By Nathan Barton
In my commentary back in June, entitled “A need to liberate children and family” (and other articles, including many since then: notably my comments yesterday about John W Whitehead’s excellent “Jesus was born in a police state” and the HSLDA’s story of a homeschooling mom in Kentucky) I discussed some of what children and their families face in the “public schools” – and more and more in private settings, even home schooling.
The hazards which are found in the GOVERNMENT-RUN (RUINED) TAX (THEFT)-FUNDED SCHOOLS (INSTITUTIONS) – GRTF schools – are many. Here, in these Fifty States we find:
- indoctrination into the worship of the state, including submission to government
- propaganda promoting a variety of worldviews, including:
- environism (worship of the earth),
- evolution (rejection of anything but “nature”),
- subjectivism (no absolute truth),
- complete obedience to anyone “in authority” automatically and without question,
- civil religion(s) (worship of flag, military, and government),
- false views of history and society, and
- many more
- sliding control of children away from their parents, and into direct and indirect state control
- rejection of moral absolutes in all parts of life
- the tyranny of teachers, staff, “professional” whatever and “paraprofessional” advocates of this and that.
I think most libertarians, regardless of religious viewpoint, agree with that these things are in and of themselves wrong.
No atheist or agnostic libertarian is interested in their children being indoctrinated into worship of the state. Any more than they want that child to be indoctrinated into worship of God the Creator (or any other deity).
No christian libertarian is desires their child to be taught worship of the state or some perversion of any type of religion, whether it be “christianity” or Gaia, or Islam or Judaism. The same holds true for lovers of liberty who are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or LDS.
But the situation is not just what propaganda, what religious indoctrination, what moral pollution students get in these schools. It is also that the schools do NOT teach the rudiments of basic knowledge. Regardless of the subject, the students leave these institutions incapable of doing anything to accomplish the goals and carry out the responsibilities we expect of young adults entering into our society and our economy.
This story from a reader and colleague talks about some of the challenges facing us as we seek to liberate children and their families from the dangers of government-controlled and government-influenced education.
“My good friend’s wife was the principal of a small Catholic parochial school for a number of years until it was forced to close for economic reasons. Anyway she retired but wanted to still teach as a volunteer for adults that have reading problems. These are not English as a second language students. They were raised in America and taught (I use that term very loosely) in the public system. She had one 23 year old girl who just wanted to read stories to her daughter at bedtime and she couldn’t. She literally could not read at a second grade level. She was not a dropout. She had graduated.
“Another boy graduate of the XXX school system needed help filling out job applications. How can you get a job if you can not read an application? He couldn’t. He was 25 years old I think.
“I remember seeing a 60 minutes segment on the Chicago school system several years ago. The high school teacher they interviewed could not put a proper sentence together when answering the interviewers’ questions. And she was the teacher. The kids did not have a chance.”
We see this even in the “elite” of today’s college students and graduates. My wife recently “got” to provide information for a project produced by a team of fourth-year engineering students at the flagship land-grant university of a western state, under direct guidance and leadership of two professors: one full and one assistant. Despite (supposedly) dozens of man-hours spent gathering and analyzing data and preparing the 11-page report, it was completely worthless. Data was incorrectly reported or recorded, or left out; false attribution made to sources; conclusions were not supported by either data or analysis; and recommendations did not make sense. The report was poorly organized, had many spelling and grammatical errors, and poorly presented. It was such poor quality that both my wife and I would have flunked a 7th or 8th grade group of students that tried to foist off this report. Although this was a “public” (GRTF) university, we’ve heard of equally poor quality coming from private universities.
It is not enough to liberate children from the GRTF PS-12 system: they need to also be rescued from higher education.
It isn’t enough to just shuttle them off to a “private school” – private schools imitate public schools all too much and while they may run 5 to 10 years behind in the latest fads and trends, they are ultimately going down the same path. At least most of them. Worse, their teachers (especially the younger generations X and millennials) are almost always graduates of the GRTF teacher training universities: they are themselves victims of the system and know nothing else.
Nor is it necessarily enough to just home school them – either yourself or with family and friends. It is almost essential to have curriculum and study information (programs, text, on-line resources, etc.) for parents to teach their children. But all too often, THAT material is contaminated with the same filth that pollutes the GRTF schools. That same list of hazards can and does appear in home-schooling material, in private school curriculums AND actual day to day teaching.
So the question today is HOW. How can we liberate them?
Clearly, the first and essential way is what I’ve been advocating for years – GET YOUR CHILDREN OUT OF THE GRTF SCHOOLS.
But there is more: you can’t just keep the poison out – you have to put something good in.
We can talk about that here soon.
Mama’s Note: Long ago I taught nursing at a community college. Even 40 years ago, it was easy to see the glaring disaster of “public” education. It hadn’t quite spread to good universities then, but the handwriting was on the wall.
In a nutshell, and the most terrible problem I could see even then, was that the students had never been introduced to any kind of critical, analytically thinking. They not only did not have the basics of grammar and spelling, they were not readers at all, for the most part. With only TV and movies for information, they had no idea of actual history, or the incredible body of knowledge of the classics. And I could go on and on…
They simply had no tools with which to do any sort of college work, and most were very resistant to any hint that they would have to catch up with the basics to accomplish anything lasting. They had no sense of self ownership or self responsibility. If they didn’t do well (comparatively) they blamed it on any and everyone else.
But few ever got the message. They were happy to memorize things, but they could not analyze or even discuss them rationally as part of a whole. Just bits and pieces they could regurgitate on an exam. They didn’t have any idea how to think for themselves, and didn’t have a clue that they needed to do so to be effective nurses, let alone effective and ethical adults.
I’m sure it is much, much worse today.
Mama, you remember correctly. Homeschooling was illegal in California, de facto if not “officially” until sometime in the 1990s: you could have a paid private certified/licensed tutor or maybe get the local school district to allow the child to “attend school” at home – extension. HSLDA.org has a series of articles they are publishing right now, detailing the history of the fight to get homeschooling legalized there.
It’s easy to blame the system; but, as is pointed out here and elsewhere, the onus is on the parents to ensure their children are properly educated. It’s even worse when the parents themselves are victims of the system, as then you have essentially a zero-sum game. Anyhoo, it’s all part of the plan. Eat your Cheetos and get back to the TV.
I remember a dozen or so years ago driving my youngest to town and taking all of fifteen minutes teaching her binary math and boolean logic. Fifteen minutes. And the lesson took. When I asked her why her teachers had not yet taught her these basics in school, she informed me that a lot of subjects were “off limits”, and when she would try to advance, would be told she “was not ready, and the class should advance as a group”. This, simply put, is Pure, Unadulterated Child Abuse.
Yes indeed. When my sons were “school age,” homeschooling wasn’t available, far as I know, unless one had the money to spend for special tutors. Anyway. my boys were taught at home a great deal, essentially from birth, and they both started “school” able to read and beginning to write. Their first teachers were horrified, actually, and didn’t know what to do with the precocious. I’m convinced that if I had not worked very hard to teach them at home through highschool, they would be now drones and fools as are so many. Instead, they are both strong self governors and successful people.
Should also point out that the government/state hatred of education is very old – I personally think it goes back to early Egyptian dynasties. (I think there is strong evidence that Egyptian hieroglyphics were adopted because it would require years of study to learn to read and write with them, thus denying education to anyone but the wealthy powerful leisure class and those handpicked by them to be priests and scribes.)
And the constant refusal of parents to stand up to the state for their children, and their constant willingness to turn their children over to the state for “instruction” and rearing is also something we can see back thousands of years: Egypt, Sparta, etc. It is a vicious cycle, yet incredibly useful for the controllers.