Every level of government, local through federal, repeatedly promises that public schools will reform and perform in exchange for additional financial support. In fact, a deception is taking place because the educations we have been led to expect, and the training that actually takes place, are two vastly different uses of the term “education." The saddest part of this bait and switch plan is that the children are the ones who pay the highest price of all.
Parents and taxpayers complain, but schooling officials have been well trained to ignore all criticism; all anger; all common sense. Not only do schooling officials ignore all controversy, they actively seek to shut-up, remove, even destroy truthful and honorable employees. No threat to the status quo is ever tolerated, at any level.
Despite the money spent, and despite the promises of accomplishment and accountability: standards, benchmarks, goals, test scores, graduation exams — the mumble-jumble cannot disguise the fact that a huge percentage of Americans have been and are being dumbed down. In addition to being robbed of their potential, citizens have been blinded. They cannot see the walls of constraint and government manipulation that pen them. They cannot see the nooses around the necks of their children. Not only do these parents send their children to government reorientation buildings for brainwashing and warping, parents provide brightly colored distracters — pencils, crayons, Kleenex, notebooks — to hide the truth from their children…and from themselves.
All children are betrayed when they are not provided with opportunities to develop skills and talents; to use their minds in clear, logical thinking; to gain knowledge to broaden their experience base; to speak with confidence that comes from forming opinions, supporting them with truthful information, then standing for something in which they believe. All lose when powerful agencies manipulate educational choices and policies to assure the success of the dumbing-down agenda by awarding money to districts contingent upon purchases of certain textbooks. For example, the National Science Foundation awards grants-tied-to-limited-choices — new-new ways to get new-new math into classrooms thus insuring that children waste their time “constructing knowledge” instead of learning and practicing real mathematical concepts and skills that will prepare them for ever higher maths.
The illiterate are betrayed when the propaganda cries out “Accountability! Reading first! A literate America! Title I grants! No Child Left Behind!” The reality is that districts still choose low-quality instructional materials from fast-talking sales reps; that teachers still graduate from college unable to teach reading. School administrators pick reading curriculums that are billed as “research based” from companies with no track record at all. Too many claim that their materials are research based simply because the five strategies proven necessary for effective reading instruction are stuck into poorly designed and badly written curriculum. Decision makers fail to demand long-term research data proving effectiveness/ineffectiveness of a product before agreeing to the purchase. Decision makers fail to notice when children become “word callers” instead of readers. Schools fail to question why, near the end of the school year, children are still reading drawings of boys and girls instead of having learned to actually read such basic words. The rate of illiteracy continues to climb despite the rhetoric and the money thrown at the problem.
Religious children are betrayed when they must ride school buses and attend schools where filthy, ungodly language, concepts and beliefs are acceptable, allowed, even encouraged; when religious children attend classes with children and teachers who are unashamedly and outspokenly opposed to Faith; when they are forced to study every world religion except their own; when these children are denied their rights to pray; to celebrate religious holidays; to… Believe.
Special Education isn’t special when most who enter never have their weakness remediated; never are released; and normally end up labeled for life. Most Learning Disabled children became Disabled by Teaching. Deaf children receive cochlear implants, then schools pretend that such products give 20-20 hearing since eyeglasses can give 20-20 sight. Full Inclusion betrays special children by allowing only one (1) placement option (general education classrooms) in violation of laws and common sense that call for a continuum of service models to be made available. This blanket-placement of special children denies them the right to receive disability-specific instruction from trained professionals, while encouraging parents to pretend that osmosis will come into play in such placements — making the disabled child, just by sitting next to a non-disabled child, fully able.
Gifted children are betrayed when services are given grudgingly, sparingly…if provided at all. Too often, instead of teaching these children how to use their marvelous skills, gifted education seems directed more towards a Child Buyer agenda. Consider the label gifted. It encourages people to believe that such children received — as a gift — more than their fair share. Too often the wrong children are identified for services since classroom teachers accurately identify gifted students only 10% of the time. 10%! Classroom teachers generally think that the good, well-behaved children must be the very intelligent ones, instead of realizing that the under-challenged, troublesome children are more likely to be the superior thinkers.
Black and minority children are betrayed when school policy demands that everyone pretend: that dialects and accents can pass for Standard English; that the world will employ these children-grown-up despite the fact that average customers will not understand their speech; that children will accurately read, write and spell words so very unrelated to those they speak and hear. These children need to be taught clear, precise English in order to set them free; to prepare them to study and work their way out of the welfare trap with its destruction of family values and individual pride in achievement. Too many of these children fail to get a headstart at Headstart, still starting school lacking reading readiness skills; impoverished in vocabulary, language and life experiences; with speech, auditory, and conceptual handicaps that prevent them from learning.
Teachers are betrayed when they leave high school uneducated, unable to prove competency and knowledge on SAT and ACT tests. They are cheated and set up to cheat children, when they are accepted into colleges, and when they leave teacher training without the skills and knowledge that should have prepared them to be strong, intuitive, informed teachers. Teachers are confused when the pointing fingers of blame swing so widely: “It isn’t the fault of the teachers; it’s ALL the fault of the teachers; it isn’t the fault of the teachers…”
Parents are betrayed when inane compulsory education laws encourage them to believe that public schooling is good and necessary, when in fact it is too often harmful, destructive to the present and future happiness and potential of their children. Parents are fooled when seemingly peaceful school exteriors hide the chaos that reigns in the halls, rooms, and in the minds of those who enter trusting and defenseless.
School Boards — local and state — are betrayed each time they are handed rubber stamps and destructive policies to approve. Local schools boards are especially betrayed for they have little power with which to make local decisions about the educational standards for their local youth. The federal government and its lackeys at the 51 federal and state departments of education have usurped the most important educational decisions. Local school boards have become puppet shows, betraying the board members, themselves, and the citizens who elected them.
This all did not come about by accident; by coincidence. The original errors in educational planning were purposefully put into place. The ever-widening patterns of failure by citizens and the purposeful destruction of America are the consequences of those original anti-freedom/anti-liberty decisions. Such far-reaching decisions were made by puppet masters who desired a completely weakened world populace that would cower at their feet, allowing themselves and the world in which they live to be manipulated at the will of the Powerful.
A dumbed-down population will fail to notice government betrayals and encroachments. A dumbed-down population, even if the people sense that something is amiss, they will be unable to pinpoint and clearly explain their intuitive concerns. A dumbed-down population will be limited in envisioning defensive actions and unable to lead attacks to retake lost rights and property.
Schools once served to level the American population UP.
Now schools work to level the population DOWN.
(Much appreciation to Geoff, who named this basic betrayal, and alerted others to the fact that this up/down dichotomy is a major piece of the puzzle.)
A FEW OF THE MANY BOOKS THAT WILL ENLIGHTEN
- Bork, Robert H. Slouching Towards Gomorrah
- Eakman, Beverly K. Cloning of the American Mind: Eradicating Morality Through Education
- Gatto, John Taylor, The Underground History of American Education
- Dumbing Us Down
- Gross, Martin L.The Conspiracy of Ignorance: The Failure of American Public Schools
- Moore, E. RayLet My Children Go: Why Parents Must Remove their Children From Public Schools NOW
- Rothbard, Murray N.Education, Free & Compulsory
- Shortt, Bruce N.The Harsh Truth About Public Schools
- Sommers, Christina HoffThe War Against BOYS
- Sowell, ThomasInside American Education: The Decline, The Deception, The Dogmas
- Stormer, John A.None Dare Call It Education
- Stotsky, SandraLosing Our Language: How Multicultural Classroom Instruction Is Undermining Our Children’s Ability to Read, Write, and Reason
- Sykes, Charles JDumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can’t Read, Write, or Add
Websites of Interest
Linda Schrock Taylor [send her mail] is an educational consultant, homeschooling mom, and public school special ed teacher. She is available for presentations, inservices, and workshops.