U.S.A. Schooling the Communist Way Part I

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By Brannon S. Howse
 
           Several weeks ago, I was sitting in a hotel lobby sipping a Coke and visiting with my friend Michael Reagan who had just given a speech before several hundred people. Mike, as you may know, is a best-selling author, radio talk-show host, Fox News contributor, and eldest son of President Ronald Reagan.
A few minutes into our conversation, Mike remembered something he wanted to tell me. "Brannon," he said, cocking his head in my direction, "I thought of you this morning when I read the newspaper."
I wondered if he were about to crack a joke at my expense but noted that there was no trace of a smirk on Mike's face. "Really?" I wondered, "What made you think of me?"
"Well," Mike said before pausing for an instant (I wonder where he picked up that mannerism) "I was thinking of you because I read in the paper that Jeb Bush has become the first governor in America to sign into law a state-wide requirement that ninth-grade high school students pick a career major and focus on that major from ninth through twelfth grade. You've predicted something like that on my radio show more than once since 1993-also in your book for which I wrote the foreword."
Mike was correct. It's a prediction I hoped Americans would be wise enough to stop before it came to pass. As the education reporter and often the guest host of Michael Reagan's program I had spend countless hours warning Mike's listeners about Goals 2000, School-to-Work, Outcome-Based Education, HR6, No Child Left Behind, and other federal plans that have the goal of merging education with industrial production, thus turning our schools into vocational centers where students are "trained" rather than educated.
Republicans and Democrats alike are to blame for nailing this tenth plank of the Communist Manifesto into the educational foundation of schools right here in the good old U.S. of A. Lest you think I exaggerate, the tenth principle of the Communist Manifesto states that the goal of schooling for society's children should be the "combination of education with industrial production."
Starting in 1992, the transformation of America's schools into vocational centers greatly accelerated. T.G. Stict, who served under Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, has observed, "Many companies have moved operations to places with cheap, relatively poorly educated labor. What may be crucial, they say, is the dependability of a labor force and how well it can be managed and trained, not its general education level." In other words, as long as we can control people, who cares what they know?
Through programs like School-to-Work the "State" decides which children will go on to college and which go straight into the workforce following their "training certification." State education authorities review a student's educational history and determine the career track the individual will follow. The desires of Big Brother, I mean, the State take precedent over the wishes of the individual and his or her parents. Those who conform to governmental standards are rewarded with further education and a good job. Those who do not reflect the liberal, Secular Humanist worldview will likely be pushed to vocational jobs where their Christian worldview is less likely to have an impact on the culture.
The California PTA has noted that "School-to-Work is based on the premise that government control can do a better job of training individuals, satisfying occupational demands and managing the development of economic activities than can the effort and initiative of millions of individuals."
           The draconian educational measures of the past fifteen years have made strange bedfellows. President George H. W. Bush gave us America 2000. Although President Clinton later changed the name to Goals 2000, he supported the program and pushed through several federal bills that further meshed education with industrial production. President George W. Bush expanded what his father and President Clinton had begun when he cozied up with Ted Kennedy to give us a massive federal program with the irresistible sound-bite name, No Child Left Behind. Florida Governor Jeb Bush then took advantage of federal funds available from his older brother's program and on June 5, 2006 signed into law the ninth grade career major requirement. Florida is the first state in the nation to require this state-wide. Under Florida's new law, career exploration will begin as early as sixth grade. By ninth grade, students will need to declare their career major. Several other states are not far behind and will soon join Florida in this radical American implementation of the Communist Manifesto.
           Did you know what you wanted to do when you were in ninth grade? Do you wish the government had decided for you then what you would be doing for the rest of your life to earn a living? Would that seem like a heavy-handed restriction on your freedom to be self-determining? (In case you need help on this test, the right answers are No-No-Yes.)
           Students will be encouraged to select a career that will direct them either along a vocational track or a college-bound track. With the assistance (or coercion, perhaps?) of school career counselors, students will be channeled into the path that is "right" for them. But here's one of the big problems that is guaranteed to arise: If a ninth grade student who decides on the auto mechanic track, for example, changes his mind in the eleventh or twelfth grade, he's stuck without the schooling needed to go to college upon graduation. At that point, a vocational track student will not have taken courses needed for acceptance into college.
Some of you may consider this a good idea since not everyone should be college bound. And I agree that in many regards, college is a waste of time and money unless a person aspires to be a doctor, lawyer, nurse, engineer, or other such professional. Several studies reveal that many, if not most, of America's millionaires do not have college degrees. Such notables as Rush Limbaugh, Bill Gates, President Harry Truman, and the late Peter Jennings never graduated from college. Yet while a college degree is not needed for success, an academically sound education from kindergarten through twelfth grade is essential for every student regardless of their post-high school plans. It is the only way to have an informed citizenry.
Perhaps even more critical, the federal government is not qualified to project the supply and demand of the workforce two years-much less ten-from now. Trying to do so is one of the stultifying aspects of centrally planned economies (remember the Soviet Union?). Whether the plan is called ready-to-work, school-to-work, school-to-career, small learning communities, or any other soundbite-crafted moniker, it is still a fulfillment of the Communist Manifesto, not the Declaration of Independence or any other foundational American document.
          The frightening reality is that codifying these programs will only make an already dangerous situation worse. Even without Florida-style programs solidly in place yet, many students are already finding themselves channeled where they don't want to go. In part 2 of this series, we will examine several examples of how honor students that are also conservative Christians have been funneled into jobs as bartenders and waitresses. And bear in mind as elections approach that you can't simply assume a given Republican or Democrat is for or against such programs just because of party affiliation. You'll have to find out where each individual candidate stands. Educational communism is not a party-specific issue. So be careful not to vote for someone who will add a communist plank to an election platform.
 

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