The United States has fallen behind Canada, Australia, every nation in Europe, and almost every nation in East Asia and Southern Asia - respecting education in math, science, ethics, etiquette and overall didactic knowledge - and now the rest of the world is set to bypass the United States educationally, in ENGLISH!
The ONLY attraction for America's young people should be the SCHOOLS.
And these schools should be open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to receive
ANYONE who wants to enter to improve their knowledge. You walk in, you find a computer, you sit down - and you improve your lot in life, in a safe environment
with monitors and qualified teachers who are there to answer your questions.
Teachers should be hired, promoted and retained on the basis of biannual test scores in their respective academic subjects - NOT seniority or political pull; and since teachers are not hired collectively, and don't receive collective scores, there should be merit-based collective bargaining, but without collective teacher contracts leading to school strikes and disadvantaged students.
Students should be promoted academically only on the basis of academic accomplishment, NOT on the basis of age or social promotion. If a five-year-old passes the test for graduation from the second grade, he should receive his diploma that month, and begin third grade the next day.
If a family needs time off for vacation or social needs, they should be able to take off any time - regardless of any school calendar - as long as their children continue to academically advance -and with today's technology, there is NO REASON why people should have their feet glued to the linoleum in their school district in order to academically progress. You should be able to take your final exam while hiking on the Appalachian Trail - or on the beach at Big Sur! And no one should ever again have to wait for everyone else in a class of 30 people to "get it" before the teacher moves on to the next page. You move on at your own speed, and if you get stuck, you get one-on-one help from a teacher who actually teaches YOU!
Not only that, but tuition - not homeowner taxation which taxes people out of their homes and into homelessness (yes it does) should be the criterion of all financing of public education. We don't have an immigration problem in America - we have a tax structure problem. If you're from Mexico - Bienvenidos! Tear down the walls along the border. Pay as you go - just like everyone else. Credit for those who cannot afford to pay - but you or your children get credit on your own account, not on someone else's. And children in Mexico or any other country should be entitled, on that equal and fair basis, to go to any school in America without ever leaving their own country!
One job of teachers is to notice potential signs of child abuse, including child labor abuse. Every school district should have three ombudsmen to whom teachers report all suspicions of abuse. The ombudsman should be a qualified psychologist and tested child care expert whose job it is to filter teacher complaints and protect whistleblowers who report abuse - a protection which is obviously necessary when you consider what has happened in Pennsylvania and other states. And there should be three - not just one - so that the suspicions of abuse are not subject to corruption or waylaid by incompetence; and can be adequately handled with due diligence and without prejudice to the rights of parents who may be struggling themselves, and who may need help and compassion and benign monitoring rather than child-snatching at the drop of a hat.
And no school should have the power to recommend drug-infestation of the lives of children with mind-control or mood-control medication. Schools are not competent to handle medical issues in a prescriptive manner, or to regulate medication in any way.
Schools in the United States cannot build, rebuild or maintain democratic and free institutions as long as they are run as Stalinist command structures which reward and promote incompetence, which disregard all common sense, and which are guided by corrupt interests, ranging from a push to build new, expensive school buildings where none are needed; to special deals with outside contractors, and including unneeded oversight by teachers' unions - unions which always seem to throw teachers to the wolves where teachers need protection most; such as the protection of substitute teachers' rights and dignity, and protecting the rights of teachers who come under unfair and unnecessary harsh attack, and protecting the most competent teachers from being downgraded due to the supremacy of arbitrary nonsense.
Co-education gets a grade of F for failure and social collapse. Boys and girls should not be streamed or warehoused in the same classroom according to segregated age groups. All of the massive evidence on this question shows this conclusively, and it is time to stop disregarding the truth. The only mixed-gender education arrangments which should be permitted in any type of classroom environment are those for students who have proven their behavioral fitness and academic excellence. Boys, if you want to show off for the girls (or vice versa), that is no longer a guaranteed right. You have to earn that right by maintaining an exemplary record of conduct, getting top grades, and making academic progress - not by pulling everyone else's progress down and wasting valuable educational resources. And the overemphasis on spectator-sports and glorification of athletes must end.
The teaching of political correctness and anti-Americanism, and the inculcation of racism under the Affirmative Action banner, and the indoctrination in feminist psychobabble, and the immersion in gay-promotion propaganda, have no place in schools where the very young are taught; and schools should make available deprogrammers to assist both teachers and students whose happiness and academic progress have been negatively affected by these cult beliefs, which have been taught as a sort of religious evangelism by taxpayer dollars.
It is also time to get the Bible back into the classroom. Public education was founded in America to enable people to understand the Bible and to live by its best values - not to snidely thumb their nose at the Bible under the banner of the First Amendment. The Bible is not an "establishment of religion", but a book which it is necessary for Americans to have a basic understanding of in order to understand their own history and culture. No classroom and no computer portal in any American school should be without a Bible, every classroom in America should have a original version King James Bible including the Apocrypha, and no teacher should leave home without it. The Bible does not violate anyone's freedom of religion when it is spoken of favorably, or used to educate or uplift - any more than watching a screenplay of Oliver or Miss Saigon violates a child's innocence, or any more than singing The Star-Spangled Banner should put someone on the terr0r watch list due to its reference to b0mbs. "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want...." I remember Mrs. Baker reading to our classroom: "Blessed is he who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on that law he doth meditate day and night. He is like a tree, planted by the rivers of water...."
And WHY is it important for all kids in America to hear this? Why do we need a King James Bible, over 400 years after it was first published? Because this is the unaffected language style not only of the Bible, but of the LAW OF THE LAND - and once Americans lose touch with the language used and understood by our Founding Fathers, the rights which they secured for us are in jeopardy, and the English language itself becomes a slippery slope. Shakespeare should rank at least as high on the American educatorial scale as Sesame Street.
It is time for improvement in American education across the board, and American education cannot be significantly improved until these measures are implemented. I urge all Americans to go to their school boards with this petition and sign paper copies of it as well, and I urge the world community to step up to support a better-educated and more democratic America; and to stop America from sliding irrevocably into the rank of failed nations.
America will stand or fall, based not on its military might, nor the value of the dollar, nor the proliferation of the junkier aspects of what passes for culture, but rather, based on what we do here - and YOUR VOICE can make a difference.
- Scott Davis, PO Box 877, Edgmont PA 19028-0877 USA; October 28, 2012