Redefining “Public” Education

The Meaning of Public

What does the word ‘public’ in public education really mean?  If it means free access for children of American citizens, that’s great.  If it means free daytime childcare for illegal aliens then let’s redefine the word.  Or better yet, let’s get back to the original definition all together.

‘Public’ does not mean government interference into parental affairs.  It does not mean endless funding for poor production through federal, state and local taxes.  It does not mean tax funded unions can virtually dictate what is taught or not taught.  Lastly, it does not mean ‘secular’ or without relation to faith and religion.

An Acceptable Term

There is nothing wrong with the term ‘public’ education if that education is funded locally, determined locally, reflects local values, and is free to pursue local will.  Federal and state mandates have gone wild, removing all local distinctions and thereby creating a Washington D.C. inspired, institutionally secular, anti-religious machine.  Students success is based upon establishing a utopian social standard rather that academic achievement.  ‘Public’ should not be equated to a government mandated or administrated superstructure.

A Better Model

‘Public’ can mean parental.  Parent initiated, parent inspired, parent involved education.   King Solomon wisely charged, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:  For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”  -Proverbs 1:8-9.  This ‘parental’ distinction is one that makes ‘private’ education perform better and produce a better product.

‘Public’ can mean performance.  Funding should based on performance, and so should opportunity.  Schools that perform well should be funded well.  This would motivate others to copy or compete for more funding based upon successful models and hard work rather than be funded by artificial mandates.  Students that perform well should get additional schooling.  Who say’s we should have 20 years of available daycare for every student, especially poorly performing students?  Eight years of acceptable performance can open the door to two more then two more.  Of course, special needs children are always the exception. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  -II Timothy 2:15.

‘Public’ should include ‘choice’.  Local peculiarities should be allowed to be included in public offerings.  Farming classes, particular ethnic histories, even Bible surveys should be reflected in that localities ‘public’ education.  Most communities (80%)  would choose to allow academic instruction regarding the Bible.  ‘Public’ education could then be defined by wisdom and knowledge rather that by pride or Washington D.C.’s so called false measurements of equality in the classroom standards.

Pure Michigan…Everywhere Except the Classroom

If only the Michigan state school board could come up with a policy as keen, insightful and successful as the tourism board. Michigan’s waterways, forests and heritage are indeed, “pure” assets and are touted to the nation as such, but our schools, education policies, and graduation rates are not so pure. In fact, this year we have made national headlines for our homo-erotic policy proposals for gender confused kids. It is as though the state school board are willing to sacrifice what little good is left to foster the hope that our public school classrooms could usher in a new utopia where homosexuality is normal, and gender confusion is popular.

While these issues need to be addressed, the school board proposed guidelines that would keep parents in the dark when their children came forward as confused about their sexuality or gender identity. Private counseling was to be offered as well as teacher gender neutral pronoun identifiers. Normal or non-confused students were to be subjected to boys in the girl’s locker rooms and vice versa. All students and school employees were to be steeped in LGBTQ rhetoric and encouraged to accept what they might otherwise deem unacceptable. When these proposals were leaked the board “offered” a limited and measured dialogue. This dialogue was overwhelmingly against the proposals.

These proposals are heinous to regular students and confused ones too. They turn the classroom into a recruitment center for LGBTQ thoughts and designs. Not so pure, Michigan, not so pure at all.

In the name of child protection and a pure education system let’s reject the current “guidance memo” for what it is . . .pure trash.

Liberty Extends to Education

The current state of educational liberty in Michigan and the United States can be stated thusly,
“The state should mandate education for all children from three years of age until high school graduation. Every child should go to a government approved school, learn government-approved curriculum from government-approved teachers. There should be no religious curriculum taught except secular humanism which states that the government is the supreme authority, and humanity is doomed. Everything is to be tolerated except what the government deems hateful and not tolerable. This education is to be at least fifty percent of all tax revenues but shall be free to everyone participating. The goal is to create a utopian adulthood that will espouse peace and be of one opinion regarding everything. Parents are to yield to these educational guidelines. Students are to behave accordingly. Government schools should be without racism, sexism, ageism, and hate. Of course, urban schools may flounder because everyone expects their substandard achievement. In fact, more money should be sent to the urban poor so as not to appear bias. Anyone may identify as anything they want. Any gender is acceptable. Sexual freedom will be highlighted as normal. The new international student will be without bias, gender, spirituality or race. Nothing shall be deemed as sinful or wrong so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. Upon graduation, a student will earn the right to a free college education. Of course, graduation will be based upon successfully navigating the godless, government compliant, and gay approved halls of the genderless, free, and Sharia-friendly school assigned to the student. By this form of education, we will transform a generation.”

This vision is the normal operating procedure for most public schools today. Of course, it is absurd, but is it not increasingly the reality? While there are plenty of liberty minded teachers, administrators and local school board members, this is the cloud overwhelmingly over their head. They aspire to survive the system. They try to subtly change it in small ways. Occasionally, a rare voice speaks to the real tyranny of the current educational system we have created. That voice is too often shamed, marginalized and even silenced. The truth is that this radical view of education has failed everywhere but is still funded by everyone. It is a supreme bully.
Real liberty recognizes myriad forms of learning and training. Real liberty values family and its religious or cultural distinction. Real liberty allows spiritual training and learning from the Bible. If historical and American liberty has worked for government, business and higher education, then it should be trusted for local elementary and secondary education as well. Localities get a say and so do individual families. Private schools should have complete freedom. Parents should have complete responsibility. Localities should have complete logistical control. Public schools should have complete freedom from Washington mandates and UNESCO’s utopianism. The student should have complete freedom from leftist, Muslim, and LGBTQ designs on social engineering.

Liberty should extend into the classroom. It is having a hard time getting past the Michigan Board of Education. That has to change.

New Leadership and Fresh Vision for Michigan Education

The current educational administration structure is top-heavy and expensive.  The problem starts at the top.  Many would think that the top would be the Federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare.  This is alarmingly not so.  Current leadership in education comes from the United Nations.  UNESCO, the United Nation Education, Science, and Cultural Organization is the think tank from which most progressive educational thought now originates.  This world body, a collection of the globes most progressive thought, makes the old days of Dewey, Sanger and the ACLU look like the tea cup ride at Disneyworld.  Today’s educational administrative ideals are funded by or are overseen by some UNESCO sub structure or affiliate.  Their goal is to undermine America’s national sovereignty by creating a truly international system of education or, as opponents put it, global indoctrination.  They seek to mandate, through federal and state education systems, the production of universal citizens made in the image of the U.N. charter and declaration of human rights.  They undermine American citizenry by removing the highly successful systems of free and local education, which is usually open to the Judeo-Christian ethic, and in some places even given to a Gospel culture, in order to become one of secular and centralized control.

The Obama Core Curriculum is not new, and it did not originate with Obama.  It is this global idea, filtered through money grabbing hands of corporations like the Bill Gates Foundation, whose plans include garnering the billions of dollars of educational money by having a monopoly-like hold on curriculum, testing materials, training products and teacher materials.  After several years of operation, studies show that this model is not working.  Test scores are down, not up.  International and federal system administrators do not care about this downward trend.  They are more concerned with the political control of the future, that is, the next generation of school children and their way of thinking, than they are with real learning.  We do not need to put all the blame on the Obama administration.  The Reagan and Bush years also sought to establish the international student and curriculum.  The “No Child Left Behind Act” was a more patriotic face to progressive education, and a ruse to get more funding and administrative control of local education.  Republican funding is as disingenuous as Democratic demagoguery.

The cost of education is going up.  Why?  The multiple layers of administrative bureaucracy including layers of management, strategic partnerships, endless academic system studies, progressive benefits through bleeding funds into unions, and super funding for illegal immigrant’s children is fueling the ever constant cry for more funding.  Much of the money designated stays in state and federal capitols never reaching the local student or classroom.  The distribution process itself is cumbersome and corrupt, compounding the problem of getting the designated funds to the individual schools and teachers who do the real educating. A large sum of mandated dollars also immediately disappears annually into the removal of debt, most of which is going to outdated teacher retirement accounts. Increasing education budgets is often a futile matter for the student themselves.  After UNESCO is funded, federal structures dispense funds to their favorite pet projects, and the states line up like baby birds in the nest, mouths open, squawking for money, money, money.  Despite all of this flow, local districts regularly ask for millage votes to fund what their government amounts do not provide.  Any doctor diagnosis would deem the system broken and on life support.

This system needs to change radically.  The top heavy administrative platform is like an elephant on a toothpick bridge.  Too much superstructure rests upon the emaciated local school districts.  We must shrink the beast!

We are in danger of having authoritarians not educators.  These academic Marxists disregard parental powers, use their influence to push dangerous political ideals, and spend to empower the bureaucracy instead of real teachers.  It would be great to see teachers cry out en masse on behalf of their students and their great profession instead of silently crossing their fingers for better benefits or increased salaries.  Perhaps both of their remuneration considerations would increase with better administrative systems.  Less money at the top means better flow to the teachers and students.

Unfortunately, there is no real fresh vision for change competing with the UNESCO, federal, state paradigm.  These supposed de facto models have failed, but the socialistic and progressive administrators are claiming success.  Their utopian ideals have been installed but are neither academic, practical, nor American.  Leadership change is greatly needed.

Solutions are available.  Fresh leadership is ready!  Let’s start by changing the current state board and superintendent structure that is a slave to the federal and UNESCO empire of thought and management.  In Michigan, let’s cut the State Board of Education’s term of office in half – from eight years to four years. 

Next, let’s mandate less money in the state superintendent’s purse and siphon the money out of Lansing as fast as possible.  There is too much administrative structure in the capitol.  Increased accountability will result in shorter terms and mandated moneys out of the bureaucrat’s hands.

These measures clearly mean that the State Board of Education and its pyramid of administrative process will have to shrink.  Their antiquated concepts of tenure and cronyism are creating a lazy and cold atmosphere of entitlement.  Why else would they feel it was their job to execute Washington’s ideas about the LGBTQ community within the school system?  They have lost a sense of reality and of truly educating children.  It is the same with almost every state school board system.  Unions feed this frenzy of insanity as well, and such a rapid turning of the system on its head, putting funding and policy back onto the local districts will curb the turbulent power of progressive union bosses.

Finally, a reinforcement of local control, local districts funded through government, local hiring, academic ideals and even discipline would rapidly increase test scores, graduation rates, teacher retention and parental involvement.  We have grown accustomed to listening to state education “authorities’” as if they were oracles of Olympia, when in reality, they should be rejected outright as puppet of a failed progressivism.

It is time for new leadership and a fresh vision for Michigan education.

Parental Rights vs. State Responsibility

“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”  I Timothy 5:8.  The Bible is clear that a Father has both responsibility and authority over his children.  He must provide them with sustenance, spiritual leadership and protection.  The mother, likewise, clothes her kids with both wool and wisdom.  Nothing can take the place of a fully intact, properly functioning parent.  On the other hand, government sometimes has to pick up the pieces of a broken family.  They provide welfare, custody court, and sometimes foster care.  If a child is in danger from his own parents, then the state steps in to remove the child from the disaster.  This is a tenuous responsibility for the state and is an arm of authority that must only be used in the most extreme of cases.  Who has the ultimate right over a child?

The modern policy proposals that would enable public schools to shield the parents from a child’s sexual identity or confusion is an abuse of this power.  Just as the state sets the rules of driving to include training and sets the minimum age of operation at 16 years of age, parents are often the ones that allow the student to pursue this liberty or not.  Some parents prefer to have the kids wait until they are 18 years of age.  Both the state and the parent are acting in concert in this scenario.  If a child comes to a teacher or counselor with an issue of sexuality or identity, the school should immediately contact the parent.  If the age of sexual consent is 16, then no state authority should be discussing sexuality with a child younger than that.  Parents should have both the right and the responsibility to decide how to train their children in matters of morality and sexuality.

The Constitution Party’s 2016 Presidential Candidate Darrell Castle has said,“It is the nature of the state to seek dominance over the population.  Freedom will not ultimately remain intact if we leave it unattended.”  One does not have to look only at modernity to find the contest between parent and state.  Spartan culture took young boys away from their mothers at age 10 to train them in war and other mayhems.  Roman authorities took the children of the conquered as assurance against further uprisings of foreign tribes.  The Hasmonean King Herod commanded the death of innocent children to insure himself a future throne, as did the Egyptian Pharaoh.  This ancient problem continues today.  Where is wisdom?  Who has the ultimate right over a child?

The danger of public schools acting as agents of the state is evident in the writing of the former president of Hillsdale College George Charles Roche III:

“Education in America has become a reflection of the insistence that education be a function of government, cost free to participating students, fully financed at taxpayer expense.  What originated as local schooling supported by taxation in the immediate community (and therefore somewhat responsive to local and parental wishes) has inexorably moved toward bureaucratic bigness – the fate of all publicly funded projects.”

We must stand against the tide of allowing the state to be the authority over the child and furthermore we must reject the idea that the local public school is an agent of the state in all matters of parental rights.

Perhaps wise King Solomon could help us in this dilemma.  Remember, two women had children, yet one somehow rolled over in her sleep and smothered her child to death.  She then swapped the babies, a live one for a deceased one.  Of course, the mother of the living baby awoke to discover the truth.  This was not her deceased child, and the other woman now had her living child.  They went to Solomon as judge and he wisely said “take a sword and cut the child in half”, all the while knowing the true mother would respond as she did.  The impostor woman said “go ahead”.  The true mother cried, “let the child live” albeit with the impostor.  Solomon gave the baby to the real mother and the world marveled at his wisdom.

The lesson is clear.  The birth parents have ultimate love, authority and right to the child.  Solomon would never have killed the child, and he did not take the child away from its mother.  He did not ask the mother if she was loyal to him, or a set of state inspired rules.  He simply divined who was the real mom.  I wish our state officials would be so wise.  The audacity of hiding confused children’s sexual identity from parents smacks of an ulterior motive.  Perhaps they desire a soft recruitment toward homosexuality, or simply the greater acceptance of transgender-ism as normal?  That is called social engineering through the public education system and is a poison.  Dr. John Austin is running for a third term and has acted as the chief engineer in this Herodian catastrophe in Michigan education.

The current board of education is a danger to society at large and children in particular.  It is time for new advisers.  John Austin must go. Protect your rights as parents by electing a Christian and a conservative to the board.

Michigan School Funding Follies

Detroit children’s lives matter.  Apparently, 46,000 students are getting emergency funding to the tune of 617,000,000 dollars.  That’s $617 million, folks!  I just wanted you to see the zeros involved.  Every student will get over $13,000 in school funding from the state of Michigan.  That does not count any federal, local or independent funds.  Detroit students will be the most funded public school students in the nation.  This is not a caring measure . . . it is a political one.  It is aimed to cover the Democrats and Republicans follies in education by whitewashing the district in money.  They are making it rain in Detroit!  

This is not the first funding folly for Michigan education policy.  For seven years the Detroit district has had a measure of state control, yet that did not stop corruption and scandal from Detroit school principals.  Perhaps they are used to the endless pipeline of money, fueled and supported by the unions and the progressive rhetoric coming out of Lansing.  Perhaps they think they are due, or that they are entitled.  Cliché, I know, but what else could the problem be?  Now the state wants to declare a bankruptcy, create a shadow district to hold the indebtedness, and tax the citizenry to cover for financial bedlam in the district.  

Sounds like an Abbot and Costello routine.  “Who gets paid first?”

“When?”

“No, he gets paid second.’

This is insane financial policy in order to finance insane education policy.  Michigan is second to last in black student high school graduation rates, and we throw more money into the grinder.  This is not fair to the citizens of Michigan, other public or private school students, and least of all the Detroit students and families.  It is hush money to the highest degree.  Detroit families, it is time to throw off the yoke of Democratic and Republican nonsense and take your city’s schools off the treadmill of politically correct slavery.

The Michigan Education Association is now paying for advertising on WJR radio to ask parents to talk to their students about academics.  Where do they get the money to do that?   They are getting it from teacher’s paychecks and thusly, from Lansing’s coffers.  This means the taxpayer is now paying for radio ads too.  This is not entirely the Governor’s fault, but he is pushing the problem down the road.  Funding is not the problem.  Out of a proposed budget of 38 billion dollars, 17 billion is going to education.  The Citizens of Michigan are generous to their schools and always have been.  Today’s funding percentages are not fixing the decades of problems caused by social engineering in schools.  Almost half of Michigan tax revenues go to schools.  This is a political rout.  This money is not educating, it is indoctrinating.  

Detroit teachers and unions are decrying, ‘It is not enough!”  Mind you, this emergency funding is above and beyond regular funding.  Feeding this monster is killing Michigan’s future.  The funding folly has to stop at some point.  Let the upside down pyramid fall on the head of it’s creators.  Michigan funding, spending and responsibility for education should be local, local, local.  Detroit is not asking for a little hand out in meager times.  It is sucking Michigan dry to pay for its addiction to political indoctrination.   The utopian society template is failing us.  Replace the leadership, the vision, the fiscal policy, and the ultimate responsibility of taxing and spending.  Something has got to give.

Cost analysis is working in other states.  Targeted spending is a proper discipline.  

Restrict unions.  They are more dangerous to schools than automatic weapons.

Localize both spending and responsibility with the funds.  Function with a surplus not a deficit.

Cut taxes.  Stop the bleeding.  Michigan citizen’s generosity cannot overcome their sensibility.  We are being robbed.

Virtue . . . Christian virtue knows how to fix problems, be compassionate, act responsibly, and endure hard times with goodwill.  When we remove virtue, we get folly, and it is expensive.