The Plague in American Education
By: Guest Authors
By: Vickie K. Doherty
President Obama through executive authority seeks more federal control over American education, a move that will seal the fate of our failing schools.
Progressive educational policies dominate American education but academic achievement is in decline. The following scenario is a classic tale.
Â Who will die?Â Fitness for survival is a dilemma presented in the classroom that must be solved by children through a values clarification exercise.Â The children are told to imagine a sinking ship filled with people and asked to choose who should be saved aboard a life raft.Â The children are offered a selection of people ranging in age and productivity drawn from various social groups to determine whose lives are most valuable to society and thus worthy to be saved from death.Â Values clarification programs have been, for decades promoted as a method for the development of critical thinking skills.Â The philosophical premise supporting the development of critical thinking or higher level thinking skills, presumes that a childâ€™s fixed beliefs must be challenged before he or she can learn and the abdication of foundational belief is the first step in the exploration of ideas.Â Ethical questions are subjective and left to personal choice. Hostility toward Judeo-Christian morality and non academic curricula are the hallmarks of our progressive American educational system.
In his book, Inside American Education, Thomas Sowell authored a provocative analysis of Americaâ€™s failing schools, and the decline in student academic achievement consistent for more than thirty years.Â His research led him to the conclusion that in our nationâ€™s schools there was a preponderance of non academic materials with hidden agendas, psychological conditioning programs and materials which were psychologically harmful.Â Many of the programs were found to be imbedded with tenets which were hostile to traditional cultural mores, effectively undermining parental values.Â He also concluded that non academic requirements displaced academic subjects or watered them down.
Mr. Sowellâ€™sÂ investigation uncovered what he described as a wide variety of psycho-therapeutic activities referred to collectively as â€œaffective educationâ€ whose purpose was to re-mold the emotions and values of children.Â These programs and activities he reported may go under the general name of â€œvalues clarificationâ€ as well as specific titles including â€œdeath educationâ€, â€œdrug and alcohol preventionâ€ or â€œsex educationâ€. He noted that, citing the empirical evidence, prevention programs such as drug, alcohol abuse and suicide often increase the very activity they were intended to prevent.
In 2008 former California State legislator, Steve Baldwin, and Karen Holgate co-authoredÂ Â From Crayons to Condoms, a compilation of testimonies of parents and teachers from across the country. Accounts of a variety of values clarification programs, morbid death education, survival scenarios, and disturbingly graphic sex education were among the many reports.Â There were examples of psychological manipulation and ideological indoctrination imposed on students in every class, including history, English and Math.Â Â Â Â Â
In her April 2011 newsletter, Phyllis Schafley, author and syndicated columnist, highlighted an expose by a teacher who attended a conference for training teachers on â€œSocial Justiceâ€.Â The teacher learned that â€œSocial Justiceâ€ is a subject that teaches children America is an unjust and oppressive society that should be changed.Â The materials in the curriculum include a variety of viewpoints to be encouraged, such as the acceptance of cultural relativism, abortion, alternate lifestyles and the redistribution of wealth.Â These â€œSocial Justiceâ€ ideas are often promoted through â€œstudent-directed learningâ€.
The most publicly promoted non academic subject is sex education and parents now have an allyÂ against the imposition of graphic sex education. Dr. Miriam Grossman, author of the book, You Are Teaching My Child What? Â Is an authority on the â€œComprehensive Sex Educationâ€ programs that are currently in American schools. Dr. Grossman speaks as a physician who is alarmed over the health danger to children through the promotion of high risk sexual activity and experimentation.Â She found that the sex education materials also include websites that are recommended to children that encourage and instruct on an inclusive range of sexual activities and promote sexual experimentation.Â
Sex education advocates have commanding political power.Â The politicization of education began in 1976 when President Carter created the U.S. Department of Education as a political payment to the National Education Association, the largest teacherâ€™s union, for their political support. The NEAâ€™s liberal views are promoted through classroom curricula.
Â In March 2011 the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute reported the NEA statements before the UN at the Commission on the Status of Women. According to the report Diane Schneider who represented the NEA told the audience that â€œOral sex, masturbation, and orgasms need to be taught in educationâ€.Â Â Â Read reportÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Planned Parenthood, another political force with federal funding, provides materials and representatives for sex education programs in American classrooms. As reported by Fox News, Planned Parenthoodâ€™sÂ â€œStand and Deliverâ€ advocatesÂ extensive sex education including an awareness of sexâ€™s pleasures for children as young as 10 andÂ issued a statement of condemnation ofÂ religiousÂ institutions for placing barriers that may â€œdeny children the pleasurable and positive aspects of sex.â€Read report
President Obama, as Senator, supported sex education provided by Planned Parenthood to children as young as five years of age.Â As President, he announced sex education will be required in American schools and must begin in kindergarten.Â Â Â Â Â Â
The intrusion of non academic material consumes classroom instruction time. We need only consult the national statistics to find the evidence of abysmal failure in American education for academic preparedness.Â The 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress results reveal that only 30 percent of American public school eighth graders were proficient or better in reading. Only 32 percent were proficient or better in math.
The solutions for American education is not a longer school year for children in a failing system or more federal control over education as President Obama promotes in his strategic plan for American education.Â Political assurances are a ruse for a bureaucratic malignancy.Â
After decades of decline in academic achievement, the deconstruction of an educational system that marginalizes academics, indoctrinates and victimizes children is long overdue.