Education is the latest weaponized subject in the high-stakes game of politics. Universities are suing lawmakers, legislatures are threatening the budgets of public school funding, and there are continued calls for the dissolution of the Department of Education. All the while, American kids are failing subjects at an alarming rate. Moreover, the dumbing down of students is gathering momentum.
The most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly called the Nation’s Report Card, should terrify parents. The survey said: “13% of eighth graders are proficient in US history, and only 22% are proficient in civics.” Way to pay attention, folks.
These are “the lowest numbers ever recorded for the NAEP scores in civics and in history over the past 25 years,” said Adam Kissel, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation. His warning was echoed by Beverly Perdue, National Assessment Governing Board chair and former governor of North Carolina:
“This must be a wake-up call for the country that we have to make education a priority. The eighth graders who took NAEP last spring are in high school today. We must invest in education so resources and supports are in place to accelerate student learning and close gaps that predated the pandemic. Otherwise, students will graduate and enter college and the workforce without the skills and knowledge we need to be globally competitive.”
There was a time when the rule of thumb on any political campaign was to address the audience as if they were in the eighth grade. That’s about to change to a much lower number.
Education – Founding Fathers’ Highest Priority
Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona was quick to deflect any blame “Banning history books and censoring educators from teaching these important subjects does our students a disservice and will move America in the wrong direction,” he said. This is the man who thought it would be okay to label concerned parents “domestic terrorists” under the Patriot Act for protesting at their local school boards.
If you ask Kissel, Cardona may be concerned for all the wrong reasons. Kissel believes the secretary was hinting at the Florida Department of Education and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ way of teaching civics and US history. He explained: “Textbooks need to be good and teach core history and not teach false information, kind of in the line of critical race theory or diversity, equity, and inclusion textbooks.” Florida has a textbook rating system, and any tome intended for young minds that does not live up to standards is not permitted in any state school curriculum. That is what Cardona calls “book banning.”
Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, represents teachers, paraprofessionals, school-related personnel, and higher education faculty and staff, among other groups. She has pull and power. And for some odd reason, schools are deteriorating under her watchful eye. The Biden administration bowed to her COVID closures, and Democrats applauded her demands to keep schools on lockdown, but now her chickens have come home to roost.
American kids are unprepared for this world. On the Department of Education homepage, the message of intent is clear:
“The Founding Fathers maintained that the success of the fragile American democracy would depend on the competency of its citizens. They believed strongly that preserving democracy would require an educated population that could understand political and social issues and would participate in civic life, vote wisely, protect their rights and freedoms, and resist tyrants and demagogues.”
President Biden, Weingarten, and Cardona have done little for the education system except derail the next generation of leaders, professionals, laborers, and protectors of democracy.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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