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Are there any States in the Union that allow public schools to opt out of providing sex education to children?
Of course, a counter-argument would be made that, although there was once a time when our country abounded in responsible two-parent families, that’s not the case anymore. Therefore, education about sex is lacking. Therefore, schools have to step into the breach and supply what is missing.
Otherwise, children won’t know about STDs, pregnancy, contraception, etc.
Over the last 40 years or so, school systems, under the aegis of government, have expanded their role. Using “duty” as the prow, these institutions have generated enormous programs to teach children what to think about everything from aluminum cans to bestiality.
Because it’s “right” and “important” and there is a “duty.”
Translation: outside groups with agendas worm their way into schools.
If I were obsessed with four-legged critters on the moon, and I had enough money and political clout and media/think-tank/foundation support, I could introduce Lunar Critterology as a vital subject into every public school in America.
If I were Bill Gates, I could push the need for computers in schools, despite the fact there is no credible evidence that computers improve literacy.
I went to school in the 1940s and 50s. At that time, the focus was simple. You learned to read, to write, and to do math. The textbooks were often old and worn. There were no visual aids. The lesson plans in every class were step-by-step. Learn a new thing, drill it to death, take a little quiz, learn the next new item, drill it, take a quiz.
It worked. It may have lacked glitz, but it worked because the vast majority of people can’t learn to read, write, or do math any other way.
You can’t gloss over these subjects with a broad brush and a lot of personality or caring. It’s all about digging in the dirt, one scoop at a time.
Some people would call it robotic education. I don’t think it is. It’s just doing what’s necessary—unless reading, writing, and math are deemed unimportant. In which case, you have a whole new idea about what education is.
If you spend time in the classroom on enterprises that are supposed to save the world or revolutionize society or build tolerance or cater to kids who don’t want to learn, then you take away hours from the core idea and practice of what learning is.
When I went to school, there could have been a better curriculum for history and science, but all in all, the teachers did a good job.
Now, we’re in a different world.
It’s assumed that most children are operating at a deficit, and they need to be brought up to speed on morals, on compassion, on sex, on greenness, on hope, on race and religion, on global concerns. At age five, eight, 12, 14.
And a great deal of this “new education” is about cashing in, for book publishers, for educrats, for federal overseers, for busybodies of all stripes who belong to agenda-driven groups that want their say and their moment in the sun.
I say this is all hogwash, and I believe anyone who consults national test scores and current levels of literacy would be compelled to agree.
Education is on the way out.
A few astute writers assert that, perhaps 80 years ago, the whole thrust of early education in America was altered intentionally, to produce worker-ants for a highly controlled society of the future. With all due respect, I think it’s worse than that. Because now we’re turning out kids who are essentially confused, badly schooled, drifting on the wind, lost in a mind-territory of fantasized entitlement. They aren’t androids ready to work on some non-existent assembly line. They’re just lost. They’re riddled with self-esteem that doesn’t work. They’re consumers looking for magic credit so they can buy their way into happiness. They’re loaded with sugar and other chemicals that scramble their synapses. They’re not only unsympathetic toward work, they have no passion of their own.
Logic? Imagination? Never heard of it.
When I went to school, there was virtually no classroom disruption of any kind. And my schools were attended by an economic, social, racial, and religious cross-section of students. We weren’t striving for diversity. We had it. The relatively few kids who were out of control and resisted any kind of discipline were herded into classes together, and teachers dealt with them.
The public schools of today lack the courage to say, “Look, if you’re here to learn, we want you. Otherwise, you’re out. Goodbye.”
If you need metal detectors at the school entrances, you went over the edge a long time ago. No one deserves to be subjected to that kind of environment.
The bullying problem? It’s an industry now. People with degrees write papers and books about it, and task forces gear up to study it and make recommendations. It’s a structure of carbuncles on the body-politic of education.
Once upon a time, no bully was allowed to attend school. If he pressed his attitude and his actions, he was expelled. Period. It wasn’t a question of why he bullied. He was gone. Learning couldn’t take place as long as he was on the scene.
And “gangs in schools?” I’m sorry, but there are no gangs in schools. There are schools in gangs—that’s what you have when groups of kids with violent tendencies inhabit classrooms and corridors. If you can’t expel them en masse, give up. Shut down the place.
If you want to make schools into six-hour-a-day baby-sitting machines, call it that. Try to obtain public funding for it. Hire guards and nurses and cops to staff it. Put it behind barbed-wire fences and install those metal detectors.
Or if schools are really lunch cafeterias, run them that way. Free public lunches. Have kids show up at noon, eat, and leave.
If you think kids of various religions should be allowed to commandeer a room to hold prayer groups, call it Government-Funded God. Rent a hall somewhere and schedule everybody from Christians and Jews to Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus and Zoroastrians.
“Well, we have these kids who are great football players, and they score very badly on all the tests, but we need them on the team.”
No you don’t. Start your own community team. Make up a name. Raise money for uniforms and coaches. Form a league. If these kids want to stay in school—which is a completely different matter—they’ll have to learn how to attain grades for real.
And this long-standing rule about passing kids on to the next grade, no matter how poorly they perform? Graduating them from high school even if they can’t read at fourth-grade level? Because they need to feel good about themselves? Because that’ll somehow help them wend their way through life later on?
Invent a new type of school for them and put it somewhere else. Bring in tutors. If that fails after an honest attempt, teach trades. Some of these kids will end up making more money in a trade than Harvard business-school grads.
All of the above, by the way, makes a good case for home schooling. Unless the parents themselves were shot out the top end of their schools, long ago, ill-prepared to handle reading, writing, and arithmetic.
No, the problem isn’t cookie-cutter education. It’s no education.
Now, of course, hovering over this revolution in education is the wider government becoming mommy and daddy to everyone. “Because they care.” Because they need to do this “caring” in order to obtain budget money for their departments. Because otherwise they would be useless.
And hovering over THAT is the program to convert everyone on the planet to a status much like an eternal patient with an eternal doctor.
This program is advancing based on the notion that “patient status” equals “more controllable.”
“Yes, we have to control you for your own good, because we care.”
No, they want control because they want control.
In my day, the subject that was conspicuously missing from the classroom was Logic. Once upon a time, it had been taught to children when their reading skills had progressed far enough. It was usually presented as a series of fallacies that infected the process of reasoning.
A few years ago, I decided to write a logic course to fill this gap. My strategy was to provide basic background lessons and then launch into a series of text passages seeded with fallacies and flaws. Students with the help of their teachers would find them and understand how they operated to derail lucid thinking.
I offered this 18-lesson course to home schoolers, and adults who wanted to use it for self-study.
Now it’s part of my new collection, The Matrix Revealed.
Twenty-four hundred years ago, in Athens, logic was, for the first time, explained in detail by Aristotle. It marked the beginning of a new era for humankind. Logic allowed a person to peruse a formal argument, differentiate between premises and deductions, and judge the validity of the reasoning process.
When students are taught this subject well, they turn into detectives. They realize that articles and books are more than mere lakes of information. They can trace the progress of a line of thought, and see that authors are offering evidence that leads to a conclusion.
It’s an awakening. I’ve seen it resolve what was foolishly diagnosed as ADHD. The student becomes grounded. He accrues real confidence. He can decide whether an argument is valid or invalid. He can spot flaws and describe them.
Armed with the tool of logic, he becomes independent.
This may explain why logic was dropped out of the secondary school curriculum.
God forbid the educational system should be turning out thousands of students who can really think for themselves, and think powerfully and consistently.
Note: I’m not covering the subject of college education in this piece, but I have an interesting anecdote for you. William E. Kennick taught philosophy at Amherst from 1956 to 1993. Amherst has consistently been rated as one of the top colleges in America. During his tenure, Kennick grew disturbed by the quality of papers his students were turning in. So he wrote and distributed a four-and-a-half page, single-spaced document titled, Some Rules for Writing Presentable English. The cream of the cream of American college students needed that on-the-fly tutorial to come up to basic speed. What other students at other colleges were/are producing in the way of written English is too horrible to contemplate.
So now we come to the central thesis. The modern vision of education, aside from the hard sciences, is all about unhinging or un-gluing the mind from its moorings, from its focus, from its ability to track complex thought.
Instead, we have education as: socialization; community; relativity.
This last factor is key. No particular piece of information is any more “valid” than any other piece, no more important, no more deserving of respect. Information is a soup into which one dips a spoon—coming up with whatever is there.
Over the range of society, you get young people wandering around with barely a clue. They’re dissatisfied, they’re upset, they’re resentful, they’re mystified, they’re rebellious.
To a degree, that describes every generation. But when the legs are missing, when the ability to concentrate and focus is absent, when the reasoning capacity is vastly underdeveloped, you get a stupendous crash.
It’s worse than cookie-cutter graduates heading for an assembly line. It’s the kind of trouble that spreads out in ripples, requiring assistance from the State. And that is the revelation.
That’s the society that’s being created.
For the elites who want to run things, globally, it’s not enough to gather up the most dependent people in a net and bring them over to the collectivist side with promises. No, what’s needed is a machine that PRODUCES huge numbers of newly minted dependents all the time.
Welcome to the educational wing of globalism.
Scour every textbook you can find at any level in the school system of your country. See if you can find the conjunction of the word “powerful” with the word “individual” where the implication isn’t pejorative. Where the thrust is positive. I know where my money is in that bet.
When political and economic collectivism is the goal of a society, certain things have to be done with the school system. Individualism has to be discouraged and sidelined. Status based on pure merit, achievement, and performance has to be minimized. And the core courses must lose their discipline.
Instead, group socialization, random expression of students’ opinions (based on nothing in particular), and bogus self-esteem must take center stage.
As a former teacher, I can tell you it’s rather easy to make this momentous shift. The starting point, from which the whole campaign unfolds, involves grouping together students in classes who are operating at significantly different levels of skill and ability.
For example, try teaching geometry to 20 kids who scored across a wide spectrum in their previous final exams in elementary algebra. Just try. Follow your day-to-day lesson plans and see what happens. It’s like crossing a bridge with drivers who never learned the difference between the brake and gas pedal. Chaos.
Jammed up in that baffling disorder, teachers will tend to gravitate to social concerns. They’ll encourage, wheedle, praise, empathize. They’ll try to draw out “the feelings” of students. What was once a very straightforward proposition will vaporize.
The pernicious effects of elementary-school teachers having failed to impart the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic will explode in a tsunami by the first year of high school.
And what happened in the first place, in grades 1-5? The model of repetition, in which each new concept in a subject is drilled over and over, and tested, before moving on to the next concept, was abandoned.
When I was a child, in the 1940s, the model of repetition was intact. It was brick and mortar.
But somewhere along the line, the “person-centered psychology” of education was invented. Every child automatically became “special.” On the surface, this sounded good. It sounded like enlightenment.
But it was really a piece of psy-war. It glossed over the fact that, if each child is innately special, he/she doesn’t have to be informed of it over and over. He only has to be taught well and learn well. More than enough encouragement begins to confuse a child and make him impatient. He wants to get on with things. He wants to prove he can excel. He wants new knowledge.
The history of mainstream psychology can be boiled down to two movements. First, there were the experiments of Pavlov. Conditioned reflex. The human as machine. Then there was the therapeutic age. Endless muddled rumination on problems and difficulties, and the need for “re-enforcement.” Everyone is special. The child as beloved pet.
The arc went from robot to dependent. They were both gross failures.
When pet/dependent became the order of the day, psychiatrists proliferated their invention of mental disorders. ADD. ADHD. Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Clinical depression. Bipolar. And powerful toxic drugs came down the line, to scramble brains.
This is the real war on drugs, except the war is being fought against children by “mental-health professionals.”
Suddenly, childhood diseases which had been accepted for generations, which came and went and gave children stronger immune systems in the process, were claimed to be a horrific threat, and 20 or 30 vaccines had to be taken to prevent these illnesses.
Thus the shaping of a new and false and debilitating image of the child torpedoed children and their education.
Creating The Disabled is the cornerstone of Collectivism.
I need you. You need me. Everybody needs everybody. Whatever germs of truth lie in this ideal are crushed, because the “need” formula is artificially built. It’s a piece of debased architecture, whose real purpose is the inculcation of a reason to abandon self and individual power.
Once, the Carnegie and Rockefeller line of force viewed education as the assembly line for turning out objects that would produce other objects in mindless fashion. But that has changed. Now schools are built to become need-factories, breeding surreal socialized graduates who contemplate how political power has wronged them.
The new sign of intelligence is this: how many ways can you imagine you’ve been cheated?
And here is the kicker. Surprisingly little of this contemplation reveals the actual methods of manipulation.
But then, why would it? If children are engineered long enough, they’ll look everywhere for answers except at their hidden masters, the ones whose objective was to make them into children forever.