“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela
Our Founders believed that education had to be encouraged because it was necessary to good government. Our colonial government also believed in individual responsibility, self-government, and self-improvement. This is what was taught.
Schools were set up as a response to consumer demand. The children learned basic academic skills to get along in society without spending any tax money, or consulting a host of bureaucrats. Home schooling and reading the Bible & Poor Richard’s Almanac were sufficient to meet the demands of the free market. There were no incompetent or inefficient teachers, since they were soon eliminated. They were not subsidized by the state nor protected by a union.
Colonial mothers, armed with love, COMMON SENSE, (and the nearby woodshed) achieved more than many of our modern day elementary schools. Education consisted of simple methods and hard work. Children were not being ruined by the on-going educational experiments being conducted today. Common Core is untested, and opposed by childhood experts, special education teachers, educators of second language learners and developmental psychologists.
The Bible was the single most important influence on the lives of the new Anglo-America. The amount of education received depended on social and family status. Since families did most of the educating, basic literacy and numerical ability were widely available. The early Americans system of education was based on the principle of volunteerism. They emphasized Reading, Writing, & Religion. Children were not only taught how to make a living, they were also taught how to live. If that were only true today.
Eventually, the law stipulated there be an elementary school for every town of 50 or more families. In the South, wealthy children had private tutors. Middle class children learned from their parents. But the poor, lower class & blacks were unschooled. Secondary schools were rare outside of the major towns. Most prepared boys to enter college, however some did teach practical skills. Only white males received a higher education at that time– usually at a college where the President was a clergyman.
Here, they focused on ancient languages, ancient history, theology and mathematics. Many students benefitted from vocational education (apprentices), as well. They were taught a trade – along with reading and religious knowledge.
For 200 years in our history, from the mid 1600’s to the mid 1800’s – our educational needs were met by a free market. There were no “Public Schools”. Yet, we produced highly skilled and literate men & women. They laid the foundation for a nation dedicated to the principles of freedom & self-government. These “Free Market” schools included home, school, church, libraries, apprenticeships and private studies.
Today, they no longer teach this country’s history. Even high school ‘graduates’ know little about our history, economics or math. Kids are taught they don’t need math, because computers will do it all! And if they don’t learn where we’ve been, they will be unable to see where we’re going.
It is time to remove the Government from Education. The Federal Government should not be permitted to bully states into complying with White House policy preferences. Its implementation of “COMMON CORE” is to education what OBAMACARE is to healthcare. Obamacare is failing – probably so they can step in and “bail it out” as they did to the auto manufacturers, banks, etc. It is a Federal takeover of our educational system. This is just one more example of the trend toward total government control. But, more important is the fact that it is failing our kids.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.