Blogs by Michael J Hayutin
Underappreciated Prosperity- The Need for Civics Education
9/17/2008 10:26:19 AM
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Why we need to get sex and drug education out of the schools and put civics and free market instruction back in the schools.
Our children are getting a ton of instruction that serves no good purpose and is counter productive to our national survival. Years ago state governments and local school boards decided to step into areas that had traditionally been the purview of family and faith. Billions were dedicated to wasteful programs year after year with little if any positive results. Nonetheless the education establishment annually demands more money. Even as enrollment shrank in California the unions disingenuously claimed cuts were coming and demanded more. Decreases in the rate of increase were deceptively blasted as cuts.
In most communities kids have been receiving both health (sex) education and anti-drug education in public school. For many it begins in kindergarten and runs through high school. This non academic baby boomer motivated public instruction pushed out time and resources spent on more traditional and essential education in areas like civics and free market economics.
The rational has been the desire to “educate” the little ones about sexual relations and drug abuse. The generation that lost self control in these areas seems lacking in the confidence to handle these matters at home. After decades of instruction the continuing epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse plus rampant adolescent sexual relations continues largely unabated. An example: the billions of dollars that were poured into D.A.R.E. for decades only to discover that this well meaning program had no positive impact whatsoever.
Children are more promiscuous, use drugs and alcohol at alarming rates and get into all of this at ages that were unheard of 40 years ago. The attempt to fill the gap left by empty dinner tables, absent fathers and lack of solid values education at home has not worked. The state can never effectively fill the role of a conscientious mom and dad. While the focus from year to year is on rates of drug use and promiscuity that ebb and flow, the reality is that these problems are massively worse than before schools tried to replace parents.
Adding drug and health education curriculum to public school classes has helped push aside the traditional civics and economics education that is necessary for our kids to fully appreciate their blessings. Although schools had effectively taught civics for years it was largely abandoned in a post 1960’s drive to paint American history in the most negative of lights. It was part of a movement to impose multiculturalism and diversity training as civics was nudged out the door. Emphasis was transferred to promotion of other cultures backed by the concept of moral relativism that by definition excluded American exceptionalism. The progressive “experts” running our schools have concluded that teaching American exceptionalism is a form of bigotry.
Patriotism used to be nurtured by an intimate knowledge of why America is such a special place. Patriotism involves far more than pointing out to kids their need to protest. Before we encourage kids to exercise their right to protest we need to teach them how those rights arose and how to preserve those rights. We feed their egos with rights before we fill their souls with responsibilities. We encourage them to complain before we teach them to appreciate. That is the formula for a self destructive culture.
It is not jingoistic for our public schools to spend significant time reminding our kids that America is unique, exceptional and worth fighting for. It is the responsibility of public schools to show our children how America has made the world a better place. Why we are so prosperous and why people from all over the world risk life and limb to be apart of this magnificent experiment should not be a mystery to any of our kids. Millions do not flood into America legally and illegally for the opportunity to protest, complain and criticize. They come for the freedom and opportunity that far too many of our kids don’t appreciate. Educationally nurtured patriotism is a matter of national preservation not arrogance.
Part of civics education should include the role that free markets have played in securing our liberty and prosperity. We should not be ashamed of our prosperity. It is that prosperity that has allowed America to be the most charitable place on earth. It has allowed America to become home for millions from all over this earth. It has allowed America to grow strong and defeat both fascism and communism. It has allowed us to be the major factor freeing more people than any country in world history.
Unless our children are taught what it is that makes America special they will surely loose those precious rights in the future. Too many of our kids enter college with the distorted perception that America has been responsible for more harm than good. They are ripe candidates for the America bashing that permeates so many liberal arts departments at our universities.
Parents can turn the tide. Fully engage your kids on issues of drugs and sex in accordance with your values. Simultaneously petition your schools to get out of your business concerning these issues. Demand your school board include education in old fashion civics. Vote for politicians who remember or appreciate that the purpose of public education includes a full explanation of the origins of our freedom and how to preserve those freedoms. To borrow a bit from George Santayana, those who fail to appreciate their good fortune are doomed to lose it.
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Our Precious Secret Ballot - Saturday, November 29, 2008
Moral Hazard or Bailout? - Monday, November 17, 2008
He's My President Too - Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Inadvertently Allied With the Devil - Friday, September 26, 2008
Underappreciated Prosperity- The Need for Civics Education - Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Sara Palin - Radical Feminist Nightmare - Exemplary Female Role Model - Thursday, September 11, 2008
Resurrection of a Myth - Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The Village AWOL - Thursday, August 21, 2008
Don't Ignore the Wolf at the Door - Friday, August 08, 2008
The Enemy of Cultural Progress - Friday, August 01, 2008
Fighting With One Hand Tied Behind Our Back - Wednesday, July 02, 2008