• Deceitful Cry of Public Education: Money, Send More Money!

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    Surge Summary: The history of America, and current testing results, indicate that more and more money thrown at the public education system is not the answer to recapturing national greatness. Parents ought to resume the position of primary educators of their children.

    by Karen Testerman

    How did we get here? is the too often posed question today.  Today the common person looks to education as the cause of the failure of current society.  So how do we fair academically?  According the most recent US Program for International Student Assessment, 15-year-old students rank 24th in the world in reading and science, 38th in mathematics, out of 71 countries not including Chinese provinces.

    As an educator, the current results for reading, mathematics and science reported by the different school districts to the NH Department of Education are troubling.  When compared to national results we score well, but is an average of 56% in reading, 48% in mathematics and 39% in science proficiency really acceptable?  In reality we as a nation are failing in literacy.  Where did it all go awry?

    Going back to the early periods of the settling of the colonies.  We find a high priority was placed on the ability to read and write.  Parents were responsible for teaching reading, writing and arithmetic, virtue and Christian citizenship.  The Bible was the primer.  Literacy in America prior to compulsory education was in the high 90%.

    A literacy test was a requirement to qualify to vote.  Your signature set you apart from the 10% less educated.  The ability to read and freedom of the press was considered a prime safe guard against tyranny.  For a population of 12,000,000 there were 600 newspapers according to Sheldon Richman in the Journal of Education 1828

    During the first 150 years of the colonial New World children were home educated.  None of the documents, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution for These United States were penned by home educated writers.

    Noah Webster, the Father of American Education required mastery of 26 languages to write his Dictionary of 1828, including Greek and Hebrew.  He considered words to be the building blocks of ideas; even the smallest of words have meaning.  According to his 1828 Dictionary, he defines education as:

    “The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.”

    Early education also relayed the worldview of the US Constitution and foundational Christian principals of the Founders.

    Samuel Adams viewed education as the instruction in the art of self-government

    Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by … educating their little boys and girls … and instructing them in the art of self-government, without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.

    More money, more money, more money is the continual mantra we taxpayers hear during budget season.  Schools need more money.  But is that premise really true?  Is education really underfunded?  As we reflect back to the beginning of this great country, we find that none of the Colonials schooled in England helped draft the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. These great documents of liberty were the harvest of colonial education.  Thus demonstrating that money was not the source of a solid education.

    Interestingly, early Colonial American education was about the virtues of family, religion and community, not academics.  Boys and girls were taught to read so that they could read the Bible, the source of virtue and morality.  As the populations began to grow, the wealthier families established schools to teach academics.  Boston Latin School was the first public established in 1635.  The first academy for girls began in 1787.  It wasn’t until the 19th century, well after the successful establishment of this country, that the emphasis shifted away from religious based education to public sponsored schooling influenced by John Dewey in 1821.  And the government became involved with the opening of the first Office of Education in 1869.

    Despite all the public funds allocated to improving education, one can conclude through a trip through history that government does not create an educated populous.  In reality one must face the fact the public money goes to salaries and benefits, buildings and transportation. Yes, I do not deny there is a fair amount that is spent on special education; however, it is clear that money is not the answer.  It’s time to restore real education.  It’s time to encourage those who are closest to the child and who are the first teachers and from all indications in history, the best teachers, the parents.  It’s time to put parents back in charge of their responsibility.  It’s time to let the parents teach reading, writing, arithmetic AND virtue BEFORE their children enter government education (if they do).

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge

    Image: Image of 3D Animation Production Company on Pixabay . 

    Karen Testerman is the host of the Karen Testerman Show on radio and co-host of the Chic Chattin Hour television show.  She is the founder of Cornerstone Policy Research, a former candidate for public office including Governor and a staunch constitutional, liberty loving American.  She lives with her husband, Dave, and Bouvier, Dutch in NH.

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