By Dr. Karen Hiltz, 10/28/22
The education system, once again, is blaming the virus. This time it’s for the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores. Is the virus the real culprit? Let’s take a walk down memory lane and interject some reality.
The virus surfaced in late 2019 and the government wasn’t overly concerned. The experts at the HHS, NIH, and CDC were not crying pandemic. However, by early 2020 the messaging changed. It became so dire that cases were being tracked and reported daily and there was an urgent cry to close schools to save our children. The cry also included telling all of us to stay home. Funny though how local businesses were forced to close, but not the Walmart’s of the world. But don’t worry – in about 2 weeks we will slow the curve and get back to normal. How did that work out?
What did happen is many small businesses closed permanently, which led to big government picking winners and losers. The curve was extended. Schools closed in many states, for years, and not necessarily for the health of the children as they were identified as low risk for contracting the virus. However, what did occur gave rise to expanded government control, increased power to unions, and continued erosion of our freedoms.
Let’s interject a constitutional lesson: the U.S. Constitution is silent on education. What it does have is the 10th amendment. If you aren’t familiar with this founding document, the 10th amendment is included in the Bill of Rights and was ratified effective December 15, 1791.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
In plain language, this amendment gives authority to the states and the people for the majority of issues our society deals with. This includes education.
Obedience Breeds Tyranny
However, bureaucrat elites discovered how obedient the populous was, so they decided to never let a crisis go to waste. They took advantage to further their agenda that would promote their progressive, socialist ideology. Controlling the masses is nothing new, it’s just not expected in our constitutional republic. And decades of social conditioning have shown that the best target is public education.
School closures forced a new learning paradigm. This shift inevitably caused angst, uncertainty, as well as continued dysfunction within the system. Many children struggled with online learning. They suffered from being locked in and distanced from friends and family members. It was easy to fall into a depressed state and lose sight of what they needed to do. Time became irrelevant. No bus to catch. No class to get to. No accountability because life became foreign and unwelcome. Excuses flourished when homework wasn’t turned in or attendance was late or not done at all. But the lock down also revealed what children were being taught.
Additional Education Erosion Exposed
Fast forward to 2022 when new NAEP scores were released. And you guessed it – scores have dropped. Groups that are reporting results from surveys and studies tell us children who’ve been locked out of schools, left on their own, and provided limited support are struggling. Who is surprised by this? Should anyone be surprised? Not really!
One bright spot is Florida. Governor DeSantis took the 10th amendment seriously. He began opening our state and schools were ready for classroom instruction in August 2020. He recognized that we the people can make the best decisions for our individual circumstances – not bureaucrat or union elitists. He didn’t force masking. He didn’t prevent businesses from opening. He did what he could to preserve our dignity and freedoms. Though Florida NAEP scores have declined, they are higher than the national average in both math and reading.
U.S. Secretary of Education Cardona recently said, “Let me be very clear: These results are not acceptable.” I will assert the latest NAEP scores should not be a surprise, because Cardona and his ilk got exactly what they expected. They continue to dumb down the public education system, which has been eroding for many decades. This is one reason why learning and studying history is vitally important. It exposes agendas, government actions, population conflicts, and, most importantly, what to avoid moving forward.
Resuscitate Our Republic
Our public education system is dysfunctional! A virus is not the cause of the 2022 NAEP results. It squarely lays at the feet of bureaucrat and union elitists. We must rethink how we deliver the necessary information to sustain Judaeo-Christian values and individual contributions to our children.
We are America! A constitutional republic, not a democracy. If you don’t know the difference, then this further reflects the urgency for our nation’s history to be ingrained in the education of our children. As a proud American Patriot, I believe in our republic. I believe in God, family, and capitalism. I believe in the American dream that if you apply yourself, you can succeed in whatever you choose to do.
Don’t let the lies of the progressive woke ideology deter you from pursuing your dreams and using your talents to the best of your ability. Children can succeed! Children will survive! It’s simply a matter of whether the system elites will choose to educate or indoctrinate our youth.