Gerald L. Rowles, Ph.D.
from Toogood Reports, May 14, 2001
At the dawn of the 21st century, the mantra of the liberal educational establishment, as well as their conservative opposition is more money, more federal involvement, smaller class sizes, more teachers, bigger and better buildings — but they each just frame it a bit differently. The conservative lobby adds its emphasis on the need for phonics programs, teacher competency, and a return to basic mathematics. Other "education"—related themes include preschool enrollment, quality day care centers, multiculturalism, the self-esteem movement and "zero tolerance policies". Meanwhile, too many schools across the country are becoming debauched centers of sexuality and violence. Metal detectors are installed, police are the new hall monitors, and it is suggested that some "educators" should be armed. All of this is not to say that there aren't a lot of schools limping along tolerably well — for now.
Let me make this radical proposal; the Education Establishment has merely been accommodating what has been asked of it for the past 40 years. And it is succeeding blatantly if not brilliantly.
If one wants to find truly successful educational outcomes, they can be readily found in the growing home-schooling genre. Typically, mothers are the home school educators, principals, playground and hall monitors for their own children, supported by their husbands. The graduates of home schooling are moving into high schools and colleges, dramatically outperforming their peers from the government schools. They are a well educated, well socialized, and well behaved lot who do not display any of the kind of major problems rampantly associated with today's government run classrooms. I challenge you to point to one metal detector or armed monitor in any home school.
Is home schooling the answer to America's education problem? No. It is a temporary but self-limited measure that some desperate parents are heroically providing. It is often an outraged response to an out-of-control government educracy that is pursuing mandated socialization programs at the expense of education. But America is fortunate to have these home school pockets of cultural preservation.
Is home schooling the answer to America's education problem? Yes, But in an entirely different form than what it exhibits today. You see, today's home schooling represents what 40 or 50 years ago was the role of the American family — writ large. What the successes of the home schools are telling America is that the "return to basics" has little to do with the "three Rs" and everything to do with character education, including a knowledge of history, a preparedness to learn, and most importantly, a traditional family structure.
What the home school represents is the antithesis of narcissistic, "parental abandonment" that drives today's government educracy. Let's review the dominant "education" issues:
Why do parents abandon their children and infants to the care of strangers? Because for a large part they have either chosen to act irresponsibly by creating a child out of wedlock, or they have born a child with their spouse and both are selfishly pursuing "careers" other than parenting. This is the equivalent of buying a pet and then placing it in a "quality" animal shelter and paying someone to enjoy its companionship — but much worse. Children are not pets; they're just being treated as such. As a government study has recently revealed, these "parents" are exposing their children to a 1 in 5 chance of becoming a bullying sociopath — albeit an articulate one. This is the first stage of commissioning the government educracy.
Preschools, no matter what the rationalization, are merely an extension of the first stage of abandonment. They are mere shadows of yesteryear's family neighborhood where neighbor kids gathered at different parent's homes to share projects, and to learn the early rules of socialization under the watchful eye of Johnny or Susie's mother or father. Children sent to day care or preschool are most likely thrown together with a grab bag of other youngsters who have not been first evaluated as proper company by a discerning parent. In fact, most parents with children in commercial day care are strangers to one another — and to the staff.
As taught and practiced in today's schools, this is a corrupted equivalent of a stay-at-home mother's instruction to her child to play well with others and to share their toys. But in contrast to the one-on-one monitoring provided by a concerned and vigilant parent, the educrats are pursuing a curriculum that provides lessons in differentiation and victimization. This is not a curriculum based on the golden rule of empathy, but on the diminution rule of oozing, gratuitous sympathy. It is instruction that demands that the gifted or more popular child must subordinate their achievements in avoidance of hurting the feelings of another child because of an arbitrary cast system. It is instruction that skin color or sexual orientation is superior to achievement, and in some cases morality. It is the equivalent of boxing up a child's gifts and sending them home with the neighbor kid because he or she liked them. It is preparing children to tolerate the federal wealth transfer programs they will encounter as adults.
Home-schooled children are not beset with a curriculum that is focused on enhancing their self-esteem. Yet they demonstrate it. How does that happen? These children develop self-esteem just as they develop character — through the discerning eye of an involved parent who encourages achievement and requires performance. Real self-esteem is not a thin veneer; it is a core of achievement and merit rewarded by a warm smile, an approving cluck, or a parental hug. It requires value judgments, internalized demands and ideals, a smidgen of guilt, and even a measured swat on the tush — starting long before a child sets foot in a classroom. Above all, self-esteem cannot be bestowed; it must by definition, be personally earned.
What is being heralded as self-esteem by the anointed is more akin to narcissism.
In July of 1998, the APA (American Psychological Association) released this stunning finding:
Violence and Zero Tolerance
The phrase "tried as an adult" is unique to this modern era of abandoned children. I don't believe that we have a greater quantity of evil children. Rather, I believe that this evil is being exhibited earlier and more openly. Before we became such a permissive society, and decided that children should be afforded the trappings of adult license, and not spanked, the evil ones among us were prohibited by social sanction and structure from acting out their evil fantasies at such a young age. And many were saved. Forty or fifty years ago, American society was closely knit with hierarchical structures and social mores. Severing that knit has produced a virtual Pandora's Box of social calamities — such as the Columbine and related tragedies. Permissiveness in the home, and material indulgence rather than moral instructions have so rent the social fabric that evil can burst forth from virtually any quarter. Mona Charen aptly reported:
Professor David Popenoe (Life Without Father : Compelling New Evidence That Fatherhood and Marriage Are Indispensable for the Good of Children and Society) provided this:
Smaller Class Size
Government school class sizes could be reduced to one teacher per pupil and they will still fail to produce an educated and well-rounded child as America defined them in 1950. And in their headlong rush to replace the traditional family, that may yet be proposed. How is it that college classes can be taught in 500 student auditoriums? It is because, on average, these students have been prepared to learn and attend. Granted, one hopes there is a level of maturity in most college attendees that is only nascent in the elementary scholars. However, I have taught at the elementary level in schools in rich and poor neighborhoods. The disruptive or inattentive student in such locales may be characterized by either a lack of scruples, or a lack of structure, respectively.
Discipline, respect, and the ability to attend to instruction are by and large not an installation function of a public school. They are a function of what the child brings with them, from home, to the learning environment. Only a scrupulously (conscientiously) structured, loving but non-permissive, home environment can provide these qualities. Abandoned children, whose parent or parents have subcontracted these parental obligations to strangers, are highly unlikely to possess or acquire these qualities.(In fact they are likely to be medicated into submission.) It's the smaller class size at home that prepares a child to function appropriately in the larger classroom of the outside world.
Strong Medicine for Weak Parenting. Period!
A recent survey showed that the majority of parents wanted their children to continue to receive their sex education at school. What a colossal abandonment of responsibility and morality this represents!
By abandoning responsibility for the sexual education of their children, parents have exposed their kids to the most flagrant kinds of sexual debauchery including but not limited to instruction in "fisting", oral/anal sex, same-sex experimentation, and flavored sexual appliances. And this is being graphically portrayed to eight year-olds. Just recently, a teacher (in a Catholic school) removed her blouse and taught class in an athletic bra because the students complained that the class was boring. (Amazingly, she was fired — but saw nothing wrong with her actions.)
Public Service Announcements lately feature children endorsing sex-ed. In one vignette, a young boy stammers that his dad is nervous about talking about "it"; you know "sex". That is exactly what should be taking place, but not with a kid lecturing the adults. Parents should address the topic of sexuality (you know, the birds and the bees) in a way that conveys societal self-consciousness. I am pleased to be considered a prude. I regard human sexuality as the powerful and awesome experience it is intended to be — between a married man and woman who are intending to raise a family.
Recreational sex is as much an oxymoron as is recreational nuclear-fusion. The vast explosion of recreational sex has produced more human casualties than both of the nuclear devices dropped on Japan in the effort to end WWII. Abortion, fatherlessness, AIDS and single motherhood have marred or destroyed the lives of millions American babies and youths. Think about it. Rampant sexuality has become synonymous with genocide (a devaluation of life) rather than the life-affirming communion between a man and a woman. And the primary responsibility for its epidemic rise has been the abandonment by parents, to strangers, in their child's local government school.
The Failure of Home Schooling
Government schooling is no longer concerned with educating as much as it is with socializing. Why? Because it is following the lead of the politically correct, illusory culture that sees everything good emanating from federal oversight.
The preoccupation with day care and pre-school are indicative that a significant population of "parents" are choosing to abandon their children to strangers in pursuit of their own personal agendas.
Multiculturalism is largely an abandonment of pride in simply being an American who values individual achievement. And the best way to achieve that is through revisionist history. In its place, we have the veneer of self-esteemism.
Taken together — day care, preschool, multiculturalism, self-esteemism — we are finding that children's personality development is being put at risk, as are the lives of their student cohort. To compensate for the troubling behavior of abandoned children, and those forcibly separated from their fathers, government schools are compelling parents to have their offspring (boys, predominantly) medicated at dangerous levels to control their behavior.
Alternately, children are being ejected from government schools for offenses such as carrying a Bible or drawing a picture of a soldier. In place of religion and morality, we are celebrating and encouraging sexual debauchery with children at least as young as age eight. Government schools have become primarily focused on inculcating the politically correct zeitgeist rather than traditional education. In contrast to government schools, home schools are dramatically successful at educating, because they mimic the family ethic of earlier days.
The "home school" that is failing is that of so-called 'families' who take no responsibility for fundamental school preparation and social participation. The Government has been waging a fifty-year war on the traditional American family and the strong moral, patriotic and intellectual culture it once fostered.
Government schools are tailoring their curricula to the single and non-traditional "families" that are selfishly abandoning their responsibilities to their children — both before and after they are born. America's Educational System is not failing. It is doing exactly what it has been mandated to do — taking over the socializing function which was once the domain of family. And because it is a vast bureaucracy of educrats pursuing politically correct agendas, the resulting curricula can be expected to reflect the agendas of some of contemporary society's most dysfunctional members. One of the most flagrant validations of this hypothesis came from the private school sector when a New York academy recently outlawed Mother's and Father's day at the behest of a homosexual member. Is that not also a confirmation that traditional Family is the enemy?
Government schools are no less outrageous in their exclusion of anything even remotely related to G-d or traditional morality. Instead of having a few dysfunctional families dotting the cultural landscape of yesteryear, we now have an army of dysfunctional educrats gleefully repainting that landscape in the lewd colors of hypersexuality and ignorance.
The educational system cannot undo what the American culture has become. The educational system is merely reflecting the mandates of this amoral cultural era. All of the pettifoggery of peripheral issues like math, class size, phonics and teacher certification will not dislodge a rotten core of political correctness. It is futile to condemn America's educational system for not educating, without fully acknowledging that it is merely the product of a generation's narcissistic illusions.
But if America is going to survive this culture war, a majority of its members have no choice but to stridently renew a commitment to, and mandate the restoration of, traditional family and fatherhood. One cannot create a new educational system without a working model of success, and as home schooling has demonstrated, it is the traditional American family that best prepares a child for learning. Only when the educational system becomes an extension of the traditional family will it again become a positive cultural reflection, and return to educating, leaving socialization to the families.
You will know that has happened when the Federal "Ministry" of Education has been abolished, and there is a concerned parent sitting in every classroom.
|Gerald L. Rowles, Ph.D. [Clinical Psychology] is the founder and president of the DA*DI [Dads Against the Divorce Industry] an educational forum for responsible fatherhood. Since founding DA*DI in 1994, he has been devoted to researching, advising and disseminating information on the issues that he believes threaten to engulf and diminish the American culture; the same issues that are driving the divorce industry and the deconstruction of the family and fatherhood. E-Mail Gerald at firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Copyright 1999, 2000 by Toogood Reports. All rights reserved.|
15 may 2001