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U.S.A. Schooling the Communist Way (Part 2)


U.S.A. Schooling the

Communist Way

                                   Part 2

By Brannon S. Howse


After Part 1 of this series appeared, I received several e-mails that confirmed my fears: Far too many of my fellow citizens actually think school-to-work is a good idea.

"Why," I wondered, "would any American think the merging of education with industrial production as found in the Communist Manifesto benefits our children?" It must be because they are educated beyond their intelligence, they love socialism and communism, or they don't recognize Marxism even when it stares them in the face.

Let me be very clear on a few things. First, I do think vocational education is a good idea. I also think apprenticeship programs are an outstanding approach to career preparation for some people. Too many students are pressured to go to college just because "that's the way to get ahead." And I certainly do not believe state and federal governments should be the ones pressuring students to go to college or not or pressuring students to pick certain career majors. All students from first grade through the twelfth should receive a strongly academic education that will well prepare them to be thinking, creative persons in life and in whatever career they choose.  

If you think school-to-work style education reform is not occurring where you live, then you need to ask whether or not your state receives any federal education funds. If your state is not receiving federal dollars, this communist brand of education reform may not be taking place. But lest you be even slightly optimistic, I'll tell you plainly that I don't know of a single state that has rejected federal education funds and the accompanying mandates. That means, it's happening right where you live. Whether it is private grants, No Child Left Behind, or some other U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Labor program, states are rushing to comply with federal requirements so they can gorge themselves at Uncle Sam's money trough.

Florida, Minnesota, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington are further along in their implantation of school-to-work/ready-to-work/Small Learning Communities, but make no mistake: Every state in the union has school districts that are in some way weaving this reform package into their systems, thereby moving America down the road toward a centrally planned economy.

Lynn Cheney, wife of Vice-President Dick Cheney, is the former chair-woman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. While serving with NEH, Mrs. Cheney wrote about the dangers of school-to-work:


A central thesis of school-to-work plans, for example, is that eighth-graders should choose careers. To help them along, schools administer interest and personality assessments that direct students toward specific occupations, often ones that have little to do with their ambitions. Kristine Jensen, a Nevada mother, told me that her daughter, an honor student who wants to work for NASA, had been advised to consider a career in sanitation or interior design. Eunice Evans, a parental-rights advocate in Pennsylvania, described a boy in her neighborhood that wanted to be a doctor but was told it would be more appropriate for him to be a gas station attendant or a truck-driver.


            Mrs. Cheney also pointed out the goal of workforce development boards-backed profusely by federal funds-that now exist in almost every state:


To consider future market needs and decide which career choices schools should encourage. But predicting work-force needs is an iffy business. In 1989, for example, a prestigious study declared that by 1997, there would be a substantial shortage of humanities Ph.D's, when, in fact, there is now a glut.


We need more public servants like Craig Hagen who will take a stand for what is right. In her congressional testimony, Lynn Cheney told Mr. Hagen's story:


Concerned that schools in his state would get in the business of enforcing politically correct thinking led Craig Hagen, North Dakota's Commissioner of Labor, to resign from his state's school-to-work management team earlier this year. "I couldn't remain in that position with my principles," he said.


           But abuses abound. In Las Vegas, for example, Rene Tucker's daughter, Darcy, was pulled out of a geography class without her parents' consent in order to be given a computerized career assessment. Although Darcy wants to become a veterinarian, the computer held that she should be a bartender or waitress, and it spat out a list of courses she ought to take toward that end. Mrs. Tucker said, "We're Christians, and the school stepped on my toes as a parent. It is my job to direct my child's career path, and it would not be in her best interest to be a bartender." Given the gargantuan hospitality needs of the state, it might be in Nevada's best interest to turn Darcy into one of the minions of the gambling and entertainment industry, but that approach to career path development sounds more like it belongs in the 1960s Soviet Union than in 21st century America.

A few years ago I testified before the Kansas state senate along with Rene Tucker. We were joined by an economist from Hillsdale College to urge Kansas not to implement school-to-work in that state. The anticipated tidal wave of federal funds was too much for the mere state of Kansas to resist, though, and on behalf of its people, the state legislature instead rejected common sense and freedom to imbibe the failed economic polices of communism.

In his now classic book, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley wrote,


To bring about the revolution we require…Enabling government managers to assign any given individual to his or her proper place in the social and economic hierarchy. Round pegs in square holes tend to have dangerous thoughts about the social system and to infect others with their discontents.


            In other words, those who do not agree with the State's worldview or "standards" will not be encouraged to pursue positions of power or influence either socially or economically.

A career exploration test already used in six states features 100 true or false questions, including these:


• I have taught a Sunday school class or otherwise take an active part in my church;

• I believe in a God who answers prayers;

• I believe that tithing is one's duty to God;

• I pray to God about my problems;

• It is important that grace be said before meals;

• I read the Bible or other religious writings regularly;

• I believe in life after death;

• I believe that God created man in his own image;

• If I ask God for forgiveness, my sins are forgiven.


          Now let that sink in for a moment, and then ask yourself this question: Why are such questions included on a career exploration test if not to determine the "proper place" to assign each student? The benign answer, of course, is to find out whether or not someone is suited to a job as a church pastor. But there is also a frighteningly non-benign possibility as Christian thought becomes increasingly marginalized in our culture. It could all too easily become the new frontier for "black balling" undesirables such as people who actually think God matters.

          The goals of the Communist Manifesto and those who signed the Humanist Manifesto are being accomplished even now as we see the merging of education with labor policy-or what many are referring to as corporate fascism. The American Heritage Dictionary defines corporate fascism as "a philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises dictatorship through the merging of state and business leadership."

The fact that so many Americans don't even know this communistic education reform is sweeping our nation is perilous. What is even more alarming are the ones who know it yet believe it is a good thing. Liberal Republicans and Democrats alike have succeeded in achieving the goals that Secular Humanists and Communists have long sought for America's children. And there, as they say, goes the future.