“Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?” So inquired President select, George W. Bush to a crowd in Florence, South Carolina, January 11, 2000. The politicians obviously are not learning. But is … are the children? A new international study doesn’t look too good for youngsters in America. The study is massive, 384 page PDF download but here it is.
The 2015/16 Index of Freedom of Education concentrates on the availability of “non-govermental” education. The rankings are deeply hidden, starting on page 315. The mighty United States, which ever one knows is the freest place on Earth, is in a tie with Hungary for 17th place. Who knew Hungary was the co-freest place on the planet.
This study is concerned with educational opportunities outside of the mainstream of “public” “schooling.” That would include private schools, charters,community, parochial, family schools, tutoring and home schooling. Most global education studies center on proficiency in one or more subjects. The U.S. does poorly in those too. I didn’t bother to look up any of those. Just Google, “where does America place in … reading, math, science, etc.” and you will be unpleasantly surprised as to just how poorly our schools do in any given field. I think we place outside of the top 20 in just about any category. Frequently American students are the only ones who can’t find America on a map. They also have trouble spelling “America” and can’t count high enough to cover all 50 States. The problem runs from elementary school through high school and even to the university level.
Might as well be Harvard today. Google.
As for free choice in education, the Catholic Register sees a worldwide issue.:
Each country’s ranking depends on four differently weighted factors: the legal possibility to create and manage a non-governmental school; whether it is publicly funded, and if so, which pre-specified costs that funding covers; the net enrollment rate of primary education; and finally, the enrollment rate in non-governmental schools as a percentage of total primary education.
Ireland came in at number one. Were it not for American homeschooling, which typically ranks highest in any rankings, the U.S. would have come in worse than 17th. Most students in America are forced to suffer twelve plus years of prison-like “public” indoctrination. After all that many cannot read. Most that can read only at a 5th grade level.
The Register gets it:
Thomas Jefferson over two centuries earlier:
It is better to tolerate the rare instance of a parent refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings and ideas by the forcible transportation and education of the infant against the will of the father.
And perhaps a little more surprisingly, with this Jeffersonian affirmation by the Democratic Party National Platform, which declared (as late as 1892):
We are opposed to state interference with parental rights and rights of conscience in the education of children as an infringement of the fundamental Democratic doctrine that the largest individual liberty consistent with the rights of others insures the highest type of American citizenship and the best government.
How times change!
For most of human history, prior to the twentieth century, children were either educated at home, in church, or in small and independent local schools. Many never made it past what we would call the 5th grade but at least they could read (without wasting seven more years). What changed?
During the late 1800s, as larger and more complex government was beginning to grow like kudzu, and as the industrial revolution was taking off, business and state leaders saw an opportunity. They institutionalized education in order to control what was taught and, ultimately, to control society. To paraphrase George Carlin they wanted obiediant workers just smart enough to fill out the forms and run the machines and just dumb enough to keep taking the status quo. That’s exactly what they got.
Today schools, especially in America, what little or nothing to do with education. They raise children into subservient adults who will pay taxes, watch television, and look forward to social security. It’s not just the schools.
Almost all children are bright and inquisitive by nature. They want to learn. Learning is fun. They question everything. How many times has your child asked you, “why?” You did that too, if you recall. Then sadly, after just a few years, most start to turn into zombies.
Ours is a silly culture where people start absentmindedly at screens most of the waking hours. It’s a sick and dying culture where every form of sin is on display and openly celebrated. Many parents cannot educate their own children because they themselves are not educated. Their too busy with triviality anyway.
Enter the government. How convenient that benevolent old Georgia or California or New York offers free daycare and schooling for the kids. We get what we pay for. It costs nothing and it is worth nothing.
Those government schools waste so much time taking attendance, monitoring water fountains, locking down for nothing, promoting football and other bullshit it is no wonder they can’t teach Johnny to read. He doesn’t need to read to work for corporation X, sit in prison, or collect welfare. It’s part of the plan.
There are plenty of exceptions but they are just that – good apples in a rotten lot. Given the wicked nature of the system, there is no point in reforming it. Reform after useless reform is constantly foisted on the dumbed down public: Deweyism, the Frankfurt school, the new school, charter schools, head start, no child left behind, common core. None of it works.
Abolishing government schools entirely would be a good start but only a start. The whole state needs to be abolished so people can be free to spend their time and money with their children effectively. Those who care will have to step in and step up to do the teaching. Fortunately, with modern technology, this is easier than ever before. A free, world class education is readily available online for any who want it – from phonics to calculus.
Have you heard any of the morons running for president talk about this? Of course not. They may pay lip service to education but they will continue to keep things as they are.
We as adults must change. People must stop wasting time chasing raises, getting tattoos, watching television and loafing around. Spend time with your children. Show them by example what decent educated people do with their lives.
The alternative we are experiencing has nearly destroyed is. We have sacrificed multiple generations on the alter of statism. This is a sin worthy of the millstone. When will we learn?