The election of a new president has filled millions of Americans with hopes of brighter days. Donald Trump promises to make America great again, and with that promise comes the expectation that he will restore greatness to every aspect of American society – including the education system.
“Making American education great again will not be an easy task,” said Alex Newman, an international journalist and educator. “In fact, the problems that got us to this pathetic point began over a century ago. But just because it won’t be easy doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It must be done if America is going to be great again.”
Newman, author of “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children,” laid out his suggestions for how President-elect Trump can return American education to its prior greatness.
He told WND it all starts with ending harmful and ineffective methods of teaching children to read.
“As early as kindergarten, Common Core calls for children to ‘memorize’ words,” Newman said. “As the late Dr. Samuel Blumenfeld and I show in “Crimes of the Educators,” which was endorsed by early Trump supporter Phyllis Schlafly as mandatory reading for leaders of her organization, memorizing words not only doesn’t teach children to read, it creates a permanent handicap in children that is incredibly difficult to overcome.”
The statistics on literacy in America are not promising.
Sixty-four percent of fourth graders scored below the “proficient” level on the reading component of the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress, as did 66 percent of eighth graders.
Those numbers have been even worse in previous years. And struggles with literacy in childhood appear to be spilling over into adulthood as well.
According to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million U.S. adults can’t read – a whopping 14 percent of the adult population. What’s more, 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read.
Newman pins the blame for the literacy troubles on the “whole word method,” which is how American public school children have been taught to read for several decades.
“The correct way of teaching children to read English is the same as it always has been: systematic, intensive phonics,” Newman insisted. “Simply teaching reading correctly would do wonders for education, because it would allow children to educate themselves rather than depend on government. It would also allow them to read scripture, our founding documents, real history, real science and more. Without being able to read properly, children are captives of the education establishment and the crooked media. We can’t allow this to go on – especially when the solution is so simple.”
The second step to making education great again, according to Newman, is to remove all federal interference in education.
“Shutting down all funding to federal education schemes is essential – including federal funding to state and local governments, which always comes with strings attached,” he declared. “If that means vetoing legislation, so be it. Shut down the U.S. Department of Education. Completely dismantle it. Sell the building after you fumigate it. Fire every bureaucrat, even the good ones. That should permanently kill the absurd farce that is Common Core, because the only thing keeping this ridiculous zombie alive is unconstitutional federal carrots and sticks anyway.”
Newman admitted removing the “federal boot print” from education and teaching kids to read properly will not solve all of America’s education problems. But he said those two steps would be an excellent start. He has more radical, fundamental changes in mind.
“Eventually, the government school system as it exists today needs to be completely uprooted,” Newman proclaimed. “It came from a poison seed, so it’s no surprise that the fruit is poison. Chopping off a few branches or ‘reforming’ them won’t cut it. The education system needs to ultimately be rebuilt from the ground up, with God and His Word at the center of it, along with the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic.
“We need real learning and education rather than religious-humanist indoctrination and deliberate dumbing down of students. But it is never too late to acknowledge the mistakes and start taking steps in the right direction.”
See what needs to be done to America’s schools, in “Crimes of the Educators,” which was endorsed by early Trump supporter Phyllis Schlafly.