Education

EDUCATION OR LACK THEREOF:  IS GOVERNMENT FAILURE

Two tragedies in the United States are Education and teacher unions.  Each arena experiences the problem of being converted by the system, from bottom-up management when it should be Top-down.  The oxymoron our education system reveals is the function of teacher unions.  The decay in public education began when the Federal Government became involved in the classroom and removed God from our schools.  Politicians control our public school institutions and use the curriculum to promote political ideology, godlessness, and created an environment to manipulate and poison the minds of children against the values of the founding fathers.

It is not the purpose of government to build brick and mortar buildings; it is to provide education.  Friedman said, “Think of it is way, you can subsidize the producer (school) or you can subsidize the consumer (student).  If you subsidize the student, you will have competition.  In our curt education system, close to 30% of the youngsters who start high school never finishes.  They are condemned to low-income jobs, condemned because they are going to be at the bottom.  This leads to a divisive society, a stratified society rather than one of cooperation and general understanding.”  From a constitutional perspective, education is not a guarantee nor is it protected.

Prior to government being involved in the education of our children, the majority were literate & able to learn.  How can we contemplate an America with this atrocity?  Everyone knows from the time when government created the DOE, America’s educational position in the world has declined and over a Trillion dollars wasted.  More than likely, as an American adult you were educated in a government school; or as a member of an organized church; or if you watch CBS, NBC, ABC news; or read a daily paper…you were exposed and educated by liberalism.

The unfortunate dynamic created by the D.O.E. is the demand for funds to sustain programs, facilities, and peripherals.  Since the 1960s our Educational system has infused and spent FOUR times more in funding, yet failed to provide heightened results.  We have little to show for the $2 Trillion spent on federal education programs since 1965.

“Education never helped morals.  The most savage people we have are the most moral.  The smarter the guy, the bigger the rascal” – Will Rogers

Understand…the education system in America is a Monopoly.

If we truly reform education and provide improved results, it should be union free.  We should reward teachers by performance and not tenure.  Minimal accountability exists for tenured teachers.  Oh, I know the injustice of my position; however, can you believe it, a teacher without tenure?  Can you imagine?

The audacity of it all, expecting a teacher to be held accountable like those in private sector?  In the US, 88% of companies with 500 employees or more utilize performance evaluations.

Competition among teaching ranks?  Unfortunately, it is neither demanded nor expected.  Why treat employees differently in the public sector from those in found in private Free Market enterprise?  Teachers are required to possess a college degree just as professional America; however, professionals have annual reviews and performance evaluations.  Why don’t educators?  Unions.  They lay claim to their vital roles; however, I contend the educator role and material used therein exceed the value of their contribution.  My proof?  Test scores; competency level decline from 4th to 12th grade; and lower state standards.

Look everyone, the educational system is too expensive; of poor quality; and provides programs distracting from educational priorities.  Why?  Why do we accept government failure?  Do you recall the federal anti-trust monopoly case against A T & T?  The government forced AT&T to divide into what affectionately known as, “Baby Bells”; and with amazing results:  Competition; Improved service; Better and Innovative Products.  These aspired, desired, and valuable business elements stifled by the monopoly became viable.  We must demand competition education dollars and Parents need quality options other than home school.  Free enterprise works, provides superior products, and is less expensive.  Incompetence:  not rewarded or certainly not tolerated.

I know people who considered and explored the teaching field as a career choice after college, but the value of their skill set in the free market persuaded them to opt out of education…I don’t blame them one bit.  Starting salary of engineers, human resources, sales … far exceed the salary of a teacher.  Bottom line:  You attend college to heighten your personal career opportunities, not just for comfort; or to support a spouse and family yet to be…You yearn to “do better than your parents”.  The American dream is available to everyone; some can discover it in teaching.  Friends of mine (both teachers) built their own house during the summers and acted as General Contractors.  They would reside in it two years, sell it, and build again.  Important to the discussion?  Absolutely!  In 14 years, their home was valued at $740K in 1989 and owned the home…free and clear!

We all have self-interest, whether this means pursuing what is valuable to you, but it can also be pursuit of value for others.  You grow from your own self-interest to succeed in the American Dream.  The more government became involved in education, the more difficult it is for kids to grab the bell and ring it.  It is not a coincidence test scores have not significantly improved or that the U.S. continues to decline in comparison with other nations of the world.

Each year, over one million college students require remedial education, costing $2.5 billion annually.  The state of NY spends the most money per pupil and Utah the least.  Yet, test scores of both states are the same.  Throwing good money after bad, at a broken system fails to provide adequate results.

Education begins and ends at home.  The first complaint teachers have is not voiced bout the system, supplies, or opportunities; it’s about parental failure, incompetence, or inability of the parent to adequately support their child.  The irony is… it is a vicious circle.  It demands resolution or remedy without Federal government contribution.  Oh, and do not forget the irony of US educational ranking in the world has steadily dropped since the government became involved in education.

Let’s review education statistics to provide you a heightened perspective of
decay.  All statistics are from the Dept. of Education and the National Center for
Education Statistics.

  • 1985 – 2009          Public School enrollment increased 26%              Private – 5%
  • 1993 – 2008          H.S. Graduates:  Public and Private increased 27%
  • 1977 – 2008          G.E.D. rose from 330,000 to 469,000
  • 1993 – 2007          Public School expenditures increased 43%
  • 1993 – 2007          Per Pupil expense increased 26% from $7,400 to $9,400
  • 2008                       Average               Public class size 20.3
  • 2008                       Average Pay: Public Teachers – $49,600                 Private – $36,300
  • 1990 – 2008          SAT Scores          1990 = 499           2008 = 501

 

Education Proficiency:  the older students become less educated

  •                 4th Grade             34%
  •                 12th Grade           21%

Science Proficiency 1995 – 2005

  •                 4th grade              increased  2%
  •                 12th grade            decreased 2%

Teachers:  2009

3.9 million public elementary and secondary Schools A 12% increase from 1999

 

A 2006 study by American Institutes for Research found, “more than 75 percent of students at 2-year col­leges and more than 50 percent of students at 4-year colleges do not score at the proficient level of literacy.”

BOTTOM LINE:  GOVERNMENT WASTED TRILLIONS ON EDUCATION

  • No Improved Test Scores
  • No Improved Proficiency
  • Reduced Proficiency with Age

Today’s education emphasis is not on math or science, it is teaching self-esteem.  Self-esteem is an earned quality, it is not taught.

Two authors of note discussed dismissal of foundational principles in education.  In 1947, CS Lewis mentioned in “The Abolition of Man” explained how the exchange of uncertainty for truth created men without chests.  In 1987, Allan Bloom wrote “Closing of the American Mind” truth in college students is “relative”.  Critical thinking is a new term for the old standard of logic and more recently, the term “creative thinking” is the new buzzword.

Tragically, students are being trained, not educated to critically think.  Principles to think critically are useful to aid students in determining truth.  After all, isn’t the purported goal of college or higher education to question everything?  Creativity is a means, not an end to a better life.

Where is parent participation in the PTA/PTO?  Participation is at record lows.  Teachers are too busy, too tired, or believe attending PTA meetings is not worthy of their time.  They have papers to grade or a life to live after school.  Oh, sure, School systems?  They lack the means and ability to require attendance too.  Formerly, parents stood behind their children with love, support, and discipline.  A Teacher dare not contemplate raising his or her hand at a child today.

Michelle Obama decided to turn her energy towards school lunch programs and the quality of food consumed by kids.  Yet, she fails to eat healthy and conduct a healthy lifestyle.  Government was not and is not intended to be the savior of American Health, nor should it be.  The liability for dietary consumption by students rests with the parents and the student.  It isn’t rocket science to know:  if you over eat, you will be fat; if you do not exercise and are sedentary, you will be fat.  True, some people are genetically pre-disposed to being large.  However, it may be minimized with little effort.  Oops, hold on a second, sorry, I just saw “Jared” walking past; oops no, I really didn’t, but what a great poster child for taking responsibility for your own health!

Hey Michelle, Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”

  • Notice prevalent problem’s with the self-esteem of students, it is because of how and what they are taught:
  • Winning is not important: it is participation, everyone who does, is a winner.  So the score was 42 – 7, but hey, you’ll get ‘em next time!
  • What about the medal or trophy the child takes home for losing?  Only to explain later to friends or chums that the medal was because I participated.
  • I missed your son and daughter at practice after school.  What?  He enjoyed a great victory in Super Street Fight XXXII and Halo VXM?  That is wonderful, say congratulations for me!

 Do you prepare your child for the S.A.T. or the A.C.T.?

  • Do you help your kids with homework?
  • Do you encourage reading books versus computer or television time?
  • Do you require homework completion before play?
  • Not happy with the report card?  What active role do you as the parent take? 

Education results are not a total burden of schools.  Sure, we have wasted trillions of tax dollars in an effort to educate our children.  However, it does not excuse you from active participation in their education.  How ironic is public outcry created by budget cuts in education, when money fails to provide heightened educational results.

The Kalamazoo (Michigan) Public School system has a mantra, “Every child, every opportunity, every time!”  Budgets be damned, we will fund it all somehow.  They have to…the school district created a monster as parents feel their student is ‘entitled’ to everything without bearing much, if any, of the expense.

One Michigan PTO organization strives to raise money for their school.  Yet, when a parent inquires as to the purpose of the funds raised; they reply for general needs.  However, the same PTO communicates school events better and more frequently than the school district, not because the district cannot afford it; rather it just doesn’t.

In the Movie, “Maid in Manhattan”, the character played by Jennifer Lopez was told by her mother, “…Keep dreamin’ dreams that will never happen.” To which Jennifer responds, “…I am going to take chances without any fear; without your voice in my head telling me that I can’t.”

“There can’t be any gift of perfection from outside ourselves.  When men seek such perfection they find only death, fire, loss, disillusionment and the end of everything that’s gone forward.  Men have always sought an end to our misery but it can’t be given, it has to be achieved.  There is hope, but it has to come from inside, from Man himself.”  – It conquered the World

 

The troubles are not limited to the public K-12 education system as liberal Universities churn out thousands of socialist soldiers marching to the Marxist drumbeat.  The modern research university was created during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century.  Prior to this time they primarily were religious schools. Under the guise of “Liberal Arts” the inculcation changed from respect to political activism.  Women’s studies played a vital role in “Women’s Lib” and who among us would ever want to deny anyone of rights, impose prejudice, or infringe on one’s ability to live their life as they see fit without “The Man” infringing upon his citizens.

From the Constitution of Women’s Studies Association it reads, “Women’s Studies owe its existence to the movement for the liberation of women…because women are oppressed.  Women’s Studies, then, is equipping women not only to enter the society as a whole, as productive human beings, but to transform the world to one that will be free of all oppression.”  Hence, academia and the political landscape changed.  Stephen Zelnick said, “The one-sidedness of their faculty in their ideological commitments and a growing intolerance of competing views resulted in abuse of students, occasionally overt and reported, but most often hidden and normalized, and the degrading of the strong traditions of intellectual inquiry and free expression.”  Zelnick, a former Vice-Provost at Temple University also said, “I have sat in on more than a hundred different teacher classes and seen excellent, indifferent, and miserable teaching…In these visits, I have rarely heard a kind word for the United States, for the riches of our marketplace, for the vast economic and creative opportunities made available for energetic and creative people (that is, for our students); for family life, for marriage, for love, or for religion.”

David Horowitz notes, “while treating dissenters as unbelievers and dismissing their views as not requiring serious consideration.  The new academic orthodoxies teach that America is an oppressive society governed by hierarchies that are “racist,” “sexist,” and “classist.”  He also notes in his book that the “Modern Languages Association” official journal “PMLA” has an article titled, “Get Up, Stand Up: Teaching Civil Disobedience in the Literature Classroom” and another titled, “Using the Civil Rights Movement to Practice Activism in the Classroom.”

Folks the education problems extend well beyond our hometowns and into the colleges, we send our children.

Homework:

Movie(s):

  • “Waiting for Superman”
  • “Expelled, no Intelligence needed”, by Ben Stein

 Books:

  • Indoctrination U: the Left’s War against Academic Freedom – David Horowitz
  • Reforming Our Universities: The Campaign for an Academic Bill Of Rights – David Horowitz
  • Education and the State – E.G. West

 Websites:

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