A lot of press time has been given to the issue of the High School in Texas where students, female students at least, donned Burqhas and learned about the wonders of the religion of peace that is Islam. People were quick to blame CSCOPE directly as they are one of the primary means for teachers to establish their curricula in the State of Texas. Little notice was given to the incident after it was (rightfully) pointed out that the actual lesson was created by the teacher and only based on references, ideas and suggestions from the CSCOPE website. The question then becomes, what other lesson ideas are being promoted and should the actual lessons be the responsibility solely of the teacher or should there be some shared sense of responsibility for what our children are being taught in public schools?
In my mind, it is difficult for me to imagine how any parent could allow their children to attend public schooling anywhere in these independent but United States of America. Recent movements have taken place … or not so recent as the case may be, to begin teaching children as young as five the preliminaries of sexual education. Now I do not know about you, but if somebody comes up to my five year old daughter and starts talking about “the realities of sex” I am going to come unglued and likely end up in jail … if I am caught anyhow. A five year old child has no need to know about sex and having someone teach them outside of the home and family goes far beyond morally reprehensible. But is this an act of CSCOPE or other groups like CSCOPE or is this just individual teachers and institutions?
Another disturbing trend is the cessation of physically or mentally challenging tasks assigned to students as they do not want any of the kids who do not compete so well in those particular areas to “feel bad” about themselves. Whether we are talking about debate classes or football, far too often competition has come out as the loser in order to make kids “feel better” about themselves. The fact remains that in the real world, results matter and there are always going to be some who do better than others in some areas. Get over it. Life is not fair, it is about figuring out what you are good at, figuring out how to monetize that and then putting forth the needed effort to become the best that you can be at what you decide to do. The ones who “win” are rewarded and the ones who just want to “feel better” can expect to struggle to feel better while they are flipping fries and burgers because they are not going to get very far outside of the realm of activism.
There is so much wrong with the federal “education” system that books can and have been filled time after time documenting problems and solutions. One of these solutions, especially given the decline in the global competitive advantage once enjoyed by American students since the implementation of the Department of Education has been releasing some discretion regarding curricula to the states. Is it working though?
One of the biggest issues with federal oversight in any venue is the need to limit so much to generalities. The sample numbers would be far too vast and cumbersome for even the most efficient of government agencies to deal with if they were not reduced to the most common denominators. (Yeah, I could make a thousand jokes about government efficiency here but … you get the picture I hope)
For example, when it comes to testing, the federal government looks only at the most basic aspects of scholastic aptitude. I remember way back in the old days when I was in school, some kids failing open book tests in some subjects … but if any of us needed our cars repaired … and most high school students did back in those days as we could not afford nice cars, those same kids could pull an engine apart and put it back together bigger, badder and better all over the course of a weekend … and would do it a lot cheaper than the shops. The federal government cannot afford to care about such details though and certainly does not even begin to take vocational aptitude into the equation. Thus, we end up with states that are forced to teach to the test in order to get anything at all accomplished. The results on our educational system there have been devastating as evidenced by our decreased rankings on the global educational charts.
Programs such as CSCOPE are by their very nature little more than an extension of these failed government policies. Add in the liberal bias so prevalent throughout the halls of academia and the resulting mixture is toxic and rife with abuse and distortions taught under the guise of education … even when … or more accurately, especially when teaching for the tests and being politically correct about it. We know now that the incident with the Burkhas was just one example and that ultimately it was the decision of a single teacher but is that really any consolation? What other kinds of suggestions are out there and what are they teaching our kids that we do not know about because none of the parents who will raise a fuss about it have been made aware of it yet?
If these people at CSCOPE are making suggestions regarding what should and should not be taught in school curricula, then what are they showing teachers and encouraging them to teach? How is it possible that some teacher decided to encourage the female students to wear burkhas and let them know all about the wonderful world of Islam while leaving out so much of the reality? There are certainly some things that need to be considered like the fact that females are not allowed out of the home without a male relative. Women are often forbidden from exercising any rights and are often viewed as mere chattel or property of men. Where are all of the people who would cry out for a renewed separation of church and state (“per the constitution” even though this is never mentioned in the Constitution) when some kid wears a cross to school or dares to pray before eating? Where are the lessons teaching how Islam is not merely a religion but a full-on theocratic movement? What else are the lessons in CSCOPE encouraging our teachers to teach?
Ahhhhhh; look at the wonders of communism and the evils of capitalism. We see here that communism is the idea of getting everybody to live together in the world as a community where everybody works for everybody else. There is absolutely no mention of every one of the failed efforts at communist style governments or of the more than one-hundred million citizens that communist governments have killed. Apparently insignificant little details about hundreds of millions of deaths are not relevant to get a well-rounded vision of history in today’s society for the realities of communist dictatorships are not glossed over but ignored altogether.
The CSCOPE site is rife with many such blatant attempts to create a left-leaning revisionist history that even those on the far left should rightfully be concerned … no pun intended. After all, if one side of the government can force such a personal perspective down the collective throats of our children, is it so far out to believe that the other side could do equally as well at indoctrination over education? Have I missed something here that led schools to the belief that they were created for purposes other than that of providing for a viable and useful education for our children? Apparently I have but apparently, the parents of many Texas school-children are perfectly fine with this. Fortunately, even for those that are not, there are some answers.
While it may not be possible for every parent to stay at home to teach their kids, home schooling is still a viable possibility for most. Many church groups and other communities of like-minded individuals work together to provide alternatives to public education for their children. Texas has a great many organizations that allow the home-schooled children to work together and even to participate in intramural activities. While it will still be necessary to continue paying property taxes under the guise of paying for public education, you can help to starve out some of the beast and give your child a better than average shot at actually being competitive in this increasingly global society that we live in. While only about two percent of all children are home schooled, they generally represent somewhere between ten to twelve percent of the participants in National Bees. In SAT and other standardized testing platforms, home-schooled students to tend to score in percentiles up through the high eighties and low nineties meaning they generally out-perform some eighty-five to ninety percent of the other students … on average.
Houston has one of the largest home-school “co-ops” in the nation even offering entire teams for intramural sports and opportunities to be cheerleaders, form bands or other extracurricular groups to support those teams and compete individually as well. While it may not be possible to get education completely out of the grasp of the federal system it is so deeply entrenched in these days, it is possible to provide an excellent education as well as to help your child develop some seriously needed critical thinking skills to get them through life … just maybe … a little better off than they are today and after all, isn’t that the dream of every parent?
Mark Tipton is a Libertarian Political Activist with the Extreme Attitude and a founding member of the Dr. David C. Webb Vocational Institute where he has volunteered for the last nine years. In order to survive in the world, when not repairing ancient computers, he works as a freelance writer and web designer but remains addicted to a resurrection of the Conservative, Republican form of government … not to be confused with the political party of the same name. His latest project has seen him with the privilege of working with the founders of The Conservative Fifty and Inside News, a Consortium of websites dedicated to opinion and editorials as well as news from a primarily conservative point of view. If you are interested in sharing your Conservative views and opinions, The Conservative Fifty is currently seeking writers in all fifty states of the Union. (We are still looking because according to someone much smarter than us, there should be seven or eight more states that we have never heard of) If you are interested, please let us know.
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