America’s Greatest Enemy: Public Education

MINOT, ND — The public education system in the United States, by any measure, is a colossal failure. It has been successful, however, in one respect: it has masterfully indoctrinated two generations of Americans and fundamentally changed the traditions and values that made America great, safe, productive, and the envy of the world.

It has intentionally corrupted the minds of our children, and it has done so with our money and compliance. If the system were simply a waste of taxpayers’ money, we could consider ourselves fortunate. But this is not the case. Public education has replaced our traditional moral system of right and wrong with a system of relativism. It has replaced an ethos of self-reliance with one of dependence.

Our once-vaulted public education system has been hijacked. The hijackers know what they are doing and take pride in the harm they are inflicting on our children, our communities, and our nation. Public education is used to impose secular doctrinal political thinking and to form our children’s minds in the image of those controlling public education. 

No longer does public education teach critical thinking, philosophy, logic, problem solving, values, or morals. Instead, it teaches our children that the only rules they need to follow are those that the education system teaches and government institutions promote. Parent can do no greater harm than to allow their children’s minds to be corrupted by the destructive curricula of today’s public education disaster.

As long as public education is the “law of the land” and those controlling it have virtually unlimited access to our pocketbooks, we cannot fix this failed system.

The past 60 years, beginning with the advent of the Great Society and escalating relentlessly with subsequent administrations, have seen a continual dumbing down of the curricula.

Our children have little to no knowledge of history, geography, or classical literature. They are not challenged to expand the potential of their minds. Fundamental skills, such as reading, writing, mathematics, and basic science are so diluted that the only thing they accomplish is to waste our children’s time. It is little wonder that students find school boring and unchallenging — it is.

Education professionals see public schools from pre-K through higher education as a paycheck rather than a calling. Students are little more than necessary irritants. Schools are focused on hiring as large a staff as possible and lobbying for ever-increasing budgets.   

Parents are persona non grata at the schoolhouse doors. School administrators, counselors, aides, specialists, and facilitators (aka teachers) aggressively seek to identify the highest percentage of students possible as needing special services.

School boards, which should select curricula and hire and fire all school employees from aids to superintendents, have become window dressing for professional school administrators to do as they please. 

The school system has relentlessly inserted itself into family life. In many schools, children’s home lunches are examined to determine if what mom sends from home meets the education bureaucracy’s latest “what’s best for your child” criteria. School lunches are dictated from Washington, D.C., by a woman whose only credential is being a presidential spouse.

America’s teaching colleges produce teachers who have spent two-thirds of their college time learning methods, including how to handle parents, rather than subject area content. Few have actual degrees in mathematics, science, geography, history, English, literature, philosophy, critical thinking, computer science, art, or music. These are the individuals to whom we entrust our children. It is a wonder the children learn anything. What is even more a wonder is that parents tolerate this travesty.  

Public education does not enlighten; it darkens. The system cannot be fixed; it must be replaced.

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Robert L. Hale is founder and director of a
nonprofit public interest law firm.
Robert Hale’s biographical sketch and photo
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