That which is given without being earned is not appreciated. And that which the government gives away is first stolen from others who earned.
A free education is perhaps the least valued of all things granted by the government. After decades of government-run K-12 education, the workforce development folks are looking to government-run community college and eventually universal college education to prepare students for real work.
How can government-run education be any better? Let government run the entire education system?
Here are some experiences I have had lately with the homework the government has prescribed to my 5th grader.
In Social Studies, as per the curriculum for 5th graders in Tennessee, he has been learning about the Civil War and significant figures of the war. No timeline of events or battles. Just that it happened, some people were involved with it, and it led to the abolition of slavery. I would expect history would include the history of something like the American Civil War. But there is only this humanistic, interpretive standpoint being presented, in a way that boils everything down to the simplest possible terms. He is being taught what everyone who has heard about the Civil War says today. And that is the educational system’s goal- plant these seeds that will stick with students for a lifetime, a superficial, simplistic version of very complex times, issues, and individuals.
In Reading (ELA, or English Language Arts), they have been reading the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, a United Nations document adopted in 1948, that is a humanistic document based on relative truth, not absolute truth. It says, as many in the media today have tried to say, that our rights are granted by government. Because this is a document about human rights, then the impression to be gained is that government is the arbiter of what is good. Government did not teach, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” nor did it teach, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” No, the God that first taught, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength,” is the one who taught us how to treat other people. This is the very thing I feared when I first read about the change our incoming superintendent of schools was making to the reading comprehension curriculum, and a teacher linked to the “EngageNY,” New York’s program for ELA, as an example. When I asked that teacher via a public comment on her Facebook post, if the reading requirements would be the same as New York’s, my question and the link to EngageNY were deleted.
In math, my son has been working problems involving decimals in multiple forms, one of which is called extended form. Here is an example: 6,500.6=6(10^100)+5(10^10)+6(1/10). For those who haven’t seen exponents notated this way, that is 10 to the 100th power, and 10 to the 10th power, respectively. He’s great at math, by the way. However, at my suggestion, my son asked his math teacher respectfully, “When will we ever use expanded for in real life?” She responded, “When you count money.” My son may have oversimplified her answer, but truly, if this is how money counting is being taught, it is no wonder most people require a machine to tell them correct change owed.
The Chamber of Commerce, one of the very institutions lamenting that lack of a ready workforce to attract new industry, supports Common Core curriculum. The education system is bent on testing and teaching to the test. A 4-year college degree is still the ticket to success as reported in government schools, and the State now pays for 2-year degrees as a way to propel any and all students toward a Bachelor’s degree. Tennessee wants to get to 55% of all Tennesseans having a 4-year degree.
But you can’t have it both ways. You can have government-indoctrinated, social justice-styled drones, or you can have well-educated, well-informed, and skillful graduates that are ready to take on a variety of expanded educational opportunities. As long as politicians and cronies present government as the solution, and as long as the average American believes them, we will continue this spiral. And we haven’t even gotten onto the subject of corporate welfare…