One of the ways of trying to reduce the vast disparities in economic success, which are common in countries around the world, is by making higher education more widely available, even for people without the money to pay for it. This can be both a generous investment and a wise investment for a society to make. But, depending on how it is done, it can also be a foolish and even dangerous investment, as many societies around the world have learned the hard way.
What should America’s children and adolescents know about sex, homosexuality, “gender identity,” and contraception? As much as possible, according to a coalition of liberal educators, health professionals, and sex-ed “experts,” who have released a set of explicit recommendations they hope the nation’s schools will adopt as the new standards for sex education.
In November 2011, Commentary magazine asked 41 members of the cultural elite — writers thinkers, and professors — whether or not they were optimistic or pessimistic about America’s future. While most of the comments dwelt on political and economic issues, some of the contributors pointed to our education system as a source of their pessimism.
On Saturday, the Ron Paul campaign issued a statement announcing the naming of several new members of the “Homeschoolers for Ron Paul” coalition. The formation of the group was originally announced in August and since then has been very successful in motivating homeschool advocates to rally to Dr. Paul’s campaign for the White House.
Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled a new budget plan Thursday that calls on California voters to approve $6.9 billion in new taxes that would apply to sales purchases and income on the state’s high earners (those making over $250,000 a year). The budget was inadvertently published on the state’s Department of Finance website, leaving the Governor’s office scrambling to arrange a news conference Thursday to detail the plan.
In hawking his 2012 budget proposal, Brown warned voters that without the temporary new taxes, which would be scheduled to expire in 2016, the state would have to drastically reduce its education budget — which, the Governor noted, would likely shorten the school year by three weeks. If voters accept his proposal, Brown suggested, the state could undergo serious debt reduction while reversing recession-era cuts to K-12 schools, which have already shortened the school year and inflated student-teacher ratios.
"With the tax program, we will eliminate the budget deficit finally, after years of kicking the can down the road," Brown contended.
If the tax increases are not implemented, state officials cautioned, the reductions to public education would automatically go into effect, including $4.8 billion in cuts for public schools and community colleges and another $400 million in cuts for higher education. In addition, California courts would suffer a $125-million reduction and spending would be reduced for firefighting in public forests.
Students in California public schools may not be leading the nation in their knowledge of the “three R’s,” but they are well on their way to being experts in deviant lifestyles. Under a law signed last year by Gov. Jerry Brown (D), all public schools in the state are now required to promote homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality, and same-sex “marriage” at every grade level, including kindergarten — and to do so without parental consent or even notification.
Colin Gunn, a feisty Scottish filmmaker, and Joaquin Fernandez, an American cinematographer, have produced a powerful and highly provocative film called IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America. Having become aware of the horrors that go on in our pagan government schools, these two film makers, who also happen to be Christian homeschooling Dads, decided to make a hard-hitting documentary film that would wake up the Christian parents of America and show them what is happening to their children in the public schools. Ninety percent of Christian parents send their children to these pagan schools, and after twelve years of indoctrination in the philosophy of secular humanism, 88 percent of those Christian children come out no longer believing in the religion of their parents.
But the problem for the film makers was how best to bring this issue to the public. It was Colin’s brilliant idea to purchase a yellow school bus and tour the country in search of the truth about what was going on in America’s anti-Christian public schools. He packed his wife and seven children in the bus, which became their home during the several months of the saga, and set off on a journey that brought him in contact with some of America’s great Christian leaders and educators.
“Put down that sausage, pepperoni, and extra cheese, son, and no one will get hurt.” Words to that effect were spoken to 10-year-old Nicholas Taylor, a student at David Youree Elementary School in Smyrna, Tennessee, when he committed the unpardonable offense of pretending that a half-eaten slice of pizza was a gun and, in the words of school district spokesman James Evans, “threatening” other students with it.
Fortunately, the boy complied rather than mowing down his classmates in a hail of anchovies, and the danger was averted. And for so recklessly endangering the lives of his fellow students, he was punished with six days of eating lunch at the “silent table” and a lecture on pizza — er, gun — safety.
The incident is the latest — and perhaps the most ludicrous, though the competition is fierce — example of public schools’ zero-tolerance policies with regard to firearms. Students have previously been disciplined for such grave infractions as doodling a picture of a gun and possessing a pen with the logo of a gun manufacturer. Now, it seems, the time-honored tradition of playing with one’s food can land a kid in the principal’s office if he imagines that food is a deadly weapon.
Employers across the country are facing new concerns related to federal oversight in hiring, as a letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) warns that requiring a high-school diploma from a job applicant might infringe on the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The revelation has some employment analysts concerned that the commission’s guidance will generate an educational backlash by shackling the incentive for students to graduate from high school, as well as subjecting employers to frivolous lawsuits and spawning a new industry for lawyers.
In an "informal discussion letter" posted on the commission’s website on December 2, EEOC Office of Legal Counsel staff members asserted that under ADA standards, a qualification test or other selection criterion, such as a high-school diploma requirement, that "screens out an individual or a class of individuals on the basis of a disability must be job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity." A qualification standard, the letter notes, is "job-related" or "consistent with business necessity" if it accurately measures the applicant’s ability to perform the job’s fundamental duties. Thus, the letter reads:
There have been some mentions of “education” in the Republican debates and by candidates in general. Some of the Republicans have even advocated getting rid of the Department of Education. That’s a good start, but virtually nothing has been said about the reading problem, or the deliberate dumbing down of our children. Nothing has been said about how our public schools are deliberately destroying the brain power of millions of young Americans.