Wednesday, 04 April 2012

How to Evaluate Your Child's School

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Although about two million families are homeschooling their kids, most American parents still send their children to a public school. Few parents, however, know much of what goes on in their child’s school. In most cases they assume that their child’s school is not much different from the school they attended. And since they believe that the school is being run by “professional” educators, they are willing to accept whatever the school prescribes.

However, today’s schools have much more gadgetry than the schools they attended. Students now have laptops, computers, calculators, television monitors, iPads, DVDs, and CDs. But do they teach the basics?

Back in the early 1930s, when I attended a primary public school in New York City, it was easy to know what was meant by the basics: reading, writing, and arithmetic. Reading was still taught mainly by the alphabetic-phonics method; writing meant cursive writing, not some form of ball-and-stick printing; and arithmetic meant learning the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts by drill. Rote was considered okay in those days because arithmetic is a counting system which uses only 10 symbols for all its calculations and requires memorization of the basic facts for optimum use and speed. (For example, students learned multiplication by memorizing what were popularly known as the "times tables.") 

Today, if you ask your child’s first-grade teacher whether or not they teach the basics, he or she may have an entirely different idea of what the basics are. They no longer teach mere “reading.” They teach language arts, literacy, communication, body language, whole language, invented spelling, critical thinking, and HOTS — higher order thinking skills. In writing, if they provide formal instruction at all, they teach manuscript, or ball-and-stick print script, or a form of calligraphy, or slant print. Eventually, some schools get around to cursive writing in the third grade, but by then the teacher and pupils are so busy learning about global warming, overpopulation, air pollution, and sex, that there’s not much time to devote to cursive. Besides, since children are using the computer keyboard, handwriting in general is considered obsolete by some educators, and need not be taught at all.

As for arithmetic, the subject no longer exists. It has been subsumed into what is now called Math and includes such esoteric concepts as set theory and numeracy. And now that the students use calculators, there is no need to memorize the arithmetic facts because the calculator is supposed to do what the mind used to do. But if the arithmetic facts are not in your head, how will you know that you’ve made an error with your calculator?

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All of these new basics are subsumed under the heading of “cognitive skills,” a term devised by cognitive psychologists who believed that the behaviorists simply did not pay enough attention to what was going on in the mind. So they created a whole new area of psychological study concerned with how children learn.

The cognitive domain is only one part of the curriculum. The other is the affective domain, concerned with values, emotions, behavior, socialization, interpersonal relations, activities, sexuality, and death. The affective domain is the “spiritual” aspect of the curriculum based on a humanistic worldview, which has become the philosophical foundation of American public education.

In other words, the public school is the parochial school of the humanist religion, and the affective domain is the religious aspect of the school’s curriculum. In Catholic schools they teach, or used to teach Religion (the catechism and Bible studies) along with the basics. In Protestant schools they teach, or used to teach, the Bible as well as the Westminster catechism. In public schools they teach humanist doctrines and beliefs in the affective domain.

What is interesting to note is that the form the basics take is determined by the religious orientation of the school. The old-style basics, the traditional three R’s, are most compatible with theistic, biblical religion in which God is the author of a reality that can be studied and known, a reality ordered by God’s sovereign rule. The new-style basics, or cognitive skills, are a product of humanistic religion and its Darwinian evolutionary concepts of man as an animal, society as evolving toward utopian socialism, and the idea of world government. Cognitive psychology is not only compatible with atheistic behaviorism but also with New Age paganism, mysticism, and pantheistic cosmic vision. It is also compatible with teenage body mutilation and tattooing.

If you have any doubt that the public school is a humanist parochial school, read what one young humanist scholar, John J. Dunphy, wrote in the January-February 1983 issue of The Humanist magazine:

I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects that spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of educational level — preschool day care or large state university.

The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new — the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of "love thy neighbor" will finally be achieved.

Thus, parents who put their children in public schools should know that they are putting their children in a parochial school with a highly developed, well-defined world view that determines how and what their children will be taught. The curriculum, the subject matter, the teaching methods, the required reading are not only compatible with that world view but are its very products and fully reflect its values, moral relativism, standards, spiritual vision, and messianic mission as expressed by Mr. Dunphy. To ignore all of this is to ignore the very impact, the deep influence, all of this will have on the child’s life.

As Rev. R. J. Rushdoony has written: “Humanistic education is the institutionalized love of death.” Thus, for many children, a public school education is a death sentence. Since the early 1970s, when death education was introduced in the schools, over 50,000 teenagers have committed suicide up to 1989. By now the accumulated number of suicides is no doubt much higher.

Today, death education is a permanent part of the humanistic curriculum, marbleized into all of the subjects. Suicide is now the third leading cause of death among teens. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are as many as 25 suicide attempts for every single completed suicide. Why are so many teenagers unhappy with their lives in a nation that gives them virtually everything they want?

Indeed, for this writer, September is the saddest month of the year. It is the month in which four million eager, healthy American children will enter the first grade of the public schools where they will begin the process of learning to hate life and love death. They will be told that they are animals, the products of evolution, and that there is no God in Heaven who loves them. If they are lucky they will have a Christian teacher who, under her breath, will tell them that they have souls and that God is watching over them.

August and September are also the months of the big back-to-school sales promotions. The women’s and parenting magazines, which distribute their September issues in August, usually devote articles on preparing your child for school; how to get to know your child’s teacher; how to become a school volunteer; how to get involved with the PTA (controlled by the teachers’ union); how to get your child to obey the teacher and do what he or she says.

None of the articles will warn parents that at least one third of the children in that first grade will become “learning disabled” within a year, losing their healthy sense of self and begin living a life of needless frustration and academic failure. Stigmatized as a dummy, the young student will lose whatever self-esteem he or she had on entering school. A second third will be damaged but not destroyed. And the last third will be designated by the educators as gifted and talented to be eventually initiated into the humanist elite or priesthood.

And what about these pathological killers that are coming out of these humanist schools, where sweetness and light are supposed to prevail? The two killers at Columbine High School were not the normal products of this humanist education — or were they? From what we know, they were Satanists, disciples of the devil, the father of lies, mayhem, and murder. They hated life and loved death so profoundly that they planned to kill a thousand students just for fun. While the school did not endorse Satan worship, it did nothing to stop it because the only way it could have stopped it was to raise the cross of Jesus Christ. Several Christian children were killed because their parents thought they would be safe in a public school. There had been other instances of killings in schools before Columbine. But no one wants to believe that their school might be harboring pathological killers.

To be continued.

Related article: How to Evaluate Your Child's School (Part 2)

   How to Evaluate Your Child's School (Part 3)