As we all know, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have established a charitable foundation that will spend billions of dollars trying to improve American education. But despite all their good intentions, they will fail. Why? Because they really don’t understand why American education is failing so miserably.
Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is the oldest and most prestigious university in the United States. It was founded by Puritan settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636 as a college to train up a learned clergy. A Puritan minister was expected to be able to quote and expound Holy Scripture from the original Hebrew and Greek and to have a good knowledge of the writings in Latin of the Church Fathers, the Scholastic Philosophers, and the Reformers.
When the Puritans arrived in the wilderness of New England, they set a high standard of education for the colonists, and the rest of the English colonies followed suit so that literacy was virtually universal. The need for biblical literacy was the driving force behind education since it was religious freedom they sought in coming to the New World. Their vision was of creating a truly Christian civilization in the wilderness.
There can be no doubt that Barack Hussein Obama is a deeply committed socialist intent on destroying the American capitalist system and our Constitutional form of government. Anyone who reads Stanley Kurtz’s new book, Radical-in-Chief, will come away with that conviction. Kurtz writes:
Few people can tell you how Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin was able to impose a brutal communist dictatorship over the Russian people. His strategy was simple and effective: Let the liberal socialists under the leadership of Alexander Kerensky overthrow the Tsarist government, and then the communists will have an easy job of overthrowing the new, weak democratic government by using murderous Bolshevik thugs to enforce a new communist tyranny. It will be like taking candy from a baby.
An optimist is someone who sees the glass half full, not half empty. An optimist is someone who sees the brighter side of life’s many ups and downs. An optimist knows that evil exists but believes that in the end good will triumph. For example, after America was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor and we entered World War II, I believed that we would win. Why? Because America always won its wars. That was the optimist in me.
Sex ed has been in Boston public schools for as long as we can remember. But apparently, a group of students are not satisfied with just being given condoms. They want to know more about sexually-transmitted diseases. According to the Boston Globe of February 16, the Boston Public Health Commission reports that 54 percent of city high school students have had sex, and half of them have had sex with more than three partners. Thus, the likelihood of these students getting a sexually transmitted disease is high.
Most Americans assume that we've always had public schools, that they came with the Constitution and are an indispensable part of our democratic system. But nothing could be farther from the truth, as I discovered when I wrote my book, Is Public Education Necessary?, published in 1981.
Fifty-six years ago, in 1955 to be exact, the most significant book about American education was published and, with very good reason, caused quite a stir. It was written by Rudolf Flesch, who had come to America to escape the Nazis in Vienna, became highly fluent in English and got a Ph.D in English at Columbia University. The book was entitled Why Johnny Can’t Read. It became a best-seller and rankled the entire education establishment. In it Flesch explained why so many children in American schools were having such a difficult time learning to read. He wrote:
I recently had the pleasure of perusing a number of old magazines from the mid-nineteenth century to about 1918. They included such great monthly periodicals as Scribner’s, Harper’s, McClure’s, and others. All of them had well-written articles on a wide variety of subjects, reflecting the eclectic tastes of their readers. American readers wanted more than just entertainment. There was a voracious hunger for knowledge, and these magazines provided it, along with wonderful illustrations.