Current State of Public Education
The public's confidence in public schools has plummeted from 58% in 1970 to 29% in 2012 while annual per-student expenditures have dramatically increased from $4,552 in 1970 to $11,400 in 2012. This lack of confidence is corroborated by the fact that SAT testing scores are at a 40-year low. The average SAT reading score is down 34 points since 1972, high school graduation rates have been stagnant since the 1970's, and American students rank in the middle of the pack among their international peers. Education performance results are even worse among minorities, with nearly half of blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans dropping out of high school. The core education of our children in the public schools is dismal!
Public Education as Indoctrination
Progressives have infiltrated key institutions in society that influence culture such as education, media, and "Social Justice" churches. Infiltration of education has been an especially important strategy for Progressives, as evidenced by the fact that the Teachers Union is the most powerful entity in the Democratic Party. By controlling the education establishment, Progressives can indoctrinate our children who represent America's future generations. This is how, with only twenty-percent of the population, Progressives can have such a dominant effect on society.
Indoctrination of children at a young age is actually quite easy. Children are easily influenced since they don't know what they don't know, don't know what questions to ask, and tend to bond with and trust teachers. For example, children are taught not to pray, not to mention God in public, and to be sensitive to the practices of Muslims but not to Christians. They don't ask why the anti-Christian bias exists and why, in general, they are subjected to a "secular humanistic religion". Additionally, they don't know to ask why they are not studying the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, all foundational documents for our United States. Even our universities, who supposedly advocate diversity and freedom of speech, have become oppressors of both as they attempt to stop any critique of their Progressive ideas and agenda.
Progressive ideas are appealing to children since they tend to be childish ideas. They are taught that a "kind person" spreads wealth around and that we must protect the environment at all cost. Our children are being taught to expect effortless success, seek immediate gratification, expect entitlements, and resent the success of others. Progressives position themselves as heroes to children, intending to right all of the world's wrongs. Consequently, "big-government as the answer to all of the world's problems" will appear normal to these children as they grow up and become adults. Even traditional families are targeted as obstacles to the vision of big-government socialism. Traditional families, with their emphasis on parental authority, moral training, and being a source of support for children, are not congruent with an all-powerful central government.
What Can We Do?
Parents must become the first line-of-defense against Progressive indoctrination in schools. Instead of disputing biased and incorrect information from teachers and school books, parents need to provide correct information to their children. They must teach their children that just because a teacher or a book states something, it is not necessarily correct. Parents must focus on the text and materials and not so much on the teacher. It is important for children to learn that good people can be misinformed. Parents have an excellent opportunity to teach children how to reference multiple sources to discern truths. This will teach children critical thinking skills and an appreciation for diversity of ideas.
Parents need to also invest time and effort to teach their children that America is a good country and to teach them about American heroes and history. Parents can front-load liberty-loving values through strong association with and participation in Fourth of July and Memorial Day activities. They need to teach their children how liberty and personal responsibility are linked and how tyranny can evolve when liberty is absent.
The mainstream must advocate and support "School Choice", such as parochial schools and charter schools, as an alternative to public schools to allow for competition that will lead to improved educational results for our children. This is especially true for inner-city minorities whose parents desperately want educational choices as an alternative to the failing inner-city public schools. These parents recognize that, in order to escape poverty, their children, at a minimum, need to learn basic literacy, computer skills, manners, and a sense for personal responsibility. Not even this is being accomplished today with our failed education system! Minorities must relinquish their almost total allegiance to Progressives who have been exploiting them for political gains. Instead, minorities must join the mainstream in demanding better educational results for their children.
The mainstream must get involved with the local School Board to hold them accountable for educational results of the children. Mainstream citizens should run for School Board using the Neighborhood Organizing approach and tools taught on this TheVoicesOfAmerica.org website to win School Board seats through elections. This has already started in Ohio, where many mainstream candidates have been elected to School Boards and have now started an alternate, state-wideOhio School Boards Leadership Council (OSBLC) to compete with the existing Progressive state-wide School Board Association. Only through School Board involvement can the mainstream demand and achieve fairness, balance, and diversity of ideas in textbooks and in the classroom. For increased effectiveness, mainstream parents must adopt the "speaking truth to power" language of Progressives when challenging the education system leadership. Additionally, don't oppose "reform", but instead lead the reform to accomplish better educational results for our children. In fact, the mainstream should build a local political movement that elects mainstream citizens, not only to School Boards, but to all local positions of power, such as libraries, museums, commissioners, and local government positions.
At the college and university level, the mainstream must support and advocate for the Academic Bill of Rights, which is a recently-started initiative by Students for Academic Freedom. Its purpose is to assure free inquiry and speech in higher education. This ensures discovery of new knowledge through scholarship and research, the study and reasoned criticism of intellectual and cultural traditions, the teaching and general development of students to help them become creative individuals and productive citizens of a pluralistic democracy, and the transmission of knowledge and learning to a society at large. These purposes reflect the values - pluralism, diversity, opportunity, critical intelligence, openness, and fairness - that are the cornerstones of American society.