There are some who say there is a worrying fusion of information and entertainment in America. I tend to think there is a worrying lack of information and overabundance of entertainment.
Take for example my local high school, Morton High, in which 80 percent of the students could not pass Biology I and 60 percent could not pass English I (according to the 2010-2011 End of Course Assessment Exams), yet money is being spent there to teach students how to sing and dance.
We’ve got to face the facts. America is getting dumber by the minute, and it’s not going to get any better until we destroy the root of the problem: Government regulated and funded schools.
Why do I claim public schools to be vast “idiot factories”? It’s simple.
- Public schools do nothing to improve the literacy or intelligence of the average citizen. You definitely have a problem when more than half of Americans can’t find the United States on a map. Just recently, when my father went to vote, he was shocked to hear the youngest poll worker ask, “Why are two Democrats running against each other?” When you look at facts and stories like these, public education just doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
- Public schools have a vested self-interest in dumbing down America. If you put McDonald's Corp. in control of teaching children about what to eat, you would have a very overweight nation. What do you think happens when you put power-hungry politicians in control of education? Why else do you think my generation has bright ideas like “the government is our friend” or “population control ensures prosperity”?
- When did education become a right in the first place? The last time I checked, the Communist Manifesto, not the Declaration of Independence, talked about free and universal education. How does that dumb down America? If people don’t have to rely on themselves anymore then why would they even need basic intelligence? The motto of my age is quickly becoming “Don’t think; the government will think for you.”
Don’t jump to the conclusion that I’m some far-right home-schooled nut who’s been sheltered all his life, because that doesn’t address the problem. Americans aren’t getting any smarter, and no one wants to admit they know why.
I have been in public schools up to my freshmen year, when I left the system: I know them very well. It’s not the teachers; they have no power. It’s not the parents; most are afraid to discipline their child anymore. It’s the system of government-controlled education.
Raymond Anderson Jr., of Hammond, is a home-schooled student. The opinion expressed in this column is the writer's and not necessarily that of The Times.