My life experiences have taught me to be more than a little skeptical when it comes to accepting the words, qualified or certified, as relates to those who are "educated." I am even more suspicious when those certifications or qualifications are bestowed by the State. I believe those words carry far too much weight with most Americans.
My first experience with this phenomenon came at the ripe old age of 18. I had problems understanding why a 23-year-old Lieutenant with an Animal Husbandry degree from Clemson University, and less than 7 months in the Army, was more qualified to lead men into combat than a 40-something sergeant with a 10th grade education and several years of combat experience in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. What the hell, the Army said he did, and since they were the representatives of the omnipotent State, they were the ultimate authority.
Again in Vietnam, the State ordained another fiasco. Those in the field came to call it the "Shake n’ Bake" program. Qualified mid-level Non-Commissioned Officers (sergeants), many with more than a decade in the Army, were leaving in droves because of the debacle that was Vietnam. No one with the State had yet thought of the back door draft called stop-loss. To counter this loss of personnel, the Army/State designed what to them was the perfect solution. They would take a new recruit/draftee who had scored high on his Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) and place him in a Non-Commissioned Officers Course. After 22 weeks of schooling, the candidate would graduate as an E-5, while the top 5% were made E-6′s. They were immediately sent to Vietnam and placed in the position of Platoon Sergeant over soldiers of lower rank, many of whom had more time in combat than these "instants" had in the Army! The resentment was immediate: not exactly healthy or conducive to success in a combat unit!
Could certifications and qualifications, when issued by the State; be not a guarantee of competence, but instead an indication of an acceptable level of indoctrination? Where could this phenomenon be more obvious than in academia? A person can have years of experience in a particular field of study, but be unqualified in the eyes of the State to impart their knowledge and experience to students. Without a battery of tolerance and diversity courses, the State believes one should never be in the presence of students seeking an education.
I have often wondered if the State issued with each certification or qualification certificate, a degree of arrogance? The thought again came to mind when corresponding with a professor from a well-known college in one of our Southern States. He took issue with my article comparing the situation in Iraq today with that in Vietnam in 1968. He went into great detail to inform me that, "we" won the Tet offensive. While I was not in country during Tet, I did attend the 20th anniversary reunion of the Tet Offensive in Richmond, Virginia, in January of 1988. I heard hundreds of veterans of those battles speak of "surviving" Tet, but I never once heard them speak of the campaign as a victory.
I assumed that since the professor had used the word "we" in his email; he was a veteran. When I questioned him as to his military service, he became incensed that one could imagine that made a difference. His reply was, "Lets see… where was I ???? That makes a difference, does it? And you served in Nam? I know another who did that and he is a traitor." This "expert’s" certification certainly came with an arrogance enhancement.
I also received an email on my first article at LRC from a professor who is chairman of a historical society. His comment on my declaration that "I am an anarchist as defined by Robert LeFevre," and that I saw the government of the Confederacy responsible for atrocities committed in its name, was, "What your article proves is: what was needed was more government, not less;" I suppose only a "State Certified" person would be qualified to make such an assessment.
Several years ago, I met a man from Colorado who had sold his software engineering company for millions. He was piloting his own Lear Jet and had flown into Tucson, Arizona, for the day to play a round of golf. During conversation, he told me he had recently gone to a local university in his hometown and offered to teach in the Computer Engineering department, pro bono. He was surprised when the dean of that department called him and said, "no thanks." He was informed he was not qualified to teach without proper certification and therefore the university would not be able to accept his offer. To the State, actually succeeding in your chosen field of endeavor does not equate, in any way, with their bestowed honor of certification.
If one had a son or daughter wishing to pursue a career in the computer field, the wisdom and experience of such a man would be invaluable. Yet, the system as it stands, will not allow the benefits of such wisdom and experience. It is more important that one receive the proper Marxist/statist theories and sensitivity training rather than knowledge which could provide monetary gain for themselves and their families and make them valuable members of society.
Considering the State’s requirements, Bill Gates would be deemed unqualified to teach a course in entrepreneurship without the proper State indoctrination.
This nation has an abundance of people with a vast amount of experience in many fields. They have acquired that level of practical knowledge as opposed to those in the teaching profession who have only dealt with theory. Many of these folks could make fantastic contributions to the education of our youth, but to the NEA and State certification boards, theory and proper socialist/statist indoctrination is much more important than experience and knowledge.
Is it not remarkable that the mere mention of God is not allowed in our schools, but the concepts of Statism reign supreme? We are making a terrible mistake by allowing the vetting of teachers by the State. It is obviously not important that our children learn anything but the concepts endorsed by the State!
No matter what perfumed version of socialism proposed by government, the results are the same. The only difference in the much vaunted education programs of the Clintons (Goals 2000) and those of the Bush regime (No child left behind) are their names. The goals of indoctrination and political correctness are identical, the only difference being NCLB comes with a much higher price tag.
I have heard and read many in this country that say they are aware of the shortcomings of the schools, but they supplement their children’s education at home. This is a tragic mistake. You may be able to give your children more knowledge at home, but how are you going to combat 6 hours of liberal/socialist/statist indoctrination? That equates to 30 hours each week. How many of us have that amount of time with our children?
One of the despotic acts by King George III that led to many leaving England and coming to the new world was the requirement that all preachers/ministers be licensed and sanctioned by the crown. This insured only the doctrine of the crown was disseminated to the masses: how convenient here in America for the State’s indoctrination to begin at age 5 or 6.
Our children’s minds are being stolen and poisoned by State ordained teachers and professors who have inherited a whole stable of sacred cows they revere and honor. There are notable exceptions, such as Professors Thomas DiLorenzo, Clyde Wilson, Thomas Woods, William Anderson, Butler Shaffer and Special Education Teacher Linda Schrock Taylor, but they are in a most distinct minority. Steven Yates writes a most compelling piece on why anyone who genuinely cares about their children should get them out of the clutches of the legions of statists.
We have absolutely no chance of ever returning this nation to the one envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other true patriots as long as we allow the State to dictate the standards and the curriculum for the education of our children. The State and liberty are diametrically opposed. As long as the State is in the position of certifying those who teach, the majority of teachers will gravitate to the oppressive doctrines that lead to slavery and our children will never know why our founders intended this country to be a Constitutional Republic and not a democracy.
Michael Gaddy [send him mail], an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut, lives in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest.