Our “Education” President
Bush’s claim to be the education president is a smoke screen.
Public education continues to suffer from an incurable malaise. More than five decades ago Walter Lippmann diagnosed it as “the sickness of an over-governed society.” Lippmann noted the change from “the older faith…that the exercise of unlimited power by men with limited minds and self-regarding prejudices is soon oppressive, reactionary, and corrupt,…that the very condition of progress was the limitation of power to the capacity and the virtue of rulers” to the newer faith “that there are no limits to man’s capacity to govern others and that, therefore, no limitations ought to be imposed upon government” (Quoted by Wallis, An Over-Governed Society, p. viii.).
Ever since Horace Mann, politicians have argued that education is so important that government had a duty to provide it to every child and to see that it was controlled by “professional” educators. Thus education, like social welfare, is still another example of the socialist philosophy so prevalent in America. Sadly, the public school system is not viewed as socialist today, but simply as “American.”
It isn’t. The problem in schooling is not just that it isn’t constitutional. It is far from clear that federal compulsory attendance laws themselves have legal justification. Parents and local educators, not bureaucrats in Washington, ought to be in charge of our children’s educational courses. And any socialist schemes, from Goals 2000 to School to Work, ought to be stopped.
You may think, “But my child’s school is an exception.” Not likely. After 30 years of federal “aid” to education, the ugly tentacles of the federal government now reach into every school district in the nation. The reality is that biblical principles are banned in your local public school and Jesus Christ is robbed of His preeminence “in all things.”
The fact that state education is compulsory in America is no argument that it is legitimate. The entire weight of state-controlled education is molding the child to believe that the church and its message are unessential to the complete or normal life of an American citizen.
No academic skepticism, no secularist authors, no blatant materialism can so undermine the spiritual life of the country like the completely secularized training of the child under the authority of the state. Despite what Mr. Bush says, Bible-based education is mandatory for Christian parents. If we think we can keep our children in a secular school system and escape the dumbed-down, amoral, and immoral results of secular humanism in schools, we are sorely mistaken.
August 21, 2004
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. His latest book is Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon.