An enterprising San Francisco Examiner reporter recently conducted an
informal survey of what high school graduates knew about civics and basic
U.S. history.

The results are enough to make you sick.

Less than half of the teen-agers polled could identify the country from
which the U.S. won its independence.

Asked what July 4 is all about, one high school graduate said: “It’s like
the freedom. Some war was fought and we won, so we got our freedom.”

Another was asked which country America fought with in the war for
independence: “I want to say Korea.”

How long ago was this war fought? “Like 50 years.”

The governmentalization of education in this country is a total,
unequivocal failure.

It’s actually quite a recent phenomenon that governments at every level
— from towns and villages to counties and states and, increasingly,
Washington — consider schools to be a basic and fundamental concern of

Clearly, the more government involves itself in education, the less kids
learn. Government’s response to this realization has been to centralize more
authority over the schools — away from local control, to state and federal

The tragic part of this charade is that most Americans still don’t catch
on. They themselves have been so miseducated and dumbed down by a barrage of
government propaganda in the schools and corporate establishment press over
the last 30 years that they eagerly buy into the false prescriptions of the
public education quacks.

I dare say even most of those reading this column — an unusually bright
and informed group — have subjected their own kids to government schools
that are intentionally denying kids the basic education they need to govern
themselves responsibly.

  • Just one in four high school seniors could identify two ways the
    U.S. system of government prevents the exercise of “absolute arbitrary
    power,” according to the 1998 results of the National Assessment of
    Educational Progress evaluation.

  • One-third of high school seniors had no idea the Bill of Rights was
    written to limit the power of the federal government, the same survey found.

  • In a 1998 poll conducted by the National Constitution Center, not one
    in 50 American teen-agers could identify James Madison as the father of the
    U.S. Constitution.

  • The same poll found more than half could not name the three branches
    of the federal government.

The answer to is not to be found in national standards, more
government intervention and higher taxes for more public education. The only
solution to this abysmal performance is for responsible parents everywhere
to pull their kids out of government schools — now!

You may think your school is doing a pretty good job – relatively
speaking. Relatively speaking doesn’t say very much. Your kids deserve
better. They deserve real education, not the kind of socialization and
indoctrination that government offers.

The best solution seems, to most parents, to be wholly impractical.
That’s home schooling.

“Oh, I don’t have time,” parents say. “My husband and I both work.
Anyway, I don’t think I would be an effective teacher for my kids. I’ve
forgotten so much that I learned in school.”

Hey, I’ve got news for you. You’re in a much better position to give your
kids an education than the government is. You love them. You care about
them. You understand their individual needs. No matter what you think of
yourself, you’re just as smart as those public school teachers.

The next best solution is to find a good private school that teaches kids
biblical truth.

All knowledge and all truth begins with the scriptures. Oh, I know what
you’re saying out there: “Farah, get over it! Where do you get this stuff?
The Bible is just a collection of old myths.”

If that’s what you believe, if that’s what you’d like your kids to
believe, I feel sorry for you. But for those of you who understand what I’m
saying, it’s time to put your beliefs into practice.

None of us will be suitable for the task of self-governance without this
kind of guidance. George Washington, the father of our country, understood
this principle.

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity,
Religion and morality are indispensable supports,” he wrote. “In vain would
that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these
great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men
and citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to
respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections
with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked where is the
security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious
obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in
Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that
morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the
influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and
experience both forbid us to expect the National morality can prevail in
exclusion of religious principle.”

He added: “‘Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a
necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or
less force to every species of free Government. Who that is a sincere friend
to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of
the fabric?”

In other words, it’s a hopeless task to teach kids the fundamentals of
civics and history without the spiritual and moral context. Do you think the
government will ever be able to do that? Will you allow your kids to settle
for less?

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