Creating a Non-Socialist America Through Education
Even though the Soviet Union is technically defunct, the cultural Marxism purveyed by the Left between the 1950s and1980s did damage far beyond the dumbing-down of curriculum and Woodstock-style shenanigans. Increasingly, cultural Marxism — and even Marx’s economic theories of dialectical materialism — increasingly define America in 2011 and will be made complete by 2012 unless we move to dramatically reverse course toward the Founders’ vision.
But so much has gone wrong. We face both an intransigent political correctness reminiscent of KGB-style “political reliability,” and a governing elite determined to run roughshod over American voters. It is difficult to know where to start “turning things around,” as it were. But with the new crop of adults, age 35-and-under addicted to the tenets and strategies of the Left, usually without even realizing it, education has to be the first priority of those old enough to remember what schooling used to be in our Republic: a substantive, rigorous learning experience.
As this columnist has stated and written repeatedly, education in America should be uniquely American. To that end, we have to re-think the goals of “school” as a uniquely American institution. We should be building our education priorities around just four things:
- Creating a literate citizenry, capable of self-government;
- Ensuring financial independence for that free citizenry (because doing so helps ensure political stability);
- Enhancing the level of the general culture and reversing its present decline (via mandatory inclusion of art, music, sculpture and philosophy, as doing so creates a natural and non-destructive outlet for creativity and helps youngsters to navigate today’s “emotional overload” by focusing the complex interplay of their five senses);
- Bolstering moral standards consistent with the Founders’ unique — and Judeo-Christian-based — concepts about democracy (life, pursuit of happiness [not to be confused with the United Nations’ concept of guaranteed happiness], national sovereignty, property rights, and freedom of speech and conscience).
Bolstering moral standards that dovetail with the Founders’ unique foundational understanding about how democracy should work essentially gave this Republic its leg up on Europe’s, Asia’s and the Middle East’s ideas about quality-of-life. It is the real reason people through the 1940s flocked to our shores. Once we did away with these standards of assimilation, people started coming (usually illegally) for a much different reason, often to get “free” benefits that actually were conceived as a safety net for American citizens.
This means all educational testing should be reworked to focus not on just subject areas per se, but on nine make-or-break elements: spatial and abstract reasoning, visual identification, visual and auditory memory, perceptual speed, mental stamina, hand-eye coordination and thought-expression synchronization. These are learning elements, building blocks that determine how one learns, not what one learns. Some identify a few of these nine elements as mere “learning styles” — especially behaviorist educators — i.e., psychologists. This view is incorrect.
If government is going to provide funding for education, it needs to be directed toward the university departments of teacher education, not at local schools themselves. The current United Nations-inspired view includes none of the items on the above list. It is geared toward instilling attitudes and worldviews, a socialist worldview with what it hopes might play out in every country of the world as nations dominated by benevolent ruling elites. Given that this has been the thrust of their effort here in America via UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) for some 45 years, it now dominates American campuses, K through college.
Youngsters graduate from both high school and the university having internalized a totally different set of ethics from their grandparents’ generation — about work, family, principles to live by, entertainment, and even the definition of responsibility itself. A large part of this turn of events can be laid at the feet of the large teacher union, the National Education Association and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, both of which created UNESCO with equal funding in 1947. Today, the NEA and CFAT are by no means alone in pushing first an anarchist, then a socialist, worldview on teachers and students until, today, the first has necessarily produced the second, along with increasing doses of regimentation and regulation exemplified by the overbearing apparatchiks of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The young have less quarrel with TSA tactics than older Americans for one good reason: they have been brought up with a version of them since the first zero-tolerance polices and pat-downs were normalized in their schools. These measures, of course, did little to stem violence, curtail illicit drug use, or create environments of learning. But children learned that window-dressing trumped results every time. Schools today are essentially warehouses, babysitting facilities and environments of primping — with heavy doses of propaganda masquerading as subject matter.
Sex education is a case in point. It has had a huge impact upon the sea-change in American values. Sex education is ironically regressive — as it incorporates Old World thinking in an era of birth control and other medical advancements that make surrogate motherhood, gene therapy and abortion technically feasible. Sex education has never been about educating students on clinical aspects of the reproductive system. That would have been appropriate, beginning in middle school. Schools once had a unit on the digestive system and respiratory system, for example, and it was folded into a discipline called physiology. But this is not what children are getting in the realm of sex.
Sex “education” is, perhaps, the most notorious example of dishonest intellectualism in American government schools today, right up there with substance-abuse education and social studies. Typically, sex-ed is incorporated under an umbrella course, health, but there is very actual health presented. Barely a word is uttered, for example, about the link between gingivitis and periodontal disease — a serious malady that results in the early loss of gums, underlying bone, and teeth.
Today’s sex education is biased toward indiscriminate sexual behavior with multiple partners. It falls into the category of advocacy, not instruction. It is also grossly age-inappropriate, and helps sexualize pre-teenagers as young as 9. Schools justify these offerings by pointing out that sex-soaked fare is ubiquitous, and that, therefore, it is in the interests of students for schools to provide “accurate” information.
But government schools do not present accurate information. If educators actually disclosed the particulars, for example, of health risks associated with homosexual activity — i.e., internal bleeding, permanent incontinence, chronic diarrhea, and incurable gum diseases — most youngsters, no doubt, would be “turned off.” So, schools gloss over the gross parts and incite youngsters to experiment.
“Mainstream” folks like Montgomery County, Maryland’s school board president, Sharon W. Cox, once claimed that exposing eighth-graders to topics like flavored condoms and sexual orientation were necessary because it represented “reality.” The “reality” is that sex educators are contributing to the delinquency of minors and child sex-abuse. Society is paying dearly for this. Some 58,200 children under age 18 were kidnapped in 1999, not by family members, but from the streets. Those that returned home were usually sexually abused. Add to that a 418 percent increase in forcible rape, and 523 percent increase in unmarried births from 1960 to 1999. This coincides with the introduction of graphic, age-inappropriate sex education.
More recently, health departments nationwide reported in 2010 yet another upsurge in sexually transmitted diseases, with health departments reported one in four teenage girls having an STD.[see note] And the CDC recently released a report showing a precipitous rise in new cases of AIDS and HIV infection among gay and bisexual men.
Well, duh....What did we expect? Once children have seen something shocking and titillating, they can’t simply “un-see” it. The school is not only helping children to “see” it, but it is legitimizing prurient interests. Where once the human body was an object of beauty, as portrayed in the paintings of Renoir, it is now depicted almost exclusively as a sexual plaything, and not one that is necessarily attractive, either. The characters are exaggerated and ugly.
Schools have become, in effect, mini-societies that substitute the authority of peers for the guidance and leadership of adults, especially parents; thus, good families find it hard to pass along their values and principles.
Finally, the rush to eradicate all allusions to Christianity in the schools, in a presumptive effort to be inclusive of other religions, has had the same harmful effect here as it did in Russia, as it has sent a message to students that the values and ideals associated with the Bible, many of which are articulated in the U.S. Constitution, are silly and backward. Virtual banishment of Christianity has been stepped up primarily because it condemns homosexuality, even though many of the world’s other religions do so as well. Consequently, psychology and environmentalism are serving as the new “state religion” under a save-the-planet mantra, compliments again of the United Nations.
Teaching the tenets of various religions as an academic exercise in the upper grade levels has validity, especially considering violent extremism in the name of religion, which too often passes for “faith” throughout so much of today’s world. One cannot debate ethics in a vacuum, after all. Students need a context of the world's greatest thinkers, modern and ancient, religious and secular. This used to be known as “philosophy,” but that, too, has been removed from school curricula.
Even so, such study is no substitute for school rules, policies and principles that are firmly rooted in Christianity, as character and manners are (or should be) an integral part of the educational experience. All the recent brouhaha over bullying and disrespect really boils down to a regressive worldview in which good manners, including tact, are either unknown or not valued.
Children should learn how the Founders’ ideas of limited government and personal responsibility improve a nation by rewarding hard work, diligence and competence — all Judeo-Christian ideals with a further emphasis from Christianity on the inherent brotherhood of mankind, the importance of patience, and adherence to the intent and purpose of God’s laws, as opposed to following an endless set of (increasingly meaningless) rules.
The general level of culture and entertainment, a fundamental dedication to reason over rabid emotionalism, a desire for individual responsibility and self-determination over “being taken care of” — all these have historically served as hallmarks of American citizenship. But they will soon pass from our national consciousness unless our education system is either privatized so that independent organizations can fulfill this task unfettered by government diktats, or if national in scope, rethought from the ground up. Neither the “best-and-brightest,” nor new immigrants, nor children from impoverished families will develop a common purpose as “Americans,” qualify for good jobs or even flourish personally unless we do so — and quickly.
About the Author
Beverly K. Eakman began her career as a teacher in 1968. She left to become a scientific writer for a NASA contractor. She went on to serve as a former speechwriter for the Voice of America and for the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger when he chaired the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. She was an editor and writer for the U.S. Dept. of Justice before retiring from federal government. Her first book in 1991 blew the whistle on misrepresented standardized testing of schoolchildren. She is now author of seven books covering education policy, mental-health fraud, data-trafficking, privacy and political strategy, with dozens of keynote speeches, feature articles and op-eds to her credit. Her most recent work is Agenda Games: How Today’s High-Stakes Political Combat Works (Midnight Whistler Publishers, 2012). Mrs. Eakman can be reached through her website: BeverlyE.com.
Copyright © Beverly K. Eakman. Used with permission.