Whether it is nobler to provide a child with the tools necessary to actually think about critical things, or to tell a child what they should think, is the question. And it needs to be decided. As we have watched the ever accelerating encroachment of the “Learned Masters” on our schools and our Society, we can see it hasn’t been for the better. For the last half century we have allowed the Educrats in the United States public “education/indoctrination” industry, in a creeping manner, to do the latter. And it’s apparent that this has undermined the ability of the next generation to continue the expected generational rise in the prosperity of the Native-born population.
My Dad, a Secondary Education Professor, told me years ago that the “National Government was going to destroy this Country through the public education system.” How, I asked him? He said the intent of the U.S. Department of Education was to change the basic function of our public schools from teaching children how to think, to educating them on what to think. This was in 1981, after he had been part of a national group of Secondary Education Professors, who were invited to review the first ever “U.S. Department of Education Secondary Schools Curriculum Guidelines.” And yes, at the time I thought he was losing his mind. Now I believe that he was truly clairvoyant. Because now, we are there.
Beginning in 1965, with President Johnson signing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the National Government began its move of direct intervention in to the public schools all across the United States. There had been other steps previous to this, going all the way back to the mid 1800s, but the ESEA started the blatant and direct destruction of public schools by those “ever so much smarter” people in Washington, D.C. And the profession of the “Educrat” was born. The Educrat is an “educator” who becomes a government bureaucrat, who proves daily that they are now destructively dysfunctional as both. And the ESEA put a very dangerous weapon, known innocuously as Title 1, in their hands to destroy future generations. As with EVERY program connected to the “Great Society” of Lyndon Johnson, Title 1 will move forward to eliminate the freedom and initiative of the U.S. Citizen. And do it by undermining the next generation to believe they are already a failure because the national government has deemed their school, and their community, to be “underprivileged”.
My Dad, who also served as a “Title 1 Administrator” in 1967-68, told me years later that what he thought at the time was a good idea had turned out to be a terrible anchor around the neck of every teacher and, in turn, every student sentenced to serve in or attend a Title 1 school. And it turned autonomous public schools, and school districts, in to slaves and beggars, beholden more and more to the whims of the national government educrats and their ever expanding pocketbook. This was the beginning of the end of the art of teaching, and the beginning of the mechanics of educating. After 50+ years it has achieved its goal, because in the public schools of today the focus is on educating/indoctrinating children, not teaching them.
I was told by my Dad that to him the “teaching” versus “educating” argument was much like the, “Give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, you’ll feed him for a lifetime” comparison. If you teach a child the basics, as the child grows and matures, they will use those tools to educate themselves, but if you concentrate on educating/indoctrinating a child, they’ll never learn to actually teach themselves anything. As I have watched this phenomenon in the real world of industrial manufacturing, through my career over the last 35+ years, I must agree with my Dad’s assessment. It seems the more educated the next generation is supposed to be, the basic ability of these better educated people to actually think and reason on their own has continually declined.
So, where do we go from here? This is the question of the day as the power of the D.C. educrats has been expanded with EVERY reauthorization of the ESEA. Whether it was “Goals 2000” of the G.H.W. Bush and Clinton period or “No Child Left Behind from the G.W. Bush Administration, or “Race To The Top”, with its appendage “Common Core” from the Obama years, to the latest “Every Student Succeeds Act” reauthorization, kids are getting educated more and taught less. Until the States, and their local education authorities, decide to stand against the FedEd encroachment, and walk away from the FedEd money, the future of our Country’s prosperity will be held by the D.C. educrats. And that’s not a very pretty picture. We need to return to teaching more and educating less. Will we? It’s up to We The People at this point. Sadly, I have my doubts.