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.
It is fascinating to see people accusing others of things that they themselves are doing, especially when their own sins are worse. Academics love to say that businesses are not paying enough to people who work for them. But where in business are there people who are paid absolutely nothing for strenuous work that involves risks to their health?
The state of Virginia has moved one step closer to allowing homeschooled students to play sports at public schools in the state. On February 8 the state’s House of Delegates passed H.B. 947, also known as the “Tim Tebow law,” because it is similar to a measure passed by the state of Florida that allowed the Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback, then a homeschooled student, to play high school football.
“We didn’t have government-run schools for a long time in this country, for the majority of the time in this country,” Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said during a Valentine’s Day campaign stop in Idaho. “We had private education. We had local education. Parents actually controlled the education of their children. What a great idea that is.”
These days, if you want to enroll your child in a public kindergarten, you have to give proof that your child has had all of his inoculations. If not, your child will not be accepted. Which, I believe, is a good reason not to put your child in a public school. But if you comply with the school’s requirements, then don’t complain when your child becomes “learning disabled,” “functionally illiterate,” or acquires Attention Deficit Disorder.
The Heritage Foundation reports that 20 percent of Americans receive some form of subsidy from the federal government. That means nearly 70 million Americans are on the dole, receiving housing, food, medical, or other assistance from the taxpayers, and well more than half the federal budget goes to direct assistance to individuals.