This column originally appeared in The Tentacle on October 31, 2011.
Put your left foot in if you’ve heard the phrase “global society.” Put your right foot out if you’ve heard the phrase “education that is multicultural.” Congratulations you’re doing Frederick County Public Schools’ Education Hokey Pokey because that’s what education is all about now.
Our county school system likes to use these phrases thusly: “prepare them for success in a global society;” “contributing member of our global society;” “meet 21st century standards required in a global society;” and “promote student achievement through multicultural resources and culturally responsive classroom practices.”
Why aren’t we preparing our children for success in America?
Preparing them for success in a “global society” is preparing them for a lower quality of life and a lower wage.
NationMaster statistics ranks the United States fifth in wage earnings. Only Norway, Japan, Switzerland and Luxemburg pay better. Are we really competing with Luxemburg?
Our main competitors: Mexico ranked 47th at $5,200 per year; Russia, 82nd at $1,700 per year; the Philippines 106th at $920 per year; China 108th at $865 per year and India, ranked 128th at $441 per year. This is our “competition?”
Allison Doyle, researcher for www.About.com, wrote that an acquaintance told her that his company has an office in India paying average wages of $20,000; in the U.S. he’d have to pay a $100,000.
Other statistics for our competitors show that Americans are happier, live longer and have less poverty and suicides. What are we competing for? In the past “success” in America has been judged by career, the wage tied to it, and its homes and family. By most measures we are already succeeding.
Using our school systems’ standards and these statistics, our high school students could drop out anytime and be prepared. So, the question remains, “what” are we endeavoring to prepare them for?
Maybe a glimpse into the Frederick County Public Schools’ Master Plan System Goals 1, 2, 4 – and maybe 5 – will give us clues.
Goal 1 – Every student learns in an intellectually challenging environment, prepared as a life-long learner to excel in college, further study and the workplace.
Goal 2 – Every student learns in a safe, caring and engaging environment, prepared to participate as a productive citizen and contributing member of our global society.
Goal 3 – All employees will be highly qualified for their jobs, motivated and effective at work, and valued and respected by their students and the community.
Goal 4 – Every family has access to the programs and services needed for their children to enter school ready to learn.
Goal 5 – All sectors of the community will be engaged in the education of our children.
Goal 6 – Every division and school has sufficient resources, and manages those resources in a publicly accountable and cost-effective manner.
No Goal outlines academic excellence. Goal 1 strives for intellectual “challenges,” but not excellence. There is no push for personal responsibility, integrity, charity and entrepreneurship, things most Americans would say make a successful citizen.
Goal 4 encourages use of social programs. Goal 5 wants us to be comfortable with community input. This is okay as long as we are talking academics and opportunities, not social mores, which are infused within our school system’s education. Our goals appear to be global, multicultural acceptance and mediocrity.
This appears to be the new nationwide Education Model. Is it any wonder why tens-of-thousands of college kids now occupy about 20 cities across the country demanding what public schools are pushing? These misguided creatures aren’t aware they are supposed to accept personal responsibility while striving for excellence.
Embracing “globalism” is embracing the downfall of the American dream that previous immigrant generations worked hard to attain. It was the melding together that made this country strong. Now bureaucrats, with the help of our education system, seek to divide the cultures, feed faction and bring this country to its knees.
The National Education Association (NEA) published a book entitled The American Citizens Handbook (pre-1960 edition) in which it said: “It is important that people who are to live and work together shall have a common mind — a like heritage of purpose, religious ideals, love of country, beauty, and wisdom to guide and inspire them.” Truer words could not be spoken.
Our schools push for global, multicultural education for dubious reasons. The breakdown in society always comes when cultures don’t blend. We have turned off the heat under the melting pot and allowed cultures to coagulate into cliques that are succeeding in dividing America.
Schools spend so much time pointing out, supporting and applauding differences that they forget the necessity and strength of unity. Or do they?
Our children are spending more precious learning hours on environmental and social issues instead of core subjects like science, math, history and reading.
Inasmuch as the majority of our citizens won’t be moving abroad for employment, we certainly aren’t competing for “jobs.” We are, however, competing for innovative ideas that will create new jobs in America. If we stop the teaching of feelings, beliefs, global identity, environmental worries and entitlements, we might inspire the next Bill Gates instead of the next Bill Ayres.
Is this purposeful manipulation of our children in order to achieve a desired result? I leave you with a quote from Michelle Obama’s October 2011 address at the Healthier U.S. School Challenge Celebration and you decide: “That’s why we start with kids, right? We can affect who they will be forever.”