I shouldn't have to prove the statement. Anyone interested can find the statistics easily enough. recently, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a reputable organization of 34 of the world's most advanced countries placed U.S. fifteen year olds in the middle of the thirty-four nations educationally. Education Secretary, Anne Duncan, states that by next year 82% of all public schools could be failing. She writes,
"When a child is meeting the state standards, they are in fact barely able to graduate from high school. And they are absolutely inadequately prepared to go to a competitive university, let alone graduate."That is the bigger scandal.
What is the problem? We have a multitude of dedicated, hard working teachers. We spend more money for education every year. As we have read, the teachers in Wisconsin are well paid with lots of benefits. All more money will accomplish is more of the same. Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. Educationally, if we expect different results, we will have to look for different solutions.
Business guru W. Edward Deming stated, "Your system is perfectly designed to give you the results you are getting." This is true in every situation. Public education is accomplishing exactly what it is designed to accomplish. Unfortunately, the results for which they are designed aren't the same results most Americans want. This is because, instead of concentrating on teaching the skills needed to thrive in society, our schools are becoming more and more indoctrination centers for tolerance.
Kevin Jennings, our nation's "Safe Schools" Czar, is a good example. He has stated, "every public school, private school, or parochial school has an obligation" to teach a pro-homosexual curriculum. Even if your parochial school believes that homosexuality is a sin condemned by God? "Lord forbid a Baptist or Mormon school," he added, as he denounced private schools and school choice/voucher programs as "very dangerous" because they oppose his agenda. Very dangerous? They are the ones that have produced real educational results, they and home schools. Oh, but that isn't the agenda, indoctrination is. Do we really need pro-homosexual curriculum in, as he has stated, "kindergarten, and first grade, and second grade, every grade," especially when Little Johnny can't read?
These attitudes are not unique to Kevin Jennings. Check out these real headlines from our nation's newspapers over the past several weeks: "U.S. Teachers Tell U.N. Sex is a Spectrum - Advocate Mandatory Classes to Free Students From Religion." Principal Orders (Ten Commandments) Yanked From School Lockers." "University Defines Christians as Oppressors." "District Taking Money But Censoring Christians." "No Opting Out of Pro-Gay School Participation." These are but a sampling. It seems as though tolerance of everything is good except tolerance of traditional or Christian values.
Catherine Ross, a law professor at George Washington University, expressed their opinion well. She wrote,
"I am not primarily concerned here with the quality of academic achievement in the core curriculum areas of homeschoolers, which has been the subject of much heated debate. Instead, my comments focus on civic education in the broadest sense, which I define primarily as exposure to the constitutional norm of tolerance."She continues,
"In order for the norm of tolerance to survive across generations, society need not and should not tolerate the indoctrination of absolutist views that undermine toleration of difference."In other words, she doesn't think that homeschooling Christian parents should be allowed to teach their beliefs to their children,no matter how well they are doing academically. Indoctrination of their views is more important than achievement of core curriculum areas.
Parents should teach values to their children, while public schools should concentrate on teaching core curriculum. But as Mike Farris said,
"The 'It takes a village to raise a child' crowd believe that all children are the children of the village."No! Parents are the ones responsible for their children. Perhaps it is time the schools again get serious about education and worry less about indoctrination. Maybe then they will have time to teach core curriculum, and maybe then we'll regain our place as the top educationally.