Since the mid-1800’s when compulsory education began to become the law in America, central planners have desired control over the lives of children in order to ensure they were properly taught the things that were important for them. The end result of what has taken place is the loss of freedom, loss of parental authority, loss of educational opportunities, loss of economic control, and loss of educational interest. Around 1990, Senator Ted Kennedy’s office produced a document which stated prior to compulsory education in Massachusetts, the literacy rate was 98%. After compulsory education was implemented, (and it was by gunpoint in some areas of MA), the literacy rate dropped to 91% and never rose above it. Most of us have probably seen the level of education that was taking place over 100 years ago. It’s pretty stunning the questions that were asked of children on the exams they took. What happened? Why has education declined? I believe the root cause of these problems is compulsory education. Stripping people of the freedom to learn and the freedom to fail (“you will advance at this pace and with this subject matter and with these peers”), strips them of desire and creates an environment where the government takes upon themselves the responsibility to ensure your child is educated. Some say this isn’t a bad thing, but who is setting the standards, assessments, and curriculum? Why does this form of education have to be enforced by law?
What we have is near total government control of what is taught and tested, data tracking from birth to death, government reaching into our lives to control our behaviors…this has all been around for decades and is reaching it’s culminating effect through Common Core. In 2004, Bill Gates signed a contract with UNESCO to create a global education system. You can’t have independent thinkers in a global society now can you? It’s been said that America is the last bastion of freedom and if it falls, the rest of the world falls too. Reading this article on World Net Daily drives that point home.
Parents around the globe are being stripped of the ability to homeschool, landing themselves in jail and having their children taken away from them, permanently in some cases. In Scotland, they are now trying to assign a nanny at birth to EVERY CHILD, to ensure children are properly educated. Even here in the United States, the Obama administration recently stripped a family of their asylum status and is seeking to deport them back to Germany after they fled because they would be arrested for homeschooling their children. Why is homeschooling such a threat to those in power? It certainly isn’t altruistic motives that cause people to seek the destruction of homeschooling.
What Can We Do?
I get a lot of email asking “what can we do?” type questions. The challenges facing parents probably aren’t going to end soon, but we can take action to protect our freedoms. We can become better educated ourselves in what our rights are. We can look into the available options for our children and take their education upon ourselves in a bigger way. We can set an example for our children by modeling the behavior we want them to latch onto. Here’s a short formula for success.
1) Get educated on issues and develop your principles. You’re reading this site so you’re on your way. :) Another excellent way to do this is to attend the upcoming Agency-Based Education conference in November. This is an organization I founded a couple years ago dedicated to 5 principles of freedom in education. Conference registration is taking place right now. It’s perhaps the cheapest conference you’ll ever attend, and you will leave inspired and educated, growing more confident in your child’s educational options. One of my personal favorite presentations from last year’s conference was Tammy Hulse speaking on a program called Liberty’s Hope. This presentation alone gave me a lot to think about. Please make plans to come to this conference. You won’t be disappointed. Register today.
2) Develop the courage to stand. As you get educated, start to attend gatherings where you can see what’s going on such as school board meetings, campaign events where you can talk with legislators, etc… Get outside your comfort zone and be involved. Make a public comment in a meeting. If you’re nervous about it, write your comment down and keep it short. As you do this, you’ll develop greater courage to do more and you will be a great example to your children.
3) Share what you learn with friends and family to help you refine your thinking and educate others in their thinking.
4) Develop a relationship with your legislators so they know your name and that you are an involved parent. I remember the first time I called my senator years ago, and I was quite nervous. It took a little time to realize they’re just people like us. Utah has the opportunity this next legislative session to make some meaningful changes in the law to restore local control and move toward ending compulsory education. Senator Aaron Osmond is working on legislation right now that will make positive moves in protecting families from grasp of compulsory education. Developing your relationship right now with legislators will enable you to be a powerful voice with your legislator.