The United States of America, and other societies, only function when they have an educated and informed populace. Education furthers our civilization, it leads to innovation and progress. Of course, this is assuming that the education is comprehensive and fair.
Certain organizations in recent years, like the Texas School Board, have seen fit to edit our textbooks and the minds of the youth to fit to their ideological agenda. For example, a certain section of the textbook has this question. “Discuss the solvency of long term entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare.”
Just looking at this question in a rational and nonpartisan way, one will notice a few things, mainly that the textbook refers to Social Security and Medicare as “entitlements.” It is my personal opinion that programs like Social Security and Medicare are not “entitlements,” they are inalienable and necessary rights that have benefited millions of people. In addition, using the word “solvency” implies that programs like Social Security and Medicare are massive financial drains on the US Government, which they are not.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the most unbiased person, but personally I would rewrite that specific question to be, “Discuss the causes and effects of programs like Social Security and Medicare.”
Now, this is only one example out of hundreds, and history is not the only subject that is censored. Important topics like science and literature are also imperiled by the fundamentalist mentality of School Boards all around the country. Topics like evolution, and books like the Harry Potter Series, and countless others.
This is a direct quote from the Republican 2016 Party Platform.
“The federal government should not be a partner in that effort, as the Constitution gives it no role in education. At the heart of the American Experiment lies the greatest political expression of human dignity: The self-evident truth that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Their argument is that the Government should play no role in education because the Constitution doesn’t allow for it. They want the American Public School System to be dismantled, and return America to the pre-19th century educational system, which was primarily faith-based. Another quote from the GOP Platform.
“A good understanding of the Bible being indispensable for the development of an educated citizenry, we encourage state legislatures to offer the Bible in a literature curriculum as an elective in America’s high schools.”
The Republican Party wants to indoctrinate our youth, and close their eyes to the progress that we have made as a civilization. They criticize scientific and environmental thought because they supposedly contradict the faith that they hold dear.
In order to promote a successful generation of youth, we must encourage rationality, tolerance, and understanding of the scientific method. We must discourage homeschooling, and private schooling, which are effective methods of education but could potentially lead to blatant falsehoods being taught to the populace.
We must rebuild the American Public Educational System, and desegregate our schools. We must mix the classes, and encourage fair funding for all schools, regardless of race or income. And we must shove religious institutions out of education, for they teach lies and outdated methods of education.
Something is fundamentally wrong with out priorities when 54% of Federal Discretionary Spending goes towards the military, money that the military does not need. We spend 6% of discretionary spending on education, and 54% on the military.
We need to re-invest in our schools and our children, and ensure that private schools receive no vouchers from the state. We must also regulate charter schools effectively, and ensure that any school that receives money from the taxpayers remains secular and nonpartisan.
We must encourage the development of textbooks by nonpartisan committees, not by the political school boards, or corporations that serve only the interests of profit.
In conclusion, in order to produce a functional and intelligent society, the US must encourage secular and scientific education, and alleviate the influence of outside forces, including political parties, corporations, or religious institutions from our schools.