Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Welcome to another discussion about the potential dystopian fate of the U.S. Last week, we discussed how the nation combines elements of a Huxleyan and Orwellian dystopia — a mix of gratification and censorship. This is all completely hypothetical, of course,

but we figured with so many cries of an impending doomsday coming up in 2017, we should prepare for the worst. And thus, after two editorials of prelude, we bring you our very own guide to analyzing and preventing a supposed dystopia.

Our first topic is education. As of now, the public education system of the U.S. hangs in a state of flux as Congress begins the selection for a new secretary of education.

Though both of our staple dystopian worlds we’ve referred to in the past — Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and George Orwell’s “1984”— have different means of control, the governments recognize that the youth are easily impressionable, and they start training them to follow government doctrine. This is the traditional take on how a dystopia approaches education.

We know the public education system of the U.S. is not without its flaws. There’s debate in the education world as to how to quantify students’ progress — whether higher education is a privilege or a right. The U.S. continually lags behind in the fields of math and science education. There’s no doubt we need some reform to catch up with the continually top-ranked East Asian and Western European countries.

The current nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, wants to reform education. But let’s be clear about one thing: DeVos has never attended a public school. Her children have never attended public schools. She has taken a free-market approach to education, stating that if public schools don’t cut it, families should simply send their kids to private or charter schools. During her congressional hearing, she couldn’t provide a clear-cut answer to a single question about whether schools receiving federal aid should comply to federal standards.

There’s always a fear that the government will get too involved in education, as indicated by our staple dystopian worlds. Perhaps DeVos has read one of these books and is convinced that government meddling of public education will turn the next generation into a brainwashed army.

But the problem is that DeVos, with her wealthy family, is so far removed from the realities of public education. She insists that it is the parents’ choice in schooling their children and that parents should have the ability to choose their child’s education. That’s all fine and dandy if you come from one of the lucky families that can send your kids to private schools from preschool to higher education.

Most of us — who are here at a public state school with loans, scholarships and grants — did not have that luxury.

We at the Alligator believe everyone has a right to receive an education comparable to those who can pay tens of thousands of dollars. In a hypothetical dystopia in which education is a privilege for the elite and those who can’t afford it won’t move past basic elementary school, keeping the masses unaware of higher thinking, unaware of history and economics, of science and innovation, will render them voiceless. Do not remain voiceless.

We have the power of a good public education; we might as well use it.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox
Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.