacuum, but has been engendered after many years of public education mission drift and the loss of the understanding of the primary purpose of education, i.e., to inculcate facts, academic knowledge, and critical thinking skills to our children.
Parents and students gather in protest of school district policies at the Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District offices in Placentia, Calif., on Jan. 18, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Parents and students gather in protest of school district policies at the Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District offices in Placentia, Calif., on Jan. 18, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Together, the CTA with progressive-left entities have created unwanted woke subject curriculums, senseless laws, and harmful classroom policies that place social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion above this purpose. The CTA and their allies have betrayed their role in defending the rights of parents to protect and raise their children and have implemented bad governance and school programs.
The CTA aggressively promoted vaccine and mask mandates, overly sexualized academic curriculums and drag queen events in libraries and schools, and racism through Marxist-inspired academic curriculums like Critical Race Theory (CRT). Most frustrating is their condemnation of charter schools and parental choice in education, while gaslighting the cultural wars on families and removing parents from the upbringing of their children.
The public now belatedly realizes the CTA and elected Sacramento leaders have destroyed public education with school closures, forced masking and vaccines, obligatory gender policymaking, and removing parents as the center of their children’s lives. We must never forget that we will never regain the loss of student achievement from the pandemic lockdowns.
A Johns Hopkins University 2022 meta-analysis and review of the effects of lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic documents the cataclysmic failure of school closures, forced vaccinations, and forced masking. In this study, it was concluded that “lockdowns have had little to no public health effects [and] they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted.” They concluded, “lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”
Students of PYLU School District hold up signs as parents gather to express concerns over mandatory vaccines at the Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District building in Placentia, Calif., on Oct. 12, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Students of PYLU School District hold up signs as parents gather to express concerns over mandatory vaccines at the Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District building in Placentia, Calif., on Oct. 12, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Public education mission drift began many decades ago, but after the pandemic it exploded with school closures, dismal tests score, and the rejection of parental rights to direct the upbringing of their children, just to name a few contributing factors. Parents and Californians now more than ever want school choice rather than the status quo of the CTA and its allies. When viewed through a critical lens, Community Schools are relatively new to California.
In 2021, the state legislature passed into law and codified Community Schools. In 2022, the legislature expanded the program with additional state funding. What the CTA does not want the public to know is that Community Schools have a political and philosophical connection to the United Nations-UNESCO Whole School, Community, Child (WSCC) model. At the heart of the problem with the UNESCO model of Community Schools is the “shared-governance model of community schools.”
In effect, Community Schools yield local control of education and governance to non-democratic choices, self-appointed individuals, union leaders, and educrats. As a result, parents and tax payers lose control of a beloved concept in our nation known as self-governance, local elections, and “local control of education.” Secondary forfeitures to Community School governance includes individual liberties and freedoms, and the right of parents to control the lives of their children.
Community Schools are a continuation of the failed directives of the state legislature, state and local elected leaders, and the pedagogies of a radical woke progressive university-based system.
In conclusion, Community schools are the modern era equivalent of the Trojan horse, based on the fact that Community School governance structure gives our children over to educational self-proclaimed “experts ”and bureaucrats who are indifferent to serving the best interests of families and children. Do we trust to the same bureaucrats and unions that caused our current public school crisis?
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Ken Williams

Ken Williams

Author

Dr. Ken Williams is a primary care physician and member of the Orange County Board of Education.

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