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The Education Revolution

Posted on Wednesday, March 8, 2023
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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23 Comments

A revolution is coming in public education. It will be hard to reverse, as confidence in public education declines. While the political left does not want to believe it, or acknowledge the cause, it is happening. Parents tired of false, perverse, activist, unaccountable, objectively poor “education” of their kids – who have only one youth – are pulling them out of public schools.

Dramatically up is the number of families choosing to “home school” their children, or send them to private religious and secular schools. Up too are private schools being formed to accommodate rising parental concern, what some would call disgust, with trends in education. The number of families homeschooling has recently doubled, no end in sight.

While private schools were down 20 years ago, they are now rising again, with one in three schools private and on-line resources exploding for home schooling as well as “school formation.” Moreover, the vast majority of private schools are expressly religious.

While data lags and is distorted by pandemic numbers, 55 percent of private schools saw an uptick in enrollment in 2022 over 2021, in turn an uptick over 2020. Nearly half had more applications than seats, and although COVID hit all schools hard, the private school rebound outpaces public.

Looking beyond the pandemic, a combination of factors are at work – including reduced confidence in public education, parental concern over religious discrimination, false teachings, political indoctrination, gender disorientation, and an emphasis on activism over hard learning, as well as changing demographics (fewer kids), and the gig (non-formal, web-based) economy.

Thus, for example, Maine reports, “Public school enrollment…has been declining over the past ten years and saw a significant drop in the 2020-21 school year,” while New York reports a 1.8 percent enrollment drop this year, 3.8 last year, 4.7 the prior year. California saw a 1.8 percent drop last year, 2.6 drop the prior year, and foresees a continuing “plunge.”

While some of what is happening may be intuitive, data helps. As reported by US News and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) in 2021, “Students in private schools consistently out-performed their public school peers in all subject areas,” a reality becoming more stark as public school performance falls off a cliff.

In 2022, public school performance was objectively miserable, data on reading, writing, and math sounding alarms. “Math scores fell in every state,” while “reading dipped nationally,” and remedies seemed nowhere to be found.

In February 2023, the Public Schools Review – a pro-public school venue – came to foundation-rocking conclusions. They reported that “the American public education system has not kept up with the times and is currently facing a number of serious problems,” including 15 concerns.

Among these were “school safety,” “challenges in technology,” the growing popularity of “charter schools” and “vouchers” (which give parents a choice between better private schools and weaker public), “problems with common core curriculum” tied to “equity” (which federalizes, waters down, and homogenizes learning), “lack of teacher innovation,” “outdated teaching methods,” too little “parent involvement” and “too many schools being closed.”

Of course, in a nod to powerful unions, the volume does not admit the popularity of vouchers, charter schools, and closing of public schools suggests public failure, just a need for more money.

Reality is – however – setting in. Last week in Seattle, cuts in public schools rocked the city. Headlines proclaimed, “Seattle school district forced to do layoffs amid plummeting student enrollments,” as Democrats blamed on COVID, but most saw unresolved civic disorder, political activism, and weak performance in the schools causing parents to say “forget it,” pulling kids for better options.

Widening the lens aperture, public discontent with public education’s move to embrace political indoctrination (by the left) over basic education (in math, science, reading, and writing) is infuriating parents of all demographic backgrounds, White, Black, Hispanic, You Name It.

Nationally, the Biden White House, Education, Homeland Security, and Justice Departments are contributing to reduced confidence in public education, as “transformational” agendas are boldly pushed, from transgenderizing and kindergarten sexualization of small children to normalizing far left ideologies, teaching Marxist doctrine, critical race and gender theories, “equity” and shaming by “group” rather than individual sovereignty, liberty, opportunity, and the American Dream, made possible by serious learning and hard work.

When parents of kids in public schools raise their fears over miseducation, political indoctrination, religious and moral discrimination, or safety of their children – and dare speak up at school boards they are then singled out, pursued by the FBI, intimidated.

Bottom line: A tipping point has been reached. Either the public education system does a U-turn, and retreats from political indoctrination and swapping activism for real learning of math, reading, critical thinking, good judgment, and vital skills, or public education will face accelerated decline, in favor of private education. Parents are demanding accountability, and in the process leading an education revolution.

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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bert33
bert33
1 year ago

It is said that, ‘ a camel is a horse, designed by a committee’, and there is probably more than one committee involved in misdirecting the path of public schools. In addition to the resulting bureaucratic schizophrenia, there are corruption questions, ranging from microsoft contracts for this that and the other to the ugliness of school administrators gladly helping themselves to the school budget proceeds to stories about misuse of funds as with multiple examples stemming from CPS. So, you got some fraud, incompetence, nature of the beast, conflicting priorities, students beating up the teachers, and politicization of the institution. Not much academics going on. How to fix it, if it cn be fixed, to better benefit the students, or has K12 had its day and the future of education is an iThing tablet in the all-digital nontraditional non-compulsory accademic environment Of The Future…

SusanW
SusanW
1 year ago

Public education has become too political! Both sides have failed our parents, children, and teachers. It started years ago. I was so blessed to spend 35 years of my life in the public education system. Being a teacher was and is my passion. I worked 12 hour days and made very little money, but it didn’t matter because it wasn’t “work” to me. But, over the last 10 to 15 years we have been dumbing down our schools and mediocrity has become the norm. If we don’t come together as a bipartisan government we will never achieve excellence in our schools again for a very long time. All the bickering is making your good and creative teachers retire early or leave and do something else. Wake up America!

Smike
Smike
1 year ago

This is a personal as well as a financial decision. Home schooling and private schooling are not cheap. If you have the ability and resources to provide home schooling, consider yourself blessed. My wife and I are RNs. Our 4 children went to private Christian schools from pre-kindergarten thru high school graduation. We struggled, struggled to pay for it, struggled to get them to and from school but that was our decision. We didn’t get any vouchers, student loans or covid checks. The public school system still gets funded as though my children went to public schools – they didn’t. We did without things to give our children a good education. We’re very satisfied with what we did, it was for our kids future.

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

Excellent article.

Ted Shepherd
Ted Shepherd
1 year ago

I quit reading at “a combination of factors are at work”. Careless writing suggests careless thinking. A combination is at work. A combination of factors is at work.

KahnKeller
KahnKeller
1 year ago

How about some specifics…a priority list of the top 25 things that caused the demise of the public school systems… that would tell the intellectually challenged politicians what needed to be change in order of importance… I am willing to bet race and unions would be in the top five.

Dwayne Harvey
Dwayne Harvey
1 year ago

Classical Education is the Cure

DisgustedwithElitism
DisgustedwithElitism
1 year ago

All school years poisoned with political correctness and never knowing what innocent remark may offend whom or by how much. Never ending alarmist lectures on “climate change” and the death of the planet Earth. Terrorism threats, foreign and domestic (e.g., school shootings), seemingly without end. Teachers encouraging children to lie to their parents, deepening the chasm between parents and children, even as children need the love and counsel of their parents even more. Politicians encouraging criminality (including keeping dangerous people in schools) and drug use. Social media twisting minds like minds have never been twisted before, short of hallucinogenic drugs. The list goes on, but what is very clear is adults have failed the children, dismally.

Hal-
Hal-
1 year ago

The trend away from a public school system is extremely worrisome to the DemocRats. They will loose some propaganda control at the school level as a result. Next stop on fixing the wrongs in governments involvement in schools is the College level and the trend to sponsor the cost of individual education with Fed loans to students (to the likening of College Deans who are the true beneficiary of this tactic since they don’t have to return money to the Fed coffers to cover for students who wig out on paying for the borrowed money.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Home Schools
Reuse Idle Public schools for:
Housing
Land
Services,
Medical
Voc Tech Ed
Per location

Rebecca
Rebecca
1 year ago

As a retired teacher I knew education was in trouble when we were told we didn’t have students we had clients. Who thinks this junk up! The students that want to learn are crying out for education. I say leave the public indoctrination system and go private, charter or online. Go where those involved want to educate not impress on your brain their beliefs. Attacking education and indoctrination of young smacks of Hitler tactics. Stop it now!

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

I think the problem is rooted in over-sized school districts. City-wide districts hamper and even squelch local input and the ability to respond to local issues/opportunities. One size does not fit all.

Break ’em up. One “school” per district (K-12 counting as 1 school). Schools should be relatively small and draw from a limited number of neighborhoods, preferably just 1 neighborhood. Tax sharing, in particular vouchers, would have to be implemented as clearly some neighborhoods don’t have the same tax base available to them.

Having large school systems is an invitation to corruption, power seeking office holders and just plain old bureaucratic ineptitude

School board elections should be *very* local so people know their voice is heard.

tlanger
tlanger
1 year ago

Fortunately I married a very bright wife (she/her) and together we lived frugally, and homeschooled our kids. (FYI, I am a he/him) Both were able to score very high in their entrance exams and attend two really great colleges for the cost of public college indoctrination. They now homeschool their own kids. Let’s face it, while we didn’t have extra money of outside income for my wife, and we didn’t get to have a big house, new cars and the rest, what we did have were two very happy and well adjusted kids, and now grandkids, without them having to go off to kindergarten at the public school and learn all about body parts and what they are used for, the entire LGBTQ++++++ movement until they were ready and more. And, amazing enough, they are able to read and write cursive!

John Riley
John Riley
1 year ago

This goes back a lot further. It started when schools integrated. Black leaders settled for equal numbers instead of an equal education. When schools could not keep up the bean counters lowered the standards, and we all suffer.

Darrel
Darrel
1 year ago

I would like to chime in here. As a retired public school teacher of 40 years. Public schools are indoctrination machines for tyranny and communism. They need to be dismantled. They serve no good purpose anymore.

Jay
Jay
1 year ago

I went to “Grammar School” starting in 1940 and at that time we had neighborhood schools. I lived in the small town of Norwood and there were Grammar Schools in Lakewood, Hoxie, Lincoln Park, Gaspee Plateau, Pontiac, and on and on, too many to mention. Everyone was able to walk to their local school . When we reached Jr. High school we went to one of three jr. high (7th and 8th grade) combined with high school (9th to 12th) We all went to the grammar or jr. high/high school in the area that we lived and weren’t able to go to any school that you would choose. I was able to walk to the high school that I had to attend, ( about an mile and a half. 25/30 mins walk) We thought nothing of it. The students that lived on the other side of the tracks were able to take a school bus to jr. high/high school. We had to be in school at 9:00 AM and we got out at 3:00 PM., with a half hour lunch. There were 5 periods for classes.

Unfortunately everyone is bussed to school these days and I see them standing out at bus stops as early as 6:30 and as late as 9:00, possibly later. There are no more smaller schools so the cities are spending our money on gas and tires, vehicles, and drivers, maintenance personnel etc. to bus the students to school.

Today the schools as big as car factories

Carol
Carol
1 year ago

Bring back the one room school house in each neighborhood! School choice where parents can select and pay the best teacher for the school in the neighborhood! The best teachers still work and all those “woke” teachers can find other work not with children! We want to push back the Marxists? Reform education! No more indoctrination, discrimination, or sexualization in education!

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