In yet another scheme to usurp an ever-expanding role in childrearing, the Obama administration’s top education bureaucrat recently called for government boarding schools. Claiming that there are “just certain kids we should have 24/7,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan also proposed turning government schools across America into “community centers” that would offer students even more “after-school programming.” It is all part of what senior Obama officials refer to as the “cradle-to-career” education agenda.
But what is that agenda, and are government boarding schools really a good idea? Are there really some kids that the government should have 24/7? And what are these “community schools” Duncan speaks of? The education chief himself has given us a good deal of insight into the answers.
According to Duncan in various speeches, government schools, now largely controlled from Washington, D.C., are being used as a “weapon” to “change the world.” With the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as what the education secretary called his “global partner,” public education will also serve as a tool to transform children into what he described as “green citizens.” If Obama’s “Green Jobs” Czar Van Jones had not been forced to resign over his self-declared revolutionary communist views, he could have even placed the newly minted “green citizens” into the “green jobs” Duncan says the feds are preparing them for. Most recently, he threatened federal intervention if states did not force enough students to take the federally funded Common Core tests. Along with Obama, he is also pushing to get students into the class at earlier and earlier ages.
Duncan outlined some of his latest Big Government plans for your children at the “National Summit on Youth Violence Prevention,” an event organized by federal bureaucracies including the Education Department and the Justice Department. “One idea that I threw out ... is the idea of public boarding schools.... There’s just certain kids we [the government] should have 24/7 to really create a safe environment and give them a chance to be successful,” he told the audience.
“I think all of our schools should be community centers,” he added. “Our schools should be open 12, 13, 14 hours a day with a wide variety of after-school programming.”
“Thankfully, in the vast, vast majority of communities around the nation, our schools are actually safe havens,” he claimed, arguing that there was “very little violence” happening in government schools and that the “vast majority” of violence was on the streets. “If we could keep our kids there longer, we think that makes a lot of sense.”
According to Duncan, government boarding schools and “community schools” would protect children from violence on the streets and give them a chance to be successful. But would they? The short answer is no — absolutely not. In fact, they would do the exact opposite. And data from Duncan’s own Department of Education make that clear.
According to the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics, "some 1.3 million students ages 12 to 18 faced ‘victimization’ at school in 2012, including 89,000 ‘serious violent victimizations.’” In all, there were about 750,000 “violent victimizations” in 2012 among students aged 12 to 18. The fact sheet shows that students actually face far more violence at school than away from it. But of course, despite Duncan’s lies or “factual mistakes,” keeping students safe from violence was never the agenda.
Instead, as veteran educator Dr. Sam Blumenfeld and I recently exposed in Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children, the government “education” regime is literally designed to dumb down U.S. students — deliberately. Using primary-source documents, we reveal how progressive education godfather John Dewey, with Rockefeller-dynasty financial backing, set out to destroy the literacy of the American people. The goal was socialism and collectivism. The strategy to get there was dumbing down students and destroying literacy by changing how reading is taught, from phonics to the quackery known as the “whole word” method.
Duncan’s latest ideas about keeping children “24/7” at government boarding schools and transforming the rest into “community” schools should be vehemently rejected — along with Common Core and even the unconstitutional Department of Education itself. Not only will such schemes fail to improve education or keep children safe, it is a virtual certainty that the dumbing down and the indoctrination will only become more thorough and extreme. After all, if hundreds of billions of dollars and 12 years of students’ lives in government schools are not enough to teach children how to even read properly, the notion that more money and more time will fix the problem is simply ludicrous.