The Department of Mediocrity

“The education foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very   future as a nation and as a people. . .If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on Americans the mediocre education performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”          The National Commission for Excellence in Education, 1983.

During the last 40 years the federal government has spent $1.8 trillion of taxpayer money on public education and what do we have to show for it? Despite spending more on education than any other nation in the world, we rank 35th in math and literacy, which might explain why Washington insiders, including Obama, send their children to some of the finest private schools in America.    That is a luxury that most parents can’t afford.

Since 1983 educational spending per public has increased dramatically and test scores have fallen even more dramatically.  Educational Czar, Arne Duncanadmitted that “82% of public schools could be labeled as ‘failing’ under No Child Left Behind.”  We should not worry because he had an answer to improve our schools   – we’ll just stop calling it ‘failing’, extend the target date for student proficiency to 2020 and, of course, throw more moneyat the problem.

Thirty years ago the U.S. ranked first in the world in the number of kids with high school diplomas and college degrees.  Today, we rank 18th in high school graduation  and 12th in college graduation.   Among the 4 million students who enter high school, one out of three fail to graduate.    America has some of the smallest classroom numbers in the world – we spent the most money, we’re constantly building new schools – yet we continue to fall behind the rest of the world. And, of the kids who do graduate, a large percentage can’t read, spell,  or work math problems without a calculator.  They are taught nothing about America’s founding or the constitution.  America’s kids have been dumbed down.

The government has been trying to “fix” the problem with national standards, accountability through national testing and national goals.  Therein lies the problem –   the federal programs and education bureaucracy that run them.

Over the last 25 years the America’s education system has been restructured to death.   Today’s school system is driven by money from the federal government and private foundations working hand in hand with the Department of Education and the National Education Association.

It is important to note that the National Education Association (NEA) is not a professional organization for teachers – it is a labor union whose sole job is to get more money into the educational system and more pay for its members. If you will not take my word, listen to the NEA Chief Counsel as he explains it’s not about the children, it’s about power.

The Department of Education had a modest beginning in 1867, but like everything else the government has created,  it has grown into a tangled web of waste and fraud,  bloated with regulations that stifle education.

Psychologists like John Dewey, moved a tried and true educational system  to an agenda  of maneuvering students through psychological behavior modification.  Rather than instill knowledge, the new educational process became more of a method to instill specific agendas into innocent minds.   “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of  America”, written by Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, a former official at the Department of Education during the Reagan Administration, details  the process to restructure America’s education system which began at the beginning of the 20th century and slowly picked up speed using psychology based curriculum to change the attitudes, values and beliefs of the students.  The book can be downloaded as an E-book here or purchased through Every parent in America needs to read this book!

In 1947, NEA leader, William Carr, secretary of the Educational Policies Commission, laid out  NEA’s agenda  – The teaching profession prepares the leaders of the future. . .The statesmen, the industrialists, the lawyers, the newspapermen. . .all the leaders of tomorrow are in schools today.  The psychological foundations for wider loyalties must be laid. . .Teach those attitudes which will result ultimately in the creation of a world citizenship and world government. . .we can and should teach those skills and attitudes  which will help to create a society in which world citizenship is possible.”

Professor Benjamin Bloom the Father of Outcome-based Education (OBE) once said I could make a pigeon a high achiever by reinforcing it on a proper schedule” . Bloom also wrote “The purpose of education and the schools is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of  students”  by applied psychology in the class curriculum –  simply by relentlessly inputting specific programmed messages.  Whole psychological studies were done to prove that an individual could be made to believe anything, even to accept that black was white, given the proper  programming.

The programming of our children continues todayglobal warming,  it’s okay to be gay,  explicit sex education,  abortion is a form of birth control, guns are bad, Christianity is bad etc.   Instead of paying for student academic learning, taxpayer money pays for social issues, office buildings, travel, high Administrative salaries, layers of assistants, conferences, studies and “cool” technology.

I’m frustrated with the country’s overall leadership, at local, state, and federal levels.  There isn’t much respect for the people and I see a lot of arrogance and self-serving behavior.  Some taxpayers inexplicably vote for candidates who made egregious errors in judgment and behavior.  I’ve seen nothing at local, state, or federal levels that leads me to believe the federal plan will be focused on the needs of the children instead of on the wants of the well-heeled so called stakeholders who stand to gain from ‘transforming’ the system.”   Laurie H. Rogers, author of “Betrayed”

Read “Dumbing Us Down: the Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto here.

The basic effect of all federal programs is to redistribute income from taxpayers to the beneficiaries of programs. The $1.8 trillion the government has wasted on failed educational programs could have been retained by families and states to be used for the education of our children  –  a much better education – at a much lower cost.

The federal government focuses the educational policy discussion on spending levels and regulations, not on delivering quality programs.  Since 1985, inflation adjusted federal spending on K-12 has increased 138% and yet our children keep falling behind the rest of the world.

The Department of Education does not employ teachers and has never run a school – its sole purpose is to oversee educational grant programs, with the assistant of the NEA, a teacher’s union. Channeling taxpayer dollars through Washington and then back to the states is an inefficient way to fund local schools.

More spending is not the answer to increase academic achievement.   Getting government and the NEA out of the schools would be the first step to improving our children’s education.


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