“Give me the child until he is seven years and I will give you the man.” Jesuit maxim.
A recent report by early childhood educators has called for the introduction of two year old toddlers to the public school system. The authors of the report cite studies by their colleagues demonstrating the supposed benefits to the child for such an early introduction into the structured institution of the state-run school but they have also cited ancillary possible benefits of keeping women in the work-force rather than staying at home rearing their children.
The real benefit, of course is neither seen by the mothers nor the children. It is realized by the educators. Not simply in their financial gain from the estimated $1 billion in federal funds necessary for the program but in the propagation of the ideology of the vast majority of public system educators today.
“Give us the child for eight years and it will be a Bolshevik forever. “ Vladimir Lenin
It is no secret that the political ideology of the public education system is one that differs greatly from many if not most of the parents who find no alternative for the education of their children. From the newly hired supply teachers fresh out of teacher’s college to the veteran Directors of Education to the Ministers of Education themselves the ideology of the system can be properly defined as being on the far left of the political spectrum. There is no doubt in my mind that the purpose of previous governments in making it possible for children to attend half-day junior kindergarten to all-day junior kindergarten to now toddler kindergarten is the promise of molding the child’s mind into one that is amenable to the ideology of the left. Few intelligent adults fall for it.
If we take a look at the schooling of previous generations we find many positive results. Our forefathers were intelligent and socially adjusted people. They are the people who made the world what it is today and yet many of them did not even finish high school. Many didn’t have the advantage of kindergarten and yet they thrived. How can this be? This is flying in the face of all of the current research on early childhood education.
The monolithic public education system has been, and continues to be the source of many social conflicts. In Toronto we have the accommodation of the children of Muslims who leave class to pray in the school gymnasium while no such accommodation is afforded any other religion. A place of learning the truth of nature such as math and science has been reduced to a mosque. Can you imagine the conflict going on in the minds of the children when the teacher, after perhaps instructing his students in science then dismisses half the class so that they can pray to some super-natural imaginary deity?
Also in Toronto we see the vilest form of ignorance rear its ugly head after decades of silence; the establishment of schools based on race. These afro-centric schools, designed to teach black-skinned Canadians about the history of a continent they have never visited rather than the history of the country they were born into are an affront to reason and an insult to the very children they are segregating on the bases of their distant ancestry.
Not too long ago there was a tussle between the parents who preferred their children to be taught how to read using a method of systematic phonetics rather than the “whole-language” method. The illiteracy rate under whole language was up to 17% of high school graduates. That’s right, 17% of graduates were illiterate. It naturally begs the question how could they have graduated. When I was a trustee on the Board of Education for the city of London I asked the same question to the Director of Education. His answer was that the Board has never failed a child. All children graduate under the child-centered learning system otherwise it would be an admission that the system was a failure.
There is the on-going debate of how young a student must be before the teacher shows him how to put on a condom.
There are debates on the teaching of evolution to children of parents who believe that the world is only 6,000 years old.
There the never-ending debates on class sizes, standards of dress, standards of conduct, standards of punishment, standardized testing, group instruction verses individual instruction.
There are the parents who can only shake their heads when their child has to stay home for several Fridays each year because his teachers are taking part in professional development even though these same teachers have two whole months in the summer to keep up with their profession. Not that such professional development has been seen to improve their teaching skills one iota over the decades.
And while on the topic of teachers we have the teachers’ unions which can and have held every student in the province hostage when they strike to increase their already overinflated salaries. Given the poor results of their teaching I would think that most of them don’t deserve half of what they get.
What galls many of us though is the political indoctrination of our children into a destructive ideology. All children in our school system have seen the Michael Moore documentaries calling for such things as gun-control, socialized medicine, and welfare statism. All have been inconveniently inconvenienced by the propaganda film of Al Gore. Many of the schools turn their lights off for one day of the year and study in the dark as they worship “Earth Day”. Many promote “Buy Nothing Day,” perhaps the most destructive instruction that they can get; the idea that consumerism is evil.
All of this overt and unapologetic manipulation of our children’s minds, much of it out of our control, combined with the poor learning results has led me to the conclusion that given the choice of no formal education at all or 20 years at the hands of these so-called educators I would recommend no formal education at all.
It is my opinion that a child will be better off intellectually, spiritually and emotionally if they stayed at home and played on their computer rather than submit to the daily dose of lies they receive at the hands of our publicly funded educators.
It is no secret, at least to those who have studied the matter that teaching a child to read takes very little time. In a matter of months a child can be taught to read anything. Over time their vocabulary increases and comprehension comes naturally with experience. It is this natural propensity for children to learn that these early childhood educators wish to take credit for.
What can be the cure for these grievous miscarriages of education? Ultimately it is the complete abolishment of the public education system. But, of course we all realize that isn’t going to happen so how do we proceed from here?
First we reject en masse this report that two year old children go to a state-run school. It is not necessarily objectionable that toddlers go to school as many are already in competent day-care at that age. In fact, Montessori and other private schools offer excellent educational instruction for toddlers; far superior to any which could be offered by over-paid government bureaucrats, which is what public school teachers are. Every one of them, you may ask? No, but the vast majority of them.
After we reject toddler kindergarten we can push to roll back the junior kindergarten program. We can simultaneously demand that the government offer tax credits to those who choose to send their children to private schools. Today, only the Catholics are afforded the opportunity to see their tax dollars go to the school system of their choice. This same choice should be given to all parents. If you choose to send you child to a private school you should be able to list that school as the recipient of your education taxes. If you prefer the state to teach your child you could have them direct your taxes, not just to the public system, but to the individual school which your child attends. It is simply unjust that you must pay for the education of someone else’s child against your will, as we do now.
But what of the poor neighbourhoods, and the children of poor parents? If we are to continue with a public education system it is not out of the realm of possibility that rather than funding a system we fund the student instead. This notion that because some small percentage of us can’t afford to educate our children makes it necessary that we fund a monolithic bureaucracy of a school system is like using sledge hammer to push in a thumb tack. It is overkill. Help the child who needs it but not the child who doesn’t.
The public education system has gotten away with their incompetence for far too long. It has become a sacred cow. The two platitudes the educators will spout if we dare to complain of their ineptitude are the following:
- “It’s for the kids’ sake.” To which we reply; No it is not. It is all about you, you overpaid, overbearing, bureaucrat with delusions of self-importance.
- “You’re just a teacher basher.” To which we reply; Yes, and deservedly so.
The notion of “teacher bashing” is a bromide quickly spat out by the teachers’ union bosses who feel that their gravy train is being threatened so they retaliate, not with reasoned, cogent argument for why they are destroying the minds of our children but with schoolyard styled name-calling.
Teachers have to be held accountable, but at the root of the poor teachers and their methods are the teachers colleges. Who teaches the teachers is the question which must be asked. What are the teachers being taught and by whom? I lay the blame for most of the problems of the public education system on the institutions of higher learning. For the rest of the blame just look in the mirror.
When we continue to joyfully accept the nanny state’s offer of “free” day-care in the disguise of education we have only blame ourselves when our children graduate unable to read or write, or when our children find only contempt for us as parents for the years of mindless boredom and macaroni artwork we put them through.
The bottom line is that education is far too important a value to leave to the government.
(Originally broadcast on Just Right #227, November 24, 2011)