If public education is allowed to survive, all efforts to resuscitate the inert husk of modern civilization will fail. It is time to unravel the most wasteful and destructive entitlement program of all. Cancer cells do not divide into healthy cells. A corrupted, power-intoxicated political class will not willingly raise a freedom-loving, self-reliant populace. Governments must no longer be allowed to pre-determine their nations´ fates, by mass producing the populace that serves their interests.
Allowing the "general welfare" phrase in the Constitution to legitimize things like public schooling and Social Security is the mother of all cave-ins the Right grants to the Left, pulling the floor out from under its own feet and nullifying any ideological advantage it would have against Marxism-creep. Since when do free people allow the State to "educate" their children? Answer: they don´t.
If you want to see innovation, a return to serious standards, a choice of educational paths and methods, a committed group of parents, a supportive community, high academic standards, and intellectually serious educators engaged in honest and productive debate, stop by your local homeschool convention. Sure, some people don´t do it as well as others, but as the author says, that´s an isolated problem rather than a systemic one. Given a choice, a randomly chosen homeschool parent would be far more likely to provide a quality education to your child than the public education system.
Excellent article, worth the cup-of-coffee length reading time.
FTA: [I]f Barack Obama wishes to send his children to Bill and Bernardine´s house, he is free to do so. The problem is that in a public education system, you are not free *not* to do so with your children.
This is why some countries have made home schooling illegal to the point that the State could take your children from you. The Bible says to train your child in the way that they should go and they will never depart from it. Notice there are no ages mentioned here. I say that that is an admonition to home school for the life long benefit of your child and not send your kids to be brainwashed at a public school.
A good beginning would be to abolish Jimmy Carter´s Department of Education and return control to the individual States. Once the pride of the nation, the Public Education System has steadily deteriorated since control was given over to the Feds. In my State, the Feds provide about 11% of the funds for PE, but insist on 100% control over most aspects of the system. In addition to the therapeutic effect on education, abolishing the Dept of Ed would save billions--a beginning to dissolving the debt.
Reply 8 has put his finger on the source of the problem. It was the establishment of a Federal department - the Dept. of Education.
Before that, the system this writer advocates, whether he knows it or not, was in effect and worked well for 100 years. The states were in charge of education. I saw it at work and count myself lucky to be old enough to have received that education. t. One of my children, now in his fifties, remembers being vaguely aware that an old system was passing away. His teacher was old school and in defiance of orders taught her to read by the phonics method. His older brother got phonics legitimately. I was amazed at how much he could read in only six weeks. Their sister was stuck with look/say. That she ever learned to read at all is a confirmation of her intelligence. Many did not. Remember, Johnnyt can´t read?
Can a federal department ever be abolished? Ronald Reagan said they were the closest thing to immortality we would ever see. And, think of all the unemployment!
The ruling libertards claim the "little people" can´t be trusted with their own money, because they can´t grasp complex issues like personal finance. That´s an airtight indictment of public education not doing its job. One thing that all Americans should be, once through primary education, is competent with money, not experts on diversity, and equalization of outcomes, aka socialism, American Idol, etc.
Interesting piece and comments. As a "teacher educator" who sees the rot from the inside, I have a few reactions. One is that until local school boards wean themselves from the state and federal teats flowing with progressive milk money, things will keep getting worse.
Solutions? If you think our Republic is already lost, why bother? If you think there is still a chance -homeschooling is great and getting better. It will preserve a remnant of Constitutional Americans.
Beyond that we have to think outside the box, become more competitive with the public schools. For jr./sr. high, skilled trade organizations might offer training programs for plumbers, mechanics etc. that bypass BOCES. Give young kids on-the-job training and require 2 or 3 hours of schooling for essential skills. Unions have helped demolish apprenticeship programs; this might be time to bring them back. Good paying life-long jobs with little or no college debt sounds like a winner to me.
continued: For those who cannot see their way out of public schools, talk to teachers. Acknowledge the hard work so many of them do as they are held accountable for the joyless and impossible - to get every student to score above average on a standardized test. Organize other parents to keep children home on test days.
Gift your school libraries and your teacher´s classroom libraries with traditional American folks stories and music. When they ask for community members to read to children, bring in Paul Bunyan (remember him?) or Froggy went a Courtin´, or a beautiful picture book with words to our patriotic songs.
Many teachers are Democrats by choice. They think that Republicans and Conservatives don´t care about children. Give them reasons to reconsider that myth. Establish strong, helpful relationships and then, when you see content that is unacceptable or one-sided, you can have a conversation that begins with respect.
These are very minor suggestions - there is much more to be done on the national stage in terms of changing the conversation on education. We need strident outspoken leaders who speak to the underlying theoretical issues, like Jonescu does in this article. But for individual moms and dads, remember that most elementary teachers want children to behave, to read well and to love reading. The system has failed them, too. Let´s get them on our side. Ramona (the Pest)
NEO - the Network for Educational Opportunity - a coalition of private, church-related, and homeschoolers with a PLAN to free the next generation from the handcuffs of the failing public school establishment.
A good site to visit for workable strategies to get our kids out of the public schools.
The federal government has no business being involved in education at any level. While I support the concept of K12 being financed and administered at the local school board level, realistically I think privatizing is the way to go. As long as government is involved, nothing will change. We sacrificed material things to get our kids out of the government system. Homeschool or private school. Your kids are worth it.
Wait until that cryin´ Arnie Duncan plants a Race to the Top flag in your community. Funds will go to a regional school board, taking everything out of the hands of the parents, and local school boards. Of course the money will be redistributed to inner-city schools, your tax dollars flowing to already failing institutions. Not a pretty picture, looks like Detroit meets the local school district, failure ensues.
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