Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Education Run Awry

The following is written by Wanda Ulrey, a Texas Apostolic Prayer Network regional coordinator from Victoria, as a part of her class assignment for the Center for Self Governance (www.tncsg.org).

Education Run Awry
Wanda Ulrey
            There has always been a major emphasis on quality education in the United States of America.  Even before the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were written, education of children was of vital importance to most parents.  The educational system had standards to measure the content of student learning and how students were taught to think and process.  

            The founding fathers attended schools like Harvard and Yale.  These schools were initially set up to train ministers.  The Bible was the standard book of training.   In the homes of younger students, the Bible was used to teach reading. 

            The first settlers knew the importance of citizens being able to read and think in order to keep government from atrocities that had occurred in Great Britain.  Early education was remarkable using Biblical standards to educate citizens.

 In our nation today, mental exercises have deteriorated.  Questions on the constitution no longer apply in elementary education.  Self-governance has all but been eliminated in our high schools. 

            Abraham Lincoln stated, “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.”

            America has the most successful government in the world, but we are losing the republic because of the current school system of today.  Many of the early founders were educated at Harvard which had two mottoes:  “for Christ and the Church” and “for the glory of Christ”.   Christ was the foundation of learning.   Yale was another educational institution of that era and admonished, “Above all, have an eye to the great end of all your studies which is to obtain the clearest conceptions of Divine things and to lead you to a saving knowledge of God in His Son, Jesus Christ.”

The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."   Since education is not mentioned in the Constitution, it is one of those powers reserved to the states. Of course, the United States Supreme Court can declare that something not mentioned in the Constitution is so closely related to something that is mentioned in the Constitution that the unmentioned power is a fundamental interest, which rises to constitutional protection.  

Even though each State had the constitutional right to education students in that State, because of biblical standards being removed by the court system, the push began toward a more socialistic educational system.

Thus there is currently a push toward a curriculum called “The Common Core State Standards Initiative” (the Common Core), which is a state-led effort (highly supported by the Federal Government) that establishes a single set of educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics. 

Common Core is intended to cover fewer topics in greater depth at each grade level.  The standards require certain content for all students.   There is a system to track information on all students involved, including personal data.   The federal government has had great influence over the program even though it was initiated by state governors and education commissioners. 

Not all states have adopted the Common Core standards.  Texas has chosen not to adopt the standards.   Many states adopted the program because it was not necessary to get direct approval from legislators and the process was not made public.  Many parents and teachers are only learning that it has been adopted in their states.

Based on the standards of the Constitution and the founding fathers of this nation, public education should be a promoter of America’s original culture and Christian values while respecting other cultures.  Education is the right and responsibility of the parents, the taxpayers and the educators who work in our schools.  Big government is a major impediment to quality education based on Christian values for our young people.

Going back to the United States Constitution, since education is not mentioned in the Constitution, it is one of those powers reserved to the states.  The education of our youth should stay with the States and local school boards. 

            Rather than a common standard curriculum, a public awareness program can educate parents on how students succeed.  Among these are student success happens when parents are aware and involved in their children’s education.   Parents should be educated and encouraged to establish a schedule and routine for their children.   They should regularly communicate with their children’s teachers throughout the year.   

As stated before, Texas has rejected Common Core.  I stand by this decision and hope our legislators will continue to do the same.   We have an opportunity to set a standard for the rest of the States.  Standards of education should stay locally, even to one day, returning to biblical standards. 

Citizens need to be educated in accountability for all.   It is not just our children who need education; it is a citizenry who have handed over their Constitutional rights to someone else and believed a lie.   This nation is a republic, if we can keep it.

Information on the educational standards from founding fathers was taken from “Four Centuries of American Education” by David Barton.
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