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Public Education – Trust Plunging

Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2023
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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26 Comments
The stop sign on a public school bus.

Public schools are in trouble, double trouble, as leftist unions, colleges, and media refuse to understand what is happening. Trust in public education is plunging with anti-girl, anti-faith, anti-traditional, pro-woke programs scaring parents, driving up home, religious, and private schooling.

The shift is strong and sustained. It cannot be blamed on COVID. While homeschooling jumped 62 percent during COVID, it is 53 percent up now.

Where public education is eroding fastest are woke-centers like California, New York, and DC, where distrust in public schools grows as politics replaces learning.

Homeschooling in California in 2023 jumped 78 percent from pre-woke years. In New York, parents are sick of targeting, and homeschooling is up 103 percent from 2018, and in DC up 108 percent. The woke joke is on the schools.

Even in places like Maine, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, where liberal governors indulge wokeism, transgenderism demeaning and discouraging girls, homeschooling is up by more than 50 percent, with no sign of falling.

In the meantime, public schools are taking a body blow, first devastated by COVID shutdowns, extended by national teachers unions, then distrust over quality, safety, the privacy of girls, political indoctrination, hostility to parents, and poor courses.

The political hijack of quality public education, lowering standards in math, science, writing, and reading, replacing quantitative learning with junk science, dropping history, earth sciences, biology, physics, chemistry even math for politically rewritten, anti-American, anti-religious texts is a gut punch.

The Jeffersonian ideal, solid moral and academic education to keep the republic safe, has been eroded and in some cases just trashed, especially in Democrat-controlled cities and states.

Instead, what one sees is intensive political indoctrination, objectively anti-historical, anti-freedom, anti-free market, anti-faith, anti-majority teachings – and concrete references to Marxism.

Over three years, many public schools have dived, losing respect, faculty, and students as anti-parent sentiment, critical race theory (CRT), climate hysteria, anti-Trump hyperbole, drug legalization, addiction, and deaths have risen, paralleling crime and dropout rates. Academic scores have meantime plummeted.

Given the role the political left played in pushing COVID mania, mandating shots, intimidating the public with job losses, shutdowns of schools, businesses, churches and family gatherings, then lowering of academic standards, politicizing non-political subjects, and spreading distrust of tradition, faith, our military and flag in favor of reinterpretations of sexuality, identity, and history, who is surprised?

Net-net, the effect of the political left on public education – driven by political actors, national teachers’ unions, and go-along-to-get-along administrators, has been nothing short of devastating.

From afar – speaking with parents, teachers, and former teachers – the effect has been a replacement of trust, confidence, free and open speech, respect for faith, political differences, and high-quality learning with fear, intimidation, and mediocrity.

Public education in America is in trouble, loss of students, parent trust, and quality outcomes driving the next generation toward homeschooling, parochial and private schools, and survival pushing smart kids and hard workers in another direction.

Of course, a clamor for money will rise from the national unions and their political brokers who get political benefit from politicizing education, undermining quality.

Sadly, rather than real education producing renewed support, creating a virtual circle for ever-better public education, the opposite is upon us. With faith in public schools is down, those who long bankrolled it seriously rethinking that move.

While other factors play at the margins, such as population shifts, demographic fluctuations, disinterest in learning, gig economy, rising federal dependence, and a slipping work ethic – all serious, the big variable in this decline is lower trust.

America deserves a great public education system, but a return to that high standard requires fresh, smart, non-political leaders, renewed appreciation for quality education, parents, kids, and an end to leftist politics in our schools.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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SusanW
SusanW
3 months ago

Thank you, Bobby, for sounding the alarm. I have been sounding this alarm for the past twenty years. As an educator of 36+ years, I have watched it slowly deteriorate from one of the strongest educational systems to one of the worst. The bureaucrats have purposely and mindfully been dumbing down our students. Just as George Orwell predicted in his novel 1984 along with Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451. It is easier to control the population when they don’t ask questions or wonder. Once I got tenured I used it to my advantage to ramp up the educational curriculum in my classroom which parents and students fought to get into! I had no “low” students. In my opinion, even my poorest and most challenged had gifts and it was my job as their teacher to figure out how they learned best. How are we going to turn things around? I’m not sure because the majority of the new generation of teachers are not devoted or creative enough to teach “out of the box.” It takes too much thought and time which in their opinion, they don’t get paid enough to do. We need professional leaders at the top who know how to teach critical and creative thinking skills, problem solving, higher order thinking skills, and how to develop holistic curricula that include all of the humanities, math and science. I’m still fighting the good fight and working every day to help inspire the next Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, George Orwell and Robert Frost, or Buzz Aldrin. We must all do our part to inspire and motivate our youth.

FedUp
FedUp
3 months ago

The decline in our schools has been going strong ever since the Department of Education created. You want federal money, then you have to teach what the feds (left) want.
The DOE should be totally eliminated. And states need to pass laws that limit teacher unions to items like working conditions and prohibit them from mandating curriculum content.

anna hubert
anna hubert
3 months ago

Public ed is not enriching young minds but destroying it

Barbara
Barbara
3 months ago

My father-in-law was a teacher, principal and superintendent of schools for many years but toward the end of his life he often sad God help us if the unions get hold of our schools. They will totally destroy our education system. The last time I heard him say that was at the end of the 1990s. Our children were in high school and excelling in school was still valued.
Our daughter graduated in 1999 and was in the Honor Society and graduated in the top 5% of her class. The students in the top 10% of the class received recognition for their efforts by having their pictures posted first in the graduation section of the local newspaper. Three years later our son graduated but it was decided to not post the pictures of the top graduates separately and there was some talk of not even having the Honor Society members wear their collars. The collar part was voted down but a couple years later it reared its ugly head again and was successful. Looking at the pictures of the graduating students you had no idea which ones worked hard and which graduated at the bottom of the class. It was determined that the children should not be treated differently so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings.
My father-in-law passed away in 1999 so never lived to see the difference just between my daughter’s graduation in 1999 and my son in 2002. And even he could not conceive what our system would be like even ten years later let alone the 20 something it has been.
Today there are no incentives to do well because even those who do are not rewarded with the recognition and rewards that once encouraged students to do their best. The dumbing down of our education system is near the desired fruition that has been planned for a long time. I just saw where the Texas House has voted down the voucher program. Too sad.

Martin Plecki
Martin Plecki
3 months ago

Public education has been on a downward slide since the 1960’s. Of course students that care with parents who care can still get a good education in the hard courses, math, science, anything that has fact based content. Not so much in subjects that are subject to interpretation, like social studies and english. But, for the majority of students, public education is failing miserably.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
3 months ago

But… but… according to Randi Weingarten, public schools are the finest in the world. You calling her a liar? She fought COVID school closures! (Sarcastic snickering)

Jackie
Jackie
3 months ago

I am very troubled by our education situation!! I feel, more and more, that these radical teachers are using their position to indoctrinate our children instead of teach or educate them!!! I also feel that the unions and the school administrators are part of the problem!!! I think the Department of Education should be abolished since it doesn’t do anything to help the situation, in fact, it’s a big part of the problem!!!!! There are gangs and gang initiations happening in our small town’s middle schools!! High school kids are caught bringing guns to school!! There is a lot of violence in the middle and high schools and it is starting to filter down to elementary schools with the bullying!!! The fact that there is little or no consequences for these kinds of actions is only emboldening the students who tend to go the criminal route!! The funding going to schools is being wasted with appointments to unnecessary, needless positions with high salaries at the top of the administration while teachers can’t get the supplies they need or warm rooms in the winter or decent food in the cafeteria!!! We have a problem when teachers are told to keep secrets from the parents!!!

Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
3 months ago

there are no american public schools that shoudl not be force to get their funding directly from the parents. further all teachers unions should be outlawed.

100% school vouchers equal 100% school choice.

Lauramerrone
Lauramerrone
3 months ago

As long as we have the Democrat controlled teachers unions, there will never be a quality education in our public schools. I know all about the whole farce as a retired teacher…

doc
doc
3 months ago

The USA public education debacle is affecting America’s competition on the world stage in many areas. I pray this will soon end with a change in White House residents, if our vote still counts for anything, that is.

Garyk
Garyk
3 months ago

The department of education should be abolished, ALL taxpayer funded dollars to colleges ended and ALL schools locally controlled by Parents.
The current system is failed and useless, used by unions,political parties and professor’s who should be unemployed!

Morbious
Morbious
3 months ago

The thing most fascinating about the left is that, like cancer, they never give up. Theyve actually been working on the destruction of the education system since the mid 1800s. Look up Horace Mann. The reason theyve been so successful lately is the fact that american values changed. I know people who are religious Bible believing folk who prioritize things like new cars, big houses and elaborate vacations over private schools for their kids, or better yet, home schooling. Where i live every levy passes, because people still think that by throwing money at this things will change. People are far more interested in the physical structure of their schools than the content being poured into their kids minds.

Smike
Smike
3 months ago

Public education has become a day care system. It got that way because that’s what the parents of these children want. It’s a relatively safe and inexpensive place to “stash” their kids while they do what they want to do. Education is not their agenda, most parents don’t have a clue as to the curriculum or what’s being taught at these schools. Single moms don’t have the time and absent fathers don’t care. How many “grandma raised me” families are we dealing with these days – we’re the problem, we need to get our act together and raise our kids and stop blaming everyone else.

PapaYEC
PapaYEC
3 months ago

Anyone who trusts public education is too evil or mentally incompetent to vote.

PapaYEC
PapaYEC
3 months ago

The dumbing down of the US “educational” system was iintentional and malicious. It started with Dewey in the 1920’s.

Bear
Bear
3 months ago

Found Jessie Waters man interviewing people in NYC streets with questions about ‘who people are’.” The numbness in responses was an alarm that should be heard worldwide. Ignorance prevails among those who spoke.
“This is the plan, the result control, making it easier to take over. “BUT, beware, it seems the forces of rebuttal are strengthening, and their march will become bulldozers. “To the smug dweebs behind this, where will you go?”
The increase in comments quoted continues to rise! This indicates that change is well underway and like numerous historical uprisings against these insensitive and nasty people, will become an avalanche of anger and hard-core change directed at them.

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