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COMMENTARY
Public money, public schools vs. parents: If they only knew

Thomas Sowell "Bipartisanship" is one of those lovely phrases that lulls our minds to sleep, "Political collusion" might be more accurate. Why do we prefer a democratic society over a one-party state, except that political competition keeps the powers-that-be from having us at their mercy?

Bipartisanship is very much like a one-party state, at least on those issues where there have been bipartisan deals. After the recent bipartisan budget deal, for example, you are not likely to hear as much about the ugly realities underneath the pretty words, as you would have if only one party had created the budget and the other party were free to take pot shots at it.

Bipartisan political deals turn potential critics into accomplices. Nowhere is that more true - or more disastrous - than in the budget deal that hands out more billions of tax dollars "for education."

That money is not for education. It is for extending the power of the federal government into the classroom. It is for giving the feds the financial clout to impose their agenda on state and local officials, by threatening the cut-off of big bucks if the locals don't follow the pet theories and projects of the power brokers inside the Washington Beltway. That agenda may cover everything from weakening discipline to using failed teaching methods that remain in vogue among education bureaucrats, even if they are hated by parents, rejected by local voters and shown to be complete failures by study after study.

Most Americans have no idea how much the agendas of their public schools have turned 180 degrees away from the traditional mission of teaching basic academic skills. Worse, they have no idea as to what brainwashing and social engineering agendas have already been imposed, often from Washington, using their own tax money to take away their right to self-government.

All this is spelled out very clearly and convincingly in a videotape titled "Crisis in the Classroom," produced by The Eagle Forum. This videotape gives chapter and verse on how the schools have systematically changed their mission - and how these changes have been concealed under a variety of names that get changed repeatedly, as soon as the public catches on to what the words really mean.

You may not realize that the federal government sends out packages of material on how to promote these agendas and how to manipulate local organizations, so as to make it appear that the community itself is asking for things that are in fact being imposed from the top down by Washington bureaucrats.

Any number of people who have actually done studies of American education (including yours truly) appear on this videotape, most with the recurring message: "Parents have no idea" what is being shown to and done to their children in the public schools.

House Majority Leader Dick Armey is one of the few political figures to appear on the videotape. A former educator, he clearly understands what is happening in education, underneath all the rhetoric, and says so. But where are all the other hundreds of Republicans in Congress?

We know where the Democrats are - in bed with the National Education Association that supplies them with big bucks. But why are so many Republicans silent? Because they are now part of the bipartisan deal and cannot very well rock the boat.

"Crisis in the Classroom" says in an hour-long tape what Republicans and independents ought to be shouting from the rooftops every day. If every parent in America knew what was really going on in the schools, there would be a revolution. Incidentally, you can get the videotape from the Eagle Forum at P.O. Box 618 in Alton, Ill., 62002.

Particular groups of parents in various communities around the country are banding together to fight the good fight, in order to get their children educated and in order to prevent them from being brainwashed with the vision of the anointed on everything from sex to political ideology.

It is an uphill fight, because the education establishment has full-time political pros, financed by our tax dollars, while parents have jobs and homes to take care of. As a result of the recent bipartisan budget deal, the education establishment will have even bigger bucks.

Still, the parents have won some important battles here and there - and they could win many more, if more people knew the facts.

Creators Syndicate


Thomas Sowell -- May 18, 1997

Order Crisis in the Classroom

 
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