Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Who owns your children?"

A recent news story about homeschooling from my friend Dale Hurd, a reporter with CBN News, has my blood boiling.

The reality that children are being seized from loving, exemplary parents simply because those parents have chosen to educate them at home is appalling. To hear the terrified screams and cries of little 7-year-old Dan Schultz as he is forcibly removed from his bed and home in the middle of the night is shocking... disturbing... sobering...

(I just keep hearing the voice of the little twit in Steven Crowder's video - you know, the one who can't name the Vice-President of the United States - announcing, "I don't like America. I'm from America, but I don't like America. I'm moving to London.")

This idea that to be a "progressive society" means that the State takes over the lives and education of its children - with little or no regard for parental rights - is no longer just a European idea.

Consider the words of the current United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who believes that "the more our schools truly become the centers of the community, centers of family life, the better our children can do." He envisions "pushing innovation, pushing change," where schools are open "twelve, thirteen, fourteen hours a day, six or seven days a week, twelve months a year."

Why? Because, "Our society has changed, and our schools have not really kept pace." He acknowledges - and he's right - that the days of kids coming home from school at 2:30, to a mother at home and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, are largely over. He is correct when he acknowledges that the typical American school child is currently "going home to almost no-parent families." Dad is at work. So is Mom. She has been since he was six-weeks old.

I just missed when we started calling this good. acceptable. ideal.

When did it become the government's responsibility to raise our children for us?

As you evaluate the merits of his plans for American schools (which include things like onsite provision of three meals a day, onsite provision of dental and medical care, and onsite provision of vision care and eyeglasses for students), consider his own track record of success as CEO of Chicago's public schools. Even taking into account a controversial change in testing methodology which experts have claimed "significantly inflated test scores," fewer than half of all Chicago elementary and middle school students met or exceeded state standards during his years of leadership. This means that for all the money he poured into it (an astonishing average of nearly $11,000 per pupil), fewer than one in every two Chicago students can read on grade level. Or write on grade level. Or perform math on grade level. Or demonstrate understanding of science on grade level.

His assessment of the situation? "The money I spent to open our schools longer in Chicago is arguably the best money I spent."

"This needs to be the norm, not the exception," he has said when referencing this proposed near-24-hour-a-day oversight of children, in all areas of life, by schools.

Sounds like he's following the battle plan of Adolf Hitler, who noted, "When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to us already... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.'*

*From a speech given by Adolf Hitler in November 1933, quoted in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer

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