Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Big Betrayal

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program."
-- Main's Law

From the "Mission" statement of the public school district in my town, we read that "excellence" is now the reason for the existence of the school system. But, excellence at what? They don’t say. Let me simply say, excellence, by itself, is not a mission. It could be called a standard, however, if we look closely, the public school system has no standards or even goals.
What Is the mission of the school system?

Under the schools’ multi-page Strategic Plan, there is no mention of schooling. Nowhere is there any hint that people are expected to teach basic skills and/or knowledge that children might need in their lives. Nowhere is any mention of what those skills or knowledge might be. No subjects, no teaching methods, no goals, no expected results are offered. How can a forty-million-dollar-a-year agency get away with having no aims, no desired outcomes, and no stated purpose?

The plan includes this: “There will be a “challenging academic environment.” How strange, when the curriculum and books are dumbed down. In both the Mission and Guiding Statements, there is the claim of a “respectful environment.” Again we wonder, respect for what? The school environment is one of distrust, coercion and fear, with a good dose of bullying. We also know that some teachers degrade people’s traditions, religions and parenting practices. To me, it looks as though they want respect for themselves, even though they neglect their educational duties and often disrespect the students and parents. Let them show respect, before demanding it from others.

Why don’t the schoolers simply say that they intend to run the schools as well as they can, teaching the 3Rs and the few other subjects that the state requires, and leave it at that? Why don’t they say that they will try to run the schools honestly with well-trained employees and will do so with the least possible waste of taxpayers’ money? Why is it, that instead of running the schools with transparency and openness, they seek to keep them closed and secret?

And besides, isn’t teaching respect the domain of families and the mission of the churches that set the moral and ethical tone for society, those who actually guide our civilization, our common culture, our civic institutions, our traditions, our way of living? Isn’t it the job of the school employees to demonstrate respect rather than to preach it? Why can’t they do that?

Government educationists claim parents have abdicated their duties to the government schools. How self-serving of them, to blame parents for an alleged lack of moral training. Of course, no matter how inept they are, the school employees are all too happy to take on the role of surrogate parents since it allows them to increase their control over the community’s time, energy and resources. For them, the system is about empire-building. While enrollment has been flat for years, employment has ballooned and spending has doubled, and doubled again. Has it helped achievement? Not a bit.

The schools have reduced their emphasis on academic instruction while adopting psychological and political correctness agendas. The schools no longer offer knowledge of facts and basic skills. They now offer “moral guidance,” but in the form of psycho-therapy. The schools no longer are interested in what our children know; they are now primarily concerned with what they “are like.” I remember a former superintendent saying, “I don’t care about test scores, I just care how the kids feel about themselves.” He wasn’t kidding. We are being conned into believing that the government knows – better than we do -- how to raise our children.

And what does the government want? Soldiers and a docile workforce, not thinking, educated individuals. The training begins in K, now pre-k. It consists of “sit down, be quiet, do what you are told, your interests are not important, your questions do not matter. You belong to the state.” They want our children for twelve or more years, because that is how long it takes the government to thoroughly dumb down a once-intelligent child.

Here’s Thomas Sowell, author of Inside American Education: “They have taken our money, betrayed our trust, failed our children, and then lied about the failures with inflated grades and pretty words.” Or this: “They have used our children as guinea pigs for experiments…or just to be warehoused until labor unions are willing to let them enter the job market.” He calls the education establishment, “Morally and intellectually bankrupt.” Considering all their lies and adulteration of values and their inability to state their own purpose, who can disagree?

1 comment:

christinemm said...

Here is the mission for my town's elementary school:

We are a community of learners. We educate students to be successful in acquiring the knowledge, skills and intellectual virtues needed to become caring, responsible citizens who value learning for a lifetime.

First off I've never heard the term "intellectual virtues". Secondly, a major goal of the school is to score high on the CMT (standardized test in CT). A major amount of school time AND homework is spent on test prep according to my friends with children in that school. Reality doesn't jive with the mission statement. To the contrary, many students there complain of the endless worksheet practice for the CMT and some have told their parents "we want to learn something".