By: Thomas Wigand | New Zeal
As discussed in Part I, Progressive “educators” have hijacked our education system, one of the critical “institutions” in their Gramsci-inspired “long march through the institutions.” The following curriculum, along with the rest of the proposals in this series, is intended to provide a roadmap for taking back our educational system – re-Americanizing it as we de-Progressivise it. To be sure, some of the proposed curriculum that follows has previously been proposed by others – the “three R’s” being an obvious example – but much is new and unique, and game changing in ways that will beneficially resonate well beyond education itself (as will be discussed in Part III of this series).
As would be expected, what used to be called “the three R’s” — readin’ writin’ and ‘rithmetic” – will be first and foremost (plus science, of course). Literacy in those areas is the foundation not just for a lifetime of learning, but for workplace success. To achieve this, we need not reinvent the wheel – dusting off the archives and modeling based upon how these subjects were taught before the 1960’s would provide a sound starting point. Then, benchmark “best in class” levels of academic achievement. For that benchmarking, we could utilize, e.g., the OECD measures of worldwide achievement and, for each subject, target the current world leader in that subject area as our bogey. That, in turn, would provide the threshold for what would constitute an A- grade in our schools (since the bogey equates to the average achievement in the highest performing country, we should reserve A’s and A+’s for our students who beat that average).
But the “three R’s” are just the beginning. We need HISTORY (with a civics component); ECONOMICS; and PERSONAL FINANCE. (We won’t here devote space to the personal finance element, other than to note that imparting a working knowledge of budgeting; compound interest vs. compound investment returns; and “gross” vs. “net” can be life-changing for those about to enter the workforce, and who have decades remaining for saving and investment. If they play their cards right, they won’t really need Social Security or Medicare.)
HISTORY: The history component would gravitate around American history, accurately presented as a culmination of the world history that is its ancestor and so preceded it, particularly Western Civilization (which might be received more enthusiastically than one would first expect). This preceding history will be presented as the building blocks for our Founding Fathers considerable knowledge of history, and their learning from others’ mistakes while designing our own form of government, culminating in the crafting our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.
In other words, our history curriculum will emulate our Founding Fathers’ own acquisition of knowledge of the (preceding) world, of human nature – and, not the least, of our Judeo-Christian heritage, which is inseparable from our founding – then their distilling the wisdom gained to design our (divinely inspired) nation. None of this is to imply the omission or whitewashing of the darker elements of our nation’s history – such as the long delay in eliminating slavery (albeit in historical terms it occurred within a short period of time). But instead to present them in proper context – as examples of the consequences when we don’t adhere to our founding principles – and also placed into context compared to the even darker sides of history that have occurred throughout human history.
Instruction in those darker sides must include instruction (comparative courses) on the counter-founding political philosophy that arose during the 18th century (Robespierre and the French Revolution) and 19th century (Marxism). A political philosophy that, since its inception, has endeavored to replace our divine founding specifically, and displace Judeo-Christian Western Civilization overall – that would be Collectivism and its component subsets – Marxism / Communism; Socialism; Fascism and Progressivism. Collectivism’s utopian theory vs. its actual historical results would be elemental in our curriculum. For example, mandatory reading on this subject should include Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago” (I read it over one summer during my college years, during the Jimmy Carter malaise era, and it hammered-home for me how lucky I am to have been born an American). Other instruction regarding Collectivism’s history of tyranny and mass murder – Soviet gulags; National Socialist (Nazi) concentration camps; Communist killing fields and cultural revolutions – will do much to place the “evils” of the United States of America into proper historical context. Indeed, this education would go along way toward making, amongst the young, the currently ubiquitous t-shirts of “Che” quite passé.
ECONOMICS: Which brings us to economics, as that subject also (allegedly) provides the theoretical underpinnings of Marxism. Age-appropriate curricula in (practical) economics holds the promise of providing young students with some exposure to how the real world works – human nature (e.g., people operating from perceived self-interest); business operations and how they succeed and fail in free-market economies – and so by extension why, over the long run, Collectivism never works in the real world.
This writer proposes that we use the following model for the economic curricula – a model also suitable for the other subjects within our curriculum: first, bypass the educational establishment and employ “our” experts to develop the curriculum content. In the case of economics, possibilities would include engaging luminaries such as Dr. Thomas Sowell and Dr. Walter Williams, and organizations such as FEE (Foundation for Economic Education) and the Mises Institute. The end product will be far superior than the current “pedagogy” developed by corporate textbook oligarchs in service of “professional educators” (that are actually Leftist ideologues promoting a Collectivist agenda disguised as educational content).
Last but not least – as advocated by Mike Rowe – a reinvigoration of vocational education for those who have the aptitude and inclination. This would provide a meaningful foundation to springboard into the workforce those who, whether by inclination or preference (or both), are inclined to make an honest living performing the non-glamorous but indisputably essential tasks performed by tradespersons and manufacturing workers.
Which brings us to how to build the transmission mechanism of this curriculum into the curious young minds that are the future of our country.
TRANSMISSION of the CURRICULUM
Essential for our means of transmission is the long sought, but still elusive voucher system in which the money follows the child. For you see, with such vouchers “private” schools would become economically viable and, being independent of the Progressive-designed and controlled “public” K-12 system, could utilize our new curriculum from day one. Such schools would be free to engage genuinely qualified teachers (including those untainted by those indoctrination factories that spew forth “college of education” graduates); they would also be free of the educrat bureaucracy and teacher-union propensity to institutionalize mediocrity.
Further, a voucher system such as this could allow home school parents to pool their voucher money to, e.g., rent a nearby facility as their “school” (and daycare center?) and share instructional and supervisory duties amongst themselves – kind of a home-schooling co-op.
To help ensure quality and reduce costs, the curriculum described above could (should!) include taped / streamed classroom sessions and lectures by luminaries such as the aforementioned Drs. Sowell and Williams. This would help ensure the quality of presentation and the integrity of the content (no local teacher censoring or bypassing the content). Additionally we would, of course, have written materials, reading assignments, and (at least in part) uniform testing (which could be offered as standardized tests given over the Internet, and graded in whole or part by computer, which would lower costs while providing uniform results against which parents can benchmark their own children’s progress).
This entire curriculum could be “open source” in the sense of being offered at no charge, or nominal cost, and to any parent, or groups of parents, or private school that wishes to utilize it – enabling all to harness a world-leading curriculum at negligible expense (and thus affordable). Think the Khan Academy on steroids.
The personnel for the local K-12 schools would be / could be local teachers (or teaching assistants) in private schools; qualified volunteers (such as subject matter expert senior citizens); home-schooling parents (or a consortium of home schooling parents banding together).
Currently the K-12 system is a near monopoly controlled by bureaucrats and teachers that almost to a person are graduates of the far-Left (i.e., Progressive) indoctrination centers known as “teacher colleges,” unionized in teachers unions run by far-left (i.e., Progressive) apparatchiks, polluting our young persons’ minds with “politically correct” curricula (enabled by collaborator textbook publishers) – all intended to mold them into future useful idiot believers in the far-Left Progressive cause. This author would argue that it, like Collectivism itself, is at root Satanically inspired … intended to undermine our divinely-inspired nation from within. But even if one is not prepared to go there, the OECD results included above confirm that the current Progressive hegemony over our K-12 must be broken-up, lest we remain mired in expensive mediocrity. The foregoing proposals are intended to suggest some means for doing so; but also provide the catalyst for something even broader – something both revolutionary and utterly game-changing for our entire country.
Next in Part III, the game changing impacts that could be the result …
Mr. Wigand is the author of Communiqués From the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, which is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions. Comments or questions for Mr. Wigand may be sent to: [email protected] — he will make every effort to personally respond to every email.