When critics of Barack Obama’s policies gather, the question arises: “How could we have elected such a man president?” His shaded past, that he never held a real world job or had any administrative experience at all, are issues frequently raised.
Nevertheless, the November 2012 election could compound what many view as an unfathomable lapse in voter judgment. Congress is considering the administration’s plan to vest control of education, kindergarten through college, in Washington. (For details see “A Power Grab of Monumental Proportions” on this blog.)
It is the final step in the left’s take over of academia and the public school system begun some 5 decades ago. Textbooks filled with revisionist history make the case for an expansionist government. Civics is out the window and social justice, multiculturalism, feminism, environmentalism and other assorted isms are in. “Learning how to learn,” and “higher level thinking” replace content and chronology gives way to “theme” based history.
The teacher unions are complicit because they share the ideology or because it suits their purposes, or both. The unrelenting drumbeat about America’s social ills feeds nicely into the constant demand for more money while absolving union members of responsibility for students’ achievement, or lack thereof. How much “more” is rarely asked, nor are the results of enormous increases in education spending mentioned.
Education has been watered down like cheap drinks. Only there is nothing cheap about it.
Nationally, $1.4 billion dollars are spent on post-high school remedial education. 40 percent of students nationwide, and over 60 percent of students from urban districts, are required to take at least one remedial course upon entering college. In California, 84 percent of students enrolled in community college are required to take remedial English coursework.”1
During the last 40 years, the federal government has spent $1.8 trillion on education, and spending per pupil in the U.S. has tripled in real terms. Government at all levels spent an average of $149,000 on the 13-year education of a high school senior who graduated in 2009, compared to $50,000 (in 2009 dollars) for a 1970 graduate. 2
But educated or not, children grow up to become voters and parents. Some of the latter are genuinely shocked when their kids come home from college spouting the ideology they’ve ingested since kindergarten. That’s because over the years, curriculum, textbooks and universities have become ever more ideologically tainted.
Speaking of which, at this writing the National Research Council is preparing a new draft of science standards that will lay the foundation for Common Core State Science Standards. As reported in the WSJ, the new science standards “will teach students graduating from the eighth grade that human activities are ‘major factors’ in global warming. Students graduating from the 12th grade would be taught that future warming predictions are based on models that inform ‘decisions about how to slow its rate and consequences.’”
One can only imagine what new social studies standards will teach.
If the current drive for a nationalized curriculum succeeds, the nation soon will be composed of two groups; the semi-educated majority whose ability to think is compromised by imposed ignorance and the elites who will do the semis’ thinking for them. We are almost there now.
In the natural course of events, the nay-sayers die out. The Founders and what they accomplished disappear down the national memory hole.
The “how could we” question is answered.
Figures 3 & 4. http://www.cato.org/publications/congressional-testimony/impact-federal-involvement-americas-classrooms