This past year, education really began to hit home as an issue for me, as my daughter started and completed her first year in public schools here in the Palmetto State. My sister-in-law is a schoolteacher, and I have always spoken with her about the challenges facing her in the classroom, but for the first time since I graduated school I was able to see firsthand what teachers and students alike are dealing with.
With a child that is just now at the beginning of her elementary school days, I find myself increasingly concerned with not just how well she is learning, but what she is learning, and what is going on behind the scenes that may affect her.
Back in late April, as I sat next to hard-working America’s Right editor John Feeny at the BlogConCLT event in Charlotte, North Carolina, it dawned on me that we have a tremendous resource for education-related perspective here on this Website. Not knowing at the time that I would slack off for the next month-and-a-half, I asked John to put together a collection of work on the state of education in America.
Boy, did he deliver. Below, find a few excerpts — click on the title to enjoy the pieces in full.
What’s even more ironic about situations such as these is that we as a society seem to expect our children to go to college. On its face, that would seem to directly contradict my previous observations. Think about it, however: what parents don’t want their children to go to college? Don’t many parents begin those “college dreams” nearly as soon as their children are born? How many parents, when looking into the bright-eyed innocence of their newborn’s face, dream of his or her being a doctor?
When one considers the larger system that the political Left has gradually set up over the past four decades or so, however, these two observations really don’t contradict each other at all. What we have now in this culture are people who want all the trappings of educational success without any of the real commitment and investment that goes along with it. In fact, if this “system” weren’t so insidious and dangerous, I’d actually be inclined to give some of its architects a well-deserved pat on the back for their ingenuity.
So, in order to fully explore what has led to the moral, academic, and physical disrepair of our public schools and the manner by which this is brought to bear on our colleges and universities, we need to start with two of the most basic contributing factors: the rise of the “New Left” in the 1960′s and its now unholy alliance with public sector unions.
While there are no doubt plenty of students who emerge from a college or university having taken their studies seriously, I think that most people around the country who pay attention to such things realize and would admit that there are probably many, many more who, as I pointed out earlier, view their four years on campus as their opportunity finally to be free of any parental restrictions, to live away from home, and to live an unabashedly party lifestyle. I would think, however, that this reality would now begin to give pause to more parents who are paying the nearly unaffordable–and exponentially rising–price tag of a four-year college education.
While there’s no question that there are probably some wealthy families who send their children off to more prestigious schools, knowing full well the types of activities in which their children will involve themselves (likely justifying the tuition cost and the risks against the university’s name on the diploma and the connections that come with it), one would think that more parents of reasonable common sense would be shocked at the knowledge of what is deemed acceptable social behavior on many campuses, to say nothing of the “soft, intellectual strong-arming” that takes place in many of these classrooms, incubators in which leftist politics are dressed up as “academia”.
As the present situation stands in America, the Left still wields a considerable amount of power, mostly in the form of organizational infrastructure and nearly limitless funding. What they do not control are ideas, which is a fight that they’ll never win, and they know it. With over a century’s worth of struggling against the Constitution in an effort to bring their agenda to fruition hanging in the balance, one of the things that they will not let go of willingly is their ideological control of the campuses, and I’ve continually pointed out the obvious concern that they have in that regard throughout this series.