The President's education plan, with or without vouchers,
suffers from an essential defect. In the U.S. Constitution's
enumeration of its powers and responsibilities as regards
"raising revenue" (Article 1, Section 8) you will find
no mention of "education."
While education is a national priority, it is more properly a
priority of the parents of students, their teachers, and local
school boards. The flaw in President Bush's education plans is the
US Department of Education, an agency that since the 1970's has
racked up a dismal record when it comes to educating the nation's
youth. The "national standard" of education being
discussed ignores the most fundamental issue. Under the DOE a
deliberate plan to dumb down American students has been in place
for decades. No one seems willing to discuss this.
We should not support the President's plan because it will expand
the powers of the Department of Education. Forget the rhetoric of
block grants and other forms of slippery bookkeeping jargon and
logic designed to make this palatable. "Accountability"
and "Leave no child behind" are political slogans that
have helped ruin schools by diverting attention from the
entrenched subversion of our schools.
Individual States are, in reality, the conduit for the programs
designed by the federal Department of Education. Federal programs
are intended to subvert the teaching of the fundamentals of
reading, writing, and arithmetic, along with history, civics, and
science. The problem is the top-down federal programs and other
changes in American life such as the trend to litigate against the
disciplinary powers of school authorities that have severely
undermined the ability of local schools to achieve their intended
It is not the government's job through Outcome Based Education to
shape the opinions, personalities, and values of students. That's
the job for parents.
It is not the government's job to set up health facilities in
schools and insist that millions of students be required to take
mind-altering drugs like Ritalin.
It is not the government's job to send so-called social workers
into the homes of parents, threatening to take their children from
It is not the government's job to create School to Work programs
as if students are mere economic units whose skills are to be
pre-determined as to what occupation they will enter upon
graduation. That's what the former Soviet Union did and that's
what occurs in Red China, Cuba and other Communist nations today.
Since the 1960's, the federal government, in league with the
all-powerful teacher's unions, has so transformed our schools that,
by any standard and all current test scores, they have been
degraded to the point where American students score well below
those in other nations in almost every area of knowledge.
The Department of Education and the teacher's unions have ruined
our nation's schools. Everyone knows it. Parents under the current
system are powerless. In the schools, the principals and teachers
are powerless to deal with disruptive students, to separate the
slow learners from those who can progress at a faster rate, to
avoid having disabled students mixed in so as to diminish the
teacher's attention to the rest of the class.
Why do you think that tutoring services outside the school system
are a booming business these days? Desperate parents spend money
out of their own pockets to get the education for their children
that the nation's schools are not providing.
Millions more parents have turned to home schooling in order to
insure their children receive the education public schools cannot
and will not provide. They do so to insure that their children
grow up with the values that are prohibited in today's schools.
These children uniformly score better on the same tests given
those currently suffering from the lack of a real education they
should receive in the schools.
The power to educate children must and should be returned to where
it was before the tentacles of the federal government and the
teacher's unions turned our schools into shooting galleries and
indoctrination centers where environmentalism, global government,
and sexual behavior are on the curriculum as the prime objective
of a student's education.
All signs point to the fact that the President is, in fact, a
captive of the education establishment's rhetoric. If he is, you
can bet the nation's mainstream media will be as well.
Giving tests in school is the oldest and best way to determine the
progress of students. National standards that determine the
federal and state funding of school districts, their budgets, the
pay teachers and administrators receive, can only lead to schools
that devote an enormous amount of the school day "teaching to
the test." It's not the scores that matter; it's who sets the
standards. Right now it is the "educrats" in Washington,
Current curriculums and the way they are implemented insure that
all students are indoctrinated to give the "right"
answers to the questions determined by someone in Washington, DC,
not the local school board, not the teachers, and not the parents.
All real power has long since shifted to the Department of
Education and this is why our schools are in wreckage.
It's easy to condemn the Democratic Party, controlled in large
part by the teacher's unions, for embracing the President's and
previous proposals for education in America. At its heart, it is a
socialist concept. What is frightening is that Republicans have,
since the 1960's, embraced it as well, oblivious to the true
intent of "modern education." It must stop.
Title 1 and other programs provide the chokehold on education in
America today. It controls school lunches, in-school healthcare
programs, and pushes the concept of "at risk" children.
This opens the door to a wide variety of abuses including the
prescribing of mind-altering drugs, inappropriate physical exams,
as well as permitting social workers to invade homes to enforce
Until Title 1 is dismantled and removed, the President remains as
much a prisoner of the education establishment as everyone else in
America. Right now, those with the least power are the parents of
America's school children.
The history of the effort to model America's schools after those
of the former Soviet Union is largely unknown to Americans. This
is why they need to take back their schools. This is the new
Alan Caruba is the founder of The National Anxiety Center
and writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on
the Center's Internet site @ www.anxietycenter.com.
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