Opinion / Politics

American Education is in Trouble

educationTrends in American public education – at every level – are troubling.  Math, science, reading, writing, history, technical and “critical thinking” skills are slipping, while adverse influences – foreign money and curriculum manipulation to behavioral issues, drug abuse, dumbed-down texts, deficits in gifted and remedial teaching, and leftist political ideologies – are growing.  Leadership and a return to honesty are urgently needed.

Historically, public education was about objectively teaching history, skills, facts, values, and critical thinking.  Today, the reverse is afoot.  Teachers’ unions have wandered far afield, become political actors.  In some jurisdictions, they are undesignated “political action committees” or “activist cells,” pushing a Marxist agenda, nationalized healthcare, energy control, “climate change” dogma, accommodation of Communist China, endorsing leftism.

Recently, teachers’ unions went on strike, holding children hostage to public acquiescence in these radical ideas. While many teachers do not agree with these positions, teacher speech is chilled – publicly and in class – by union actions and administrative complicity.  See, e.g., https://www.dailynews.com/2020/07/14/the-hubris-of-the-teachers-unions-could-backfire/https://nypost.com/2020/12/10/chicago-story-exposes-the-rank-selfishness-of-us-teachers-unions/; and https://wtop.com/education/2020/07/national-teacher-union-supports-strikes-over-reopening-plans/.

All this requires serious review, reconsideration, and professional – if not legal and political –attention.  More immediately, many school districts are swerving hard left in what they teach.  They are not just failing to teach subjects of importance to a free society, entrepreneurial and capitalist economy, objective truths, critical thinking, Bill of Rights, responsible living, and productive work habits.  They are actively teaching misinformation.

The concern – building for decades – is that politically active teachers’ unions are corrupting young minds, gradually eroding an American society founded on objective decision-making, personal responsibility, self-awareness, civic duties, rule of law, faith, courage, and freedom. See, e.g., https://study-education.com/american-education-is-failing/#:~:text=The%20failing%20American%20education%20system%20is%20apparent%20because,foreign%20countries.%20Our%20children%20are%20not%20taught%20to.

Free societies do not continue free – if they miseducate their young, or are methodically corrupted by popularizing class warfare, blame-casting, victimhood, excusing violence, laziness, irresponsibility, uncritical thinking, civil disinterest, unrest, entitlement, and lawlessness.  China may want America drifting into such rough, ruthless, useless, violent currents, but we should not.

Nevertheless, some school districts now teach anti-American sentiment, an article of some secular, socialist faith.  Doing so reinforces a downward cultural spiral, justifying leftist centralization of power, political violence, social upheaval – all at the cost of preparing students for truth, hard work, history, honor, and reality.

The further teachers and administrators take children and teens from reality, and the harder the transition to responsibility and freedom is.  Take, the San Diego school district which just reworked their “grading system,” to address what they see – or have been told to see – as racism.  Rather than redoubling efforts to encourage high level performance, offering remedial reading and math options, distilling gifted and talented students, sticking with core skills, and setting expectations high, they have taken the opposite course.

Specifically, they have chosen to excuse unacceptable social behavioral, classroom disturbances, acting out, recurring tardiness, and late submissions – calling these prejudicial to minority students.  Turning reality on its head, one administrator called this an “honest reckoning.”  See, https://www.foxnews.com/us/san-diego-school-districts-grading-system-racism.

The irony is acute – what educators might call an “educational moment.”  Aiming to get good media for addressing racism, they have acted in a racist way – identifying such habits as uncorrectable minority afflictions, or parts of minority character.  That damages student opportunity to succeed later in life, by failing to correct flawed social habits, antisocial classroom behaviors, and measurably poor performance against objective educational standards.

This school district has chosen to lower the bar, insulting minority students’ potential for high performance, assuming they just cannot get there, amputating their ability to succeed through teaching corrective behaviors.  The doublethink, laziness, administrative cowardice – simple perpetuation of non-critical thinking – is stunning.  This is modern education, deflection.

The political forces at work in public education are not only just diminishing historic, moral, objective, family, and positive community values, not just pushing lower academic and behavioral standards, not just advancing leftist political indoctrination.  They are failing to educate on the most vital element of education – how to reach decisions objectively, think independently, critically evaluate and analyze oneself and the world, in order to be properly equipped to manage reality, and then excel.

If we do not swiftly put to rest the idea that education does not matter, is being properly managed, or can fix itself without a return to objective standards – in math, science, reading, writing, history, technical and “critical thinking” skills – ambivalence will overtake us.  California is just emblematic.

In public education, we are slipping fast.  Leadership – at every level – by competent educators, administrators, thoughtful political actors, and bona fides experts is overdue.  It is also essential.

Bad judgment, cowardice, political correctness, and leftism may seem passing fads, but they are dangerous.  Free and open, high-achieving, and civil societies do not survive that nonsense for long.  America is exceptional.  To stay there, we need leadership and honesty in education.

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Timothy Buchanan
6 months ago

“Public education” has been failing students and the nation for nearly a century, declining one grade level per decade. Public schools need a drastic overhaul and strict accountability, neither of which will happen until parents stop deifying “public school teachers” (an oxymoron) and demand to know what their kids are being taught, show up at school board meeting and demand improvements, and end the practice of teaching evolution as if it was science–it’s not. Public schools’ godless secular curriculum robs students of their dignity and worth.

Rik
6 months ago

American Education is in Trouble? … You mean you just came to that conclusion? … it’s been in trouble since what the late 70’s? … Since I stopped going in 1968 and since I have no children and am much of a loner, I had very little exposure to the educational system. But recently I had googled the American Communist Party to find out how many members they had. I was staggered to find that they average 600,000 “new” members EVERY month! And these are young people! And where are they “learning” about Communism? Where else? But in our Public School System! Today’s Democratic Party IS NOW COMMUNIST! All you have do is look at their Party’s “platform” this last election and then compare it to Josef Stalin’s Communist platform that He got “elected” on in Russia in 1956. I guess History DOES really repeat itself! But here? … In America? … It didn’t happen overnight and could only have happened by “educating” our young people! … That leaves OUR teachers GUILTY of doing this! That didn’t happen overnight, and could ONLY happen by infiltrating OUR educational system and Russia is GUILTY of this offence! The STEALING of the Presidency is just the beginning! We, the Senior population MUST lead this fight to SAVE AMERICA!

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