Now, we’ve already seen the dangers of Democrats like Hillary Clinton refusing to do her job at the State Deparment. During her term, she focused on promoting abortion abroad and on promoting LGBT rights, and neglected religious liberty and national security, i.e. – Benghazi and her insecure e-mail server. But what happens when Democrats in the education system focus on pushing a Democrat agenda, and neglect the task of teaching children the basic skills they will need to get jobs?
For the first time in many years, national math and reading test scores have dropped for elementary-school kids. Who’s to blame? The better question is, who isn’t?
The biennial tests conducted by the National Assessment of Educational Progress measure reading and math comprehension among a sample of thousands of fourth- and eighth-graders.
Math scores dropped two points among fourth-graders and three points among those in the eighth grade. Fourth-grade reading scores were up a point, but reading scores in eighth grade dropped three.
Even the growth over the past two decades is unimpressive. The NAEP tests show that two-thirds of eighth-graders are less than proficient in math, and almost as many are below in reading. And proficiency levels in both subjects drop between fourth and eighth grades.
Educrats have offered lots of excuses for this year’s decline, but little explanation. It was the recession. It involved budget cuts. It’s a mystery.
But what the results show pretty clearly is that constant federal meddling and vast amounts of money have, if anything, impeded education progress, not spurred it on.
Per-pupil spending on elementary and secondary education has more than doubled since 1992, while math and reading scores eked out gains of less than 5%, on average.
Moreover, an endless series of Washington-based education changes have done little except cause disruption. In fact, Education Secretary Arne Duncan is now saying President Obama’s Race to the Top and Common Core measures are to blame for the sag in scores because the “improvements” are so sweeping. “Big change,” he said, “never happens overnight.”
Actually, when it comes to our centralized, bloated, bureaucratic, union-dominated public schools, big change never happens, period.
Spending on education has gone up a lot in the past decades, but test scores haven’t budged:
Although test scores are not going up, the teacher unions are donating millions of dollars to the Democrats so that there is no accountability:
But there is some hope… when politicians embrace school choice, parents get to pull their kids out of failing schools and put them into customer-focused schools. Check out Bobby Jindal’s answer to a question about rising tuition costs in last night’s first CNBC debate:
Republicans should care about the education issue… because Democrats surely do not.
This article from the Public Discourse is interesting because it shows the very different views that big government people have of marriage and family.
It starts by talking about laws in North America, especially in more liberal areas:
The view of marriage as a mere creature of the state to be redefined at will goes hand in hand with the idea that children “belong” primarily to the state, which then delegates (limited) childrearing authority to whomever the state defines as the child’s parents.
[…]We also see the state encroaching on parental authority in order to enforce the new orthodoxy regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. “Equality” requires teaching that all family forms are equally good, and public schools do this by introducing “diversity-oriented” activities and readings – including books like Mommy, Momma and Me – across the curriculum.
California, New Jersey and the District of Columbia have made it illegal to give counseling to minors who have sexual-identity issues that in any way discourages them from fostering those tendencies, regardless of whether or not the child would like to receive such counseling, and regardless of whether or not those issues seem to stem from earlier traumas such as sexual abuse. Similar bills are pending in fifteen other states. School guidance counselors are also frequently connected with Gay-Straight Alliances and similar organizations, often placing confused teenagers in contact with such organizations without the consent or even knowledge of the parents.
In a particularly sad Massachusetts case, which I learned about from the parents involved, a teenager was sent by his guidance counselor to a gay youth organization. The organization then turned him against his family and encouraged him to stop seeing the therapist he had been seeing since childhood to deal with the effects of abuse by an older bully in school. As things escalated he was effectively kidnapped by the school guidance counselor and then taken from his home by the Department of Children and Families, without the parents ever having even been accused of abuse or neglect. The boy was eventually returned home after a second social worker investigated the case and deemed the parents to be exceptionally responsible and loving.
There is reason to believe that what happened to this family was not an isolated incident. At their booth at the Massachusetts Gay Youth Pride Parade, Department of Children and Families officials boasted about how they routinely manipulate standard processes to remove children with sexual-identity issues from the homes of conservative and Christian parents.
Does that sounds OK to you? I know that in my case that would not be OK, because one of the main reasons why I am interested in marriage is so that my children will get their values from their parents, and not from, for example, the convicted child pornographer who wrote the gay-friendly curriculum in Ontario, Canada. If I have a choice between me and their mother, and this very liberal Minister of Education, then I choose us.
How far would the secular leftists go to stop me and my future wife from educating our kids? Well, it’s always useful to look at what the secular left has done in countries where there is less of a Christian influence.
For example, the Public Discourse article talks about Germany and Sweden:
The story of the Romeike family highlights the injustice of this situation. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, along with their five children, lived in a southwest German town called Bietigheim-Bissinge, where their three oldest children attended the public schools. All was well until the parents began to noticedistressing changes in their children. After further investigation, Mr. Romeike was appalled to find that their son Daniel’s health textbook used foul language to refer to sexual acts, and was concerned more generally that the values conveyed in his children’s classes and readings conflicted with the Christian moral and religious values he and his wife strove to pass on to their children at home.
In response, the Romeikes pulled their children out of the public schools and began educating them at home. A protracted battle with state authorities ensued, including police attempts to enter the Romeikes’ home and bring the children to school by force, along with onerous fines adding up to 7,000 Euros. Fearing imprisonment and loss of custody of their children, the Romeikes moved to the United States where they would be free to educate their children as they thought best. Although their request for asylum was denied—a bad sign with regard to respect for parental rights on the part of the current United States government—they were granted permission to remain indefinitely in the country shortly before their scheduled deportation in 2014.
The Johansson family in Sweden—where homeschooling has also been illegal since 2010—was not so fortunate. In 2009, when seven-year-old Domenic Johansson and his parents were on an airplane about to leave Sweden permanently for India (his mother’s home country), armed Swedish police entered the plane and took Domenic into custody on the grounds that he was homeschooled, despite the facts that school was not in session and that homeschooling was still legal at the time. Social workers also claimed that the presence of some cavities in Domenic’s baby teeth constituted evidence of physical neglect.
Since then, Domenic has lived in a foster home, with state-supervised parental visitation for a mere hour every five weeks. A Swedish court definitively terminated the Johanssons’ parental rights in 2012, primarily on the basis that their “isolation” of Domenic from other children his own age was psychologically harmful. The European Court of Human Rights upheld the decision in January 2015, but the Johanssons have not given up hope. They are bringing a new case to the Swedish courts in the hopes of finally being reunited with their now twelve-year-old son. Dozens of other Swedish families have fled the country in order to be able to homeschool their children.
The article mentions Bill 10, which was passed in Alberta, the most conservative province in Canada. That bill, “disallows parents from exempting their children from classroom discussions of homosexuality, and which requires all schools, including faith-based schools, to allow pro-homosexual student clubs like gay-straight alliances.” Does that sound OK with you? Because I can promise you that the Ontario child pornographer Minister of Education is 100% on board with it. He loves that anything that gets your kids thinking about sex at earlier and earlier ages. He’s a secular leftist. Strong families and respect for parental authority put the brakes on his agenda. But he is all for having the schools push sex on young children, and without informing parents. And this big-government education system is all taxpayer-funded. The taxes are mandatory, and there is NO opt-out.
This article from the radically leftist Washington Post unapologetically praises public school teachers for pushing their vision of sex and marriage onto children as young as four years old.
As young children develop their understanding of the world, they tend to rely heavily on binaries. If we understand the binaries a child is working within, we can encourage that child to think of counterexamples or introduce counterexamples ourselves into the conversation. These provide useful stumbling blocks that encourage them to expand their thinking.
[…]As the year unfolded, my students continued to play at themes of love and marriage. The conversations expanded and both kids and I were able to introduce new and different stumbling blocks: One can be in love and not get married, not all married people are moms or dads, and not all moms and dads are married. The conversations shifted based on what information the kids had internalized.
The author relays an example conversation about same-sex marriage and incest marriage, which she participates in, trying to undermine the traditional views expressed by the children.
As this deeply layered conversation moved on, many points of view were stated, more questions were posed, and the children were able to articulate what they thought. I made a mental note to myself about topics to revisit, including finding a way to talk about inherited traits and Jane’s ideas about the dangers of incest. There’s always a new challenge!
[…]It’s easy to feel vulnerable or overwhelmed when children ask questions about identity, but when we don’t engage the issues involved, we are sending a message that the subjects are taboo. In terms of gender and sexuality, avoidance and silence can be particularly harmful for students who are or will later identify as LGBTQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer) or who come from families with LGBTQ family members. Silence is not a neutral response.
Is this a conversation that you want a secular public school teacher having with your kids?
Regardless of what you do with your own kids, your tax dollars are going to be paying for these kinds of conversations. They are, in fact, undermining the natural desire of most parents under the parents’ noses. Although leftist educators tend to have fewer children than conservatives, or even no children, they can push their ideas into the next generation by running the public schools.
Public schools tend to do a woeful job of teaching the useful skills that parents really want, but they do a great job of pushing leftist values onto children, and the earlier the better. In fact, they are not being paid on the basis of whether your child learns math and science and engineering and is able to get a job. Public school teachers are paid regardless of student performance, because public schools are a monopoly. This is not a free market which service providers compete to give customers more quality for less money. Public schools are totally insulated from the demands of consumers, that’s why public school teachers are free to push whatever values they want on kids.
If you want to see how far the gay left intends to go with this, take a look at the province of Ontario, Canada, where the sex education curriculum was designed by an education minister who was convicted for child pornography. The Ontario premier is a lesbian, and she is a strong defender of that sex education curriculum, over and against the protests of traditional-minded parents. But somehow, she got elected, and somehow, the child-pornographer became the minister of education. Somebody decided that he was the right person for the job, and somebody decided that public school teachers have a right to push his curriculum on children. And the taxpayers are paying for this indoctrination of young, impressionable kids.
In rural, small-town Iowa, a group of parents and community leaders is seeking to prevent students from the local taxpayer-funded middle school and high school from attending future versions of an anti–bullying conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens.
The last one — in April — left many of the denizens of Humboldt, Iowa up in arms, reports Des Moines NBC affiliate WHO-TV.
Iowa Safe Schools, an activist group out of Des Moines, hosted the conference.
[…]Among the nearly two dozen speakers, “only two” addressed bullying, one attendee estimated, according to EAGnews.org.
The rest of the sessions involved issues such as “how to pleasure their gay partners.”
Middle school girls from Humboldt (pop.: 4,690) had the opportunity to learn “how to sew fake testicles into their underwear in order to pass themselves off as boys.”
One speaker wore a dress made out of condoms to which could be “used as needed.” . . .
Nate Monson, executive director of Iowa Safe Schools, said parents who worry about middle school kids hearing about anal sex with strap-ons and analingus are “disgusting.”
“It’s incredibly frustrating that adults are being the problem and being the bully,” Monson told the Des Moines NBC affiliate. “
The mission statement of “Iowa Safe Schools” makes it clear that this is about pushing early sexual activity and the broader gay agenda onto children in the public schools:
The mission of Iowa Safe Schools is to: a) improve school climate in order to increase the personal safety, mental health, and student learning of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied (LGBTA) and all other students; b) increase awareness and understanding among current and future educators, school administrators, and key community agents of inequities regarding the safety of LGBTA students and their family member(s) in schools and communities throughout Iowa. Iowa Safe Schools also seeks to empower these key actors with effective, research-based tools and strategies to combat intolerance and safety inequities.
That’s what’s happening in public schools. Should we be voting to send more money to these public schools? Will more money result in kids having better math, science and engineering skills? It seems to me that public schools have nothing to do with teaching math, science and engineering, and everything to do with normalizing the gay lifestyle, against the wishes of most traditional parents. Make sure that when you are voting, you vote for school choice, not a government-run public school monopoly. Let parents get the money, and let the parents decide where to send their kids based on what the kids need to learn valuable skills and get real jobs.
What does big government really look like? What does it mean for individuals, families, businesses and churches to give their money to the government so that the government can distribute it as they see fit?
Well, Seattle is one of the most liberal cities in America and they embody the idea of big government. Let’s see how they spend the massive amounts of money they extract from individuals, families, businesses and churches.
Earlier this month, LifeNews.com reported on a high school in Seattle, Washington that is now implanting intrauterine devices (IUD), as well as other forms of birth control and doing so without parental knowledge or permission.
The IUD is known as a long acting reversible contraception, and may even act as an abortifacient. So, a young teen in Seattle can’t get a coke at her high school, but she can have a device implanted into her uterus, which can unknowingly kill her unborn child immediately after conception. Or, if she uses another method, she can increase her chances of health risks for herself, especially if using a new method.
The high school, Chief Sealth International, a public school, began offering the devices in 2010, made possible by a Medicaid program known as Take Charge and a non-profit, Neighborcare. Students can receive the device or other method free of cost and without their parent’s insurance. And while it’s lauded that the contraception is confidential, how can it be beneficial for a parent-child relationship when the parents don’t even know the devices or medication their daughter is using?
As it turns out, Chief Sealth isn’t the only school in Seattle doing this. As CNS News reports, more schools are fitting young girls — as young as 6th grade — with the devices and doing so without their parents knowing.
Now how did this happen? Where did the public schools get the authority to have control of these children? And where did the money come from to pay for these schools?
The answer is that the money was taken from individuals, families, businesses and churches and given to the government. And how does a secular government spend this money? Do they spend it the same way that individuals, families, businesses and churches spend this money? No. They spend the money advancing their secular agenda, which, in this case, is to advance feminism and the sexual revolution. They want young girls to be available for sex, because they helps them to be less capable of life-long married love. A woman who has had a large number of break-ups, abortions, etc. at a young age is more likely to look to government, not to a husband, for support. Undermining her father’s authority in the area of sexuality is exactly what they are trying to achieve. And the father is paying to be undermined with his tax dollars.
Dina sent me this article from the UK Daily Mail, and I want to comment on it.
The number of stay-at-home mothers has hit a record low as more women choose to get a job, new figures reveal.
In the last two decades, the number of women who do not work to look after their home and raise their family has dropped by a third to just over 2million.
[…]The number of stay at home mothers and grandmothers has fallen steadily since records began in 1993.
New official figures show that there are only 2.024 million women out of work to look after a home or family, a 31 per cent fall on 2.913 million in spring 1993.
[…]The sharp turnaround comes after 20 years of social and economic change, with parents increasingly sharing the burden of raising a family and many women reluctant to give up their career once they have children.
In socialist countries like the UK, the majority of the people are so accustomed to big government and dependency that they cannot conceive of shrinking government and letting the private sector and families and churches solve any problem. Right now, the current problem is that they are spending too much on huge numbers of social welfare programs that reward selfish, destructive behavior like men not working, single motherhood by choice, unskilled immigration, welfare that is not means-tested, welfare that is not time-limited, and so on. It is a nanny state, and during election times, all the candidates do is talk about how they want to spend the people’s money to be “nice”. So, you can get breast enlargements, sex-changes and in vitro fertilization (IVF) as part of the country’s bloated “health care” system. So the question is: how will they pay for all this “generosity”? Well, all the political parties agree on the answer: it’s to put in places taxes and policies that make it impossible for women to stay home with their kids instead of working.
David Cameron has promised to double free childcare for three and four-year-olds from 15 hours per week during term time to 30 hours.
The Tories argue the measure will ‘help parents who want to work’.
But critics warn it is discriminating against people who do not want to go back to work.
Claire Paye, spokesman for Mothers At Home Matter, said: ‘The government has set arbitrary targets to get mothers into work and to make sure that they are using government funds to pay to look after those children instead of mothers doing it for free.
‘There is a real concern that the drop in stay at home others is because mothers are being priced out of the home.
‘The government’s only focus is to get mothers into work and they will not support any other family model than two parents working.
‘We are concerned that these figures represent families who are no longer able to choose to look after their own children even if they want to.’
In a House of Lords debate this week, the Bishop of Durham said stay at home parents were made to feel that they are ‘somehow not doing the best for the nation or the child’.
Rt Rev Paul Butler warned of the ‘implicit and not so implicit message that it is better to put your child in childcare and go out to work than stay at home and look after your own children’.
So, we have a couple of points in there. Stay-at-home mothers are shamed for “wasting” their education on raising children. Daycare, which is proven to affect children negatively, especially in the first two years, is set forward as praiseworthy. Tax increases force women out of the home to work, in order to maintain the same-standard of living they had before the higher taxes and big government. And those big social programs almost never go to help married couples – they are primarily there to enable a permanent lifestyle of disfunction.
I thought of a couple more problems. Easily obtainable divorce and sole custody for the mother is a major deterrent to men marrying in the UK. So, of course the marriage rate is in a free fall as men stop trying to get married and settle for stress-free jobs that allow them to scrape by as singles. Why work hard just to support a wife when the whole culture is telling her to divorce you and get alimony and child support for life? And you’ll never see your kids again, either. Easy divorce and easy premarital sex sounded like such a good idea to feminist ears, but they never thought about how men would respond to it. Most men just take the free sex that the feminist Sexual Revolution provides, and decline the responsibility of marriage and fatherhood.
Another problem is that Christian parents these days have a different view of the Christian life than I have. If you look at the shema in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, it’s very clear that parents have a responsibility to teach their kids about God. And that requires a plan to marry well so that the parents have time to teach their kids about God themselves (homeschooling), and put them into schools that will not push secularism on them.
9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
As a man, I would of course be delegating a lot of this responsibility to my trusted chief of staff (i.e. – future wife), whose skill in parenting, especially apologetics, would be phenomenal. I would certainly not trust strangers to implement the specification in these Bible verses. If we had to bring in expert Christians – either through Sunday school, lectures, debates and conferences, or through books, DVDs, etc. then we would. But parenting the kids is our responsibility. Secular daycare and secular public schools will not be the main influence on my kids. And I oppose all policies and laws that make the state more influential than us in raising our kids.
Parents have a responsibility to make sure their kids will be Christians into adulthood, and will make a difference for Christ and his Kingdom. But what has happened is that Christianity has become all about me and my feelings. Parents themselves that they don’t have to know whether it’s true, in order to teach it to the children as truth. We think that it just has to make us feel comfortable and peaceful. But that is not the way to raise kids who will make a difference, much less remain Christian in a world like this.