Britain to Educate Teens on Parenting
Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe. Four of every 100 British girls under age 18 become pregnant every year. An average of 22 girls under 15 become pregnant every day. The government’s solution? Require all British teens to take lessons on how to be a parent.
Under Children’s Secretary Ed Balls’s proposal, all 14-year-olds will receive parenting lessons starting in 2011. They will be taught parental responsibilities, stages of child development, and techniques for controlling unruly children. Balls hopes his strategy will discourage teens from having children—but it risks sending the message to children that teenage pregnancy is natural and normal.
The plan appears to be based less on right teaching and more on the political correctness that has contributed to Britain’s moral mess. For example, a government leaflet on how parents should teach their children about sex warns parents not to educate their children about right and wrong, as it “may discourage them from being open.”
Some educators say sex education does nothing to slow teen pregnancy rates. That is likely true of such misguided programs as this one. Educate children with the right education, however, and pregnancy rates will fall. To learn what is conspicuously absent in Britain’s education, request a free copy of a detailed book dedicated to true education on dating, marriage, pregnancy and family: The Missing Dimension in Sex.
Race Policy Dumbs Everyone Down
Americans perform poorly on science tests. America also issues thousands of science visas so foreign graduates from China, India and elsewhere can come to the United States and fill chemistry and physics positions that Americans can’t. However, the Berkeley High School Shared Governance Committee approved a proposal in December 2009 that will cut the school’s science labs and five science teachers. The reason? Not because of lack of funds or science students, but because the school lacked science students of the right race.
Authorities deemed that the science classes mostly benefited higher-achieving white and Asian students, and felt resources should instead be diverted to help black and Hispanic students that were deemed to be struggling. “Berkeley High was identified as the high school with the largest racial equity/achievement gap in the state,” an internal study reported.
There are several reasons for the difference in test scores between races, including lack of discipline, broken family life, single parenting and alcoholism. A San Francisco Examiner report on the issue also blamed the test score differential on gangster rap and the crack-cocaine epidemic.
Regardless of the causes, eliminating the achievement gap by bringing down America’s few science achievers is not the answer.
Ignorant of Basic U.S. History
A study by the Libertarian Lexington Institute shows that de-emphasizing U.S. history in American schools’ curricula has brought about “appalling results.” The report, “The Teaching of American History: Promise and Performance,” analyzes data collected from an American Revolution Center (arc) survey conducted in December.
The arc’s study shows that 83 percent of Americans failed a basic test on the American Revolution.
More than a third of the Americans surveyed believed the American Revolution occurred after either the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, or War of 1812.
Many more Americans knew that Michael Jackson wrote the song “Beat It” than knew that the Bill of Rights is part of the Constitution.
A 2006 study by the National Assessment of Educational Progress proved the knowledge gap begins early. Only a quarter of American elementary, middle and high school students surveyed were deemed “proficient” in U.S. history at their grade level.
Robert Holland, author of the Libertarian Lexington Institute’s report, said, “The success of our democratic republic depends upon citizens who believe in a common set of ideals as originally expressed in the founding documents.”
Holland identified the 1960s and 1970s as the time when the focus in American history began to shift away from traditional subject matter—such as the founders and the Revolutionary War—and toward less central subjects like “women, racial/ethnic minorities and immigrants.”
“Whatever might be said for or against a broadening of the study of history,” Holland said, “there is no doubt that the sharp switch led to declines in knowledge of the founding of the American republic, its enduring principles, and its accomplishments.”
What is the real danger in an educational system that produces students and adults ignorant of history? Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has recognized this tendency to de-emphasize history as “an extremely dangerous trend that may be too entrenched ever to correct” (January 2006; also see article, page 1).
American history will continue to fade as political correctness and apathy increase. This approach will weaken the nation and leave entire generations ignorant of and vulnerable to the dangers that history warns against.