Public Education: Trapped by the Progressive Agenda

 

For years we’ve been talking about the poor state of education. For conservatives, it’s even worse: our children are learning propaganda with a Progressive agenda; the government and teachers control the curriculum and textbooks to the detriment of the students; and there is no indication that anything will change soon.

It’s time that we took back education, and we can already see strategies that are beginning to support a balanced agenda for authentic learning.

To highlight one of my major concerns, school textbooks, I was alarmed to read an article by Joy Pullmann in The Federalist about a new textbook being considered for Advanced Placement courses in the 2019 edition. Pullmann reports on some of the content of By the People: A History of the United States:

In describing the rise of Black Lives Matter in the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri shooting: ‘The nearly all-white police force was seen as an occupying army in the mostly African-American town.’ In a section discussing President Trump’s cabinet, the book says ‘They were largely white males, more so than any cabinet since Ronald Reagan.’ In a discussion of the nation’s politics after 2012, it says ‘Those who had long thought of the nation as a white and Christian country sometimes found it difficult to adjust’ to secularization and an increase in people of other races. Elsewhere, it describes Trump’s ‘not-very-hidden racism.’

You might ask how much damage one biased book might have on students. Pullmann tells us:

Psychological research shows that repeated exposure to fringe concepts conditions people to be more likely to accept such ideas and behavior. This is one reason media bias is such a big deal: even people who are aware of it are influenced by it, and that influence is enough to tip elections.

By the time students reach college, where the indoctrination is widespread, they have already been conditioned:

Where do you think the Parkland high school foot soldiers got their wild ideas? They weren’t born with them. They were taught them. Who taught their teachers, and who taught their parents, and their parents’ teachers? Well, the United States’ monolithically leftist professors.

If the description of the textbooks isn’t troubling enough for you, I suggest you read Walter Williams’s latest column which addresses the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress, aka The Nation’s Report Card:

It’s not a pretty story. Only 37 percent of 12th-graders tested proficient or better in reading, and only 25 percent did so in math. Among black students, only 17 percent tested proficient or better in reading, and just 7 percent reached at least a proficient level in math.

It’s time to move past shrugging our shoulders or wringing our hands. Our kids are being given a substandard education, taught in a neo-Marxist environment with a socialist curriculum, and distorted and biased textbooks. Here are the places I suggest we start:

Promote K-12 public charter schools: Hillsdale has developed an outstanding program. One of these schools is located in Palm Bay, FL, called Pineapple Cove Classical Academy. Its curriculum includes history taught through original-source documents, music, art — and even cursive writing! It serves lower- and middle-income families. This is the school’s mission:

The mission of Pineapple Cove Classical Academy is to develop graduates in mind and character through a classical, content-rich curriculum that emphasizes the principles of virtuous living, traditional learning, and civic responsibility.

We are building intelligent, virtuous American citizens.

The effort to build more charter schools will be difficult. Teachers, teachers’ unions, administrations and legislatures (especially due to the influence of unions) are fighting the establishment of charter schools. They publicize poor results from existing charter schools (some don’t do well) and are not shy about “manufacturing” the data. My hope is that more and more charter schools will set high standards and evaluate results; will share information with potential charter schools about knocking down the endless roadblocks to building charter schools; and find new and better ways to encourage the community to build and attend these schools.

There is another option which is growing in popularity:

Providing ongoing support for home-schooling: Since families are becoming more aware of the limitations of the public education system, they are trying homeschooling. Although it’s not for everyone, there are many advantages to teaching your children at home. For an overview, read here. I hope that many of you who are participating in charter schools or homeschooling will share your experiences.

Provide Balanced Textbooks and Original Sources: Publishers must be identified that can provide textbooks that more accurately teach conservative and traditional values and provide a more balanced view of this country and the world. This effort would be a first step toward moving away from Pearson Publishing, which currently provides most of the textbooks that support a progressive agenda.

We need to take some positive and constructive steps before any more damage is done. Let’s think outside the box: how can we identify new and better ways to educate the next generations?

Published in Education
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 91 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

     

    The No Child Left behind program integrates special needs children into the mainstream classroom. This is a noble cause with great compassion. But the result is that the curriculum must be adapted down so that they can grasp the material and have enough time to master it. Teachers aides and specialists are included in the classroom to assist and support those kids. The result is that the capable, and better students sit idly, unchallenged, and neglected while special attentions are being granted to the special needs kids, which frankly distracts from the intended curriculum which should be taught.

    We are nobly and compassionately educating for mediocrity. There is something noble about giving up your bright present to help others. There’s not much noble in giving up your children’s bright future to help others. 

    • #31
  2. TedRudolph Inactive
    TedRudolph
    @TedRudolph

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    I think one important factor is to return local control to the schools. No more edicts from Washington mandating various social roles for schools or forcing them to teach various ideologies.

    And along those same lines, schools need to stop being the Social Services Clearinghouse for their communities. I realize that schools are often a point of first contact for families with various needs, but instead of trying to fill that role themselves, schools need to get those families over to other community services and get back to teaching the basics.

    Lastly, we must be vigilant in getting political views out of schools. The public school system is absolutely soaking in leftist politics. But, for example, as another thread here demonstrates, there is no educational reason a second grader needs to learn about transgender issues.

    I’m convinced that returning schools to local control will help with that, too.

    Excellent suggestions, @drewinwisconsin! Local control is definitely a big need. And referring people on is spot on! I don’t know how we get the leftist politics removed. That’s why I focused on remedies outside the traditional schools. I meant to read Bethany’s post–will do that right now!

    The problem with “local control” is that the local administrations & teachers largely don’t want to be in control.  It’s easier to be able to blame nameless/faceless bureaucrats at the State or Federal level than to make decisions on your own…. and then face parents and take responsibility if you make bad decisions.

    This isn’t a problem just within education, but that’s a different topic…..

    • #32
  3. TedRudolph Inactive
    TedRudolph
    @TedRudolph

    Well…. on the bright side… if we’re worried about this:

    Psychological research shows that repeated exposure to fringe concepts conditions people to be more likely to accept such ideas and behavior. This is one reason media bias is such a big deal: even people who are aware of it are influenced by it, and that influence is enough to tip elections.

    Can we take solace in this????

    It’s not a pretty story. Only 37 percent of 12th-graders tested proficient or better in reading, and only 25 percent did so in math. Among black students, only 17 percent tested proficient or better in reading, and just 7 percent reached at least a proficient level in math.

    If most of them aren’t actually learning anything, maybe they aren’t as indoctrinated as we might think?????  ;)

    • #33
  4. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    TedRudolph (View Comment):

    Well…. on the bright side… if we’re worried about this:

    Psychological research shows that repeated exposure to fringe concepts conditions people to be more likely to accept such ideas and behavior. This is one reason media bias is such a big deal: even people who are aware of it are influenced by it, and that influence is enough to tip elections.

    Can we take solace in this????

    It’s not a pretty story. Only 37 percent of 12th-graders tested proficient or better in reading, and only 25 percent did so in math. Among black students, only 17 percent tested proficient or better in reading, and just 7 percent reached at least a proficient level in math.

    If most of them aren’t actually learning anything, maybe they aren’t as indoctrinated as we might think????? ;)

    There are only so many hours in a school day. The most important things have to come first.

    • #34
  5. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Nohaaj (View Comment):
    The result is that the capable, and better students sit idly, unchallenged, and neglected while special attentions are being granted to the special needs kids, which frankly distracts from the intended curriculum which should be taught. 

    It’s been a few years since I read it, so I might be off a bit, but the gist is there.  We spend an order of magnitude more “educating” (baby sitting) special needs children than we spend on educating the best and brightest who are actually going to be the drivers of our future prosperity.

    • #35
  6. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):
    I think the groundbreaker for history texts was Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. If your child’s school is using this text, you can rest assured your child is being indoctrinated in leftist ideals. It’s not just history books, either.

    Maybe the Feds could withhold funds from any school system that uses this textbook . . .

    • #36
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):

    I can attest to the bias from other publishers besides Pearson. I’ve proofread textbooks for major publishers for years. The bias used to be nonexistent or very subtle, but in the past maybe 10 years, the bias has gotten blatant. I think the groundbreaker for history texts was Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. If your child’s school is using this text, you can rest assured your child is being indoctrinated in leftist ideals. It’s not just history books, either.

    I know about Zinn’s book, @oldbuckeye. It’s a travesty. Do you run across publishers who publish more conservative books, or are there so many lefties writing textbooks that they are hard to find?

    We are looking forward to our first grandchild in Oct. I’ve been scouring Amazon buying up copies of the American Heritage Library series. Pre PC, wonderful books about history and our country, with glorious illustrations. Costing me an average of 4-5 dollars apiece…

    That’s wonderful, @kozak. What a great grandpa you will be! I think introducing children to books, and for them to have their very own, is a terrific gift.

    • #37
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    With four teachers in my immediate family (2 D-I-L, a son, and an ex) I have heard many stories. Two of the issues which add to the deficiency in our schools: 1) absolute dictate to not hold kids nor their parents responsible for behaviors, 2) the “no child left behind” program and philosophy. Let me share some examples.

    My son and DIL both taught in the highest ranked public school district in the state of S Carolina. it was horrible. kids were only allowed to be held back 1 grade. ever. The kids who were held back, learned this “secret”. They could never flunk a second time. It was also mandated that 60 was the lowest score that could be handed out, if a kid took an exam and merely wrote his name on the paper, it was given a score of 60. If a child would fall asleep in class, the consequence was to send him to the library, so he could sleep in quiet. No detentions were issued for anything, as it was too great an inconvenience for the parents. As a result, these kids learned that they did not have to put forth any effort, that there were no consequences (at least in their short sighted school experiences). A significant percentage of kids entered high school being totally illiterate.

    The No Child Left behind program integrates special needs children into the mainstream classroom. This is a noble cause with great compassion. But the result is that the curriculum must be adapted down so that they can grasp the material and have enough time to master it. Teachers aides and specialists are included in the classroom to assist and support those kids. The result is that the capable, and better students sit idly, unchallenged, and neglected while special attentions are being granted to the special needs kids, which frankly distracts from the intended curriculum which should be taught.

    I love to learn new information, but this info is so very discouraging. It keeps pointing to the disaster we call public education. You’re making my point, @nohaaj–unfortunately.

    • #38
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    TBA (View Comment):
    We are nobly and compassionately educating for mediocrity. There is something noble about giving up your bright present to help others. There’s not much noble in giving up your children’s bright future to help others. 

    Especially when, in the long run, no one will benefit and everyone will be at risk. It’s not only their future, @TBA, it’s our future and the country’s future. So sad.

    • #39
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    TedRudolph (View Comment):
    The problem with “local control” is that the local administrations & teachers largely don’t want to be in control. It’s easier to be able to blame nameless/faceless bureaucrats at the State or Federal level than to make decisions on your own…. and then face parents and take responsibility if you make bad decisions.

    That’s awful! Do you really think that if there were more local control offered, the local admin and teachers would turn it down? I’m not doubting you, but it’s so discouraging. These are supposed to be the people who are teaching and guiding our kids. Maybe once the opportunity is there, they’d step up. Hope springs eternal . . .

    • #40
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    There are only so many hours in a school day. The most important things have to come first.

    I think that trying to jam too much into the curriculum is a major problem. The priority should not be indoctrination; it should be education. The more I hear of things being added to curriculums, the more ridiculous the demands are.

    • #41
  12. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    With four teachers in my immediate family (2 D-I-L, a son, and an ex) I have heard many stories. Two of the issues which add to the deficiency in our schools: 1) absolute dictate to not hold kids nor their parents responsible for behaviors, 2) the “no child left behind” program and philosophy. Let me share some examples.

    My son and DIL both taught in the highest ranked public school district in the state of S Carolina. it was horrible. kids were only allowed to be held back 1 grade. ever. The kids who were held back, learned this “secret”. They could never flunk a second time. It was also mandated that 60 was the lowest score that could be handed out, if a kid took an exam and merely wrote his name on the paper, it was given a score of 60. If a child would fall asleep in class, the consequence was to send him to the library, so he could sleep in quiet. No detentions were issued for anything, as it was too great an inconvenience for the parents. As a result, these kids learned that they did not have to put forth any effort, that there were no consequences (at least in their short sighted school experiences). A significant percentage of kids entered high school being totally illiterate.

    The No Child Left behind program integrates special needs children into the mainstream classroom. This is a noble cause with great compassion. But the result is that the curriculum must be adapted down so that they can grasp the material and have enough time to master it. Teachers aides and specialists are included in the classroom to assist and support those kids. The result is that the capable, and better students sit idly, unchallenged, and neglected while special attentions are being granted to the special needs kids, which frankly distracts from the intended curriculum which should be taught.

    I love to learn new information, but this info is so very discouraging. It keeps pointing to the disaster we call public education. You’re making my point, @nohaaj–unfortunately.

    Prepare to get more depressed….

    • #42
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kozak (View Comment):
    Prepare to get more depressed….

    Pictures are so powerful. You’re right, @kozak. Now I’m really depressed. The part about throwing more money at the problem is so frustrating. Thanks for posting this graph.

    • #43
  14. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    By the way, here’s an ancient thread of mine about a rather revolutionary idea.

    Ending Compulsory Education.

    There’s some great discussion about public education in the comments.

    • #44
  15. Old Buckeye Inactive
    Old Buckeye
    @OldBuckeye

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Do you run across publishers who publish more conservative books, or are there so many lefties writing textbooks that they are hard to find?

      Regnery and Encounter are two publishers who bill themselves as conservative, and Regnery has some kids’ histories. Other places to look would be publishers aimed at homeschoolers. Most are based on a classical education (Memoria Press) and/or a Christian/Judeo worldview (Bob Jones). The church-based publishers obviously are going to slant toward their respective religion. Many homeschooling sites will offer reviews of curricula that will give you a glimpse as to the slant (thehomeschoolmom.com, for example). 

    • #45
  16. Old Buckeye Inactive
    Old Buckeye
    @OldBuckeye

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    The priority should not be indoctrination; it should be education.

    The priority SHOULD be instilling a love of learning. That does not happen in the model used in public education. You’re either teaching to the test or trying to hit targets for achievements.

    • #46
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Do you run across publishers who publish more conservative books, or are there so many lefties writing textbooks that they are hard to find?

    Regnery and Encounter are two publishers who bill themselves as conservative, and Regnery has some kids’ histories. Other places to look would be publishers aimed at homeschoolers. Most are based on a classical education (Memoria Press) and/or a Christian/Judeo worldview (Bob Jones). The church-based publishers obviously are going to slant toward their respective religion. Many homeschooling sites will offer reviews of curricula that will give you a glimpse as to the slant (thehomeschoolmom.com, for example).

    @oldbuckeye, you are a wealth of information!! I suspect, too, that if there were a shift to supplying more conservative books for kids, the publishers would happily oblige. It’s good to know that there are some out there. Thank you.

    • #47
  18. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    With four teachers in my immediate family (2 D-I-L, a son, and an ex) I have heard many stories. Two of the issues which add to the deficiency in our schools: 1) absolute dictate to not hold kids nor their parents responsible for behaviors, 2) the “no child left behind” program and philosophy. Let me share some examples.

    My son and DIL both taught in the highest ranked public school district in the state of S Carolina. it was horrible. kids were only allowed to be held back 1 grade. ever. The kids who were held back, learned this “secret”. They could never flunk a second time. It was also mandated that 60 was the lowest score that could be handed out, if a kid took an exam and merely wrote his name on the paper, it was given a score of 60. If a child would fall asleep in class, the consequence was to send him to the library, so he could sleep in quiet. No detentions were issued for anything, as it was too great an inconvenience for the parents. As a result, these kids learned that they did not have to put forth any effort, that there were no consequences (at least in their short sighted school experiences). A significant percentage of kids entered high school being totally illiterate.

    The No Child Left behind program integrates special needs children into the mainstream classroom. This is a noble cause with great compassion. But the result is that the curriculum must be adapted down so that they can grasp the material and have enough time to master it. Teachers aides and specialists are included in the classroom to assist and support those kids. The result is that the capable, and better students sit idly, unchallenged, and neglected while special attentions are being granted to the special needs kids, which frankly distracts from the intended curriculum which should be taught.

    I love to learn new information, but this info is so very discouraging. It keeps pointing to the disaster we call public education. You’re making my point, @nohaaj–unfortunately.

    Prepare to get more depressed….

    Yet, we still hear from the Left that we are not spending enough on our public schools. If we only had more teachers, a bigger budget, more extracurricular activities, more free meals, etc. Balderdash!

    • #48
  19. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Having two kids who have come up through the charter system (high school charter uses Hillsdale’s curriculum), I have some knowledge of the situation. 

    Hillsdale charters get around the progressive publisher problem by using older textbooks. They might be cheaper, too, I don’t know. But, the charters do more with less. Their teachers are not unionized and earn less than public school teachers (although, more than private school teachers). And they probably do twice the work of public school teachers, given the rigorous curriculum demands. My kids have been “privileged” (used in the traditional sense) to have had half a dozen or more Hillsdale graduates for teachers. They’ve learned to love learning, and they’re way better educated than I’ll ever be.

    My takeaway? This requires a carpet bombing of the public education system. We have to get control of educating the educators. We have to starve the public education beast. Use original source material or write our own textbooks. Never ever vote for another school levy — ever! I think you’ve forgotten to mention the online education component, which is rapidly coming into its own (Jordan Peterson is starting an online university which he hopes will undermine enrollment in the humanities in hopelessly corrupt progressive brick-and-mortar universities). 

    This is all out war. Every facet must be addressed. If we think we can send our kids to progressive indoctrination camps every weekday and counteract the mind-numbing brainwashing and peer pressure over the dinner table, we’ve got another think coming. They’re being culture-pressured all day long and not just by their peers, but by other adults in their lives. This is a national emergency.

    There are exceptions in small towns, I imagine. My s-i-l is a reading specialist in a small town school who talks about God and prays with the kids and does what she can to counteract the progressive inanity. But, she can’t escape the standardized tests with paragraphs on the destruction of the planet by evil automobiles the kids are asked to analyze. Progressivism is insidious — by which I mean, wicked.

     

    • #49
  20. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    With four teachers in my immediate family (2 D-I-L, a son, and an ex) I have heard many stories. Two of the issues which add to the deficiency in our schools: 1) absolute dictate to not hold kids nor their parents responsible for behaviors, 2) the “no child left behind” program and philosophy. Let me share some examples.

    My son and DIL both taught in the highest ranked public school district in the state of S Carolina. it was horrible. kids were only allowed to be held back 1 grade. ever. The kids who were held back, learned this “secret”. They could never flunk a second time. It was also mandated that 60 was the lowest score that could be handed out, if a kid took an exam and merely wrote his name on the paper, it was given a score of 60. If a child would fall asleep in class, the consequence was to send him to the library, so he could sleep in quiet. No detentions were issued for anything, as it was too great an inconvenience for the parents. As a result, these kids learned that they did not have to put forth any effort, that there were no consequences (at least in their short sighted school experiences). A significant percentage of kids entered high school being totally illiterate.

    The No Child Left behind program integrates special needs children into the mainstream classroom. This is a noble cause with great compassion. But the result is that the curriculum must be adapted down so that they can grasp the material and have enough time to master it. Teachers aides and specialists are included in the classroom to assist and support those kids. The result is that the capable, and better students sit idly, unchallenged, and neglected while special attentions are being granted to the special needs kids, which frankly distracts from the intended curriculum which should be taught.

    I love to learn new information, but this info is so very discouraging. It keeps pointing to the disaster we call public education. You’re making my point, @nohaaj–unfortunately.

    Prepare to get more depressed….

    Yet, we still hear from the Left that we are not spending enough on our public schools. If we only had more teachers, a bigger budget, more extracurricular activities, more free meals, etc. Balderdash!

    You assume they care about education. What they care about is money being shoveled to one of their pillars of support the teachers and education bureaucracy.  And  that is working. Look at the increase in staff per student…

    • #50
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    This is all out war. Every facet must be addressed. If we think we can send our kids to progressive indoctrination camps every weekday and counteract the mind-numbing brainwashing and peer pressure over the dinner table, we’ve got another think coming. They’re being culture-pressured all day long and not just by their peers, but by other adults in their lives. This is a national emergency

    Bless you, @westernchauvinist! I know you’re involved with Hillsdale’s classical academies and you know firsthand how excellent and demanding they are. That makes sense that they would use older textbooks, too. I’ll bet their teachers do work harder, but they are also rewarded for their efforts in countless ways. And thanks for the tip on Jordan Peterson–good for him! Thanks!

    • #51
  22. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):
    Imagine if every parent was given a voucher for the say 10,000 dollars spent on “educating” their child every year. Twenty parents could get together and hire an excellent teacher for their child, and rent a space for the learning to take place, and the teachers would get better compensation. The pressure this would put on the government schools to improve would be irresistible….

    Now this is very creative, @kozak! I love it! Do you think they could get away with it? Big Brother checking it out, and all? Although I’m not sure that government schools would see the writing on the wall; they might just keep waiting for someone, anyone, to bail them out.

    The parents could spend it on tutoring or trade education, too. I have zero doubt the aggregate value of education would go straight up. 

    • #52
  23. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    This is all out war. Every facet must be addressed. If we think we can send our kids to progressive indoctrination camps every weekday and counteract the mind-numbing brainwashing and peer pressure over the dinner table, we’ve got another think coming. They’re being culture-pressured all day long and not just by their peers, but by other adults in their lives. This is a national emergency

    Bless you, @westernchauvinist! I know you’re involved with Hillsdale’s classical academies and you know firsthand how excellent and demanding they are. That makes sense that they would use older textbooks, too. I’ll bet their teachers do work harder, but they are also rewarded for their efforts in countless ways. And thanks for the tip on Jordan Peterson–good for him! Thanks!

    If I could change 1 thing in my life, I would have sent my kids to private school.  We always choose our home based on the ratings of the public school systems and they went to some top rated public schools.  Despite that I’m convinced we should have sent them to a  good private school, cost be damned.  In fact I bet in the long run we would have saved money.

    • #53
  24. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):
    Prepare to get more depressed….

    Pictures are so powerful. You’re right, @kozak. Now I’m really depressed. The part about throwing more money at the problem is so frustrating. Thanks for posting this graph.

    It’s outrageous. The whole thing needs to be atomized. 

    • #54
  25. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    I was shocked to learn that the small town where I grew up actually has two charter schools in addition to the regular K-12 public school. I just don’t see how there are enough students for such a venture, given that the average class size is in the low 20s. The public school building itself is now much, much larger than when I was there (my graduating class was 17), an expansion about 20 years ago nearly doubled the size — and so I’m sure they have plenty of room. And they still have two charter schools in the same small town.

    So even in small town America where you’re somewhat free from the crushing oppression of the educrats, they still see a need for alternatives.

    • #55
  26. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I’ll share an anecdote without getting too personal, if possible.

    My oldest is a student at Hillsdale. There was some information Hillsdale had that I needed here in Colorado during last summer. I called and left a message with the department administrator, thinking, “They’re on summer break. I’ll be lucky to hear back in a month.” 

    I got a call back in four days (the Monday after a weekend). The administrator was more than happy to send the information to me. How would I like it? Email? Snail mail? But, I’ve been conditioned like the rest of us to “ask permission” from the government. 

    Me: “Don’t you need a release signed?”

    Her: long pause…. “No, I can take care of this for you.”

    Me: “Well, it is rather urgent…”

    Her: “How about if I just give it to you over the phone?”

    This is when it finally hit home for me — “We are a free people! We don’t need permission from the government to conduct our affairs!” Hillsdale taught me that. 

    I strongly encourage everyone to get behind Hillsdale’s efforts to reform the education system. If you can do nothing else, you can send five bucks to the Barney Charter Initiative

    And, honestly, I don’t see an excuse for keeping your kids (it’s your kid’s character development and well being!) in regular public schools. If you can’t find a decent charter, homeschool opportunities abound with excellent inexpensive curricula (Seton costs about $500 for the year). If you must send your kids to a public school, keep them out on count day (when schools do their per pupil funding headcount). It’s dirty to deprive the system this way, but when you’ve got a serpent by the throat, you better choke it! It’s you (your kids) or them.

    Public education delenda est.

     

    • #56
  27. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    This is really good if you have the time: Renegade University’s Thaddeus Russell on the federal-accreditation racket, why the Ivys are terrified of competition, and how postmodernism is libertarianism’s ally.

     

    • #57
  28. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    This is really good if you have the time: Renegade University’s Thaddeus Russell on the federal-accreditation racket, why the Ivys are terrified of competition, and how postmodernism is libertarianism’s ally.

     

    I don’t have the time, but I was going to mention the accreditation racket, too. Hillsdale was just put through the accreditation wringer again. Imagine the resources this consumes, with zero benefit to educating kids. We’ll know the education system makes sense again when results matter. 

    If we’re going to break the system, we need to be creative about civil disobedience. Trust me, when half of the students don’t show up for count day, we’ll have their attention!

    • #58
  29. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    We’ll know the education system makes sense again when results matter. 

    It’s all credit-ism and job signaling hijacked for for government graft. 

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    If we’re going to break the system,

    Outside of STEM, they need to come up a way for people to get educated outside of the accreditation racket. There are tons of people that could benefit from liberal education outside of it. It would cost 90% less. There are all kinds of online resources that could be integrated into a new kind of campus. 

     

    • #59
  30. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    This just came out. Walter Williams

    I’m not sure about what can be done about education. But the first step toward any solution is for the American people to be aware of academic fraud at every level of education.

     

    • #60
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.