WAITING FOR SUPERMAN
By Dr. Patrick Jonston
November 9, 2010
I recently watched a Meet the Press segment where the Secretary of Education, the Chancellor of the D.C. and Detroit Public Schools, and the head of the teachers’ unions discussed how to fix America’s dismal school systems. It was like listening to demolition experts discuss how to build a better building out of cardboard.
The quislings are getting braver. They are now beginning to admit what they have denied for decades and what the free educators, the Christian schoolers, the charter schoolers, and the homeschoolers have known for decades: “Public education is in bad shape.” And by golly, they mean to fix it!
The Johns Hopkins physician and the snake oil salesman both agree that the patient has a disease; it’s their prescription that distinguishes them. These three educrats talked a lot of talk about accountability to taxpayers, transparency to parents, getting bad teachers out of the classroom, and how the status quo was failing children. But what not addressed was how the educational policies of our country caused the problems and how their remedies simply prescribe more of the problem. The government is the problem! Yet they want to fix the problem with more governmental control and, of course, more of the taxpayers’ money.
The buzz on public education has erupted as a result of a documentary that has hit the silver screen called Waiting for Superman. (It has been playing at the Easton theater in Columbus, Ohio.) The movie follows the families of children who are stuck in a public school district where over half of the children drop out. Over half! It is a poor district with all of the negative social conditions that destroys people’s lives: the prevalence of drugs, crime, promiscuity, children born out of wedlock, easy abortions, welfare and Medicaid, and the bloated government bureaucracies that perpetuate it. This school district has a “lottery” where the lucky children get a chance to leave the failing public school system and get educated in a private school. To many parents, it is a lottery whose winners succeed in life and whose losers fail. To see these parents and their children cry when they lose the “lottery” is heart-breaking, especially when you consider that the cost per child to go to the private school is about half of the cost per child to go to the public school!
I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it too when I first heard these numbers. The failing schools where people clamor for lotteries to get out of them and go to private schools are twice the cost of those private schools. How can this be? There’s one thing you must face about government-controlled education. It’s not about education – it’s about government control.
The American founders tried to prevent the government from being involved in things like education, healthcare, and welfare, by way of the 10th amendment to the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. In it they declared that whatever right or duty is not explicitly granted to the federal government in the Constitution is forbidden to the federal government. I’m talking about the same Constitution to which our federal leaders take an oath with their hand on the Bible when they enter office. They are forbidden to be involved in education by the Constitution. Some things should be done in society, but it is not the duty of the federal government to do it.
God’s Word, which is our standard for all of life, puts the duty to educate kids square into the lap of the parents. Short of punishing the parents for a crime, the state has no authority to interfere with the education of children. None.
God’s Word also forbids theft; what you personally have no right to do on your own, you and 51% of the population also have no right to do. The majority does not define morality – God defines morality. When the people are taxed for public education, they are in essence sentenced to fines, prison, and/or property confiscation if they do not cough up their money for a cause to which they would not give willingly if they have the free choice. If you, my friend, want to spend $10,000 per child per year to send your kid to Zanesville’s public education system, rather than half that much for a private school with superior results, you should be free to do so. But you have no right to force others to do so upon pain of fine, prison, and/or property confiscation. What is being done to the taxpayers is scandalous. It is legal plunder. It violates the law of God.
So how does all this plundered wealth fare “for the children”? We spend more money per child per year on public education than every other industrialized nation, yet we rank at the bottom of the list of industrialized nations in math and science. The education of the average high school student is pathetic. The problem is not how much money is being spent to educate kids. The problem is who is spending it.
What is being taught to American children today is downright wicked. Public educators teach children that fornication with a condom is “safe,” they teach them how to put it on, they teach them that homosexuality is natural and healthy, they can give them oral contraceptives without parental consent, and they can and have taken them to get an abortion without parental consent. And just in case any vestige of conscience remains, they teach them that they evolved over millions of years from one-celled organisms.
Thomas Jefferson said, “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” Public education forces those who disagree with condom distribution to minors, the lies of the gay agenda, and the algae-to-man theory of origins, to pay for the propagation of those opinions. Thus, public education is sinful and tyrannical.
What do you replace public education with? Well, what do you replace cancer with?! Anything is better than public education. You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to dunk my child in a sewer five days a week nine months annually for thirteen years of his life, and neither could you pay me a million dollars to dunk my children in the moral and intellectual sewer of public education. I will stand before God and give an account for the stewardship of my children’s souls.
How do we fix public education? First, fathers must turn their hearts to the children, lest God smite us with a curse. Fathers must lovingly direct their education and delegate wisely. We must keep them from whatever poison the enemy of their souls tries to shove into their ears and in front of their eyes. We cannot send our children to the School of the Canaanites and expect to conquer our Promised Land. Second, we must bind down the federal government with the chains of the Constitution. What the federal government is doing with public education is unlawful. We must have a separation of education and state.
Lastly, we must introduce a moral and intellectually superior alternative. Let us have a free market system that is compatible with the parental right to govern the education of their own children, and that doesn’t steal or fund immoral doctrine of “safe sex”, humanism, the gay agenda, and macro-evolution. Simply put, let public educators have a level playing field and let them compete for the opportunity to teach children. Let parents choose where to send their money and their kids. If you want to see the cost go down and the quality go up, let educators compete.
Government-sponsored monopolies benefit the powerful. Competition benefits the consumer. If the government was sending taxpayer money to McDonalds, how could Burger King and Taco Bell compete? it would look like burgers would be cheaper at McD’s, wouldn’t it? But actually, McD’s cost per burger would be much higher than Burger King’s. Unions, after all, would make sure that no McDonald employee was over-worked and everyone over-paid. Working at McD’s would get you the best benefits. In time, the quality of the burgers and the customer service would take a nose dive, but with so much invested into the system and with so many at the feeding trough also voting to perpetuate the system, who dares to oppose it?
In such a scenario, you improve the quality and reduce the cost of the food by totally eliminating the state’s involvement in fast food restaurants. Sure, you’d have a lot of furious bureaucrats and fat cats who are exploiting the taxpayer to make more money than they’re worth, but that’s too bad. Pleasing God is more important than pleasing man. Until we face the disease, we’re not a candidate for the remedy. Until we face the fact that public education is a moral and intellectual failure, that it is unconstitutional and therefore unlawful, and that the funding of it is theft, then we’ll never embrace the superior alternative of liberty.
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Stop waiting for Superman to fix the broken system. The Bible asks, “When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” We can tear down the dangerous eyesore and rebuild on the proper foundation – the word of God. All other ground is sinking sand.
Contact Dr. Johnston at www.RightRemedy.org.
© 2010 Patrick Johnston - All Rights Reserved