In my book, Is Public Education Necessary?, I pointed out how the public school movement was promoted in the 1830s and ‘40s by the Owenite communists, the Harvard Unitarians, and the Protestant evangelicals. The Owenites wanted to use the public schools as a means of turning young Americans into little communists who would as adults turn America into a communist or socialist society. The Harvard Unitarians wanted to use the government schools as the means of getting the Calvinist religion out of education. And the Protestant evangelicals, alarmed by heavy Catholic immigration, wanted to use the public schools as a means of turning Catholic children into Protestants and as a means of maintaining America’s basic Protestant culture.
The results of parliamentary elections in Egypt appear to indicate that the future of that nation will find it more closely aligned with the Islamist agenda. At the same time, another "moderate" Muslim nation, Turkey, seems to be moving in an increasingly radical direction.
The latest school shootings at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, have reminded us that these school massacres did not end with the horrors of Columbine High School in Colorado on April 20, 1999, but have continued right up to the present. Some of these planned shootings have been nipped in the bud by students aware of what was about to happen. But the latest shooting simply indicates that as long as the public schools are the way they are, there will be no end to these killings.
New York City churches meeting in the city’s schools have won a major victory over the board of education, as a judge ruled that all congregations impacted by her injunction barring the city from evicting churches are covered by the verdict — and not just the main congregation named in the suit. Moreover, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ruled on February 24 that the churches can continue meeting in the schools as the case moves through the courts, instead of just for the next week — unless the city succeeds in getting a higher court to overrule her decision.
One of the great ironies of the Progressive Education Movement is that its leaders were able to convince John D. Rockefeller, Jr. that he ought to give his sons a good progressive education and donate $3 million to the Lincoln School, a new experiment in social education in accordance with John Dewey’s radical new ideas. So he put Nelson, Laurence, Winthrop, and David in the school, which turned them all into dyslexics, proving that progressive reading programs can cause dyslexia.
When the World War II ended in 1945, only five percent of adult Americans were college graduates. Many returning veterans took advantage of the GI Bill of Rights and headed for colleges and universities. The number earning a degree grew dramatically. But, back then, a college degree meant you had absorbed some real knowledge, become proficient in some discipline, could think on your own, and knew where to go to get what else you might have needed.
Thankfully, the twentieth GOP presidential debate has come and gone. If the American voter doesn’t know these candidates by now, he never will. Of the four remaining candidates, three are virtually indistinguishable from one another. This much has been established time and time again throughout this election season. It is true, of course, that there exist some differences between Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich. But such differences are negligible, both in themselves and, especially, relative to the enormity of the similarities that they share.
To this writer, and a good many of his friends on the Right, the best way to reform the public schools is to get the government out of the education business. Most of us believe that a government education system is incompatible with the principles and needs of a free society, in which educational freedom should prevail. John Taylor Gatto, after spending nearly 30 years teaching in public schools, has been one of the strongest critics of the whole concept of compulsory “schooling,” which he denounced in his devastating book, The Underground History of Public Education.
A day after a U.S district court ruled that scores of churches could temporarily continue meeting in New York City schools, an appeals court ruled that the restraining order against the city applied only to the Bronx Household of Faith, the primary church named in the lawsuit.
California has probably produced more educational failures than any other state in the union. Why? Well, let’s be blunt. They have the stupidest educators and politicians in the country. And this has been going on for a long time. Back in 1988, when Bill Honig, then-School Superintendent of California, and Francie Alexander, the state’s curriculum director, chose only whole-language reading programs for the state’s public schools, we knew that a literacy disaster was in store for the Golden State.