I was interested in Latin and he had told me that he did not need Latin teachers because he had a person from Latin America who taught Spanish. As I looked at him, I was thinking of the Vice-President who told a crowd in Latin America that, had he paid more attention in his Latin class, he would have been able to speak to his audience in their native language.
The newly formed (1979) Department of Education had instituted stringent rules and regulations that school districts had to follow in order to receive federal funding and state certification. The National Education Association welcomed all dues-paying teachers, eager to indoctrinate them into the master educational plan.
Teaching elementary, middle, and high school required jumping through certification bureaucratic hoops that only the College of Education graduates could easily meet. It was not important if teachers performed well in the classroom, on the National Teacher Exam, or knew their subject area of expertise - they had to be licensed.
Many mediocre students eked out a diploma after four years of easy courses and became distributors of revisionist knowledge and shapers of generations of American students. As they gained tenure, no matter how inadequate their teaching, school districts could not get rid of them. The NEA vehemently defended their rights to a life-long career.
Many former coaches and physical education teachers went back to school for Masters Degrees in School Administration and became principals and superintendents, cheerleaders and supporters of their former colleagues and peers. If they played by the Department of Education rules, the rewards were plenty. Objective teachers who followed their conscience were marginalized as not being “team players.” Non-Education graduates could teach college with a Master’s Degree but not in the public schools. Membership in the club had its rewards and prevented better teachers from entering the system.
Liberals took control of education and imposed political correctness, which silenced conservatives and any possible opposition lest they be labeled racists and anti-children.
The curriculum changed from year to year, becoming more secularized and socialist, pushing religion completely out of the public schools. Prayer at football games, singing the national anthem, and the recitation of the pledge of allegiance to our country were scorned. Atheists objected to traditions that made this country great but interfered with their agenda. Being Green, the worship of Gaia, Mother Earth, and activist environmentalism became the new religion.
Teaching methodologies changed yearly, according to the latest fashion from teacher colleges in New York, Boston, California, like a new dress, more outrageous and less conducive to learning but easy on testing and highly experimental. The curriculum became more “socially just.” Standards were so relaxed that some students graduated who could not read or write on an elementary level. Education was dumbed down to include even the laziest students, test results worsened, dropouts increased, while knowledge retention declined.
Multilingual education and multiculturalism were forced upon schools in order to accommodate the burgeoning illegal immigrant student population.
A wave of anti-Americanism dominated the lectures of liberals. Everything that America did in its history or stood for became evil and open to negative interpretation. Conservative teachers were silenced by the threat of job loss. Performance boards ignored them but awarded constant praise and “I love myself” certificates to mediocre teachers who played by the progressive rule.
When expressing honest opinions, conservative students were intimidated and ridiculed by socialist activist teachers. Some students received lower grades when their opinions clashed with the teacher’s “America is evil” platform. Certain assignments crossed the line of objectivism and had nothing to do with the subject at hand but few parents paid attention or were vigilant enough.
I was shocked when the entire student body was required to attend two-hour indoctrination into the peaceful religion of Islam, presented by a Palestinian imam. A rapt audience of innocent and ignorant high school students was told how respected and cherished Muslim women were. The faculty did not protest but sat stony faced although they all knew the lack of rights and worth of Muslim women. Nobody asked questions about the hangings, stonings, decapitations, and cutting limbs of women under Islam. The religious presentation had been organized by the principal, the same person who said repeatedly that there is a separation of church and state, and refused to allow students to wear crosses to school because it might make students uncomfortable who did not believe in God.
Instead of teaching students that in 235 years of exceptionalism, America rose to become the world’s greatest power and revered society, an AP English teacher in Montgomery County, MD was asking students to explain how “Thoreau’s extolling the virtues of individualism and self-efficiency can jeopardize the community.” They were talking about community in Marxist parlance, as in “communis,” Latin for “shared.”
We were not allowed to be individuals in the totalitarian regime I lived under for 20 years. We shared a lot of misery, poverty, and despair under communism because self-reliance and rugged individualism were discouraged. Instead, we were told to be sheep under a benevolent government with omnipotent, god-like powers. As Marx said, “A people without a heritage are easily persuaded.”
Our children are taught that private property, the lynchpin of liberty, is bad. Thomas Jefferson began the Declaration of Independence with the words, “the pursuit of life, liberty, and property.”
Few American students pay attention to what Thomas Jefferson wrote anymore. Distributing condoms to elementary school children and setting up nurseries in high schools across the country for illegitimate babies take precedence over serious education.
American children have been brainwashed to reject the fundamental values of this country and of civilization. The Pew Research Center showed that more Americans age 18 to 29 have a favorable view of socialism over capitalism, 49 percent positive for socialism and 46 percent positive of capitalism. (December 2011)
The United Nation’s 150-page “World Happiness Report” promotes European socialism as the path to well-being. Fabian socialism must be imposed on the entire world through social and environmental justice. It is no coincidence that Maryland was the first state in the U.S. to pass The No Child Left Inside Act, forcing environmental literacy as a condition of graduation from high school. The reading and math test scores for some areas in Maryland are pathetic yet students must be environmentally literate in order to protect Mother Earth from the destructive economic activities of man. The education system is clearly pushing the religion of Gaia to the detriment of traditional education.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution lists the items over which Congress has the power to legislate and education is not one of them, neither can education be logically included under the commerce clause. It would be a stretch to consider the Department of Education constitutional. President Carter signed the DOE into law on October 17, 1979 and it began operating on May 16, 1980. President Reagan tried unsuccessfully to dismantle it.
Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 authorizing $1 billion annually to upgrade schools attended by students of low-income families has grown to $19 in 2010. No Child Left Behind is part of Title 1, an attempt to bring all students to proficiency level in math and reading by 2014. “More than half the states have asked the U.S. Department of Education for a waiver from No Child Left Behind.” The Obama’s administration will grant the waivers, ten years after President Bush signed the NCLB law, if those states adopt a new set of requirements established by President Obama, Common Core State Standards, a nationalized k-12 program of instruction. Title 1 funding would be tied to the Common Core. The “Race to the Top” grants in 2009 already emphasized “college and career ready” style of teaching and learning. Common Core national standards and tests require states to “surrender control of their classroom” to the federal government. (Heritage Foundation)
The federal government has spent $7 billion a year on Head Start, a program created by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 to serve almost a million low-income children across the country. Taxpayers have spent $168 billion since its inception yet the National Head Start Impact Study released by the Department of Health and Human Services in January 2010 showed that three and four year olds who were followed into first grade were not impacted positively at all on cognitive skills when compared to those children who did not participate in Head Start.
Congress mandated in 2006 another study of Head Start participants after third grade. Have their cognitive skills perhaps improved then? Health and Human Services concluded the study in 2008 but has not released the study results, four years later. Senators Tom Coburn, Mike Enzi, Lamar Alexander, Richard Burr, and John McCain have asked HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to release the results of the study. (Lindsey Burke)
It is safe to say that the existence of the U.S. Department of Education has had no positive effect on American education in spite of its $70 billion a year budget and its extensive bureaucracy.
Parents disenchanted with public education have proliferated home schooling and charter schools in spite of the vociferous protests of public school teachers, administrators, and NEA.The worthless Bachelor of Arts has become a piece of paper necessary to get an easy job. Students are disappointed when the six-figure salary job promised by their college advisor does not materialize, after having spent $7,000 per year in a public college on tuition alone.
After taking easy courses and the bare minimum of work, often times hiring other students to write papers for them or do their work, the B.A. degree is not worth the paper it is printed on. Employers request a transcript to verify graduation, but grades and courses taken are rarely scrutinized. Perhaps the students show promise in the perseverance department as potential on-the-job learners.According to Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute, eight million Pell Grants were awarded in 2010, totaling more than $32 billion. New loans of $125 billion were issued by the federal government in the same year.
The sad reality is that college graduates are experiencing 25 percent unemployment in the Obama administration that promised them “hope and change.” The hope is gone, there are no jobs in sight, and there is little change left in their pockets when college loans come due.