No Child Left Intelligent
THE FAILURE OF GOVT. INVOLVEMENT IN EDUCATION
BY BRENDAN WREN
We’re all familiar with the recent resignation of Washington DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee due to heavy opposition from teacher’s unions on the tough stances she took as Chancellor in one of the worst areas of the country for public schooling. That got me thinking about the education system in the United States, and just how many fundamental flaws there are within it.
With the United States now throwing over four times more money at public schools then we did forty years ago, you’d think that we’d be seeing a remarkable change for the better in our public education. But any fool could see that our public schools are far from improving. Many public schools in our nation are abominations, both in the appearance and character of the school and those who attend and teach there, and in the results they are producing from students.
I myself am a 14 year old teenager from St. Louis, Missouri and while never having attended a public school myself, I have done extensive research on America’s public schools, as well as observing the public schools attended by many friends of mine and even my siblings who have been in public school before. As a matter of fact, it was the lackluster performance we saw from a former straight-A student once they attended a public high school that caused my mother to make up her mind not to put any of her kids in public school again.
As a teenager, I have noted the behaviors and priorities of other youths in my area, and I note that very little actual education is being taught in our schools nowadays.
Most students, even in good public schools, are concerned with anything but education, and I have been alarmed by the apathy of young people when it comes to schooling. Many teens I know are more concerned with when the next sporting event is, or when their next plan to socialize with friends is, rather than any interest in government or politics. While I can understand this, there is always a time and a place for recreation. But the plain truth is that many, if not most of the public school students in America are getting a seriously lackluster excuse for an education. America is the greatest, most prosperous nation on the planet. So why are there over 32 million Americans who are completely illiterate as of January 2009?
To answer this question, it is necessary to trace back to the beginning of serious federal involvement in education. For the majority of America’s existence, education was treated as a local and state issue, not a federal one. Many of our former presidents were homeschooled for the better parts of their lives. Among them are George Washington, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson (though I’m not sure if he helps or hurts the cause), William Henry Harrison, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, and Theodore Roosevelt, just to name a few.
The first major instance of federal involvement in education occurred during the Carter administration, where Jimmy Carter won, by four votes in the House, approval from Congress to create the Department of Education. Over the next several decades, the Department of Education grew into a humongous federal bureaucracy, with every President, with the notable exception of Ronald Reagan who lobbied to abolish it (yet another reason to like Ronald Reagan), contributing to the expanding power and influence of the Department, culminating with George W. Bush signing No Child Left Behind in 2001.
By the time NCLB was passed, the Department of Education had become so big and bloated that it controlled literally almost all aspects of a child’s education, thanks in no small part to the policies of Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. In my humble opinion, Ronald Reagan is the only real conservative president we’ve had in a good long while.
This huge and still-expanding federal influence has corrupted our youth and is rendering them useless by not teaching them anything. And the amount of money we pour into education currently is staggering. The money is doing nothing, and we know money is not the answer, because if it was, we’d be getting results much better than the ones we have now. The United States rates lower than many other, much less developed countries on standardized tests.
All of this, while important information, is effectively a moot point. Or at least it would be if the government cared about our constitution. The Tenth Amendment, or as I like to call it, the most ignored amendment in the constitution, (the 16th Amendment being the most recognized) makes this clear. It says, for those of you who don’t know: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
In simple English, this translates to: “If the Constitution doesn’t give the federal government the right to do something, they CAN’T. Only the local/state governments, or the people, can.” Can you guess how many times education is mentioned in the Constitution? Here’s a hint: The same amount of times that Separation of Church and State appears in the Constitution. NONE. The federal government is given no power over education in the Constitution, and therefore under the Tenth Amendment, they cannot federally regulate it. So, in its essence, the Department of Education is unconstitutional. If only the politicians in Washington cared about the Constitution. Wishful thinking.
Even with the damning evidence in front of their faces, the Washington boys refuse to see sense when it comes to education. They laugh in the face of effective educational measures such as voucher programs while bushing for ridiculous policies and increasing the power of a useless government agency. Our national deficit is currently at 13 and a half trillion dollars. 13 ½ TRILLION dollars. There must be cuts to our bloated government to fix these things. And the first thing that should be cut is the Department of Education. It is, next to the EPA, the most useless agency in government and is nothing more than a black hole, sucking in our tax dollars, dumbing down and indoctrinating our kids with textbooks filled with what Washington wants them to know. And I don’t know about you, but I sure as heck wouldn’t want to be learning out of ANYTHING chosen by the Obama administration.
The boys in Washington swear by the US public school system. So why do over 35% of Democrats in Congress, along with our President, send their kids to private schools? Perhaps, and this is just a suggestion from a measly, 14 year old homeschooler, but maybe forcing politicians to remove their darling kids from private schools would be a good first step towards making sure the public ones get a bit more attention.
In conclusion, why are public schools suffering? Why is the number of students enrolling in private schools or homeschooling skyrocketing? Because people are tired of their children being indoctrinated by the administration and the bloated DOE. The Obama administration knows something. And in the words of one of the most intelligent, and most evil, men in history:
“He alone who owns the youth, gains the future.” - Adolf Hitler
Well America, who do you want teaching your children? You? Or Barack Obama?