National Education Association
Problems in American Education
I read a poll that found nearly half of Americans under 30 believe Socialism to be as good as Capitalism.
There is a direct correlation in the results of the poll to age.
The older one is in America the more likely to favor Free Enterprise—Capitalism.
Why would this be?
There are problems in American education.
It has to do with the aims of those in control of our Public School System.
This article will explore some of those aims.
"The Father of Modern Education" was John Dewey, a Communist, an Atheist, a leader of a teachers union, and a signer of the Humanist Manifesto. This declaration called for Humanism to become the new religion of America as a replacement for the fables of Christianity, which it calls powerless, insignificant, and backward. It specifically states that there is no God; rejects the supernatural; worships science; and states that religious worship and churches should be eliminated. Humanism opposes Capitalism; favors Communism. In 1983, Humanist Magazine featured an article that boasted: "The battle for mankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom. The classroom must and will become the arena of conflict between the old and the new, the rotting corpse of Christianity and new faith of humanism." Or as Bill Ayres said in 2006, "Education is the motor-force of revolution."
National Education Association
The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest union in America. They represent public school teachers and university faculty, as well as support personnel in those institutions. These are the people entrusted with molding the minds of our children.
The NEA claims to be non-partisan but—in keeping with their core tenet of the relativism of truth—that is not true. The teacher's union consistently backs leftist ideology including same-sex marriage. The NEA has never backed a Republican candidate for president. Their contributions to political campaigns are almost exclusively to Democrats.
They have also helped fund the Gay and Lesbian Alliance. The NEA plans to change public opinion of homosexuality through the indoctrination of our children that heterosexuality is not the norm—moral equivalency. To quote Bill Ayres, "Queering Elementary Education is an important contribution to nourishing the ethical heart of teaching." "Presumed heterosexuality is an artifact of oppression."
Along with this has come the deliberate feminization of boys, exemplified by recommending Ritalin for male children who act like real boys. Boys are in trouble because of this horrifying social engineering. Girls today are twice as likely to pursue a professional career. The teacher's union favors feminine behavior—wants to make boys into little girls—and boys suffer a disconnect from themselves.
What Is Social Justice
What is Social Justice? It's a euphemism for Socialism or even Communism.
As usual for leftists, well trained by Lenin and Alinsky, Social Justice does not mean what its words mean. It is an ideology that believes that all people in our country should have equal resources, i.e., income and assets—equal outcomes to their lives regardless of unequal contributions to society.
This involves teaching children that if any people have attained more wealth than others, it is the result of oppression—injustice. "Teaching for Social Justice" is required by teacher credentialing programs.
The teacher's union subverts the American Way of Life by teaching our children Moral Relativism. This is an ideology that posits there is no such thing as truth. This is diametrically opposed to the highest goal of education: the search for truth. And educators don't really believe in this theory. They are quick to point out the moral failings of America. What moral relativism really is then is the denial that our children should have any personal morality, which has been replaced by a focus of societal morality. There are many social indicators that demonstrate the destruction caused by moral relativism. If all ideas are right then none are.
Multiculturalism at School
The NEA has been at the forefront in promoting multiculturalism in public schools. This contradicts one of the greatest American traditions: assimilation. Rather than America achieving unity in its societal values and culture; multiculturalism teaches that the American Way is no better than any other, and in fact is probably worse. It teaches that all cultures are equal—that putting a bone through one's nose is of equal value to putting a man on the moon. This leads to some black kids persecuting good students for "acting white" or "talking white." Many have a pitiful grasp of the English language. And it leads to white kids turning their backs on their awesome heritage—a little something known as civilization—to emulate dysfunctional cultures, as witnessed by the "wiggers" phenomena.
Self Esteem Curriculum
The focus of public school education has been diverted from the learning of knowledge, wisdom, and truth—to "Self Esteem." Honor rolls and spelling bees are going the way of the dinosaur. Competition and achievement is frowned upon and if prizes are awarded, they must be given to all kids in a group.
Honors classes, designed so the brighter students could learn more, have been discontinued at most schools because the vast majority of the kids who qualified for them were white. We can't have that. We'd rather have them bored to tears in remedial classes with everybody else.
Constructive criticism has been replaced with undeserved praise. This underrates the importance of effort. 200 studies have shown that the Self Esteem Movement in education has yielded zero positive results. In fact, the opposite is true. It has spawned a generation of narcissists who face every choice with "it's my life!" If they fail in life it must be because "society" is oppressive.
What should be taught is personal responsibility. The Self Esteem Movement has given a generation the freedom to be fools.
The NEA promotes identity politics. Instead of working for the betterment of America, one works for the benefit of oneself or the group to which one belongs. The only group disbarred from participation in identity politics is white males. Any other group is conditioned to see themselves as victims of oppression, with the resultant boulder on the shoulder that one can see all around us. For the white kids is reserved the NEA doctrine of White Guilt—making them ashamed of who they are. I don't think that is good for their Self Esteem. But it serves the leftist goal of leveling down the achievers.
Political Correctness is an enormous part of the NEA agenda for your children. The term "Founding Fathers" is now banned in some schools because it is not gender neutral. Any classroom discussion of art, literature, music, technology, inventions, or civilization must include an equal number of achievements by all racial groups and genders. A history textbook therefore thanks the American Indians for their contribution to the United States Constitution. Political Correctness offers harsh penalties for free speech and the right to think for yourself. Many do not know that this doctrine originated with Vladimir Lenin and was a favorite of Mao—Cultural Marxism. George Orwell would be surprised that America has become the home of the Thought Police.
"Tolerance" is the goal of much of this idiocy. There is nothing as intolerant as Tolerance. Supposedly it means refraining from forcing your views on others or judging them for their actions. But as we have observed, many of these other tenets held by the leftists of the teacher's union are all about not tolerating views or speech outside the leftist canon. Conservative people or Christians must tolerate the views of the radical socialist but their views are not given the same treatment. In fact, they are singled out for intolerance above all others. Boy Scouts may not use a classroom to meet after school unless they tolerate homosexuals; but homosexuals are not expected to tolerate Boy Scouts. Tolerance theory has now gone so far over the edge, that to be against anything the Left is for is to hate. If you don't agree with me—you hate me. And you're a racist bigot.
National Education Association
Along with this is the NEA mandate to ignore Dead White Males as much as possible. Go ahead and use that Bill of Rights; our legal system; clean water system; sanitation; roads; automobiles; trains; airplanes; medicine; irrigation; health care; electricity; telephones; refrigeration; air conditioning; agriculture; social safety net; personal freedom and liberty—but don't tell kids how it all got here. By all means, don't read the Great Books of Western Thought.
Allow me to quote Allan Bloom from his book The Closing of the American Mind, "The relativity of truth is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate . . . and it is the modern replacement for the inalienable natural rights that used to be the traditional American grounds for a free society. As it now stands, students have powerful images of what a perfect body is and pursue it incessantly. But deprived of literary guidance, they no longer have any image of a perfect soul, and hence do not long to have one. They do not even imagine that there is such a thing."
American History Textbooks
The indoctrination of our children with leftist ideology is complete with the usual anti-Americanism. Children are taught that the famines and starvation in Africa are the fault of America; not their own pitiful, utterly corrupt rulers. Children are not told that American citizens give more money to Africa, and volunteer more time, than the rest of the world combined—or anything else flattering about our nation. The history of America is portrayed as a long story of oppression and injustice—not as the greatest nation in the history of the Earth. It is certainly not a place with any values worth fighting for or that children should feel damn lucky to live in. The only taboo in public school education is Traditional Values.
Anti Christian Indoctrination
Christianity is shunned and Christians are routinely discriminated against. Meanwhile, public schools go out of the way to accommodate Muslim children. The Koran is called the revealed word of God; Christianity and Judaism are called claims or beliefs. Jesus is described in one sentence: He was a Palestinian—a word not invented until the 20th Century. The leftists in charge might want to paraphrase Diderot: "Let's strangle the last rich person in America with the guts of the last preacher."
In one 30 page section about the Pilgrims in a Social Studies textbook, Christianity is not mentioned once. American History is presented devoid of Christianity. Not one word is written about motherhood being important; not a word about immigrants coming to this country and achieving the American Dream; and the only men written about as role models are liberals.
History textbooks hardly mention Abraham Lincoln or George Washington. Instead, they go on and on about the oppression of minorities, women and the poor. American History has been revised to paint America as a villain. Democracy is not written about much. A teacher's union official stated, "There are still a lot of people who take the view that we're being too chauvinistic if we say democracy is superior."
Then the coup de grace: Darwinism. The schools insist on teaching the Theory of Evolution as if it were fact—which it is not—and plenty of students have been publicly ridiculed for disagreeing. Kids do not want to be humiliated in front of other kids. This we know. They teach our children that they are primordial slime and nothing more. This is quite a contrast from the Biblical truth that our children are the very Image of God. I can't help but think this trumps all that Self Esteem training. And it makes killing unborn babies so much easier if they are merely a random accident and clump of cells, rather than an immortal creature made by a Creator with a plan and a purpose—and a Judgment Day.
Problems in American Education
By concentrating on all this nonsense, in lieu of teaching children to learn, Americans now trail far behind Europe and Asia by every measure of scholastic achievement, especially in math and science, despite spending far more than any other country on our schools. Only 41% of a student's day is spent on basic academics. Students in Japan and Germany spent 250% more classroom hours on basic academics every year—while Americans are in sensitivity training—and are assigned three times the homework. Instead of holding back children who need remedial help, everybody must pass, leading to a dumbing down of the curriculum for everybody. America has seen a 50% drop in the number of students who score over 700 on the SAT verbal test in the last 45 years—back to exactly when the teacher's union rose to power through changes in state laws regarding collective bargaining. The top 5% of our students are matched academically by 50% of those in Japan. In algebra and calculus, the Japanese and the Chinese double our academic success. 25% of our high school graduates can barely read their diplomas. There is an appalling lack of understanding history, knowing geography, having the ability to write above a minimal level. The teacher's union comes up with all kinds of excuses for this dismal failure, none of which hold water. The teaching methods and theories, and the union itself, are the problem. And this is ruining the minds of future generations.
National Education Association
An article in the New Yorker magazine dated 8/31/2009, describes how over 600 teachers in New York City who have been suspended for malfeasance, sit around playing cards or sleeping for years at a "Temporary Reassignment Center" while receiving full pay (over $100,000 a year) and benefits (including a lifetime pension at 50% of salary). They are protected by their union. "One school principal has said that Randi Weingarten, of the teachers’ union, 'would protect a dead body in the classroom.'" 98% of all teachers are given tenure (a job for life) after three years, after which it is nearly impossible to fire them. Joel Klein, city schools chancellor, says, "Tenure is ridiculous. You cannot run a school system that way. The three principles that govern our system are lockstep compensation, seniority, and tenure. All three are not right for our children.” An appeal of a suspension costs the city about $400,000. The union contract requires 700 to 800 excess teachers be paid full salary even though they are not needed—costing the taxpayers perhaps $100,000,000 per year! The article says, "These teachers, who have been on the reserve rolls for at least nine months, have refused to take another job (in almost half such cases, according to a study by the New Teacher Project, they have refused even to apply for another position) or their records are so bad or they present themselves so badly that no other principal wants to hire them. The union contract requires that they get paid anyway."
A recent study concluded Our schools are indifferent to instructional effectiveness. The union contracts are riddled with senseless work rules. New York City spends $200,000 per classroom, yet leftists constantly complain that lack of money is the problem. Incompetent teachers should be fired, like any other job (except other union jobs, of course). Charter schools outperform public schools significantly, using traditional teaching methods—not the progressive programs still favored by the ideologues running our educational system despite a track record of zero success. The biggest reason young teachers quit is because all that sensitivity and social justice training did nothing to prepare them for the terrible behavior of the coddled students.
One solution is vouchers for parochial or other private schools—which naturally the union is vehemently against because they are not about the kids, they are about the teachers. In New York, Catholic Schools graduate 90% of their minority students in urban neighborhoods—versus 50% in the public school, beholden to the union, up the street. But Catholic schools are closing rapidly. In The City they have room for 15,000 failing students right now. Vouchers could save a lot of kids. The Catholic schools save a lot of taxpayer money, too, spending $7,000 per student per year versus $20,000 per student at the public school. So, they do twice as good a job for 1/3 the money!? Yes! They do. Shouldn't parents have a right to save their children from a life of poverty? One would think that leftists, who never run out of things people have a "right" to, would agree. But not compared to their love for unions. As Karl Marx said, "Unionism is the first step to Communism." We can't remove that sacred step, no matter who gets hurt.
When I read that young people think Socialism is a good idea, or that it is fine for the government to take over health care, banking, insurance, manufacturing; to set wages, and in the future implement Central Planning and Collectivism, I am not angry with them. How could I be? They don't know any better.