As the official school year dribbles out to its close, school-age kids are celebrating in anticipation of their summer vacations. What will they do with their time off? Well, when I was in that age band, I was sent to spend the summer on my wealthy aunt’s country estate in Dutchess County, where I functioned as unpaid manual labor. I hope today’s school-age kids do better.
But the approach of the summer vacation period is of less moment than the termination of the current phase of the “twelve-year sentence.” Most parents, sad to say, never ponder the ten-month removal of their children from their lives: what good it does them; whether it’s truly necessary to prepare their kids for adulthood; and why on Earth the “public schools” have embraced so much that is lunatic and openly destructive. John Dewey, one of the early luminaries of “public education” – two words, two lies – once made it quite explicit:
Didn’t know that, did you, Gentle Reader? This supposed “educator,” through whose classes the great majority of teachers-to-be passed for several decades, was rabidly anti-individualist, anti-Christian, and anti-family. His vision of the schools was to function as antagonist to those things, along with whatever actual knowledge might be conveyed to its inmates for form’s sake. Viewed in that light, the determination of the “progressives” to control the schools absolutely is easily understood.
A more recent writer of more wholesome values and convictions put the following into the mouth of a “progressive” baron in his first novel:
“We’re going to tie together all the states and their educational systems to a single set of curricular standards, and we’ll require homeschooled students meet the same standards. We’re going to mandate testing to exactly quantify student performance to be sure no child gets left behind and identify problem schools and problem teachers.”
I was confused. “That sounds like a good thing,” I noted. “Quantify performance and hold public schools accountable for their failures.”
Uncle Larry smiled smugly. “Oh, it is, but you should never consider a policy based only on its first-order effects. You have to look past that at the second-order consequences, too. Teachers will be evaluated on their performance based on how well their students do on their tests. So, what will happen?”
“They will be motivated to do their best to do a good job teaching their students.” It still wasn’t making sense to me.
“They will spend all their time teaching students how to optimize test scores to the exclusion of anything outside the officially approved curriculum, making sure they stay precisely focused on the officially sanctioned lessons,” Uncle Larry clarified. “But, that’s not the real benefit.”
“I still don’t get it,” I confessed. “What happens when they run out of time? When they are already teaching their poor little hearts out, and their students’ test scores are still questionable, and the raise they were hoping for isn’t going to happen unless their students become more proficient?” I was still drawing a blank.
Uncle Larry enlightened me. “They are going to assign homework to their students: enough homework to guarantee that even elementary school students are spending all their spare time doing homework. Their poor parents, eager to see that Junior stays up with the rest of the class, will be spending all their time helping their kids get incrementally more proficient on the tests we have designed. They’ll be too busy doing homework to pick up on any anti-social messages at home.”
“Homework in elementary school?” The notion seemed ridiculous to me. Except for the occasional project, I didn’t even begin to get homework until I was in ninth grade or so. Even now, in high school, I was usually able to complete all my homework in spare moments while in other classes or during breaks.
“Of course it seems peculiar to you,” Uncle Larry acknowledged. “You’re not accustomed to it, but it’s coming: slowly, gradually, bit by bit, until parents and children alike are used to the concept and take it for granted.”
That sounded spooky. It reminded me of Dad’s parable of the frogs in the slowly boiling water. I carefully kept my unease off my face and focused on looking interested and engaged.
“Children will be too busy to learn independence at home,” Uncle Larry continued, “too busy to do chores, to learn how to take care of themselves, to be responsible for their own cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Their parents will have to cater to their little darlings’ every need, and their little darlings will be utterly dependent on their parents. When the kids grow up, they will be used to having someone else take care of them. They will shift that spirit of dependence from their parents, to their university professors, and ultimately to their government. The next generation will be psychologically prepared to accept a government that would be intrusive even by today’s relaxed standards – a government that will tell them exactly how to behave and what to think. Not a Big Brother government, but a Mommy-State….”
“Eventually, we may even outlaw homeschooling as antisocial, like our more progressive cousins in Germany already do,” he noted. “Everyone must know their place in society and work together for social good, not private profit.”
How much of that rings true to you, Gentle Reader? Measure it, however you please, against what your kids are actually being “taught” ten months per year, and the degree to which their schooling separates them from your tutelage and influence. Does schooling as it’s practiced today seem more in line with true, practical education or with the goals expressed in the snippet above?
There’s little point in beating this into the magma layer. Either you get it or you don’t. The pernicious nature of government-run schooling is already on open display as the “progressives” force ever more madness into the “curricula.” Left-wing activists of every kind have free access to the schoolroom. Kids are being pilloried for daring to assert that there are only two sexes. God help those that fail to “volunteer” for the latest protest march, or that come to school wearing a “Make America Great Again” T-shirt or cap. And of course “educators’ unions” in all fifty states are doing their damnedest to make it impossible for even the best-educated parents to homeschool their kids.
Get them out now, before you lose them forever.
(Applause to our newest Co-Conspirator for the Dewey graphic.)