Abraham Lincoln once warned us that “The philosophy of the classroom in this generation will be the philosophy of politics, government and life in the next.” It is no secret that the founding fathers had grave concerns about the new emerging federal government becoming too large and intrusive in the lives of our nation’s citizens. In fact, over-reach by those serving and administering in the central government almost seemed to be a predictable outcome. As a result, the founding fathers took very specific steps to limit the powers of the new federal government. The Supremacy Clause of our Constitution is found in Article VI, Section 2, specifying which powers the federal government has and which powers are retained by the state and local governments.
President Andrew Johnson signed legislation creating the first Department of Education in 1867. Its main purpose was to collect information and statistics about the nation’s schools. However, due to concern that the Department would exercise too much control over local schools, the new Department was demoted to an Office of Education in 1868. Until 1979, the organization and administration of education in America was solely in the hands of each state government and its local communities. With this model, America’s public education system became the envy of the world…until October 1979, under the Jimmy Carter Presidency, when Congress passed the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88), amalgamating offices of several federal agencies, and creating our present serpent in the cradle—the DOE in May 1980. This has become the mindless federal bureaucracy beholden to national teacher unions.
A true political democracy in America requires an educational system and processes that are free from overt political pressures and prejudices. As Thomas Sowell recently pointed out, the social and political institutions and traditions need to be objectively taught, along with science, mathematics and the language arts. Screed like Marxism and CRT have no place in state-sponsored schools. An example of the teacher union mindset comes from New York School Talk that pushes the educational union point of view. They say, ”Every adult in a school building gets a union. Most are members of the United Federation of Teachers, and together they are incredibly powerful and effective. They negotiate all the rules. They can influence hiring and firing procedures, and everything about teaching.” Absent in their “objective” talk line is anything about students’ and parents’ educational interests.
The nation’s history and corresponding patriotism are all subjects to be thoroughly and expertly taught. The essential element at the core and heart of all educational efforts in the United States as Sowell said. is objectivity. In true educational processes the focus is on truth, facts, critical thinking and thoughtful analysis. It is commonly accepted, even desirable, that multiple solutions to problems and issues be explored. In contrast, when true education gives way to political indoctrination, data, and processes are skewed to focus on only one desired point of view. When education morphs into indoctrination, students become targets, not learners. The sole purpose of that unconscionable process is to have students believe only what they are taught in state-sponsored schools which is founded upon Karl Marx’s “The Myth of Meritocracy.”
Parents across the country are currently experiencing a radical federal government over-reach that threatens their parental rights to democracy, liberty, and the very quality and type of education their children need to receive. On the one side stand the states, parents and students. On the other side stands the liberal Mainstream Media (MSM), the progressives of the left, teacher unions, and idealogues who favor a full overthrow of the government of United States. The goal here is to turn America, first into a socialist nation and eventually into a communist nation.
Vladimir Lenin immediately recognized that infusing indoctrination into an established system of education was a powerful tool and weapon to bring about government and social upheaval. Lenin proudly clamored, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” He added, “Give us the child for 8 years and he will be a Bolshevik forever.” And to what ultimate end? Lenin was very clear in his expectation–“the goal of socialism is communism”. Additionally, Lenin declared, “the way to crush the bourgeoise is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”
The Biden administration and its U.S. Department of Education–filled with progressives, liberals and socialists–believe the CRT curriculum offers a perfect vehicle for giving the federal government a dominant presence in the public school system and for indoctrinating our nation’s children in both socialist principles and a sense of racist guilt. The CRT curriculum has been fully supported by the American Federation of Teacher and the National Education Association. All parents and citizens should be absolutely clear on the fact that these two organizations are unions, not professional organizations, and that they see their fortunes lying with Biden and the progressives.
The fool’s bargain we are getting from teacher unions, DoE and progressive politicians at all levels about traditional curricula’s’ racist and exploitative values, taught in the past in our school system, is that American public school students are doing worse overall in standard core subjects (reading, writing, math and science) according to recent high school proficiency scores. Our children remain ignorant concerning our history, are far less literate as readers, and are becoming more math deficient with every passing year.
Randi Weingarten, President of the AFT, heartily endorsed the CRT curriculum over the objections of parents. A review of the AFT website gives the reader insight into these values, supported and promoted by the AFT: “WHEREAS, burgeoning social movements like #BlackLivesMatter, #RedforEd, #DefendDACA, #55Strong, #MeToo, #MarchforOurLives and #NODapl have shown us all a path to transforming our society to benefit the vast majority instead of the wealthy few…” And at the NEA’s July 3, 2021 meeting, adopted a resolution that favors CRT curricular indoctrination across America.
As David Byrne of the Talking Heads once sang in “Life During Wartime”: “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling around.” We can’t trust our public school teachers, their teacher unions, school administrators, the DoE or Biden and Company to protect traditional American values for our children and grandchildren.
This is our life during wartime!
Jim McCoy is an Associate Professor Emeritus of Education at Southern Utah University. He has written articles for The Federalist, FrontPage and Townhall.
Loyd Pettegrew is a Professor Emeritus in Organizational Communication at the University off South Florida. He received an interdisciplinary doctorate in Communication and Psychology from the University of Michigan.