In the late seventies, Americans were very proud and fiercely protective of their freedoms granted by the Constitution, of the United States, and of their standing in the world as a capitalist nation. Just the mere notion that someone came from a communist country raised eyebrows and pointed questions about one’s allegiance.
Then on October 17, 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed into law the Department of Education Organization Act, the U.S. Department of Education began operating on May 4, 1980, and things started to change.
People’s patriotic behavior and protectiveness of their culture, of their language, of the capitalist system in general that made them the most prosperous nation on earth, began to erode more and more overtly. Among the culprits were teachers who advanced personal socialist agendas to impressionable youth who believed every word they said.
In 1979 the Office of Education had 3,000 employees and an annual budget of $12 billion. In 2013 the Department of Education (DOE), with a cabinet level position, has 5,000 employees and a budget of $69.8 billion.
The House of Representatives voted in 1979 210-206 in favor of the passage of the Department of Education Organization Act. (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=lGsjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=HO4DAAAAIBAJ&pg=7077,5962023&dq=department-of-education&hl=en) Republicans opposed the elevation of the DOE to cabinet level status as unconstitutional, an unnecessary intrusion into state and local governments by the feds (they were right, see Common Core Standards and No Child Left Behind) and the creation of another huge bureaucracy (they were also right). The American Federation of Teachers opposed the law.
Liberals and Democrats thought the DOE constitutional under the Commerce Clause and the appropriation of funds legal under the Taxing and Spending Clause. The National Education Association with 1.8 million members supported the law. Amendments were proposed by those supporting the bill to curb school busing, to prohibit use of racial and gender quotas for admission to college, and to encourage school prayer.
Busing, racial and gender quotas are firmly in place today. School prayer or references to God are definitely gone in most schools and crosses are covered – we don’t want to upset the atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, or Islam. Politically correct liberals who stifle free speech like to explain, it is separation of church and state, yet they promote endless accommodations for other religions and cultures. Asking students to step on the word Jesus or to stomp on the American flag is an “enlightened” classroom activity approved by progressive academia.
As I wrote in my first book, “Echoes of Communism,” (http://www.amazon.com/Echoes-Communism-Lessons-American-Choice/dp/1456535080) I found education, the curriculum, and its certification rules quite strange. I did not understand how a person with a doctorate in Arts in Sciences could not teach at any level in the public school system unless certified by the Department of Education but could teach university students.
I did not understand the stronghold the teacher’s union, NEA, had on employment and how it created standards for the Department of Education, wrote textbooks, and determined the curriculum, a curriculum that zealously promoted socialist/communist ideas and ideals in Social Studies, Economics, Earth Sciences, English, and Foreign Languages.
At first I attributed my basic clash with other teachers’ educational views to my assimilation problems. Teachers would tell me, this is how we do things in this country and, if you don’t like it, you can go back where you came from. That I did not want to do because that is exactly why I left – education, how people thought, lived, behaved, and what they learned was dictated and entirely regulated by the Communist Party in the classroom.
I began to realize quickly that most of these teachers were hard-core liberals who were acting and behaving just like our former communist apparatchiks. When I became a teacher, as a conservative, I was one of the “rara avis” (rare bird) in education, having completed most of my schooling in an Arts and Science environment, save for a few College of Education classes which did not help me at all to become a better teacher.
I did not fully comprehend how brainwashed my college students were by previous teachers until I tried to tell them what life and education were like under communism and none of them believed me, they were laughing! I stopped telling any stories about communism, it was an exercise in futility. The damage to these young people’s minds was so profound, not even direct contact with someone who actually lived under communism persuaded them. Why not?
Children were very impressionable and looked up to their elementary, middle, and high school teachers so much that once they got to college, they were already exposed to a heavy dose of “socialism, social justice, equity are grand” indoctrination. Most parents had no idea what their teachers inculcated into their children’s sponge-like brains. They were too busy making a living to care, some of them were ignorant themselves, even those with college degrees, or the teachers cleverly disguised what they were doing in the classroom.
The most glaring example is the CSCOPE curriculum in Texas, designed by a private corporation as “instructional material,” and not curriculum, thus escaping any scrutiny. Lessons are written by CSCOPE staff and former teachers and are not disseminated or accessed to parents. CSCOPE Review, an independent vigilant group, discovered a lesson plan which compared the Boston Tea Party to “an act of terrorism.” In another example, students were asked “to design the flag for a new socialist nation.” Glenn Beck interviewed teachers, David Barton, Pat Gray, Mary Bowen, Stan Hartzler, and Texas Senator Dan Patrick about CSCOPE. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/07/cscope-exposing-the-nations-most-controversial-public-school-curriculum-system/
On February 27, 2012 I wrote an article, “Common Core and Universal Design for Learning,” http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/44875 that received little attention. As usual, Americans were preoccupied with the latest manufactured crisis, and the American media purposefully ignored the implications of such federal cookie cutter education. I did not think it was a good idea. Emphasizing “collective” work, Arne Duncan described Common Core Standards as a one-size fits all curriculum in which all children can learn to “high achievement standards,” ignoring the facts that we are born with different IQs, different talents, and different interests that cannot be molded by government fiat.
Apparently, standardized tests “fail to produce a valid and reliable measurement of what significant minorities of students actually know, especially students with disabilities, English language learners or those from varied cultural backgrounds. Without accurate measurement, accountability systems are not only ineffective, they are unethical.”(Core Standards)
Education must be “collective” (code word for communism). If students are not equal, self-esteem is hurt. Grades and diplomas should be equal for unequal work in order to achieve social justice in education. Individualism is discouraged yet it is rugged individualism that has made this country great.
Common Core is much worse than I had envisioned. The American Principles Project (conservative think-tank) found that Common Core is one variable in the larger plan to track children from birth to work. (http://truthinamericaneducation.com/tag/american-principles-project/)
Michelle Malkin discovered that the 2009 stimulus package contained a “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund” offered to states for a “longitudinal data system (LDS) to collect data on public-school students” such as health, family income, religion, and homework. (http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/343040/common-core-trojan-horse-michelle-malkin)
Glenn Beck’s The Blaze described a 44-page DOE report which indicated the possibility of implementing through Common Core monitoring techniques such as “functional MRIs” (scanning and mapping a child’s brain function), “using cameras to judge facial expressions, electronic seats that determine posture, pressure-sensitive computer mouse, and a biometric wrist wrap.”
It will be a fascistic world if every person will be forced into a government-dictated and enforced, dumbed-down mold, where everybody is equally intelligent, equally capable, equally trained, equally able, and equally educated with a diploma on the wall that is not worth the paper with the fancy intaglio printing on it.