Former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin once said, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” Lenin understood how important education is to a young person’s worldview, and how intractable ideas can become. Lenin used education to the fullest, as do his heirs in the West.
The cultural revolution of the 1960s remains very much with us. In the last 50 years it has chipped away at the foundations of our nation, little by little, relentlessly, with an agenda of fundamentally changing this society. The nation of Barack Obama is no longer that of John F. Kennedy.
One institution that has undergone immense change is the public education system. Formerly, public schools were dedicated to educating youths and imparting in them an understanding of the history of America, its uniqueness in history and a knowledge and appreciation of the natural rights guaranteed by our Founding documents. Until socialism arrived, these had always been considered the acme of political philosophy and government organization. The goal was to prepare graduates as good citizens and informed voters.
But the Left has so completely changed both public schools and colleges that they have almost no relation to their earlier selves. The term “political correctness” originated in the old Soviet Union. It was used to control people’s speech and, ultimately, their thought. Today’s schools are a study in political correctness.
High schools frequently offer some variety of Advanced Placement (AP) tests in various courses. If students score well enough on a given test, they can earn credit for an equivalent basic course in college, thus shortening their time (and expenses) in school. The test most students take is the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). Theoretically, the better a student scores, the wider his or her choices of colleges after high school graduation.
Both the AP and the SAT tests are properties of a company called the College Board. As with schools, the College Board used to be dedicated to high standards both in curriculum and testing. But as the hippie generation with its perverse agenda has taken charge of these institutions, the College Board years ago fell in line, as a good comrade should.
Because of its unique position as producer of the tests that determine students’ chances in college, the College Board has a great deal of power to shape high school curricula, including those of private schools, and to influence state standards. It’s therefore noteworthy that David Coleman, president of the College Board, is also the architect of Common Core. We’ve reported on Obama’s Common Core curriculum several times and its corrosive effect on not only the education of young people but also society at large.
Unfortunately, too few are aware of this clandestine attempt to nationalize and further corrupt America’s schools, from kindergarten through grad school.
The College Board recently released a very few sample questions for the new AP U.S. History Exam. Understandably, the College Board has always been very concerned about security to protect its latest test (historically, tests have been repeatedly edited to replace badly written questions and to add new, more topical ones). Illegal distribution of coming exams would require scrubbing an entire test cycle. This latest framework is being treated as a state secret. Samples of the test, however, have been released to certified AP U.S. history teachers who have been warned under penalty of law as well as loss of their AP teaching privileges to keep them secret. Since teaching AP classes is one of the most rewarding experiences high school teachers can have, don’t expect any leaks of the test’s contents.
This entire business is clearly an attempt to force these standards on states while the president keeps Americans distracted by his never-ending scandals. The entire American education system is being converted into a multicultural, one-culture-is-as-good-as-another propaganda machine. Some of the Founders, such as Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson and Constitution writer James Madison, are mentioned; that’s it – mentioned. They’re exposed as examples of Western class, gender and racial evil. And while teachers may chose to teach the Constitution as it is written, by doing so, they disadvantage their students because they know the real Constitution isn’t on the test.
Living up to its “Lone Star” nickname, Texas is the only state so far that’s really fighting this abomination. Ken Mercer, a member of the Texas school board, wants to introduce a resolution rejecting the new AP exam, but he’s been told that he must wait until September when doing so will be too late.
In 1788, Founder Noah Webster wrote in On the Education of Youth in America, “Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.” The sad fact is that unless more school boards and members of the public wake up and smell the stench, this advice will increasingly be ignored. And what follows isn’t pretty. Indeed, it’s a nasty seed that’s already proving very difficult to uproot.