The effect that government meddling has had on the educational process has been almost unfailingly negative. In contemporary times, perhaps President Lyndon Johnson’s overly ambitious, ultimately failed idea of building a utopian system [the Great Society] through bureaucratic management might be the place to start if one wishes to trace the pernicious effect that top down regimentation and rule making has had on the learning process.
Adding to the dysfunctions caused by legislative efforts at the federal level have been state and local governmental intrusions. With very few exceptions all of these forces when added together have succeeded in creating the worst of all possible worlds – a highly systematized but failed educratic complex which not only fails to provide the minimal level of instruction necessary to prepare the young for dealing with the real world but instead has made its prime directive the inculcation of children into a rigid and intolerant leftist ideology.
Not the least of the negative effects of this vast bureaucracy has been the severing of parental authority and ultimate control matters such as moral teaching. Thus students become de-facto wards of the state, guinea pigs in a grand scheme of creating a society wedded to the idea of equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity which in the real world has resulted in dumbed-down education and social experimentation.
With this in mind please consider some of the major aspects of this systematized social engineering project.
Lesson 1 - In 1965, as a part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty he signed into law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act - ESEA - created by the United States Department of Education. The overt original goal of the Act was to provide financial aid to schools with a certain percentage of low-income families in order to "close the skills gap in reading, writing and mathematics". Few people paid attention to the more subtle ramifications of this entry level move by the federal government to gain access to local school systems. The Act was amended about every three years. By 1972, a few parents and groups began putting out alerts about the ESEA containing authorization to instruct students in sex education. I attended one of those meetings. You may recall the efforts made in the 1960's and 70's to stop the deceptively titled Family Life Education being promoted across the country and here in California. Many far-sighted parents and concerned citizens warned that the sex promoters wouldn't stop there.
Lesson 2 - Legislatively authorize bureaucrats to set universal standards.
In the succeeding years more emphasis and more fiscally punitive measures were placed on schools who failed to show federally required achievement of certain mandates. Greater emphasis came to be placed on all around student achievement otherwise known as Lifestyle choices, and specific classroom instructions. The collection of data on results was required. Development of parental involvement in achieving goals became a mandate. In other words, as more and more state legislation authorized the funneling of federal money to states and from states to school districts and, ultimately to your school, the federal government slipped quietly into a major position of control of local school and curriculum and lifestyle goals. Local elected officials are being moved to the background while federal bureaucrats move into local prominence.
Lesson 3 - Challenge the ability of the local authorities to properly carry out their duties.
The California legislature and the state Department of Education have eagerly gone along with this federal intrusion in what formerly began early in life on American soil as private, religious and local parental control of the education of one's children. Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities We, in California, are now at a point where the federal government, as a result of legislation authorizing federal funding in local schools, are beginning to directly receive grants, ignoring school district elected officials. Common Core (universal) Standards and International Baccalaureate Studies are examples such as SB 421, Exam Fees, International baccalaureate Diploma Program grants.
Other misuses of education include:
• School nutrition/feeding programs, AB 626, Skinner,D-Oakland and AB290 , Alejo for breakfast, lunch (and in some cases dinner during school season and summer). Getting more and more students signed up for school meals, now, in California, allows the bureaucrats to also sign up the students for entry into the healthy family programs which aligns the students with all the reproductive services the state has to offer. Psychologists declare that family meals are important. the schools say that dinners at home aren't nourishing enough. What they are both really saying is that the school is the family and that's where children get nourished.
• School based health centers are handing out condoms to students and classroom sex-ed is showing students how to apply said condoms. Parents are denied access to information about their child's whereabouts during school hours because they might be at Planned Parenthood shops, by law.
• Best Practices is now the religious mantra for ethics and morality in the classroom rather than God's Ten Commandments. No one ever asks, “best for whom?”
• Transgendered students (even the word student is a neutered word) uncertain as to what gender they are on a specific day, are now authorized to invade the privacy of the bathrooms and locker rooms of either sex, AB 1266 signed by Gov. Brown. One wonders if the state Capitol will open up its restrooms to either sex?
Children are being taught in school that though there are only two sexes, there are five or more genders.
• Legislators are attempting to place mental health clinics on all campuses. There are a total of 169 mental health bills both dormant and active awaiting action in the California legislature, including AB 357 by Assemblyman Richard Pan, (D-Sacramento) Healthy Child Task Force. This bill did not get out of committee, but it clearly shows the intent and focus of this legislator who, by the way, is the author of AB 980, abortion clinic construction (de)regulations and the Gardasil authorization bill of last term.
• Students are being referred out of class for abortions; Planned Parenthood has a full service reproductive clinic on the East L. A. Latino campus of Roosevelt High school with others in future plans. This sex shop is funded partly by the school district and partly with federal and state tax dollars.
• Classroom subjects include the history of gays as well as the farm Labor Movement, AB 123 , Bonta, (D-Oakland) to name a few, and parents are told to butt out.
• Last term's bill to authorize direct referrals of students for mental health counseling is now fleshed out with this term's Safe Schools and Safe Learning Act of 2013, AB 514, Bonta, (D-Oakland) Also AB 547 , Salas.(D). Both bills are awaiting a final concurrence vote in the Assembly.
• The understanding now within education circles is that student's are the community's responsibility not just "the household's." The school is now held more accountable for student success and health than is the family, See: melissaharrisperry.com , MSNBC Promo, "Critics slam MSNBC host's claim that kids belong to community, not parents." 4/9/2012/FoxNews.com"
Lesson 4 - Federal control of the educational system.
President Ronald Reagan never kept his promise to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education. In simpler times it was referred to as the Office of Education, a little alcove within the Department of H.E.W., created during Lyndon Johnson's term. The big push now is for states to adopt what is deceptively referred to as Common Core Standards for education. What the feds, the foundations and the lobbies really mean is the forceful imposition of one big, globally set, bureaucratically approved, universal Master Plan for Outcome-Based Education incorporating the mandates of “workforce training” goals into what will euphemistically be called education. AB 484 , Bonilla,(D-Concord) Pupil Assessments: Measurement of Performance/Progress. This is the last nail in California’s education coffin, so to speak, for local control and privacy of personal and family data. The collection of data is everything to the bureaucrats.
Lesson 5. - Convince parents that only professionals know how to raise children.
In some areas of California schools have become Community Centers open 24/7 for the entire community to receive social services, health and mental health counseling, feeding centers, employment centers, gardening co-ops and anything else that a group can get a government grant to set up. See: http://www.communityschools.org/
Lesson 6 - Pretend that parents are the primary educators of their own children.
Let's not forget that we are being admonished to surrender our 3 year olds to pre-kindergarten classes where physical and mental health behaviors will be carefully observed, because the experts at the California Commission on Children and Families - First 5 - understand that children now need an "early start" if the professionals are to prevent them from becoming young criminals. http://www.ccfc.ca.gov/commission/about_us.asp
Lesson 7 - Lower the quality of medical care for citizens. California Healthline, Monday, August 19, 2013, published a report that the California Supreme Court unanimously decided that public schools have a right to allow unlicensed - but trained - school personnel to administer prescription medication to children. Right now the reasoning is based on the needs of diabetic children to get timely insulin shots. The come-on is; there are not enough school nurses to accommodate the need during school hours. This is supposed to cause panic in taxpayer hearts imagining the children collapsing all over the place for lack of an insulin shot.
Responsibility for "school nurses" was taken from the education budget a long time ago and given to the Department of Public Health to establish full service health clinics within schools. Apparently there were too many school nurses at one time. Do the bureaucrats really know how many is enough or will it be the union bosses or Workforce Development offices who make that determination? Is this full health care or full and universal employment? Who knows what the excuse will be in a year or so.
During the recent battle over authorizing the school nurses to give Gardasil shots to our kids without parental consent, I joked to a reporter who called, that soon we would be authorizing the janitors to provide health care to our students. Today, teachers, tomorrow, the janitors. And, of course, at the same time that the CNA is lobbying for midwives to take over the physician's job in committing abortions because they are so well qualified for, as they call it, simple procedures, AB 154, they are protesting allowing non-nurses to give insulin shots because its too dangerous to let just anybody (like teachers and mothers) give the shots. The little red school house is no longer about education but about salaries, pensions and health care benefits and power for the education villagers.
Lesson 8. Destroy the family unit.
Senator Mark Leno, (D-S.F) has a bill, SB 274 , to authorize recognition of the legal right of a child to be assigned more than two parents if a judge determines that that is in the best interests of the child. (why aren't the teachers complaining that that's too many parents come teacher/parent conference nights?) This was tried last term and failed. All this is in direct line with in-vitro fertilization creation of human lives. Apparently more and more in-vitro donors want to come out of the test tube and turn the family into a democrat majority.
The LGBT lobby has successfully degraded the Rite of Marriage now they are trying to break up the ancient and traditional right of children to parents. With this legislation someone could also, in future, decide that it is no longer to their benefit to be one of the parents and drop out taking monetary support with them. Though we blame Obama and his Executive Orders for much of the change and social turmoil, he is only the latest transitioner-in-chief. Many who comment on the social scene end their articles with the warning that "people had better wake up before we lose our children and our Country," Here is a wake-up call from The Quotable Fulton J. Sheen, pg 33, regarding children: "Lenin once said that he cared not how many people in Russia over fifty opposed Communism; all he wanted were the children."
Lesson 9. Distract the citizens.
While we are all arguing over whether Obama's a citizen, or who is going to pay for health care, or whether Common Core education is a positive or a negative, the federal government is getting our children classroom by classroom, federal grant by federal grant. Will you continue to allow that to happen or will you fight to protect the children from a future enslavement to the Government Nanny State? Pay attention to what the legislators are doing, not to what they are saying.
Spero columnist Camille Giglio is a freelance journalist who resides in California.