America’s Failing Educational System

School buses drive down the road to pick up children
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America’s Failing Educational System

‘If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have considered it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen ourselves.’

The complete breakdown of our education is one of the greatest tragedies to ever befall the United States of America. Public schools are shifting their focus from excellence in mathematics, science, reading, history and other disciplines toward the implementation of critical race theory and other neo-Marxist philosophies. The result of this fundamental transformation is that biblical morality is declining even faster than basic math skills and literacy rates.

“Public records and other evidence show that state-level and some local education officials are no longer focused on maintaining high academic standards and providing the best public education possible to students,” wrote Liv Finne, the director of the Center for Education at Washington Policy Center, in a September 2021 report exposing the lowering of academic standards by radical school officials in Washington State. “Instead, a concern for learning has been replaced by an aggressive political agenda designed to instill doubt, mental pain and low expectations in students. This race-centered agenda also seeks to divide children from teachers, their own communities and from each other.”

Finne further noted that Washington English teachers will now be teaching about “white supremacy,” “white privilege,” “institutional racism” and “structural racism,” instead of sentence structure, vocabulary, self-expression and communication. Meanwhile, Washington math teachers teach how math has been used to oppress communities of color, and Washington history teachers will teach about “social construction,” “hierarchy,” “white supremacy” and “racial democracy.” Unsurprisingly, Finne’s research has found that the shift from academic excellence toward social constructs such as critical race theory has elicited an unmistakable decline in the literacy of America’s students.

“Internationally, we do pretty well at the fourth grade,” Finne told the Epoch Times, “but we decline from there.”

Data from the Nation’s Report Card finds that only 28 percent of American fourth graders are proficient in writing, 35 percent are proficient in reading, 20 percent are proficient in history, 36 percent are proficient in science, and 41 percent are proficient in math. By the 12th grade, only 27 percent of America’s students are proficient in writing, while 37 percent are proficient in reading, 12 percent are proficient in history, 22 percent are proficient in science, and 24 percent are proficient in math. All of these statistics are abysmal, but the decline in U.S. history education, science education and math education is particularly pronounced compared to other nations across the world.

Rather than develop a curriculum that allows students to graduate high school just as educated as their East Asian counterparts, American educators have decided to lower the bar of academic standards. And an increasing amount of evidence suggests that the dumbing down of American students has been done deliberately.

An analysis by McKinsey and Company finds that covid-19 lockdowns have left the average American student five months behind in math and four months behind in reading. Yet since most children who become infected with covid-19 show no symptoms, these school closures were unnecessary. They only serve to restrict people’s freedom by dumbing down American students.

Yet the damage done to American education by the covid-19 pandemic is only among the latest developments in a century-long quest to dumb down America. In the early years of the 20th century, eighth graders in Bullitt County, Kentucky, were asked to take a test many adults would likely fail today. To pass this test, graduating middle school students had to know about patent rights, mountain range geography, the relative size of the human liver, what rights are granted to Congress by the U.S. Constitution, and many other facts. Yet shortly after this test was administered, American educators began embracing the educational philosophies of the democratic socialist John Dewey.

Dewey believed children should be weaned from the tutelage of parents, religion and culture, and instead be given free rein to adapt to their environments. He was an atheist and an evolutionist whose book Schools of Tomorrow was extremely popular among Bolsheviks fighting the Russian Civil War. In 1929, the rector of the Second State University in Moscow wrote that Dewey’s ideas were close to those of “Marx and the Russian Communist.” Yet despite this fact, he was allowed to teach at Colombia University at a time when one fifth of all primary and secondary school teachers were educated at Colombia University. Dewey is now called “the father of modern public education” and the conservative publication Human Events has ranked his book Democracy and Education as the fifth most harmful book of the 19th and 20th centuries—behind The Communist Manifesto, Mein Kampf, Quotations From Chairman Mao and the Kinsey Report.

The results of following Dewey’s radical philosophies have been notable. Former U.S. Secretary of Education William J. Bennett points out in The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators that a survey of U.S. school teachers in 1940 found the top problems in America’s public school system were talking out of turn, chewing bubble gum, running in the hallways, cutting in line, and littering. By 1990, the problems included drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, suicide, rape, robbery and assault. These problems prove Dewey was wrong about giving children free rein to adapt to their environments.

When Ronald Reagan commissioned a report to analyze the problems with U.S. education, it found: “The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a nation and a people. … If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have considered it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen ourselves. … We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.”

Some of the original socialist teachers in America were agents of an “unfriendly foreign power” trying to educationally disarm the American people by dumbing them down. But more recently, the attack has come from within. Radical leftists are no longer content indoctrinating students about atheism, evolution and Communist ideology. Now they want a docile population that can no longer write, read, solve an algebra equation, or logically deduce an opinion. As the American scholar Thomas Sowell noted, “It is not merely that Johnny can’t read, or even that Johnny can’t think. Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is, because thinking is so often confused with feeling in many public schools.”

Over 2,700 years ago, the Prophet Isaiah actually foretold the dire educational crisis that has beset America: “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water. The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them” (Isaiah 3:1-4).

Because of the sins of the nation, God has taken away the honorable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. God has allowed childish leaders, as well as literal children, to become the nation’s princes, or rulers. Yet the reason these childish leaders lack honor, wisdom, cunning and eloquence is that they have not been educated by honorable, wise, cunning, eloquent people. Instead, they were weaned from the tutelage of parents, religion and culture, and given free rein to adapt to their environments. So now America must face the consequences that come when a nation is led by leaders unmoored from biblical morality and objective reality.

For more information on the danger posed by radical revolutionaries in the education system, please read “What Is Your Child Learning in Public School?”, by Trumpet managing editor Joel Hilliker.