United States Citizen Fund

Rod Lingsch for Congress 2024

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Failure of Education

      Prior to 1980, America’s graduates from high schools and colleges were considered to be the best educated and trained in the world.   Likewise, America’s colleges and universities were favored as the best in the world.   According to the Program for International Student Assessment, America’s high school graduates are now 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 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 and the National Education Association (NEA) have not been serving in the best interest of our children.   So, what changed?

U.S. Department of Education

      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 required 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 in America and stay.   This became a primary reason why politicians wanted to create a Department of Education.   This new department consolidated the federal government’s control over F-1 and J-1 visas so they could decide which individuals were permitted to remain in the U.S. and which ones were forced back to their home country.

Student Loan Crisis

      Politicians forcing Affirmative Action quotas on colleges and universities is the primary cause of America’s student loan crisis.   These institutions were required to hire lawyers and additional administrative staff to interpret Department of Education quota mandates, create recruitment policies, establish and maintain a system for ranking students based on race and gender, then deal with the lawsuits once the system was implemented.   As a result, most universities were required to hire thousands of administrative staff.   When professors and other personnel are included, essentially each college student is not only paying for their tuition but the entire yearly salary of one of the university’s employees.
      If it was not bad enough that the Politicians created the student loan crisis, they had to make it much worse.   In 2010, the Obama Administration nationalized the student loan market completely removing private lenders.   Politicians devised this plan, claiming it would raise them $58 billion a year to help pay for Obamacare.   Needless to say, their plan did not work so well for college students and taxpayers.   Shortly after the Obama administration took over, student loan defaults increased 2.4%.   Instead of creating revenue for the federal government, it lost $21 for every $100, costing taxpayers more than $30 billion each year.

From Success to Failure

      The reason America’s primary and secondary schools were successful prior to 1980 was the decentralized implementation of education.   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 from the furthest removed institution, the Department of Education has miserably failed America’s children.
      Since 1980, the federal government has spent more than $6 trillion to improve primary and secondary education.   This amount 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 distraction from the root causes of the problem.   This is why politicians in Washington, D.C. never solve problems.   They throw taxpayer dollars at an issue and then pat themselves on the back for a job well done.   Politicians will never solve problems because they always ignore the underlying causes.
      The Department of Education, State Education Agencies, academic research institutions, colleges, and universities have been struggling to solve America’s poor academic performance for more than 4 decades.   America has the most diverse multicultural society in the world, unlike any other country.   This makes our education problem particularly complex.   While America’s traditional education system works well for some students, it has been increasingly less so for minorities and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.   These issues and cultural assimilation further exacerbate America’s education problems, creating cultural divide.
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