Note: Bill Whittle, always brilliant, as the Virtual President, gives simple solutions to America’s education crisis. If only real Presidents spoke like the Virtual President, what a country we would have!





[GA: Another example of how we are failing to educate our children, which will ultimately accrue to our detriment]

For 11 years, Professor Duke Pesta gave quizzes to his students at the beginning of the school year to test their knowledge on basic facts about American history and Western culture.

The most surprising result from his 11-year experiment? Students’ overwhelming belief that slavery began in the United States and was almost exclusively an American phenomenon, he said.




By: Daniel Horowitz

This campaign season has come full circle.  The closing argument of the GOP frontrunner, the man who has garnered so much support under the guise of being the anti-establishment candidate, has now exhibited the palest of pale pastel characteristics of the very establishment the voters hate.

Race to the Top is Indoctrination of our Children

Race to the Top is Indoctrination of our Children

Pajamas Media has an article about Race to the Top. Race to the Top is an insidious plan to transfer control of our local schools to a bureaucracy in Washington who will have control of curricula being taught to our children. Go here to read the article.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

Despite the vast expansion of federal government mandates on state and local schools, Race to the Top has received relatively little resistance from proponents of smaller government. But the reality is that this plan not only usurps state rights; it also introduces a whole new program of indoctrination.

According to the DOE’s website, “integrity and transparency drive the process” of Race to the Top. In truth, it’s about as transparent as a blindfold, causing many school districts to opt out. Although states like Iowa, California, and Wisconsin applied for the grant money, many of their school districts are not choosing to participate. Citing an inability to get adequate information on the regulations that would be imposed on the schools, districts “struggled with unanswered questions about how tightly the funds would be tied to mandates.” Karl Paulson, a Missouri school district superintendent, wrote, “It is irresponsible for officials from the State Department of Education or State Board of Education to coerce local districts into a commitment through politics and press releases without the districts having the full design and requirements of that commitment being detailed.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, one of the few staunch opponents of the program, stated that it would be “foolish and irresponsible to place our children’s future in the hands of unelected bureaucrats and special interest groups thousands of miles away in Washington, virtually eliminating parents’ participation in their children’s education.” He added that if Washington truly cared about education, it would give the money to the states with “no strings attached.” Among those “strings attached” is a commitment to abandon local curricula to adopt unproven, national curriculum standards.

Still, the focus on charter schools has duped many on the right to support the program. But before cheering for charter schools, parents need to be reminded that the camouflage-clad, militant youth chanting and praising President Obama came from a Kansas City, Missouri, charter school. In reality, that school’s model much more closely resembles the vision of both Obama and Duncan.

Charter schools by definition are free from many of the rules and regulations of public schools. Although they have accountability standards, they set their own curricula and programs. But since the foundation of Race to the Top is setting a core curriculum determined by Washington, the reality is that these so-called charter schools will not set their own curriculum. The DOE is simply redefining the term “charter school” with the hopes that its program can sail through with little right-wing opposition.

With their newly defined charters, they’ll not only be able to change what students are learning, but more easily change who is teaching them. Traditionally, charter schools have been free from the burdens of teachers’ unions so that they can more easily fire and replace bad teachers. When a school becomes a charter school, its teachers even have to reapply for their jobs; enter AmeriCorps.

One of the most startling facets of Race to the Top is its attempt to get rid of as many traditionally educated teachers — i.e., those who go to a college to earn a master’s degree in education — and replace them with “alternatively” certified teachers; and, not just any alternatively certified teachers, but those certified by AmeriCorps’ Teach for America (TFA) and Teaching Fellows, which it runs jointly with the New Teacher Project (TNTP).

Read the whole article here.

Control of local schools belongs in the local community. It should not be at the state or the federal level. We need to educate everyone, especially parents, about what “Race to the Top” is all about.

We have to oppose this program at the local level. Do not let your school district opt in to this program. Retain control over your children’s education.

Your Child Is Not State Property

Your Child Is Not State Property

By Thomas A. Bowden

Rocked by a nationwide storm of criticism, the Los Angeles County court that declared homeschooling illegal in California has agreed to rehear the case in June. At issue is Justice H. Walter Croskey’s Feb. 28 decree, which ordered the parents of “Rachel L.” to send her away to a public or private school, where she can get a “legal education.”

Justice Croskey’s edict interpreted state education laws that govern all children, whatever their home situation and “whatever the quality” of their home education. Except for the rare case when parents already hold state teaching credentials, parents who find public schools intolerable and cannot locate or afford a suitable private school were branded by the decree as outlaws if they choose to instruct their child at home.

California legislators were entitled to enact this blanket prohibition, according to the judge, because they feared the supposed social disorder that would result from “allowing every person to make his own standards on matters of conduct in which society as a whole has important interests.”

“Allowing”? By what right does government presume to “allow” (or, in this case, forbid) you to make your own standards concerning your child’s education?

Government has no such right. Neither the state nor “society as a whole” has any interests of its own in your child’s education. A society is only a group of individuals, and the government’s only legitimate function is to protect the individual rights of its citizens, including yours and your children’s, against physical force and fraud. The state is your agent, not a separate entity with interests that can override your rights.

If Justice Croskey’s description of California law is correct, then the state’s educational policy is at odds with America’s founding principles. Parents are sovereign individuals whose right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness includes the right to control their child’s upbringing. Other citizens, however numerous or politically powerful, have no moral right to substitute their views on child-raising for those of the father and mother who created that child.

Instead, a proper legal system recognizes and protects parents’ moral right to pursue the personal rewards and joys of child-raising. At every stage, you have a right to set your own standards and act on them without government permission. This parental right to control your child’s upbringing includes the right to manage his education, by choosing an appropriate school or personally educating him at home.

Of course, there are certain situations in which government must step in to protect the rights of a child, as in cases of physical abuse or neglect. But no such concern for individual rights can account for California’s arrogant assertion of state control over the minds of all school-age children residing within its borders.

Education, like nutrition, should be recognized as the exclusive domain of a child’s parents, within legal limits objectively defining child abuse and neglect. Parents who starve their children may properly be ordered to fulfill their parental obligations, on pain of losing legal custody. But the fact that some parents may serve better food than others does not permit government to seize control of nutrition, outlaw home-cooked meals, and order all children to report for daily force-feeding at government-licensed cafeterias.

The shockwaves from Justice Croskey’s decision will likely impact not just homeschoolers but also the apologists for government education–teachers’ unions, educational bureaucrats, and politicians. Their political and financial survival depends on a policy that treats children as, in effect, state property–but only rarely is the undiluted collectivism of that policy trumpeted so publicly.

What if, in the harsh glare of the “Rachel L.” case, parents start asking whether the state has any right at all to be running schools and dictating educational standards for children, in order to advance society’s “interests”? This calls into question the moral foundation of public education as such. In this light, one wonders if the court’s decision to rehear the case could be a first step toward muting, and muddying, the controversy.

For their part, the defenders of public schooling can be expected to stay busy papering over their system’s own failures–the very failures that helped fuel the homeschooling movement, by driving desperate parents to seek refuge at home from the irrationality, violence, and mediocrity that have come to characterize government education, in California and elsewhere.

For now, at least, the battle lines are clearly drawn. Are parents mere drudges whose social duty is to feed and house their spawn between mandatory indoctrination sessions at government-approved schools? Or are they sovereign individuals whose right to guide their children’s development the state may not infringe?

The answer could determine not only the future of homeschooling but the future of education in America.

Thomas A. Bowden is an analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute, focusing on legal issues. Mr. Bowden is a former attorney and law school instructor who practiced for twenty years in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ayn Rand Institute ( promotes Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand–author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.” Contact the writer at


No bilingual education, says Newt

No bilingual education, says Newt

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich equated bilingual education Saturday with “the language of living in a ghetto” and mocked requirements that ballots be printed in multiple languages.”The government should quit mandating that various documents be printed
in any one of 700 languages depending on who randomly shows up” to vote, said Gingrich, who is considering seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. He made the comments in a speech to the National Federation of Republican Women.”The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. … We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto,” Gingrich said to cheers from the crowd of more than 100.”Citizenship requires passing a test on American history in English. If that’s true, then we do not have to create ballots in any language except English,” he said.

Peter Zamora, co-chair of the Washington-based Hispanic Education Coalition, which supports bilingual education, said, “The tone of his comments were very hateful. Spanish is spoken by many individuals who do not live in the ghetto.” He said research has shown “that bilingual education is the best method of teaching English to non-English speakers.”

Two questions:

1) Newt is right. If one has to learn English to become a citizen why would we have the need for a foreign language ballot?

2) Why is it that when people hear that we want everyone in this country to assimilate and speak English as has historically been the case, some people consider that to be hateful?


History isn’ t taught in schools

David Gelernter writes a commentary today in the Los Angeles Times that ignorance of history is undermining society’s ability to talk straight and to think straight. He states that by teaching ideology instead of facts, our schools are erasing the nation’s collective memory.

“There is an ongoing culture war between Americans who are ashamed of this nation’s history and those who acknowledge with sorrow its many sins and are fiercely proud of it anyway. Proud of the 17th century settlers who threw their entire lives overboard and set sail for religious freedom in their rickety little ships. Proud of the new nation that taught democracy to the world. Proud of its ferocious fight to free the slaves, save the Union and drag (lug, shove, sweat, bleed) America a few inches closer to its own sublime ideals. Proud of its victories in two world wars and the Cold War, proud of the fight it is waging this very day for freedom in Iraq and the whole Middle East.

If you are proud of this country and don’t want its identity to vanish, you must teach U.S. history to your children. They won’t learn it in school. This nation’s memory will go blank unless you act.”

I wrote the following letter to the Los Angeles Times today:

David Gelernter in his commentary today bemoans the fact that children are not taught history today, but rather ideology, and that schools are erasing the nation’s collective memory. The reason for that is that it is Democrats, who are proponents of an ideological agenda, who write our children’s history text books today.

As a result, African-American children will not learn from their history books that it was the Republican Party, the Party of Lincoln, that brought war against the Democratic slave-owners of the South to free the slaves, or that anti-war Democrats in the North strongly opposed the Civil War and voted to demand that President Lincoln rescind the Emancipation Proclamation, or that the Ku Klux Klan was the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.

American children will not learn from their history books that the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act were reforms that the “Radical” Republicans struggled to have enacted during Reconstruction, but were unsuccessful due to fierce Democratic opposition.

American children will not learn from their history books that along with pressing Congress to give Blacks the right to vote, Republicans supported Women’s Suffrage for thirty years against Democratic opposition until it was finally passed in 1920.

American children will not learn from their history books that the 13th and 14th Amendments were passed by a Republican majority while most Democrats opposed their passage.

There are many other important messages in our history that American children will not learn from their history books, which is why I agree with David Gelernter that parents must teach U.S. history to their children. They won’t learn it in school.

I don’t expect them to publish it.