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Cal Thomas: Public education flunked the test


WORLD Radio - Cal Thomas: Public education flunked the test

Private and homeschooling are on the rise for a reason, and it’s not because parents are extremists.

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MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Thursday, March 30th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Parents’ Bill of Rights intended to reform American public schools. That follows states like Florida that have also sought to give parents more control.

WORLD Commentator Cal Thomas looks at the culture war behind these efforts, and how wise families can respond.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: The president of the American Federation of Teachers union, Randi Weingarten, spoke recently at the National Press Club in Washington. Weingarten railed against what she described as existential threats from extremist culture war-peddling politicians. She claimed the far right is trying to dismantle public schools, which are attended by 90% of children.

Kids aren't learning, at least not as well as when older Americans were in school. Our children have fallen behind many other countries in basic skills and not entirely because of closed schools during COVID. Who's responsible for the so-called culture wars? It isn't traditional and Christian Americans, they've been told to shut up as books that seek to normalize behavior and relationships God calls abominations are snuck into libraries and taught in classrooms, often without parental knowledge or consent.

This is a major reason the school choice movement and homeschooling are rapidly growing. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis just signed into law a measure that will allow virtually any child in the state to attend whatever school he or she wants, public or private, with the goal being a good education, not fulfilling some secular progressive objective of diversity, inclusion and equity. Competition works in nearly every other area of life.

When public schools were not seen as the enemy of traditional values, when the American flag was saluted and the Pledge of Allegiance recited, when the Bible and its contents were not considered contraband, public schools functioned well. Increasingly they're becoming the enemy of those values, as reflected in a recent Wall Street Journal poll, which found especially young people no longer support the values including religious values and hard work that once defined America. We don't send members of our military to be trained in countries hostile to our beliefs. Why do we send so many of our children into schools that are increasingly hostile to our values?

COVID helped parents see what was being taught in their child's public school. Many reacted by pulling them out and sending them to private schools or homeschooling them.

Evil seems to be expanding in our nation and the world. No one is completely safe anywhere these days. But parents can take steps to better ensure the safety of their children. And schools can increase security to a level where people like the Nashville shooter might be deterred from carrying out their evil acts.

I'm Cal Thomas.

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