Geography was once taught in the fourth grade. Mrs. Howard, a sweet little lady with blue-gray hair, started each year by teaching her students how to spell: “George Eats Old Gray Rats And Paints Houses Yellow.” She would announce the phrase and then make the entire class repeat the phrase aloud. Yes, she also subtracted one point for every misspelled word on every paper – even in her geography class.
She taught about the great explorers and the lands they discovered. She brought to life Marco Polo, Lief Ericsson and Sir Francis Drake. She made the pyramids real and told of the mysteries of the Incas to her wide-eyed students.
My, how things have changed. I’ve just reviewed a portion of a middle-school text entitled, “Geography: The World and its People,” published by McGraw Hill. Here we find lessons about:
Eye on the Environment: Danger – Ozone Loss
United States and Canada: Trash
South America: The Disappearing Rain Forest
Russia: Chernobyl – Nuclear Disaster
Southwest Asia: Water – A Precious Resource
Asia: Habitat Loss
Great Barrier Reef: Trouble Down Under
This is geography?
Each lesson comes with a statement of the problem, solutions and a list of “what you can do.” The “solution” to the trash problem in the U.S. and Canada says:
“Environmentalists want paper manufacturers to pay a tax on each ton of new paper produced, which should encourage the use of recycled paper.”
The “what you can do” tip says: “Boycott fast-food restaurants that do not use recycled materials for packaging.”
Each lesson follows a similar pattern. One lesson says: “Support International Green Cross – an environmental protection group organized at the recent Earth Summit.” This, of course, is Mikhail Gorbachev’s outfit that seeks to put his stamp of approval on “sustainable” products. There is a big circle on the same page that says: “Equal Rights for all species.”
This is the clap-trap being taught in geography classes in public schools.
The text was reviewed and approved by the National Geographic Society and a dozen “Multicultural Consultants.” One of the three authors, Richard G. Boehm, was one of seven authors of the “national standards in geography,” prepared for Goals 2000.
It’s the same in math classes, in history classes and in all classes. Our kids are being brainwashed instead of being taught the fundamentals that will prepare them to compete in a free society.
Robert Hillmann’s book, “Reinventing Government,” details how and why our public-education system has been transformed. The process has been under way for decades and is so deeply entrenched that an education revolution may be required to stop it.
Parents protest to their local school boards, who say they have nothing to do with what’s in the textbooks. Textbook publishers publish what school districts purchase. Teachers teach what the state requires. The state requires whatever produces federal funds. The teachers’ unions determine what the federal government requires.
Home schooling – and private schools – may be the revolution that collapses this public brainwashing system.
The objective of public education today appears to be the preparation of society to accept the notion that the “public good” – as defined by government – is more important than individual achievement, and that whatever government does, advances the public good.
Individuals who are forced to suffer the pains of public policy should do so willingly, in order to advance the public good. The people in South Florida, for example, who are being forced off their land, should be happy to receive whatever the government decides to give them. After all, restoring the Everglades is a “public good” far more important than the dreams and hopes of any individuals.
What’s frightening is the number of people who have already been brainwashed into believing that individual rights, and individual achievement, do not matter – what matters is whatever government decides is the public good.
Organizations such as the Maple River Education Coalition, and others, are fighting an uphill battle trying to inform parents about what their children are learning. The hill is even steeper at the state and federal levels. Those who control the curriculum also control the funding. They now have firm control over what children are taught, and they are not about to relinquish that control.
Today, we need teachers like Mrs. Howard, who was more concerned about her students’ education than their beliefs and their “politically-correct” activities. These teachers are an endangered species in the public-education system. They are, however, finding refuge in the nation’s private schools. On with the revolution!