The education of children will be one of the key issues in the next
election cycle. This is as it should be. Our schools are failing to
perform their most elementary assignment: teaching children to read,
write and do arithmetic.

Everyone agrees we have a serious problem. Everyone has been agreeing
for decades, but we are apparently helpless to bring about necessary and
obvious changes and reforms. Why?

There are two primary reasons: First, the federal government has
progressively increased its control over the education of American
children. There are several problems with this: It is unconstitutional,
that is, if one assumes the 10th Amendment to the Constitution is still
in place and Supreme Court justices know how to read; centralization
stifles creativity and makes a mockery of the concept of neighborhood
schools and parental rights; it is dangerous for the federal government
to get involved in decisions about what values should be instilled in
children and what values should be withheld from them; government
schools, like most government institutions, are wallowing grounds for
bureaucratic pork, bloat and incompetence; and finally, government
cannot resist the temptation to insert its political propaganda into the
school curriculum.

The second reason is government unions, in particular teacher’s
unions. The growth of educational unions correlates almost perfectly
with the decline in the quality and increase in the cost of public

In a nutshell, there is absolutely no way to avoid the conclusion
that the children of America have been sold out. The largest and most
powerful union in America, the National Education Association (NEA), has
struck a Faustian deal with liberal politicians in Congress and in the
White House. The deal is this: In exchange for millions of dollars of
campaign contributions, across-the-board support for all their
candidates and propagation of all their policies and agendas inside and
outside the classroom, Democrats have agreed to protect the union’s
educational monopoly from competition, insulate it from reform, and
reward its failures with increased funding.

But let’s be fair. There’s another side to the story of education in
America. While it is true that a good case could be made that we are on
the verge of being overrun by an avalanche of ignorance, it would not be
entirely fair to say our kids are graduating empty-headed.

Perhaps it’s time for an updated review of some of the important
things our children have learned in government school classrooms:

While Johnny and Jill may not be learning how to read, they are
learning that: teachers are underpaid, God is irrelevant, big business
is ruining the environment, rewards should be based on need rather than
performance, bisexual individuals are under the command of unstable
genes, the Alamo was a great Mexican victory, society rather than the
individual is responsible for crime, teachers are quite underpaid,
Thomas Jefferson was a racist, two plus two equals whatever, competition
is destructive, the right to be wrong makes wrong right, all rules and
standards are mutable, God is a homophobe, porpoises are smarter than
people, the Constitution requires the government to censor religious
speech, taxes are the same as charitable contributions, boys and girls
are exactly the same except for unimportant differences, it is loving to
approve and reinforce the wrong in others, George Washington was a
racist, rich people enjoy stomping on poor people, the condom is
mightier than the conscience, Columbus infected the natives with
syphilis, one person’s opinion is as good as any other, the American
Constitution was written by racists and sexists, teachers are grossly
underpaid, sex between consenting children is inevitable, all sexual
orientations are created equal, religious people are bigots, in the
beginning there was a big explosion, trees are important because money
grows on them, the right to kill unborn babies is in the Constitution,
it is un-American to have more than someone else, the only hope of the
world is for workers everywhere to unite, and it is the constitutional
responsibility of government to provide jobs, housing, clothing,
condoms, hot lunches and medical care to all citizens.

An entire generation of children has been indoctrinated into
mind-sets that resonate with hedonistic socialism. When these children
come of age, what choices will they make? What will be their view of
government? When they assume positions of leadership, how will they
change America?

The well-publicized 1983 report, “A Nation at Risk,” concluded with
this dire statement: “The educational foundations of our society are
presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our
very future as a nation and a people.” Translation: There is a basic
incompatibility between self-governance and a dumbed-down citizenry.

In his book, The Outline of History, British author H.G. Wells
observed, “Human history becomes more and more a race between education
and catastrophe.” This is a race America is losing.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.