A Continuous Procession of Clones for the State
Last week's National Education Association conference in New Orleans was cause for concern among social studies teachers in attendance. As reported
by CNN, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NEAP) found, "About one third ofstudents in fourth, eighth, and 12th grade could not even
show a basic understanding of civics at their grade level." Rather than look upon this news as a sign of failure, teachers should view it as one more
example of the state-managed school system's long-running success in taking the youth of this country and turning them into first-class illiterates
According to CNN, the "challenge" for teachers "is to not only make government and history interesting, but to keep students from becoming
alarmingly disengaged." As the story implies, the "alarmingly disengaged" now, become apathetic citizens later. They don't vote and consequently,
facilitate the undermining of our democratic system of government. Supposedly, when enough citizens became disengaged from the political process, we
One participant at the NEA conference even identified the measure of her success as a teacher by how many of her former students voted. Another
participant suggested making student councils more like "true governments," instead of "social clubs." Said she: "If we could involve the kids
more in the decision-making at the school, where they would see immediate impact and the ability to influence, that would put more of the message in
them: They can actually do something."
For almost ten years now, I have taught government, economics, and history in a public high school. I would never contemplate teaching kids to think
that government should be about "doing something." That is the absolute worst thing you can do as a teacher if you want your students to have a
respect for the freedom of the individual, the Constitution, limited government, free markets, and the founding of our once great republic.
Inculcating kids with the crazy notion that government is constituted to "do something" every time life gets difficult or just inconvenient, only
serves to roll out the red carpet for totalitarian government.
Kids should be taught that anything in life can be accomplished without the aid of government, from the construction and management of schools, to the
building of roads, and the "regulation" of commerce. Yet, as one of the NEA conference attendees suggested, even a skate park would, at some point,
need the assistance of government to be completed; therefore, kids should be taught how to access government resources.
If kids are taught that government is their savior, their deliverer, their provider, how will they ever learn to be innovative, entrepreneurial, or
resilient in a crisis? Eventually, kids who have been sufficiently trained and indoctrinated in the "benefits" of government planning and
organization, will not wait for the first sign of difficulty when solving a problem; they will immediately turn to the government for help as per