The Teaching, or Training, of Children

The National Chamber of Commerce, with the support of the National Governors Association (NGA), will be taking control of your child’s education. They plan to use our government-run school system as an employee training center. “When Congress reauthorizes No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the law should allow states to “align” education with the needs of businesses in order to bolster workforce development,” according to a Breitbart report earlier this week.

Vice-chair of the NGA Education and Workforce Committee, Gov. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), spells out the plan for “workforce development,” also known as “school-to-work.” “The Elementary and Secondary Education Act will allow states to align our needs through early education to higher education with the needs of our innovative businesses, developing a stronger workforce development pipeline, expanding opportunity for all of our people and ensuring that students are prepared for success in all phases of life.”

How about if, rather than teaching our children how to be productive workers, we just teach them? How about if we teach children to read great novels, history, and science rather than teaching them to read government manuals, soft pornography, and restaurant menus? How about if, instead of teaching them complicated systems for drawing charts, graphs, or pictures to answer a math problem, we teach them to do the problem in the most simple and effective manner so that they can easily use it in their adult lives? How about if we teach students our actual and real history rather than how to feel about the history that is being made up by textbook companies and other biased organizations? How about if we just teach them?

For 100 years, the American public school system consisted of mostly schools taught by local school marms in one room school buildings. Some parents were unable to get their children to these schools so they just kept their children at home and gave them a complete education there. Think about the Americans that this method produced: Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin. I would hate to think of what our Declaration of Independence would read if the person who wrote it graduated from one of our 21st Century public schools.

During the shift to government run schools, the control over these schools was still kept at the local level. The township school board met regularly to examine textbooks and hire the teacher who would oversee their children’s education. The only government control was that one plot of land in every township would be for the school. No requirements for number of school days, vaccination lists, or student achievement tests were in place. When teachers wanted to see if their student’s had mastered a skill, they administered a teacher created test. When parents wanted to see how their children were doing, they went to the school and watched or set up a conference.

There was simply no reason for all the federal government involvement. Local school boards, parents, teachers, and students all had a sense of personal responsibility. No, every child in America did not graduate. Some left school early to go work on the family farm or to become an apprentice for a local craftsman and learn a skill. Amazingly, nearly everyone got the education they needed to become a productive member of society. Children who could easily fit in a round hole were not forced into a square one. Instead of teaching political dogma, and long-winded methods, students were taught to the very basics of the necessary information and to accept the responsibility needed to learn them.

If students didn’t learn and do well in school, they eventually aged out and were left to their own devices to make their way in the world. There were no social programs for them if they couldn’t get a decent job. They were not provided with low income housing, food stamps, or free electricity. Students were taught at a young age, in both the home and school, that their actions had consequences. Doing poorly in school could very well lead to doing poorly in life.

Students were taught to be life-long learners and to use their minds to think. They had to memorize their multiplication tables, not use silly methods to come up with the answer to multiplication problems. They were taught measurements for distance, liquid weight and dry weight. Students had to memorize dates of important historical events rather than irrelevant ones. They were taught the truth of our nation’s history – regardless of whether it was pleasant or offensive, and they weren’t taught how to feel or what to think about that information, but could decide for themselves how they felt or thought.

By the time of the 1960’s and 1970’s, our public education was already in the tank. I know this because I am a product of the public school system and am often embarrassed at what I don’t know. Recently, I heard Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum speaking. She mentioned that students aren’t taught “the truth behind Pearl Harbor” any longer. This made me curious. Had I been taught this truth? Being the eternal student that I am, I began doing my homework and learned about what the president said in advance of the event as well as other things that had occurred. It took some serious digging on my part to learn the truth. This was not readily available! What? It should be in every single American History textbook at every junior high, high school, and college in this country! I was being taught the wrong information in the 70’s and 80’s. What is being taught to them today?

“In a statement that underscores the goal of education for the service of the state, rather than the individual, the NGA and National Council of State Legislatures say they recommend the new [education law] will ensure “that state goals are aligned, where possible, with the state’s workforce development plan and state career and technical education initiatives to ensure that students develop the skills necessary for the state’s current and future workforce needs.””

That sounds so sweet. But where will we find the next Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin if we are teaching children to work rather than to think?

Temerity Dowell

Please see this article by Breitbart for more information on this subject: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/02/15/common-core-owner-nga-new-nclb-law-should-align-education-with-needs-of-businesses/

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