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It was a remark meant for no other purpose than to be divisive.
When President Obama stood in front of a crowd in Northern Ireland and said, “If towns remain divided – if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can’t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to harden – that, too, encourages division and discourages cooperation.”
In other words, the president was suggesting that private and/or religious schools encourage division and discourage cooperation. Was this remark meant to be unifying? What other purpose could such a hostile suggestion have except to be divisive?
If there’s one thing totalitarian governments detest, it’s citizens who can think for themselves and who question the ever-expanding role of government. The easiest way to prevent such seditious thoughts is to seize children at a young age and force them into central indoctrination centers, where they are taught that any questioning of government mandates is subversive and wrong. Hitler demonstrated the effectiveness of these techniques.
When our president suggests that private schools – noted for their academic excellence and high moral standards, as well as their willingness to accept students of all races – discourage cooperation, it sounds eerily like he’s referring to cooperation with government authority.
A few days prior to Obama’s Northern Ireland speech, a Brietbart article reported that homeschooling is growing seven times faster than public school enrollment. “As dissatisfaction with the U.S. public school system grows,” reports Dr. Susan Berry, “apparently so has the appeal of homeschooling. Education researchers, in fact, are expecting a surge in the number of students educated at home by their parents over the next 10 years, as more parents reject public schools.”
What isn’t mentioned is why there is an increasing “dissatisfaction” with the U.S. public school system. Homeschooling was virtually unheard of prior to the mid-1970s. Why the growth in this movement over the last couple of decades? And why is it gaining explosive momentum?
As a homeschooling parent, I think I can offer a few insights into these questions, as well as explain President Obama’s divisive remark about private religious schools.
The education standards of America’s public schools have become an international joke, and the reason is because academics have been shoved aside in favor of endless politically correct feel-good topics that are deemed more necessary for children to learn. These topics (insane hatred of guns, slavish devotion to climate change, trashing of biblical values, etc.) indoctrinate children into government-approved opinions but do very little to improve impartial test scores, particularly when measured against international standards.
And parents are tired of it. Parents want their children to learn sound academic subjects, not feel-good nonsense.
Public schools are no longer launching capable young adults into society. Instead they’re launching semi-literate children well-steeped in perpetual victimhood, progressive ideals and with a solid entitlement mentality – but with no moral foundation to offer guidance and direction.
Private schools and homeschools produce the opposite.
In the case of private schools, parents can choose which institutes reflect their academic and moral values. This could include Catholic schools, Jewish schools, language immersion schools, environmental schools, or other types of learning institutions. And if the school begins to teach moral or ethical subjects to which the parents object, they are free to withdraw their children and enroll them elsewhere.
In the case of homeschools, parents are free to raise and teach their children according to the high moral and academic standards they expect, without those standards being diluted by the questionable beliefs of teachers, administrators, peers, the NEA and federal mandates.
Many parents – finally – are reaching a tipping point about having government “experts” in charge of education. They’re realizing that maybe, just maybe, doing things for themselves can produce better, cheaper and more literate results than turning their children over to government “experts” for 12 years.
Additionally, parents and employers are realizing that a young person’s moral character, work ethic, attitude and principles are just as important – or perhaps more important – as academic achievement.
From an employer’s perspective, what good is an employee who shows up late, takes long lunch hours, makes irrational demands for benefits and refuses to tackle any hard projects? These are all attributes that are reinforced in today’s government schools, but not generally tolerated in private or home schools.
Finally, from a parent’s perspective, it’s becoming clear that there is too much pressure in public schools to divide children from their parents by mocking parental values and challenging respect for parental authority.
And this, my friends, is why private schooling and homeschooling have exploded in recent years.
If we find the government has objections to private religious schools for “encouraging division and discouraging cooperation,” then I must also conclude that the high moral standards and sound academics these schools teach are also somehow divisive, because they conflict with government standards.
Recently, we’ve seen the brutal hostility with which some European nations are treating homeschooling families, presumably because their governments are attempting to keep their citizens forcibly unified in thought and deed. But forcible unification will stifle creativity and entrepreneurship, competition and in worse-case scenarios, fuel atrocious wars (Soviet Russia, Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany).
Is this what we want in America? Do we want the forcible unification in thought and deed, accomplished by universal government schooling for children?
What makes America great are the individual liberties and freedoms guaranteed its citizens, including private education. Historically, when Americans were left alone to educate their own, people rose to the occasion and produced a nation of literate and independent thinkers. Our country blossomed with creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
But when that kind of rich, diverse, creative spirit is taken away through increased government mandates, surveillance, regulations and criminalization, then we are reduced to nothing more than Borg-like drones who parrot government-approved propaganda and unthinkingly turn over our children to be similarly programmed.
No, thank you.
We must vigilant about governmental interference into the private sector’s educational options. Despite the hostile remarks of our leader, private education doesn’t “encourage division and discourage cooperation.” On the contrary, it may well be the saving grace for this nation, teaching children their constitutional heritage and why our current government is hell-bent on destroying it.