America’s Crises in Education
The original Department of Education was created in 1767 by Andrew Johnson for the purpose of collecting information on public schools to assess the effectiveness of education. Congress had the new department demoted to an Office of Education in 1768 over the state’s concern that it would give the federal government too much power and control over local schools. In 1953, President Eisenhower created the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (DHEW) which for the first time provided federal funding for public schools in need. A primary responsibility of DHEW was issuing the newly formed F-1 visas to foreign nationals seeking a degree from America’s colleges and universities. President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was a cornerstone of his War on Poverty. ESEA helped ensure poorer school districts were receiving equitable funding to support children in those communities. While these improvements over the decades did not solve all of America’s problems regarding education, the ongoing efforts did help the U.S. become one of the most successful education systems in the world. The primary reason these measures worked so well is that they allowed for a bottom-up approach for education.
Prior to 1980, America’s high school graduates and universities were rated number one in the world. According to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), America’s high school graduates now are rated only slightly above the 50th percentile of the 79 nations assessed in reading, math, and science. This places the U.S. at the bottom of the list for all industrialized nations. Overall, US colleges are now only ranked 18th out of the top 36 industrialized nations according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) despite having some of the most technically advanced research universities in the world. Besides the results of international assessment and ranking, it has been obvious to parents for decades that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the National Education Association (NEA) have not been serving in the best interest of our children.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed into law the U.S. Department of Education despite concerns from many lawmakers that creating the cabinet-level position would require a constitutional amendment. Throughout the 1970s, the relentless complaint from liberals was that America was stealing the most valuable resource from other countries, its people. Foreign nationals from around the world would go to great lengths to attend colleges and universities in the U.S. They knew they would receive quality education leading to high paying employment. However, once their education was complete most would obtain these high paying jobs and stay in America. This became a primary reason why politicians wanted to create a Department of Education. This new Department of Education gave the federal government absolute control over F-1 and J-1 visas so they could decide which individuals were permitted to remain in the U.S after their education was complete.
With politicians gaining control over education visas, liberals found their next grievance. Throughout the 1980’s liberals incessantly complained that America’s colleges and universities were racist. In 1978, the Supreme Court ruled in University of California v. Davis that race could be used as a factor in the college admissions process. However, in University of California v. Bakke (1978) SCOTUS affirmed the use of racial quotas to admit students exclusively based on race was a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. In 1987, politicians utilized the unrelated SCOTUS ruling in Johnson v. Transportation Agency, Santa Clara, CA to justify their Affirmative Action quotas. The ruling stated employers establishing a quota system for hiring women and minorities in the workforce did not create a barrier to men as defined under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Politicians concluded this validated the use of Affirmative Action to enforce equity quotas on tertiary education institutions. ED mandated quotas created a biased system favoring the enrollment of women and minorities. The accomplishments of Asian and white men were significantly undervalued with women and minorities being elevated based on their gender and race. While equity quotas played a significant role increasing minority enrollment, they did not significantly increase minority graduation rates. However, the enrolment of women in colleges and universities has outpaced men for decades. As a result, women graduate from college at a rate of 2-to-1 over men. In the 4th quarter of 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that women finally outnumber men in the college-educated workforce.
Democrats uphold Affirmative Action as a success despite the fact that it is unconstitutional and has created numerous significant problems. According to liberals, their equity agenda means discrimination is justifiable even when it does harm to others. This form of systemic racial discrimination against white men has contributed to making suicide their second leading cause of death. Men make up 79% of the suicides in the U.S. with 105 men dying each-and-every day. Liberals perpetually tell us they are more compassionate, caring, and kind than conservatives. Where is the liberal’s infamous self-aggrandized compassion when people actually die as a result of their enforcement of unconstitutional systemic racism.
Politician’s forcing Affirmative Action quotas on tertiary education is what created America’s student loan crisis. Colleges and universities were required to take on lawyers and additional administrative staff to interpret ED quota mandates, set up new recruitment policies, create a system to rank students based on race and gender, then deal with the backlash once the new system was implemented. The proliferation of colleges taking on equity quotas in the 1980’s resulted in a rapid increase in staff that did not teach or do research. As a result, students across the U.S. were confronted with the challenge of what became the relentless yearly increase in tuition and other fees. Today, some universities have as many as 9,000 administrative staff for every 10,000 students. When you include professors and other personnel, essentially each college student is paying for their education and the entire yearly salary of one of the university’s employees.
In 2010, the Obama Administration nationalized the student loan market by completely removing private lenders. Democrats devised the plan claiming they could raise $58 billion to help pay for Obamacare. It did not solve but added to the crisis.
If all of this was not bad enough riots became all the rage on college campuses in the 1990’s. Several riots would occur each year across the U.S. on campuses and they continued unabated. Typically, after a sporting events or some other campus function thousands of students would start destroying the property their colleges and within their local communities. More than 100 riots occurred over a 20-year period causing hundreds of millions of dollars damage. University leadership either afraid or unwilling to take action allowed this problem to exacerbate. Students became emboldened and started competing with each other bragging in their student union newspapers about how much more damage their riots caused compared to other college campus riots. Only after citizens forced states to pass laws holding students accountable did these riots finally subside in 2014. However, in 2017 riots became the norm again across campuses with the primary goal of suppressing conservative speech. This being a just cause in the minds of college and community leader they permitted riots to occur without consequence despite it costing their taxpayers many millions of dollars. Again, riots continued unabated until the pandemic hit America in 2020.
These are just a few of the reasons colleges and universities have experienced a 17% decline in student enrollment with a loss of 3.3 million students. Our leaders have not only destroyed our institutions of higher learning for Americans but for the rest of the world. The U.S. is no longer a favored destination for foreign students despite America having some of the most technically advanced research universities in the world. Now the most favored nations are China, India, and Indonesia.
The main reason America’s primary and secondary schools were successful prior to 1980 was the decentralized implementation of state education requirements. School administrators and teachers knew best how to meet the educational needs of their students. School districts in-turn would make these needs known to their state education agencies which worked to meet their requirements. Imposing top-down education obligations from the furthest removed institution, the federal Department of Education has miserably failed America’s children. Education reform in Texas is a perfect example of this issue. In 1995, Governor Bush signed his 1995 education reform bill which he called, No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The NCLB asked school districts to assess the needs of schools within their districts. That information was collected by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). TEA assessed the data which allowed resources to be disseminated based on the specific needs of Texas school districts. It worked in Texas because of this bottom-up approach. In 2002 when President Bush signed his No Child Left Behind Act into law it became a miserable failure. Every politician vying for their personal political gain added to the incompetence of the Department of Education making NCLB and enormous burden for teachers and administrators. NCLB has perpetuated a system where administrators of elite schools’ force teacher to use class time teaching the assessment tests to poorer schools whose administrators allow students to fail in order to receive additional federal funding.
After being lobbied for more than a decade, the Department of Education mandated a new requirement of inclusion for all public schools in 2005 called Gay Pride Week. The justification lobbyist used to convince ED this program was an absolute necessity was child suicide. The Department of Education was led to believe our children were committing suicide because their all gay and were being bullied by their peers. This agenda was forced upon public school system even though child suicide rates were decreasing every year since implementing the guidelines under President Clinton’s 1994 Improving America’s Schools Act. Further demonstrating that those involved do not care about the safety and wellbeing your children, child suicide rates have increased every year since these grooming standards were put in place. Under threat by the Department of Education withholding federal funds, 32 states immediately adopted the new guidelines in the 2005-2006 school year. Texas was not one of those states. In the summer of 2006, activists in Austin, Texas forced a referendum on the state legislature to adopt a gay pride week in Texas public schools. Texans voted and it did not pass. In 2007, Texas Democrats reintroduce the bill by where if Texans voted “No” it would pass. Texans voted and again it did not pass. This is the way the legislative process is supposed to work in America! In defiance, Austin Independent School District has imposed its own gay pride grooming curriculum on the students within their public schools since the beginning of the 2008 school year. If you were ever wondering how gender confusion became such an enormous problem for our children in such a short period of time, this was the impetus.
Since 1980 the federal government has spent more than $6 trillion to improve primary and secondary education. This is above and beyond the $1.3 trillion that the states spend annually on public education. Politicians eagerly throw taxpayer’s hard-earned money at issues as a band-aid to cover up the problem. Then they give themselves a pat on the back for a job well done only to have a continual decline in student performance. Problems will never be solved if their underlying caused are not understood. The Department of Education, state education agencies, academic research institutions, colleges, and universities are all struggling to solve the problem of America’s declining academic performance. America has a very diverse multicultural society which makes this problem particularly complex, unlike the majority of countries in the world. America’s current traditional education system works well for some students but increasing less so, for minorities and the socioeconomically disadvantaged. This disparity further exacerbates America’s education problem creating cultural divides. Therefore, the paradigm must change with respect to education reform in America. If we want our educational institutions to be successful again, we must start by getting politics out of education. The federal government forced religion out of schools, we should be able to apply that same standard to political influences. The outdate classroom environment must be restructured. New technologies and methodologies must be integrated to meet the needs of America’s diverse multicultural student population.
New learning methodologies: such as, active learning environments (ALE), collaborative distant learning, student-centered learning, learning management systems, massively open online courses (MOOC), and simulation technologies are offering great potential for improving and streamlining America’s education system. Research into augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) learning environments (VLE) are not only showing improvements in student’s academic performance while realizing fewer behavioral issues. In particular, AR and VLE are demonstrating significant success in math and science. A consistent finding in these research studies show that students themselves say the enjoy the learning, feel better prepared, and are more actively engaged in the learning process. These are some of the academic changes that the USCF Primary and Secondary Education program will incorporate. Additionally, a very important part of USCF is the Primary and Secondary Education Fund (PSEF). PSEF ensures equitable distribution of funds to every school district in America. Every public school system in America receives $12.500 per student. This is one of the many ways USCF ensures every student in America has equal opportunity to learn and grow based on their desires and ability. Not at the whims of government bureaucrats trying to dumb down everyone to the lowest denominator through equal outcomes.