Overhaul the Schools: the Conversation Politicians Dare not Allow
The Parkland, Florida school massacre opened the door to dozens of ideas from lawmakers, citizens and lobbyists about how our society can best prevent the next school shooting. Most of these have either been fatuous partisan overreactions to the horror and tragic loss of life, or increased physical security coupled with rigid resistance to threats against personal liberty caused by the former.
Both of these approaches fail to search for root causes. We’ve been down this road too often and it leads nowhere better and nowhere different.
By any objective standard of measure, public schools in the United States are failing the nation. Under the abysmal dominance of the NEA, they fail to prepare students for the workforce and fail to prepare them for college. Public schools also fail to equip students to be informed and noble citizens and voters and they fail taxpayers who fund the growing cost of educational incompetence.
How bad is it? According to the American College Test (ACT), only 22% of U.S. High School students meet college-ready standards. Only 25% are proficient in civics, and just 25% of citizens aged 17-24 are eligible for military service because they fail to meet physical condition requirements, have criminal records or lack necessary aptitude standards.
Why is this so? Perhaps, one reason is that for the past fifty years, public schools have developed curriculum that suits the political agenda of far-left colleges and universities which train every new crop of teachers and administrators. But another reason is certainly the lack of public and parental oversight. Parents and citizens have been mocked and maligned, their motives questioned and their ideas disregarded. As a result, public education has largely been forfeited to so-called professionals.
To date, every effort to intervene on behalf of students and parents by offering alternative options to public education has been met with vicious and baseless opposition from teachers unions and the liberal politicians whose campaigns they fund. More tax dollars and smaller class sizes have not helped. In fact, the decline has accelerated. One undeniable truth exists – the institutions that have failed the public system cannot be relied upon to turn it around.
Kids are not safe in schools and schools are failing to meet their primary objective. What can be done? Whenever an individual or group loses its way on a journey, it’s helpful to retrace one’s steps back to where the journey went off course. Fortunately, there are still tens of millions of people in America who recall a time when mass murders were not part of a public school education.
Our national trek into death and destruction began with the removal of God from the classroom. Evolution, materialism and secular humanism filled the void. When children are sold a lie that they evolved from a pond of nonliving organic material, that they have no transcendent purpose and that temporal pleasure is the sole reason to exist, hopelessness and despair are inevitable. These qualities are dangerous in the hearts of people of any age, but especially so in young emotion-driven youth.
As FRC president, Tony Perkins noted in an earlier article, Florida and Arkansas are moving in the right direction by requiring “In God We Trust” to be visible in every public school in those states. Democrats and Republicans have joined together in those states to address the fundamental problem – the human heart.
Godless public schools have taught about the body and attempted to influence the mind. They have refused to make or permit value judgments because the idea of a right or wrong answer is anathema to the relativistic humanist, but these judgments are essential to survival in the real world. Kids are exposed to the difficult and uncomfortable realities of sexuality, death and depravity long before they are equipped to deal with them. Little or no effort is paid to the building up of the soul or spirit of a child.
We can continue to engage in the same tired old debate about gun control versus beefed-up security and guarantee that nothing much will change. Or, we can dig deeper and return “to the old paths where the good way is” and admit that our public education system needs immediate and radical overhaul with constructive influence from every sector of society primarily, from those most directly affected.
In a perfect world, we would be able to trust that the people who administer our government and public schools know what is right and possess the personal integrity to carry out their duties responsibly. But that’s not the world we live in today.
Several decades past, we allowed contemptible liberal judges to erect an unconstitutional wall of separation between church and state. It’s time to tear down this wall. The Berlin wall was built by construction professionals over many years, but it was breached in hours by laymen wielding crude implements who lacked building certifications or special training. The same can be done here.
Liberalism in our government has wrought disastrous economic waste and devastation in our communities. Now we are seeing that liberalism in public education has utterly failed our children and their futures with deadly results.
When people who are put in positions of public trust, violate their obligations, it’s always best to confiscate their authority and vest it in another. America’s founders gave us the tools with which to govern ourselves. They trusted, not in man, but in the eternal God of the Bible for guidance and direction. We would do well to follow their lead.
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