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By Tom DeWeese


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We hear it all the time. Americans want something done about education. Their children can't read or work math problems without a calculator. They can't spell, find their own country on a map, name the president of the United States or quote the founding fathers.

For the past decade or more, we have been focusing on a massive national campaign to "fix" the schools. In some schools we can find ultra high-tech, carpeted, air-conditioned classrooms with computers and television sets. We have education "programs" full of new ideas, new methods, and new directions.

In the 1990's the education mantra became "national standards" and accountability through "national testing" with Goals 2000. Politicians and "educrats" declared that every child would come to school "ready to learn", "no child would be left behind." They pledged our kids would be "second to none" in the world. Right now, the Bush administration, prior to issuing its budget, is trying to get Congress to sign off on a program based on these political slogans.

In the past, we spent money, money, and more money! The new "fix" intends to spend more. The result: American students have fallen further behind, placing 19th out of 21 nations in math, 16th in science, and dead last in physics. With all the programs, attention, and money lavished on education, how can that be? The problem? It's the federal programs and the education bureaucracy that run them.

Simply stated, over the past twenty years America's education system has been completely restructured to deliberately move away from teaching basic academics to a system that focuses on training students for menial jobs.

The restructured education system has been designed to deliberately dumb-down the children. Most Americans find that statement astonishing. Believe it! Parents don't want to let go of their child-like faith that the American education system is the best in the world, designed to give their children the academic strength to make them the smartest in the world.

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None of the problems will go away, nor will children learn, until both parents and politicians stop trusting the education establishment and start ridding the system of its failed and subversive ideas and programs.

Politicians continue to offer old solutions of more money and more federal oversight, almost stamping their feet, demanding that kids learn something. Programs are being proposed that call for teacher testing to hold them accountable for producing educated children. More programs call for annual tests to find out if children have learned anything.

The nation is in panic, but none of these hysterical responses will improve education because none of them address the very root of the problem.

Parents and politicians must stop believing the Education Establishment's propaganda that says teaching a child in the twenty-first century is different and must be more high tech than in days past. It simply isn't so.


Today's education system is driven by money from the federal government and private foundations, both working hand-in-hand with the Education Establishment headquartered in the federal Department of Education and staffed by the National Education Association (NEA).

These forces have combined with psychologists, huge textbook publishers, teacher colleges, the healthcare profession, government bureaucrats, big corporations, pharmaceutical companies and social workers to invade local school boards, classrooms and private homes in the name of "fixing" education.

The record shows that each of these entities has benefited from this alliance through enriched coffers and increased political power. In fact, the new education restructuring is working wonders for everyone involved except for the children and their parents. As a result of this combined invasion force, today's classroom is a very different place from only a few years ago.


Buy Books 

A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling
by John Taylor Gatto

The Opening of the American Mind : Canons, Culture, and History
by Lawrence W. Levine

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Tom DeWeese, 2001

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View expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Political USA.

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