Monday, March 13, 2006

Martha Zoller: "The separation of state and schools"

Recently a spate of news has hit the national radar on what our public educational system has become, and the news has not been good.

What would be a great place to start in changing all this? Martha Zoller, writing in Townhall, says one of the first items should be to demote the Department of Education from a cabinet level position and shift control of the schools closer to the parents.

While the idea of a “department of education” dates back to the 1860s, Congress feared that the department would have too much power over local schools and kept it small until 1980. Until the Lyndon Johnson administration, Congress made clear its intention that the secretary of education and other officials be prohibited from exercising direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, instructional programs, administration, or personnel of any educational institution. Such matters were and should be the responsibility of states, localities, and private institutions.

The Johnson administration began adding many programs designed to help educate the poor, however the report, “A Nation At Risk” put out by the Department of Education (made a cabinet level position in 1980), led Congress to the conclusion that schools needed more involvement from the federal government. The fact of the matter is that the more the federal government has been involved, the worse schools have gotten. And with more involvement of the federal government, there has been more alienation of the parent from the school system.
The powers that be in education no longer even pretend that a public school's only purpose is to educate. The unions treat the schools as a coast to coast jobs program. Leftists attempt to use the schools as a tool to mold impressionable minds into monolithic voting blocs for future leftist causes. Legislators use their leveraged financial power over the schools to promote societal acceptance of progressive lifestyles in the name of "tolerance."

If someone has an issue with an environmental problem the quick solution is to make the schools address it. If someone sees self-esteem as an issue that needs to be dealt with, the solution is to put the schools at the forefront of promoting self-esteem. If the abortionist lobby has an issue with teen pregnancy the easy thing to do is to infiltrate the schools with literature and contraceptives. Kids not eating right? Make the schools feed them. Kids have anger problems? Make the schools counsel them. Kids have perceived gender issues? Have the school make them pee in the same bathroom.

Amidst all this indoctrinational craphobbling one thing is becoming more and more obscured from the parents of school age children -- the public schools work for us -- and it is time to whittle this beast down to a form recognizable for what it should be, a tool for parents trying to educate their kids, rather than a tool of activists trying to forward a cause.

1 comment:

stonehands said...

Well said!, me friend.
Well said!

Parents need to get their heads out of the sand and get involved with the local schools - attend board meetings, become a board member, contact their legislatures to advocate 'hands off' by the federal and state governments & 'hands on' by the parents, make contact with the teachers & let them know what is expected from "educating" their children, and monitor the feedback from their children when asking, "How was your day in school today?" for signs that something may be amiss from what the teachers "should" be teaching. (And when something is amiss, Speak Out!)