“The test of every religious, political, or educational system, is the man which it forms. If a system injures the intelligence it is bad. If it injures the character it is vicious. If it injures the conscience it is criminal.”
– Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881)
Source: Journal, 17 June 1852
“In the hands of the state, compulsory public education becomes a tool for political control and manipulation — a prime instrument for the thought police of the society. And precisely because every child passes through the same indoctrination process—learning the same “official history,” the same “civic virtues,” the same lessons of obedience and loyalty to the state — it becomes extremely difficult for the individual soul to free himself from the straightjacket of the ideology and values the political officials wish to imprint upon the population under its jurisdiction. For the communists, it was the class struggle and obedience to the Party and Comrade Stalin; for the fascists, it was the worship of the nation-state and obedience to the duce; for the Nazis, it was race purity and obedience to the Fuhrer. The content has varied, but the form has remained the same. Through the institution of compulsory state education, the child is to be molded like wax into the shape desired by the state and its educational elite.”
– Jacob G. Hornberger — American author, journalist, politician, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation
Source: The Nazi Mind-Set in America, The Tyranny Of Gun Control, 58 (Future of Freedom Foundation 1997).
Posted on April 11, 2012
After stunning election victories for school choice supporters in 2010, newly elected champions of educational freedom carried their campaign promises to the statehouse in 2011, resulting in the largest expansion of education opportunity in American history.
In all, the “Year of School Choice,” as it was dubbed by the Wall Street Journal, yielded the creation of seven new programs—with 27 publicly funded private school choice programs. Because of these reforms, there are now over 210,000 children benefitting from school choice programs in our nation.
While reflecting on the victories for school choice advocates in 2011, it’s no wonder that in 2012, we’ve witnessed continued attacks on reformers and, more frequently, parents. Special interest groups, union leaders, politicians, and media commentators often claim to support parents who want better educational options for their children, but recent statements prove otherwise .Continue Reading
In 1999, California State Senator, Tom McClintock authored an insightful article he called “Putting Parents Back in Charge: A Modest Proposal for Decentralizing Public Education”.
“One of the great and ignored lessons of late-20th Century education policy is that the more the public schools are centralized, consolidated and bureaucratized, the more they cost and the less they produce. In the last five years, state spending on public schools ballooned from $15.4 billion in 1994 to $25.7 billion in 1999. Per pupil spending from all sources next year will be $7,253 per student, according to the Department of Finance. That’s $145,060 for every classroom of 20 students.”
While these numbers thirteen years old, the message should be clear; there are fundamental problems that won’t be fixed by pumping more money into it.
This compilation of thoughts are not intended to be in anyway an attempt to make a definitive statement about home schooling or the education system in general, but are intended as food for thought. It is encouraging to note that some very thoughtful people are starting to “color outside the lines” and have the courage to address the vital issue of educating our children.
“The present homeschooling laws are, at best, a poor compromise between a highly structured, two hundred billion dollar a year industry and the principles and beliefs of a handful of parents.”
– Helen Hegener Source: The Homeschool Reader
“There is only one remedy for ignorance and thoughtlessness, and that is literacy. Millions and millions of children would today stand in no need of sex education or consumer education or anti-racism education or any of those fake educations, if they had had in the first place ‘an’ education.”
– Richard Mitchell (1929-2002) Professor at Glassboro State College, NJ, author, founder and publisher of The Underground Grammarian Source: The Underground Grammarian Post
“I believe that we learn best when we, not others are deciding what we are going to learn, and when we are choosing the people, materials, and experiences from which we will be learning.”
“The most important thing any teacher has to learn, not to be learned in any school of education I ever heard of, can be expressed in seven words: Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.”
– John Holt (1923-1985) American author and educator, proponent of homeschooling, and pioneer in youth rights theory. Source: Holt, J. (1967). How Children Learn. New York: Pitman Publishing Corporation
If you were a child in the District of Columbia school system (51st in state rankings for academic achievement, first for school violence), you and your parents probably greeted the election of Barack Obama with great joy. If someone had suggested to you then that the president would attempt to torpedo the scholarship program that permits some District kids to attend the private schools of their choice, you might have thought you were hearing racist smears.
But that is what happened. As he did in previous years, President Obama has once again attempted to zero out funding in 2013 for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, a small federal outlay that provides scholarships to some 1,600 students to attend private or parochial schools. Continue reading . . . .
Report: School Districts Flourish Under Wisconsin Gov. Walker’s Act 10
Wisconsin Act 10, Gov. Scott Walker’s landmark budget and unionization reform bill, has allowed school districts across the state to balance budgets without teacher layoffs, according to a new report from The Heartland Institute.
“Act 10 virtually eliminated [the state’s] $3.6 billion budget deficit … and provided school districts with measures previously unavailable to them to accomplish spending reductions,” writes report author Maureen Martin, a Wisconsin resident and general counsel and senior fellow for legal affairs at The Heartland Institute.
“Many districts have balanced their budgets for the first time in years,” she notes. “Some even have surpluses and are hiring more teachers and reducing class size.”
Martin’s Policy Brief, “Wisconsin’s Act 10: A Partial Fix for the State Budget Deficit,” recounts how previous administrations typically plugged budget deficits with one-time fixes and illegal diversions of cash from restricted funds. By 2009, Wisconsin’s budget deficit had reached $6.6 billion, the largest in state history. By late 2010, a series of one-time fixes had lowered the deficit to $3.6 billion. Walker, inaugurated in January 2011, proposed Act 10 to repair the budget with fundamental reforms.
Martin discusses the measure’s enactment and subsequent litigation to prevent its going into effect. She also offers a short history of teachers unions in Wisconsin, noting, “The uproar in Madison during consideration of Act 10 is attributable in part to Wisconsin’s long history of unionization.” She considers the notion that there is, or should be, a “right” to collective bargaining.
Finally, the report offers “Act 10 success stories,” reports from school districts that have employed Act 10 provisions to balance their budgets without teacher layoffs. School districts in Kaukauna, Appleton, Hartland-Lakeside, Marinette, West Bend, and New Berlin are profiled. Milwaukee and Kenosha also are profiled, as districts where union contracts block implementation of Act 10 to the detriment of teachers and students there.
“Wisconsin’s Act 10: A Partial Fix for the State Budget Deficit”? can be found online at http://heartland.org/policy-documents/report-school-districts-flourish-under-walkers-act-10 and at PolicyBot, The Heartland Institute’s online research database.
The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.
But for perspective on how we got to this point, we should shift our sights to three days before the president’s announcement. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared on MSNBC where he responded “yes, I do” when asked if he supports same sex marriage.
Duncan at best raised a few eyebrows by stating his support for same sex marriage.
If he had said that homosexuality is immoral there would have been demands for his ouster.
How have we gone from a nation where our first president, George Washington, admonished that religion and morality are “indispensable” to ‘political prosperity” to one, today, in which our president says “same-sex couples should be able to get married?” continue reading . . . .
And just who is this Arne Duncan?
Obama appointed Duncan due to his alleged success as CEO of Chicago’s public schools. However, in 2007, only 10% of black 4thgraders in Chicago reached the proficiency level in reading and for black 8th graders, only 9% reached reading proficiency. In math, only 8% of black students reached proficiency in 4th grade and just 6% reached proficiency in 8th grade. This was the disappointing outcome, despite spending $13-$14,000 per student and is among the highest of any major city. Even worse, a majority of Chicago public school students drop out or fail to graduate with their class. Needless to say, the Duncan era was a disaster. He did, however, pursue an aggressive agenda to promote the homosexual lifestyle in the schools. So Chicago kids can’t read or write, but they all know how to engage in homosexual sex. If anyone tells you Duncan is an “education reformer,” tell them you’re the tooth fairy.