A report by the Department of Education about American public
school students' ignorance of history is no surprise. Similar
studies have shown a mostly discouraging trend for more than 20
years. But the response from those who are responsible for the
deplorable intellectual and social conditions in schools, while not
surprising, is a triumph of denial.
Government surveys asked 22,000 students in every state about
their knowledge of American history. Half were found to be unaware
of the Cold War and nearly six of 10 knew little or nothing about
the origins of our republic.
This at a time when the nation is spending more money on
schools than ever - and unbelievably public education activists
tell us that the reason students aren't learning is that we're not
Some might ask why we did a better job educating children in
one-room schoolhouses than in pricey public schools. Taxpayers
should wonder whether the problem has less to do with money and
more to do with what is being taught.
The modern education system has been front-loaded with elitist
propaganda that does little to give students a firm foundation of
knowledge that will prepare them for the modern world.
One recent survey found that in many cases four periods of the
school day are consumed by non-academic subjects, such as the
environment, sex education, self-esteem, driver's education and
Even the good stuff has been polluted by the politically
correct who believe it more important to study 14th-century African
kings than the Magna Carta or early American heroes like Paul
Revere, Thomas Paine and George Washington. (Dead white males with
European roots, you know.)
Lewis Lapham, editor of Harper's magazine, thinks the pathetic
state of contemporary education is the fault of those who want to
take us back to the days when children were taught differently - a
period in which they were truly educated. He blames "political
demagogues" for the ignorance of so many students.
Writing in The New York Times, Lapham blames those who believe
in the Bible for dumbing down the children, not those, like
himself, who revel in their disbelief. He links such persons to a
Harvard professor who he says has "verified the sighting of
Lapham has a tough case to make, given the fact that his
secular soul mates have succeeded through the courts in stripping
the schools of any favorable references to God. …