Once upon a time a high school diploma from an American school signified genuine accomplishment – good levels of literacy and mathematical skills, with a meaningful level of knowledge regarding American history and civics. That was then – before Progressive educators’ deconstruction and lowest-common-denominator egalitarianism. Today a high school diploma is largely a joke, signifying not even what once had been 8th grade level literacy, and probably close to zero knowledge of history and civics (the Marxist-inspired “oppression” ideology currently being peddled in our K-12 system doesn’t qualify as historical knowledge). All this though taxpayers pour more money than ever into K-12; one could fairly observe that under a Progressive-dominated education system, the more money that goes in, the worse the results. As covered in Curtis Bowers’ two “Agenda” documentaries (amongst other places), this precipitous decline in outcomes is by design.
“This is my fourth visit to Venezuela, each time at the invitation of my comrade and friend Luis Bonilla, a brilliant educator and inspiring fighter for justice. Luis has taught me a great deal about the Bolivarian Revolution and about the profound educational reforms underway here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chavez. We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution …” – 1960’s revolutionary and later Professor of Education, Bill Ayers, 2006
Most of you reading this have seen the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” at some time or another. Like most comedies, it adhered close enough to reality to preserve the essential element of plausibility for its (somewhat) exaggerated characters. Thus it portrayed the post-1960’s / 1970’s state of both the student body and high school education in that harbinger of our culture, California. In other words, on the part of educational system and student alike, a notable decline in standards, motivation and achievement. One exception, the teacher “Mr. Hand,” was simultaneously shown sympathetically but also as a pathetic object of derision – he seemingly being frozen in a past era of polite and motivated students, and the “American dream” – he largely carrying on, oblivious to the changed world around him. (It is probably not accidental that he was shown teaching American history.)
“Fast Times at Ridgemont High” was released over thirty-five years ago, so it’s now nearly two generations old. As we know, over the intervening years the deterioration of our culture, educational quality and the student body has become even greater, and more entrenched.
Bill Ayers’ web site, December 22, 2017: Revolution in our Lifetime! “We recognize our old friend, our old mole, who knows so well how to work underground, suddenly to appear: the revolution.” – Karl Marx
The Gramsci-inspired Cultural Marxists and their “long march through the institutions” have continued largely unquestioned and unimpeded. Illustrative of this is the fact that 1960’s revolutionary and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, like a Marxist mole, burrowed underground, becoming a Professor of Education – one instrumental in designing the current K-12 curriculum in place around the country. A reality that should send shivers up any decent-thinking person’s spine. Ponder the results – today coming from the K-12 and college systems we have graduates largely bereft of critical thinking skills, historical knowledge, literacy or mathematical skills, but adept at regurgitating Leftist dogma concerning oppression and gender and “social justice.” These so-called “social justice warriors” functionally retarded when it comes to going on to becoming productive citizens in the real world; they will struggle in a real-world workplace, and in the real-world in general. And it is they that will be representing America in the economic competition with, e.g., Asian countries in which genuine educational achievement is prized and proportionally much more common than among our youth. In the competition between our SJW’s and their engineers, place your chips on the engineers coming out on top. The bottom line is that our country’s very economic future (and thus our ability to militarily defend ourselves) depends upon us not allowing the educational status quo to remain.
The Progressives conducted their “long march through the institutions” to engineer the decline of our educational system, and to restore it requires our own long-march back. But instead of “through” the institutions, we would be better served going “around” the institutions. There are two reasons for this. First and foremost, the current public education system (“K-12”) is a controlled by the spawn of our college-level education system, in particular the “teachers colleges.” As with the federal government in Washington, it is a swamp, in this case the swamp creatures being Collectivist ideologues running the show, and their useful idiots in the classroom (yes, there are individual exceptions, but overall …).
Any meaningful educational reform attempted within the current public institutions will be derided, co-opted, ignored or otherwise sabotaged by an “educrat resistance movement.” The people in that resistance are protected by tenure, and are so marinated in Leftist doctrine that they are irremovable and incorrigible. Thus, better to bypass them and their system, with the goal of increasingly isolating them, and over time rendering them increasingly irrelevant. (This could actually occur fairly rapidly, as parents whose children benefit from the new alternatives will be noticed by others in the existing K-12 swamp, who will themselves pull their own children out of the educrat swamp.)
So how can the alternative be initiated? It will take two main elements: curriculum, and a means of transmitting it. In Part II we’ll discuss curriculum …
Mr. Wigand is the author of Communiqués From the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, which is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions. Comments or questions for Mr. Wigand may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org — he will make every effort to personally respond to every email.