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Friday, 23 March, 2018

The National Education Atrocity or NEA for Short

Date: 23 March, 2000

By: Chief

Imagever the past few years, a lot has been spoken, written or legislated pertaining to 'public' education. Grandiloquent ideas, to be sure. Equally so is the unequivocal failure of public education. A prime example of this failure is there are high school graduates — who can't read this article. It is this same group of just — turned adults, who are, for better or for worse, our future. If this failing track record is not changed, and soon, it will be a bleak future indeed for our posterity.

There are, I believe, five miscreants who are directly responsible for the failure of public education. They are, in no particular order:

Each and all have significantly contributed toward the downfall of educating our children, our future, our posterity. For it can be said that without an educated people, there can be no liberty. There can be no prosperity. Indeed, there can be no future. That said, let us proceed to see how each of the foregoing groups has rendered its contribution of shame.

Looking at the federal government and the Constitution, I can find no specific enumerated power which constitutionally authorizes the federal government to establish a department of education, fund said department, issue grants and/or scholarships, or attempt to set education 'standards', truly an oxymoron unto itself. Neither are they granted the power to withhold tax money earmarked for education purposes should a state or political subdivision become ... unruly. Finally, I can find no constitutional provision authorizing the federal government to instruct states on what subjects to teach and how those subjects shall be taught.

I can, on the other hand, find where the Constitution proscribes the conduct which the federal government, since the Carter administration, has been usurping. It's called the 'enumerated powers clause', the 'necessary and proper clause', the 'supremacy clause' and, last but certainly not least, the 'Tenth Amendment'. Each and everyone of those clauses proscribe, as in you shall not do this — exactly what the federal government — continues to do!

Now what have the parents of school children done about our federal government setting a national policy on a truly local, yet utmost important issue? Nothing. Well, I suppose bowing down before the national treasury and throwing more money into it should count for something. Rather like throwing money down a dry well, don't you think? Hence it counts for ... nothing.

But, what have We the People done about our federal government running a local public school? In one word — nothing. Same as the parents. Indeed the majority, I dare say, of We the People are also parents. A shame on both our houses.

What of the governments of the several states? This sordid situation affects each of the states in a much more direct light than the federal government. However, the state governments would rather tie themselves to the coattails of the federal government, thus begging for handouts — scraps offered to them for kneeling before the federal government. Crumbs are thrown to the state governments in exchange for the states handing over the rights of parents. The rights of We the People.

Additionally, what business is it of the state governments' anyway? Yes, they have a jurisdiction over state run colleges and universities. But do they have jurisdiction over local schools? I say no. No they do not have the jurisdiction over what is taught to my children and how it is taught. Consider for a moment your states' education code or education statute. They are huge. Written entirely in legal speak, thus keeping lawyers busy for many, many years. Unwieldy and has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual education of children. To be sure, it has a lot to do with teachers, administrators, school boards, pay, retirements and benefits. It contains a host of 'criminal' acts. Acts which by definition, can only be committed by children. It is certainly a boon to the teachers unions and teachers trade associations. It keeps them paid quite handsomely indeed. It further makes it quite difficult to have a teacher or principal fired, though most of them should be.

This code speaks of rights and responsibilities, yet parents are left out completely. Parents, for whom teachers and their associated baggage, also known as bureaucrats, should be entirely grateful, for as we all know — no parents — no kids — no jobs for teachers and assorted baggage. Yet it is the parents who are not listed as a participant in the education of their children.

In all fairness to the several states, it appears to be the a classic case of the golden rule — 'whoever has the gold ... makes the rules'. Teachers unions and associations have rather large political action committees. They have even larger checkbooks. Reelection campaigns cost money. As such, said PACs now have even more influence than ever. The power of the checkbook. A hideous but real fact.

And again, what have the parents done to get rid of this unwanted, unneeded and utterly worthless state education system? Does the word nothing come to mind? It should, for that is exactly what parents have accomplished. Oh do not worry, for We the People have, as the parents did, stood idly by and watch our much touted education system — sink — with it, our children's future. Much like the RMS Titanic. The ship which couldn't be sunk. Sunk by a chunk of ice on its maiden voyage no less.

As for the teachers' unions and trade associations, they have but a one fold mission — protect their members. Whether the majority of the membership is incompetent or not, is moot. Educating children is irrelevant. It is not the mission of the union or association. Keeping incompetents on the local and state payroll — is. They are, as most will attest, quite successful at that. Which doesn't say much about local or state legislators. Though, on the other hand, what it does say is not at all complementary.

The lesson here is a rather obvious one. Parents and We the People have allowed our governments and trade unions to (1) take control over our children's education (2) dictate what are children are being taught, (3) dictate how our children are being taught and (4) dictate who is teaching our children. By allowing this to continue, courtesy of apathy, parents and We the People are letting our future, our posterity to be led much like pigs to slaughter. It is not a pretty sight.

Though it is a harsh analogy, it is nonetheless true. Just recently I witnessed the slaughter of two pigs. After the first pig walked into the killing pen and had its throat slit, the second plump porker, which could see and smell what had just transpired, voluntarily walked right into the same killing pen and met the same fate as the first.

I ask you, are we going to cease allowing government to dictate the educational needs of our children, of our future? Or are we willing to witness our children having their throats slit?

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