Public schools are the most powerful influence in directing our culture even more influential than the media is the arm of government known as the public schools. The public schools are guiding the morals, attitudes, knowledge and decision-making of 89% of American children. The public schools are financed by $500 billion a year of our money, forcibly taken from us in federal, state and local taxes, which the public school establishment spends under a thin veneer of accountability to school board members elected in government-run elections.
Quo vadis? Whither are the public schools taking the next generation?
Prior to the 1960s, public schools and teachers clearly accepted their role in defining the culture of the youngsters under their supervision. The public schools, using a McGuffey-Reader-style curriculum, were the mechanism through which American kids learned not only the basics, but also values such as honesty and patriotism, and immigrant kids assimilated by learning our language, laws and customs.
For example, The American Citizens Handbook, published for teachers by the National Education Association in 1951, proclaimed: "It is important that people who are to live and work together shall have a common mind a like heritage of purpose, religious ideals, love of country, beauty, and wisdom to guide and inspire them." This message was fortified in this Handbook by selections suitable for memorization, such as Old and New Testament passages, the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the Golden Rule, the Boy Scout oath, and patriotic songs.