Education, The Pillar of Society

The Premise

It is with purposeful intent that we say Education is THE Pillar of Society. With that established, we will also say that the way in which the Public Education System has been co-opted and used in the last 50+ years, has made it the most destructive force in the United States of America. Pillars are supports for structures built on top of them. If they are strong, straight, and true, they can be a firm foundation for what they support. But if they are flawed, the structures that rest atop them will ultimately fail. This is presently happening in American society. The Educational Pillar has been co-opted by the radical left and is being used for indoctrination in such a way as to undermine the core principles upon which our Country was founded. The American society, which has historically espoused individual freedom, coupled with self-reliance, and which has been able to create the greatest good for the world, is failing.

Does our Country have great sins in its history? Without equivocation, it does. But we must not throw out the proverbial baby with the bath water. We can think of it in this manner. Jesus’ principles of salvation and the principles for the treatment of our fellow human beings are perfect. But the people, for whose benefit they are meant, are not. You do not discount the teachings of Christ simply because the people, who are the representatives of those teachings, mess them up and appear to be hypocrites. The Radical Left, much like Satan, would like to use the failures of the practitioners to attack the principles themselves. The claim is that the principles are failing. That sentiment is tantamount to claiming that because people steal, it is the principle of not stealing that is actually wrong and needs to be changed. Do not give in to people who would say that such a simple rendering of this argument is naïve and that the issue is much more complex and, therefore, can’t be explained in such simple terms. It can, and it is that simple.

As education – beginning in large part with the now-infamous 1925 Scopes Trial in Tennessee – has been used to great effect to tear down America’s religious heritage, so also education is now being used to attack the principle of Individual Freedom and Liberty, in all its other forms. Individual Freedoms and Liberties are being attacked in the areas of the Free Market, Free Speech, Freedom of Assembly (especially on college campuses), etc.

Through our present education system, our children are being indoctrinated into becoming an army for the destruction of the very system which created the greatest amount of freedom and which has also been the greatest agent for good in the world, only exceeded by Christ himself.

So, we may look at what is presently happening in education and believe it to be horrific but this is just the culmination of an agenda. An agenda whose primary purpose is, in fact, to break down American Society. For many center-right Republicans, this may very well be the time that they are waking up. Waking up and realizing that those who cried out and railed against the small, seemingly-insignificant actions taken by the left in Education were not just making much ado about nothing. They were not just overreacting. They are not just far-right radicals, as the media has painted them and they are not Domestic Terrorists, as the FBI has called them. They are, in fact, prophets, warning of a disease, for which education has been used, to inject into the veins of the United States of America. For those who say this is hyperbole: Ladies and gentlemen, your track record so far leaves little reason for anyone to listen to you any longer. Education IS in crisis in America. We are far past the idea that “if we don’t change some things, we could start seeing some real problems”. Education has been taken over by the radical far left and is being used to indoctrinate your children and grandchildren. The very real problems of which we were warned are here!

Although our state- and every other state – was intended to independently control its own educational structure, the Federal Department of Education exerts enormous influence over all decisions made by the states’ Departments of Education. It does this by leveraging the money it allocates to the states. By making rules for how the states can obtain the money – or threatening to withhold monies if their guidelines are not adhered to – the Federal Department of Education has become the de facto ruler over education.

In the state of Kentucky, they have done this while only inputting approximately 11.5% of Kentucky’s total budget per student. According to the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy, $15,324 was spent per student in the 2018-2019 school year. This would mean that $1,762 came from Federal subsidy, leaving a balance of $13,562. Yet, the Federal Department of Education is the driver of educational policy? Really? Why?

Not only do they dictate educational policy but they are also now coupled with the powerful teacher unions across the country and are taking their cues from far-left organizations like the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.

In many instances, it is the unions themselves who write the legislation, which is then proposed and passed by our legislatures. Reporter Lance Izumi wrote in the Washington Times that the AFT leader Randi Weingarten openly advocated for building up political power in order to enact a liberal agenda, which included promoting universal healthcare among other socialist ideas. What does that have to do with educating our children? Absolutely nothing. But Education is the conduit for a larger agenda within our country. America is being manipulated by the “It’s for the Children” mantra.

We now also see the educational system actively working toward eliminating the traditional role of the parent in their children’s education. The Washington Post’s Yaron Steinbuch reported that in Damariscotta, Maine, a town of approximately 2,300 people, a school social worker began assisting a 13-year-old girl in her gender transition and told her not to talk to her family about it. We use this example to drive home a point. This is not just happening in California or other large expansive school districts. This is not an isolated instance. This is happening at an ever-increasing rate, in small town USA. The modern education system has been co-opted and put into service as the delivery mechanism for the radical progressive Liberal disease. Using social activism in areas such as gender identity, they are creating a purposeful divide between the student and parent by not only keeping information from the parents themselves, but by actively encouraging the students to do the same. But it is not only social activism.

Under the guise of “science”, science itself is being destroyed. Science, whose very foundational premise is to question, is now being used to establish a new worldwide pseudoscience heterodoxy that quelches intellectual dissent or opposing opinion. This is not coming to a school near you; it is well-established in every school system across our nation.

We have taken a little more time to set up this particular Policy Pillar for ”Who’s That Candidate?” because we feel that parents, grandparents, and anyone who has a vested interest in the education and future of Kentucky’s children, need to understand the critical condition into which our state’s educational system has devolved. And make no mistake, Kentucky’s educational system is in this condition. The bureaucracy of our state’s educational system has been taken over by radical socialist ideology. Once a bureaucracy is under the control of this ideology, it is only a matter of time before its poison trickles down into the complete body. And to the people and politicians who still think we are radical conspiracy theorists… IT IS YOU WHO ARE A DANGER TO AMERICA AND OUR CHILDREN! And with the help of God, we will beat you at the ballot box and turn this state around to be a leading beacon of change in our country.

It is from this understanding we will make those proposals that we believe will restructure our system to facilitate the true acquisition of knowledge, teach the abilities necessary for independent critical thought and the principles of self-reliance and governance.

Further, it is our intention to return educational leadership and oversight to the local parental level and empower parents to have greater control over the curriculum and the administrative processes in their children’s schools. Please take special note that we said control. We did not say input.

We believe in a bottom-up, and not in a top-down power structure. Government of the people, by the people, and for the people does not stop at the doors of our children’s schools. It should and will begin there. The radical left has long understood the value of capturing and controlling our educational system because they understand the battle for the future is won or lost through the education of our children. We had better quickly come to this truth. We had better come to the realization that it is also through our children that individual freedom and true Liberty will be carried forward. So, with these thoughts as the underlying foundation, we will give a basic overview of the educational proposals, which we believe will give us the foundation to recapture the hearts and minds of our future generations and will reinvigorate the cause of Individual Freedom and Liberty.

Our Proposal

Per what seems to have become our standard mode of operation here at “Who’s That Candidate?” our Educational Proposal starts with a fundamental departure from the present system in use in our state. At the present time, our educational system is based on the collective developmental progress of the average student, and it is rote in nature. We know, through a wide range of studies, that the maturation rate for each individual child can be very different. Yet, our present system in Kentucky only marginally addresses this issue and then only with the easily- identifiable, developmentally challenged, or at the other end of the spectrum, the developmentally gifted. But the extremely-wide “normal” maturation range of the middle causes many students to flounder and struggle. To then consider the variability between individual children and the individual subject matter that each may excel at or have a slower maturation pace in, leaves us with the easily-derived conclusion, that our system is wholly inadequate, at best. That is unless your goal is not to truly maximize the potential of each individual child. If your goal is to make our educational system nothing more than a means of indoctrination, then there is no better model to be found.

In many real-world tests of educational systems that best promote the individual child’s best educational results, they all seem to revolve around a form of self-paced, student-led learning models. These systems allow for identifying those areas that students naturally enjoy and excel. This system

ensures there are no generalized knowledge gaps, due to slower maturation rates in a particular subject, such as mathematics or reading comprehension. Montessori and Homeschool curricula are some examples of these systems. Many STEM programs also have components of the self-paced learning system. What they all have in common is a very high rate of success, when monitored properly. Students that come out of these types of systems are becoming preferred candidates in both university and work settings. These systems are demonstrably producing candidates who are more psycho-social stable, who are better able to independently problem solve, who work without a high degree of oversight and are creative in nature.

In self-paced models, the individual talents and interests of students are more easily identified and fostered. Students work independently and are in general control over when and how long they work on a particular subject. Because of the nature in which the curriculum is written, they are in large part self-taught. The curriculum is structured in a building block model. Each block is small, easily understood, progressive, and manageable. When a student is lagging in a subject, teachers are more easily able to identify if a student is truly struggling or as a lot of us were prone to in school, we just didn’t like the subject. In either of these cases, because the rest of the students are working independently, the teacher is more freely able to work one on one, to help the struggling student. In the case of subject dislike, encourage them to not only work on the subjects they gravitate toward but each of the others as well.

This system is not only greatly beneficial to the student but also a preferred system by almost all teachers who have worked with both systems. Unlike the present model, it creates a system that more closely mimics a one-to-one ratio of teacher-to-student environment. Teachers can actually teach where it is needed most. One of the most frequent complaints that teachers have is that they must manage too many students, resulting in not having the time to devote to students who desperately need their individual attention. Unfortunately, the self-paced system is almost exclusively offered only in a private school setting.

We mentioned above that this educational system causes the students to basically teach themselves. Because this is a self-paced and in large part a self-taught model, critical thinking is a skill that is naturally fostered.

Psychologically, being able to think critically positively reinforces self-reliance and self-confidence. Correspondingly, with a self-paced educational environment, studies suggest there may be long-term benefits, such as much lower rates of psycho-social behavioral problems, drug use, and a higher rate of post-secondary education and career success.

Self-Paced Systems

We would like to return to the discussion of the individual maturation of children. The glaring elephant in the room – which our present educational model cannot address – is the difference that nine months can make in the mental and physical maturation rate of a child. Depending on a child’s birth date, they can literally be nine months behind in their developmental progress, as compared to the oldest child in the class. Even children born with close proximity in birth dates can be very different in maturation. Without exception, every medical guide on the development of children presents normal maturation as a range and not as an absolute.

With this knowledge in hand, we would like to point out a story released by NPR in August of 2017 which reported on a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. According to this study, children who start school at an older age do better than their younger classmates and have better odds of attending college and graduating from an elite institution. The study also finds that this gap occurs not only at all socioeconomic levels, but even in families. It shows an achievement gap exists between siblings who start school at a young age and their siblings who start school when they are older. David Filigo, an Economist at Northwestern University and a co-author of this study, says he was surprised because he thought high-income families would have the resources to close the gap between siblings.

With the self-paced system, a simple assessment test can show whether a child is ready to begin at the most basic level or not. In this way, the child can start when they are ready, and not at some arbitrary time, defined by a nine-month time span, which can place them at a distinct cognitive and social disadvantage.

Mr. Filigo also pointed out that parents are becoming more aware of this cognitive gap- or what they view as the individual maturation rate of their child – and are holding them back before they start their academic careers, in essence, “red shirting” their children. (Red-shirting is something normally done in college athletics. It is used to give the athlete an extra developmental year before they begin playing.)

As we end this portion of our comments on this age gap problem, we would like to point out that it was also shown in the study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, that children who were the youngest in their class were more likely to be involved in juvenile crime than their older classmates. Mr. Filigo states, they are not “massive differences,” but they are “meaningful.”

We will now list a few other advantages of the model we propose.

  • In the self-paced system, a child is never left behind because they are not put into an arbitrary class grade system. Yet at the same time, there is accountability to ensure effort and advancement toward a child’s maximum individual potential.
  • All work is done in the class, eliminating the need for homework. This is a great benefit for those children who do not get encouragement and/or the fundamental educational support of their families.
  • The self-paced education model takes the financial load of school supplies away from parents and the many teachers who buy class supplies out of their own pockets. The Curriculum workbooks and other necessary supplies are provided. Normal school supplies are not needed (notebooks, binders, etc.).
  • Classroom setup for self-paced learning is also different than a traditional classroom. Because there is no longer a lecture style, the setup places the teachers in the middle of the room and the students around the teacher, with dividers between each student. This has been shown to greatly assist the teacher in their ability to manage the class and diminish behavioral problems.
  • Because students are in their own pod workspace – without the higher outside stimuli normally associated with a traditional classroom environment – self-paced students have been shown, on average, to work faster, achieve greater academic mastery, and have a higher subject knowledge retention rate, than their contemporaries in the traditional school model.

While we have addressed the fundamental educational model – which will put the student first and ensure that a student maximizes their individual potential – it does not address the administrative bureaucracy. It is the administrative bureaucracy that is the greatest danger to our children. As with all institutions, it is the administrative bureaucracy that provides leadership and, more importantly, the direction/vision for the institution. As the saying goes, “He who has the gold, makes the rules.” In this case, it is “He who controls the gold makes the rules.” This creates a dynamic where the Kentucky Department of Education and the local administrations are not subject to oversight by the parents of the children who attend public school. School Boards are becoming increasingly antagonistic toward parental input. In a private school setting, the parent has much greater influence and power over the education of their children. They can vote with their wallets against the direction a school’s administration is taking. This should also be true of parental power in our Kentucky Public School System. While public school parents do not have the ability to vote with their wallets in the same manner as private school parents, we can change how monies are controlled, and, more importantly, how the curriculum is chosen.

Maximize Individual Potential

As we stated previously a bottom-up approach is preferable to the present top-down model. And once again, “Who’s That Candidate?” advocates for a structural change that returns power to the most fundamental level, which is self-government. In this case, that is the parents.

At this time, parents are able to join parent-teacher associations or other such organizations, but the influence of these organizations has slowly diminished and has very little to no influence over curriculum or budgets. The general thinking is that those who are considered professionals can best make the decisions concerning the education of your children. This ideology has become so pervasive that many school district administrators and school boards have been emboldened to openly state that parents

have no real place in the education of their children and educators should be in the purview of the administrative state alone.

We stand against this ideology. It is our strongly-held belief that the very opposite is where the mechanism for decision making should be held, namely in the hands of the parents within any given school district. We propose that the Parent Teacher Association become the decision-making apparatus and that the administrations and school boards should be subject to the PTA. Policies concerning the education and welfare of the children should and must be made by the parents of those children, in concert with those teachers themselves who are involved with the children every day. The administrative apparatus of every district should in fact be only administrative in nature, and tasked with carrying out those policies which have been enacted by the PTA. The administrative apparatus, in their professional capacity, can and should be in an advisory role to the PTA.

We would like to emphasize that what we are about to put forward is an extremely broad picture of our proposals for the make up of the PTA as a governing body. The details are many and cannot be put forth in this short overview. With that caveat, we envision a PTA which is made up of parents who actively have at least one child in the local district and the child has at least three years left before graduation. At least one of the child’s parents must have five years’ personal/historical attachment to the State of KY. The parents who sit on this board would be picked by random-generation lottery every year and the term will be for 13 months. An overlap period of one month would be implemented for the purpose of the transition. The new parents will be able to observe and learn their new roles, elect chairs, etc., before beginning to act in an official capacity. Administrative staff will be created as a permanent, continuous entity in order to ensure the continuity of yearly transitions as new parents are seated, maintain official documentation, establish parent eligibility, and so forth.

The PTA and The School Board

This leaves us to discuss school boards. They are extremely political in nature and all too often are a position sought for this very reason. A school board is very powerful in its ability to affect generations of kids and their future thought processes and belief systems. This power comes from its ability to choose curriculum, implement policy, and mandate rules and restrictions. As previously discussed, the relationship between school boards and parents is deteriorating to such a degree that it can now be deemed an antagonistic relationship. This is especially true in areas of values and belief systems that parents possess, as well as what parents believe state-sponsored education’s role concerning these issues should be. For us, we believe the left-liberal ideologues have actively targeted this political position for acquisition specifically because of the power and impact it can have. But it does have a role in our proposal.

We propose that school boards basically function in the same manner as they do presently, with one notable exception. Everything they do now is subjected to the PTA for ratification. This would include budgets, curriculum choices, all policies, school paint colors, and everything. In our way, the power structure within the school district emanates from those that have the greatest investment in the school system, their children. By making the parents the source of power, they are no longer required to beg and plead with administrations and school boards to hear them; they must be heard.

Obviously, this is a simple outline of our proposal and in no way addresses the many details that are needed to create a new reality. It will require much work and time and cannot be approached lightly. We fully believe that we cannot continue with the present model for two major reasons. First, it has been proven over time to be extremely inefficient and does not maximize the student’s individual potential. Second, it denies that power reside where it rightfully should, in the hands of the parents. No governmental agency should in any way supersede the parent in the decision-making processes surrounding their children.

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