History of America's Education Part 1:
Johnny is in trouble
Date: March 20, 2002
Author: April Shenandoah
Johnny is in trouble - not because he is playing hooky from school, but because he is attending school. Some of the most negative influences that young people can face today are found in public schools. In the past few decades this has clearly worsened. In 1940 the top offenses in public schools were chewing gum, talking in class, unfinished homework, and running in the halls. Today the top offenses are drugs, drunkenness, assault, murder and rape.
While at school, Johnny not only is confronted with drugs immorality and violence, but he is also receiving a second rate education. From 1963, Scholastic Aptitude Test scores dropped consistently each year.
As a result of decreasing literary skills, college textbooks are being rewritten at a lower grade level so that the students can understand them. Most newspapers and magazines are written at about a sixth grade level which is now the reading level of the average American (of which I'm one). If you aren't buying this - compare the literacy level of today with early America, read the Federalist Papers, which were written for farmers and other common citizens in New York. Today's college graduates find them difficult.
You may say, "but Johnny is getting better grades than ever." This is true, which makes the problem even worse, for many young people do not know how little they are actually learning. I've just come to that conclusion in my own life. I am just now educating myself on subject matter that I should have been taught many years ago.
Take for example, the young man who graduated as valedictorian from his Washington, DC high school yet was refused admission to George Washington University because his SAT scores were so low. Due to his excellent grades, in high school, he considered himself a superior student. However, in the words of the dean of admissions of George Washington University, "He's been deluded into thinking he's gotten an education."
What is the problem?
Most educational leaders acknowledge that there are problems with our public schools, and most of their suggested solutions involve spending more money. However, in the past few decades the public education system has dramatically increased its expenditures. In 1950, $8.8 billion was spent; in 1985, $261 billion; in 1990, $353 billion; in 1992, $445 billion. Washington, DC schools spend more than $10,000 per student, but is near the bottom of all cities nationally in academics. Increased spending is on the way, yet with all this spending educational skills have decreased.
Lack of money is not the problem in our public schools. First of all, where there are no absolutes or discipline, there will be confusion and chaos. Secondly, there has been an agenda in place for many years to turn the tide of education towards a socialist creed. As early as 1932, Dr. George Counts wrote a 56-page booklet entitled, Dare the Schools Build a New Social Order? In 1948, Dwight Eisenhower appointed Dr. Manfred Kridl, a well-known Marxist, to oversee a "Chair of Polish Studies" made possible by an endowment from the Communist government of Poland.
As the years went by, and your children passed through the grades, you may have noticed that subject matter changed. Teaching methods, types of study and government programs were added, everything changed. It is a documented fact that for many years American schools have been infiltrated with a steady stream of amorality and humanism. For many years, both parents and teachers have sensed the heavily financed anti-American influences in the classrooms. How about this statement from the 1970 book "The Naked Capitalist" - if "they" have their way we will develop a prospective nightmare in our schools - schools without grades, without discipline, without prayers, without the Pledge of Allegiance, without Christmas, without Easter, without patriotism, without morals, without standards of speech or standards of dress". HELLO! Already, wherever "they" have taken over the educational system, we see the worst of their products. Surely the nation deserves something better than this for the billions it is spending.
The basic problem is with the philosophy that forms the foundation of education in America. Colossians 2:8 is very insightful in this matter: "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ." It has been said that the philosophy of education in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.