*By Janis Kristiansen, Contributing Writer
What is the purpose of education in our country?
The public school experiment is about 100 years old here in America and took root nation wide in about 1930.
Our nations founders never intended education to be a responsibility of government.
Public schools are a relatively new phenomenon in the history of the world.
Compulsory school attendance laws were first passed in Massachusetts in 1852 and invariably spread to other sections of the country. By 1900, thirty-two states had passed compulsory education laws and by 1930 all the states had some form of this law in place.
In the history of the world, literate and educated and learned men and women of history were taught by their parents, or sent to tutors who individually taught them.
Until this public school experiment in our country started in about 1900, literacy and arithmetic were taught inside the family, assuming the parents had those skills. Literacy rates were much higher in New England because much of the population had been deeply involved in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century and the parents who descended from this reformation taught the kids to read so they could read Scripture.
The global spread of the printing press began with the invention of the printing press with movable type by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany c. 1439.
So, by the late 1800’s, the Bible was widely available in English, and this is largely why the colonists in America taught their children to read.
The beginning to formalize the public school experiment:
During the late Industrial Age (1865-1917), industrial barons here in America started public school to give rural men, women, and especially children just enough of an ability to read and write to mold them into compliant factory workers.
An man named Frederick T. Gates, who was then the chairman of the General Education Board in 1916 wrote “The Country School of Tomorrow” for the General Education Board ….which was founded and financed by major industrialist John D. Rockefeller to push for mandatory schooling said of schooling the masses,
“the children shall form an ideal society” …
“So we will organize our children into a little community and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way, in the home, in the shop, on the farm.” Pg. 10
“In our dream … the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive rural folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or of science. We are not to raise up among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters.”
In this document, he nicely and politely stripped the God given rights of the parents away from them, and attempted to form societies of children independent of the rural parents, having no intention to make them literate or teach them science. The intent of the public school system has always been to separate the children from their parents, and teach the children morals & values of the left.
Public schools were never meant to support the traditional family unit of a mother and a father, and to teach them virtue, temperance, patience, and respect for their country, all values and morals found in the Bible.
President Jimmy Carter in 1979 created the Cabinet-level Department of Education. He was the first president to add this position to the cabinet.
However, this move was opposed by many within the Republican Party at that time, in 1979, by Republicans who viewed the department as unconstitutional. The Republicans argued that the Constitution doesn’t mention education and deemed the department unnecessary; with some even saying it should be illegal.
Many Republicans understood that education was never intended to be a function of government, and that it was absurd to think that education of children was to be a duty of a government.
God has given the task to parents to shape the morals and the conscience of a child.
However, Now, 100 years later, we are reaping the full results of this public education system.
The teachers union, at least here in Washington state, is clearly not about what is best for the student, and it never has been about putting the kids first above their paychecks and pensions.
Public school teachers have received full paychecks entire time during the shut down as our government’s response to the Covid virus, and their pensions are building by the month when they retire, so what is the incentive?
Competition is the solution-
In the private sector, and this includes private schools, when the students or customers don’t show up, the teachers and administrators are out of a job, and the businesses shut down because the cash flow has shut off.
And, with charter and private schools, the school answers to the parents, not to some top-heavy administrative behemoth of bureaucracy and unionization.
And let me be sure to mention here that I have spoken to some of these teachers in the public school system who are frustrated about what the public school curriculum and the administration often requires of them.
Many who work in the system are very frustrated and feel like their hands are tied because of the teachers union, and the state and federal standards that mandate what schools are supposed to teach.
And another fact is that the Public school system is the only option for at risk kids, and there are many cases of kids that are not adequately taken care of by their parents, or lack parents, and these situations are heartbreaking. And in many instances, the public school system is the place where these at risk kids find some normalcy and a structured day, and schools for these at risk kids fill a need that goes beyond education. This is another service that the schools provide that needs to be recognized.
What is the solution?
- The solution is if you are if you have home if you have school-age children you need to take it upon yourself to make sure as the parent with the kids that God entrusted you with that you as the parent will educate them.
This can take many forms, but it’s time to stop expecting the public school system to educate kids, even though they receive millions of dollars per year to do so.
The public school system feels no compulsion to teach your children math, history, English, reading, or economics.
The results for this public school experiment have been disastrous over time. In 2019, nearly 70% of America’s schoolchildren did not meet reading proficiency standards set by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Children learn, or don’t learn, morals from somebody. The public school system is teaching your children a set of morals that is in complete opposition to anything good, right, true, and just. There’s no such thing as a blank slate. Every institution, every school, every business, every corporation, and every family has a set of beliefs founded in something.
So if you have a school aged children, I highly suggest that you don’t wait for the public schools to do something constructive and meaningful in the education of your child. I suggest you take it into your own hands to be the primary educator of them.
- The second thing I would recommend is, if you are a conservative, attend school board meetings, ask questions, make your voice be heard about what is best for children, and don’t be silent.
Consider running for the school board yourself, to influence those in your school district and have some say about where the millions of dollars are spent in your local school district.
WA State budget for education:
1/2 of the WA state budget of over $50 billion every two years is spent on education in our state.
Join the local school board and make sure some of that money is being spent on curriculums and programs that have some virtue and truth to them, and make your voice be heard to stop the social brainwashing of the radicals on the left that now control our public school system.
So what are your options if you don’t want your kids or grandkids in public schools?
There are charter schools, home school pods and co-ops, team teaching with other parents, and multitudes of creative, fun, and do-able home school curriculums that can be tailored to teach to your child’s strengths and shape and mold your child into the best that he or she can be.
I’d like to tell you a little bit about my experience….
with public school, private school, and homeschooling, and encourage you that if you were a parent of school-age kids I will strongly make the case that you need to get them out of the public school system.
We sent our kids to private school, or home schooled, depending on the year, what was going on in our family that year, and the needs of the child.
I tried really hard to do what is called unschooling, where we only sat down for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours each day, and the rest of the day we were up and out and learning on the go.
Unschooling is a term I heard probably starting in the early 2000s when my kids were young, about many parents that became concerned with how the public schools were teaching the same curriculum the same by the same method, using the same textbooks each year, and the same slanted curriculum to the left, that Parents wanted wanted to on school their kids and teach them using real life experiences
This gives kids a break from the weariness of the small school desk, and let them learn on the move, on the go, and by visiting historical sites, places of interest, parks, and the world of adults. We also spend time outdoors.
With unschooling, it’s intentional education in many different settings.
Kids have an opportunity to learn far more in what takes a shorter amount of time about certain subjects than they would ever learn in the classroom.
The public school system will never care for your children like you do. Do them a favor now and rescue them out of a system that will ruin your child and give them and you a life time of heartache.
So let me wrap up and say that although there are some fabulous teachers and administrators in the public school system, as a whole, the institution and social experiment of the public school system these last 100 years that it has been in existence has not given an adequate education to the children of America.
A bit of good news:
Here in 2021, parents are finally taking action, and reasonable and caring parents at school boards in UT, AZ and another handful of states are getting involved with their school boards, some taking them over, and making a difference to benefit the kids.
WA State Charter Schools:
WA Alternative Private Schools:
WA Best Alternative High Schools:
WA Online Schools:
WA School Learning Alternatives:
HomeSchool Explosion in 2020.
The country school of to-morrow, 1853. Frederick T. Gates
Renew A Nation. https://www.renewanation.org
Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum.
Christian home school curriculums:
Homeschooling with Live online classes:
Washington Policy Center for Education:
U.S. Census: Homeschooling on the Rise During Covid-19:
Homsechooling Doubled from pandemic’s start to last fall:
False History Taught in Schools Incites Kids To Hate America:
Broken public education in the USA:
Pres. Jimmy Carter establishing the Dept. of Education in 1979:
Janis Kristiansen hosts the podcast “Tangled Angle: Politics, Government, and American History” and these comments are taken from the podcast, “Public Schools: Education or Indoctrination?”. You can find her podcast anywhere podcasts are available.