Friday, 12 November 2010

Time to Leave No Child Left Behind, Behind

Written by  Steve Farrell

It has been said that the most effective way to conquer a man is to capture his mind. There is no slave more devoted, no disciple more dedicated than one who has become completely obsessed with the vision of what he considers to be a great idea. (1)

Thus, education has long been a proper object of concern among both freemen and statists, among both the good and the evil. Almost everyone senses that what a child is taught in his youth has an enormous prospect for good or ill in individuals and in civilizations.

In 386 B.C., Plato laid out one the most complete and oft-studied handbooks on communist totalitarianism in his work Republic. A grand key of successfully implementing the plan was education.

Society, he taught, must be remade from a clean slate: But how?

All above ten years of age in the city must be taken out into the country, and all the children among them (infants through age ten) must be taken charge of (by the state) and kept outside their present surroundings and the ways of life led by their parents, and the reformers must bring them up in their own ways and customs. (2)

One central teaching facility, with a curriculum designed by the omnipotent elitists of the state, bereft of parental influence (at least parents of the old school of thought), has been the plan since the beginning for designing men.

Lenin bragged: “Give me a child for eight years and it will be a Bolshevist forever.”

Adolph Hitler declared: “In my great educative work, I am beginning with the young.”

And Khrushchev wrote:

Like every other form of state-directed activity in the Soviet Union, education is conceived as a weapon serving the interests of the Communist Party and dedicated to a single objective — the victory of the Soviet system. (3)

Karl Marx, setting the stage for modern men such as Lenin, Hitler, and Khrushchev, outlined a ten-point plan to be used against the most advanced capitalist nations to bring them to their knees. Plank ten: “Free education in public schools.” (4) He knew the phrase “free education” would be attractive, but deceptive and dishonest as well. What it really meant is the payment of federal taxes by you and me (a method of funding central control), and the granting of federal subsidies with grasping claws, for state and local schools (a method of enacting central control).

In America, Communist Party USA founder William Z. Foster wrote in 1932:

Among the elementary measures the American Soviet government will adopt to further the cultural revolution are the following: The schools, colleges and universities will be coordinated and grouped under the National Department of Education (which did not exist at that time) and its state and local branches.

The studies will be revolutionized, being cleansed of religious, patriotic and other features of the bourgeois ideology. The students will be taught on the basis of Marxian dialectical materialism, internationalism and the general ethics of the new Socialist society. Present obsolete methods of teaching will be superceded by a scientific pedagogy.

The churches will remain free to continue their services, but their special tax and other privileges will be liquidated. Their buildings will revert to the State. Religious schools will be abolished and organized religious training for minors prohibited. Freedom will be established for anti-religious propaganda. (5)

Such is the final aim of free and federal education!

Not surprisingly, freedom lovers and wise ecclesiastical leaders have long been the opponents of federal education schemes. The Republican Party at one time was in the forefront of calls for the abolition of federal aid to education. This resistance peaked with the election of Ronald Reagan, the President who got elected on the pledge to abolish the Department of Education. He appointed T. H. Bell to do the job, but the job was never done. In fact, before President Reagan departed, the Department of Education decreed there was indeed a problem with American education and the problem must be solved with higher federal goals and more federal money!

Under the Republican leadership of Reagan’s successor, President George H.W. Bush, and his Secretary of Education William Bennett, the goals became more defined, and the federal government was once again to become the “savior” of our children and the “savior” of the United States into the 21st century.

Back in 1999, Republicans were still pointing to federal education schemes, and in particular the nationalization of education schemes of Democrats, as the source of our continued grief over a dumbed-down pro-socialist school system, but they really didn’t mean it. The fact was, as Ramesh Ponnuru revealed in a November 22, 1999 National Review feature story, “State of the Conservatives”:

We are all Clintonites now. Republicans in record numbers, including candidate George W. Bush, are abandoning ship on what was just a few years ago, standard fare, inflexible platform principles. He points out: “It was a Republican, Bill Paxon, who first proposed that the federal government finance the hiring of 100,000 teachers.

When candidate George W. Bush became President George W. Bush, he and the party — rather than admit and back away from a socialist idea that they (not Bill Clinton) generated — climbed upon their white horse, pretended to cut a favorable deal for our children and the states, and not only did they fail to cancel federal teacher incentives, they added a “flex” feature to federal educational aid to the states. They called it “No Child Left Behind.” It was yet another grant-driven program, a massively more expensive grant program, that in the new Third Way approach of the party, supposedly only “helped” the states and the local schools do what they did best, promising, of course, that they would only “help” out those schools that met or exceeded federal “guidelines” with resources they didn’t have — and, oh yes, punish all the rest.

But federal grants equal federal controls, and federal educational controls always, in the end, translate into the lowering of student performance, the lessening of academic freedom, and the crushing of initiative and superior educational models. Many schools and teachers have complained that rather than teach they now prep and coach kids on how to take federal tests. Not surprisingly, many schools have been accused of cheating to stay on the federal dole.

Incredibly, they (the Republicans) had their chance to get rid of this centralized, statist, socialized, liberty-destroying federal educational system, but instead chose to champion a compromise, a compromise which has never worked and never will work, for the subsidizer, sooner or later, takes all.

But there’s a chance to change all that! Now that the House of Representatives is under the control of men and women who say they reject the Republican Establishment, and who in turn promise to return the United States to limited government under its Constitution, isn’t it time for true conservatives to step forward, exercise their control over the purse strings, and remember the pledge of Ronald Reagan to pull the plug on the socialist Department of Education?

I think so. I think the time is upon us, here and now, today, to leave the Department of Education and Bush’s ‘solution,’ No Child Left Behind, behind, and finally free up our schools from federal control. Indeed, I say it’s time for every Tea Party member, and every true American, to let their congressmen know they will not settle for anything less. After all, if this election is a referendum against socialism, is there a better place to fight back against socialism than in ending the pernicious grip left-wing elitists have had on the minds of our children for generations?

Think about it.

Steve Farrell is one of the original pundits at Silver Eddy Award Winner, NewsMax.com (1999–2008), associate professor of political economy at George Wythe University, the author of the highly praised inspirational novel Dark Rose, and editor in chief of The Moral Liberal.

Footnotes:
1. Skousen, W. Cleon. The Naked Capitalist Salt Lake City, UT, W. Cleon Skousen 1970, p. 25.
 2. Plato. Great Dialogues of Plato: A Modern Translation by W. H. D. Rous New York and Scarborough, Ontario, Mentor Books 1956, p. 341.
 3. Benson, Ezra Taft. “An Enemy Hath Done This Salt Lake City, UT, Parliament Publishers 1969, pgs. 229-230.
 4. Marx, Karl.Communist Manifesto. 5. Foster, William Z. Toward a Soviet America Balboa Island, CA, Elgin Publication 1961 (Original Publication 1932) p. 316.

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