Monday, 12 November 2012

Taking Back the Public Schools

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For years I’ve been arguing that the idea of taking back the public schools or advocating reforming the schools was a waste of time and energy for parents whose children needed an education now, not 10 years from now. A child is six years old just once. And so I advised parents to either educate their children at home or place them in private schools. The grip the progressive liberals have on the public schools is too strong, and the likelihood of “taking them back” was impossible. That pessimistic view led many parents to private schools and spurred the creation of the homeschool movement.

Indeed, I even wrote a book, How to Tutor, telling parents how to teach their children the three R’s in the traditional manner. I also created a reading program, Alpha-Phonics, so that parents could easily and inexpensively do all of the teaching at home, thus ensuring that their children would become highly literate.

But while I consider homeschooling to be the superior way to educate a child and am still trying to convince as many parents as possible to homeschool, the unhappy reality is that 85 percent of American children still attend the government schools where they are subject to ruinous evils by their teachers. I’ve written extensively of these evils that destroy thousands of young lives. Indeed these children are at risk in six specific ways:

First, they are at risk academically because of the flagrant use of faulty teaching methods that produce functional illiteracy, dyslexia, and reading disability. Look-say and its latest version, whole language, have done more to destroy the literacy of American children than any other reading programs. Invented spelling, which is part of the whole language philosophy, actually teaches children to disregard accuracy in writing. In case you’re unfamiliar with whole language, here’s a description of the philosophy given by three whole-language professors in their book, Whole Language: What’s the Difference? published in 1991:

Whole language represents a major shift in thinking about the reading process. Rather than viewing reading as "getting the words," whole language educators view reading as essentially a process of creating meanings ... Meaning is created through a transaction with whole, meaningful texts (i.e., texts of any length that were written with the intent to communicate meaning).

It is a transaction, not an extraction of the meaning from the print, in the sense that the reader-created meanings are a fusion of what the reader brings and what the text offers ... Although students who learn to read in whole language classrooms are, like all proficient readers, eventually able to "read" (or identify) a large inventory of words, learning words is certainly not the goal of whole language.

So, if you’ve wondered why little Johnny isn’t learning to read, it’s because he’s been told that reading is “creating meaning,” not decoding the author’s words.

Second, the children are at risk morally because they are taught that morals are relative. This anti-biblical philosophy is promoted by values clarification, situational ethics, and sensitivity training. By rejecting moral absolutes, the student is given a rationale for cheating, lying, and stealing. That’s why so many children think it’s okay to shoplift. They have not read the Ten Commandments, which are forbidden in a public school.

Third, children’s physical health is at grave risk in the public schools because of pornographic sex education which encourages premarital promiscuity which can lead to unwanted pregnancies, abortions, and sexually-transmitted diseases. The promotion of premarital recreational sex leads to more social and health problems than the nation can deal with.

Fourth, the children are at risk spiritually because they are being proselytized to become secular humanists. The children are taught that they are the products of evolution, that there is no God, and that life has no meaning or purpose other than the enjoyment of natural pleasures. This purposeless view of life creates depression and thoughts of suicide, which is why suicide is the third most common cause of teen deaths.

Indeed, John J. Dunphy, a secular humanist, made it very clear what the humanists intended to do in the schools when he wrote in The Humanist magazine of Jan.-Feb. 1983:

I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers that correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being...

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

This vicious anti-Christian philosophy has led to moral chaos, sexual depravity, and the lack of divine purpose in life. To proselytize young students in this philosophy is nothing short of a moral crime.

Fifth, children are at risk of becoming drug addicted. Millions of school children are forced to take such powerful drugs as Ritalin and Adderall in order to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), caused by academic frustration and failure. In other words, the schools create the problem and solve it by administering drugs to the students.

Sixth, physical violence is a fact of life in the public schools, a fact that children must put up with. We are all familiar with school shootings and massacres in which students and teachers have been killed. And one never knows when such a murder will take place. Brian Rohrbough, whose son who was murdered at Columbine, writes in IndoctriNation:

It was my responsibility to make sure that my son was educated properly. But I failed that. I put him in a pagan school where they teach there is no God.... My son died not because of some choice that he made, but ultimately because of the choice that I made.... I want others to learn from my failings in the hopes that they will not experience the loss of their own children.... There was no biblical justification for me to send my son to a Godless public school. He died because I ignored God’s Word, even though I knew better.

How can we as conservatives permit this abuse of American schoolchildren to continue? We have an obligation to protect these children, and this can only be done if we decide to make a concerted, long-range effort to stop this child abuse. But how can we do this? It must be a well-organized, practical plan, as practical as the plan the socialists used to take over the public schools.

The socialists achieved their goal by working from the top down. They first took over the teachers colleges and the psychology departments of the universities. They also used the educators’ professional associations. John Dewey, the leader of the conspiracy, advised his colleagues to work slowly and gradually, lest the public wake up and oppose their efforts. Of course, there were educators who recognized what the socialists were up to, but they were deftly accused of being reactionaries, standing in the way of progress.

The Socialist educators were also able to tap into the U.S. Treasury, thus giving them more than enough money to facilitate their further control of the schools and the implementation of their socialist agenda. 

Which means that if conservatives truly want to take the schools back, they will have to use a strategy that works from the bottom up. We must first start with the local school board, which still depends on the votes of local taxpayers. I have heard all kinds of discouraging stories of how conservatives managed to get elected to the school board, found out that they were impotent to change anything, and usually lost the next election because of negative publicity from the socialists on the board and the local newspaper, which generally sided with the town education establishment.

We have to find a better way to exert our influence over local school boards. My proposal is that we make use of the tools we already have: the test scores of each school in a district. In most districts they reveal a dismal record of failure, particularly in the basics. A local school board cannot defend test scores that prove a local school’s failure to educate the children. This is what I call the soft underbelly of socialist control. They are vulnerable only if we take advantage of the situation. Until now virtually every school board has gotten away with this kind of academic murder, mainly because conservatives don’t know how to make use of this vulnerability.

In order for the socialists to continue winning elections they have to continue producing as many functional illiterates as possible. In this last election, all of those illiterates — Arthur O. Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times, said there were 60 million of them in 1988, and there are no doubt a lot more of them today — probably voted for Obama, their community organizer who knows how to bring the illiterates to the polls. In other words, it is not in the interests of the socialists to improve the reading scores of the students. Their dumbing-down curriculum insures their political power.

But the parents who put their children in these schools want them to be taught to read. They are the natural allies of the conservatives who want to take the schools back. Just as Obama as community organizer organized the “have-nots” into a local political force, so must conservatives organize parents in their communities — White, Latino, and African American — to pressure school boards to start teaching their children to read with intensive phonics. They can be called Parents for Literacy.

First, we propose that the school board authorize the creation of a pilot program in which Alpha-Phonics is used to teach the worst readers to read. The program will prove that all children can be taught to read provided the correct teaching method is used. Now there are other very good phonics programs in existence, but as the author of Alpha-Phonics, I know how well it works and how inexpensive it is. The board may claim that they don’t have the money for this project. Yet they have enough money for programs that don’t work.

If the board then refuses to authorize the project, the parents of these children must be organized, just as Obama organized the poor in Chicago, and they must picket the school board until the board relents. The board will shun bad publicity, and everyone in town will want to see this project approved. After all, doesn’t everyone in town want all the children to learn to read?

All of this will be an education for the community. But in order for our side to have the confidence that it can win this battle, they will have to bone up on the subject matter we are dealing with. Ignorant conservatives can never win a fight against a local school board. They must know more than the board does.

But if we win this battle in just one school district, we will begin the process of taking back the schools, for it was on the teaching of reading that John Dewey based his plan to take over the schools for the socialists. In his essay, The Primary-Education Fetish, written in 1898, Dewey wrote:

There is ... a false educational god whose idolators are legion, and whose cult influences the entire educational system. This is language study — the study not of foreign language, but of English; not in higher, but in primary education. It is almost an unquestioned assumption, of educational theory and practice both, that the first three years of a child’s school-life shall be mainly taken up with learning to read and write his own language. If we add to this the learning of a certain amount of numerical combinations, we have the pivot about which primary education swings....

It does not follow, however, that because this course was once wise it is so any longer.... The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school-life because of the great importance attaching to literature seems to me a perversion.... No one can clearly set before himself the vivacity and persistency of the child’s motor instincts at this period, and then call to mind the continued grind of reading and writing, without feeling that the justification of our present curriculum is psychologically impossible. It is simply superstition: it is the remnant of an outgrown period of history.

That essay began the progressive movement to change American education to what it is today. It is fitting that the proper teaching of reading should begin the road back to academic sanity and a school system fit for a free people.

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