Failing Schools: Focus On Symptoms Or Find A Cure

There are people all over the country who are enraged by the fact that our country has recently been leaning more and more toward socialism, or perhaps more accurately, toward fascism. These same people who rave against the socialist policies enacted in government and business seem to be just fine and dandy when these same methods are being used in the behemoth American educational system.

Public schools are often referred to as government schools. The government has a monopoly on the establishment and enforcement of laws in this country. Government schools enjoy a monopoly when it comes to educating our youth. The system is supported by public taxation. There is always a large pool of money available. If parents choose to withdraw their children and enroll them in a private school or educate them at home they are still required shell out money in support of their local public school. Parents who make this choice end up paying twice. Public education’s dependence on compulsory taxation explains a lot about what is wrong with government schools. The quality of the product is always improved with competition and quality always declines in its absence.

The methods of educating public school children are similar to the assembly line of an early 20th century factory. They are to report to the same place at the same time with the same teacher every day. They all sit in identical seats and each one must remain in the same seat day after day. The teacher unpacks a prepared standardized curriculum which rarely changes from year to year. All the students are evaluated in the same way at the same time on the same day. This method of factory produced pupils will frustrate the gifted child and discourage the struggling child.

The most important element in the politically correct philosophy of the government educational system is the self-esteem of each child. Some schools prohibit teachers from using red ink to grade papers because a paper with many red marks on it could prove devastating to the self-esteem of the child. Children can no longer measure their athletic skills against their opponents because competition has been eliminated on the playground. Everyone is a winner, everyone gets a trophy and everyone leaves feeling good about themselves. Do you wonder why the Occupy Movement is inundated with millions of 25 year olds who think very highly of themselves and wonder why the government hasn’t already paid off their educational loans and provided them with a house to live in?

Real achievement is attained when students grasp the intrinsic values of striving for excellence, when they understand that competition will be a permanent part of their adult life and hard work and a healthy dose of innovation will be the path to success. Are educators doing our students an injustice when they dump truck loads of praise on middle school students who still use their fingers to add and subtract and on high school students who think Chicago is the third largest state in the union?

One of the more disturbing things I experienced having worked fifteen years in public education was watching certain students march across the stage and receive their diploma even though I knew and all the other teachers and administrators knew they could not read. They gripped their diploma with smiles on their faces, the principle shook their hands, their parents hooted like owls and they experienced the euphoric feeling of having finally finished a twelve year educational marathon. They were done a disservice, they were socially promoted and they were lied to and many of them became very disillusioned and distressed when they discovered they couldn’t fill out a job application. Most of them lacked the simple math and language skills to work at McDonalds.

Tax payers have shelled out trillions of dollars to educate American youth. You would expect some outstanding results after making such an investment but the truth is that poor academic achievement and the high school drop-out rate remains a huge problem. Drop-out rates are measured in different ways. Some districts don’t count those who dropped out during the summer or those who dropped out to get married. But rates have consistently been between 10% and 20%. Anywhere from 40% to 80% of our students fail the standardized tests first time around. U.S. students are not being prepared for the global economy as evidenced by the fact that they scored 25th in math skills among 34 countries tested while China ranked first. Obviously there is little correlation between the amount of money spent and academic achievement.

This is a common argument used against public education along with the accusation that government schools are breeding grounds for promiscuous sex, venues for excessive violence and they are used as vehicles to indoctrinate our children with theories of evolution and socialism. Perhaps when we observe these things we are really only viewing the symptoms rather than the actual disease itself. Perhaps the real problem is that we as Christians cry out vehemently against socialism in any other area of our society but we incomprehensibly continue to tolerate socialism in our educational system. Perhaps the real problem is that we have abdicated our God-given responsibility to educate our children to an anti-Christian government.

Christians are against murder. We don’t oppose murder by fighting against certain methods of murder. We protest murder in all its forms in every situation. Perhaps we are failing when we disapprove of the methods of public education rather than the institution itself. We combat the symptoms instead of the disease.

The Bible clearly grants the state very limited power (Romans 13) The government’s responsibility to its citizens is to protect them and punish those who would do them harm. That’s it. That’s all the Bible says about the obligations of government to its people. There is nothing in the Bible that states that it is the government’s responsibility to educate our children. The responsibility to educate children belongs exclusively to the parents. (Deuteronomy 6) Government schools are often governed by the greed of those who can’t wait to get their grubby hands on the public coffers and by parents who love the idea of educating their children at their neighbor’s expense. Would it be too extreme to say that government schools are not scriptural?

The government has successfully removed all evidence of the existence of God from public schools. Teachers will be arrested for uttering the name of Christ. R.C. Sproul, Jr. said, “All of reality exists so that God’s name would be known and the government school says you can’t name his name.” The government sets schools up to be anti-Christian. If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7) how can our children learn wisdom and knowledge if the foundations for such learning have been removed?

A civilization finds itself in great peril when its institutions blatantly ignore God and wink at evil. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…” (Isaiah 5:20) Parents must counteract what their children are learning in government schools. God loves life and it is immoral to kill a baby still in the womb. God meant for men and women to enjoy sexual relations and to use it as a means of procreation, he is angered when we use his gifts for our own perversions. God created the earth and we must never be so blatantly bold as to take that glory away from him and give it to another.

The state schools have crossed the line into territory where they have no business being. Parents, don’t let the government teach their values to your children.

“We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done…which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.” (Psalm 78:4-6) Government schools have no commitment to the truth in these verses. This responsibility belongs to parents and the body of believers who call themselves Christians.

The Best Way to Get a Permanent School Fund

It’s vital for educational institutions to use a permanent school fund. It is through extra-curricular pursuits like theater, football, and glee club that students can expand their horizon. With no secure funding program, on the other hand, schools cannot afford to teach students for games or take them to play a part in renowned academic competitive events. Board members turn to closing creative departments caused by school funding issues.

If you are a concerned parent, you may cease this from taking place. Persuade other parents in the community to sign up in preserving resources flowing. There are many ways to evading school funding issues and generating revenue.

Listed below are some good tips that might be handy:

-Market something Good and Useful

Selling goods, whether or not they are food or attire, remains to be the most common and efficient way of increasing school funds. One well-liked idea amongst mothers is a bake sale. Both students and parents work together to create cupcakes, cookies or any other light pastries. Profits should go to the school. Others consider having garage sales. They offer used but functional items which may be of use with other people.

One way of exercising artistic and business skills is actually by selling artwork or hand-made trinkets like earrings, bracelets and necklaces. It’s also possible to sell home-made crafts including candles, soap, and perfume. Nonetheless, try and get help from a specialist in making them. You can also learn some useful do-it-yourself articles on the net.

Study your target market first. This is to make sure you know which items are much more profitable. You must generate more profit in comparison to the money you have invested.

-Offer Services that are in-demand

Another way of having permanent school fund aside from fundraising is by offering services. By way of example, talk to students the possibility of having a car wash. This is common with students.

You may also offer other solutions for instance house cleaning, lawn mowing, and baby-sitting tasks for a particular cost. Another special gimmick is having an auction. These are generally typical for college fundraising activities. This requires fraternity and sorority houses auctioning off their members for a friendly date with the highest bidder.

-Concerts and also other Performances

One enjoyable way to raise school funds is actually by setting up a show. It may be a talent show, a musical or even a play. This allows students to show off their talents and offer great entertainment. School funding issues will not be a problem since you can generate finances through ticket sales. You can even host a telethon where donors can call in their pledges while enjoying a variety show.

Make certain everyone knows about your event. Seek information and come up with inventive ways of advertising. You can also put posters and ask local papers, radio programs, and TV stations to mention your event. You can even find sites providing distinctive solutions to have a permanent school fund. Try posting a classified ad and make use of social network sites.

Without investors and donations, tuition will grow which causes several departments to dissolve. Stop this by doing your part to keep extra-curricular activities alive. Think of interesting fundraising events you may hold that could guarantee a good outcome.

How the Right To an Education Destroys Our Children’s Education

One of the most common arguments that school authorities use to justify public schools is that all children have a “right” to an education. Public-school apologists claim that all children have a right to an education, and that only the existence of a massive, compulsory, government-controlled public-school system can “guarantee” that right.

As I will explain below, the claim that all children have a right to an education ends up hurting the very children it was intended to help. I will therefore ask a seemingly shocking question — do all children have a right to an education? If they do, public-school apologists are correct in assuming that we need government to guarantee that right so no child gets left behind.

What is an economic “right” such as the alleged right to an education? A “right” means that a person has a claim on the rest of society (other Americans) to give him some product or service he wants, regardless of whether he can pay for it or not. For example, if we claimed that everyone has a right to a car, that would mean if someone couldn’t afford a car, government would give that person the money to buy it (the payment might be called a car voucher).

Similarly, if we say that all children have a right to an education, regardless of their parent’s ability to pay tuition, then only government can guarantee this alleged right. Government has to guarantee this right because no private, for-profit school will admit a student if the parents don’t pay tuition (unless the student gets a scholarship). If a private school doesn’t get paid for its services, it soon goes out of business.

Local or state governments can guarantee this alleged right in two basic ways. They can own and operate all the public schools and force all children to attend these schools, or they can give subsidies (vouchers) to parents to pay for tuition in the private school of their choice. Since most school authorities strongly oppose vouchers, that means they support only a government-controlled system of compulsory public schools and school taxes to guarantee children this alleged right to an education.

But government produces nothing by itself. Government gets its money by taxing us. To guarantee this alleged right to a product or service, government tax collectors must therefore take money from one person to give it to another. They must take from Peter to pay Paul, as the saying goes. So, in effect, a person who demands food, housing, or medical care as an alleged right, is really demanding that government tax agents steal money from his neighbor to give him an unearned benefit he didn’t work for.

Education, like housing or medical care, does not grow free in nature. Just as someone must pay doctors, nurses, and hospitals for all the services they provide, someone must also pay for teachers’ salaries, textbooks, janitorial services, and school upkeep. Other than air, nothing that we need is free.

The average public school now gets over $7,500 a year per student, paid from compulsory taxes. To guarantee education as a “right,” local, state, and federal governments must tax all Americans to pay for public schools. All of us are taxed, whether or not we have school-age children or think these schools are worth paying for. So when some parents claim that their children have a right to an education, they are really demanding that their local or state government steal money from their neighbors to pay for their children’s education.

Here’s an analogy that might help clarify this issue. Imagine that your unemployed neighbor comes to you and asks you to lend him money to pay for his children’s education. You reply that, though you sympathize with his problem, your answer is no. He responds by saying that he is poor, points out that you have a big house and a job, and insists that his children have a “right” to an education. You say, “Sorry, my answer is still no because I need my money for my own children’s education.” Suppose that your neighbor then gets real mad, pulls out a gun, puts it to your head, and says, “I asked you nicely. I told you my children need an education. You have a job, and I’m unemployed, so you have a moral duty to give me your money.” Then he clicks back the hammer on the gun.

Does your neighbor have the right to put a gun to your head and steal your money because his children “need” an education? He has no such right. Nor does he, or any number of your neighbors, have the right to rob you by getting government to be their enforcer — by pressuring local governments to take your money through school taxes. Any school system that uses compulsory taxes is a system based on the notion that theft is moral if it’s for a good cause. No goal, not even educating children, justifies legalized theft.

It is only natural that all parents want the best education for their children, but do good intentions justify stealing from your neighbor? A mugger on the street who puts a knife to your throat and demands your money also has good intentions — he wants to make his life better with your money. One of the Ten Commandments says, “Thou shalt not steal.” It does not say, “Thou shalt not steal, except if you need tuition money to educate your child.” Since no one has a right to steal from his neighbor, no one, including children, has a “right” to an education.

Some might argue that I may be correct on this issue when it comes to adults, but surely we can’t punish innocent children for their parent’s failures? Just because parents are poor or unemployed, why should innocent children suffer and be denied an education? The answer to that question is one that many people find hard to accept, yet it is true — there are no guarantees in life, not for adults or for children. Good intentions to alleviate a problem do not justify hurting other people by stealing from them. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Moreover, if we agree that children have a right to an education because their parents are poor, then shouldn’t they also have a right to food, a bicycle, a nice house in the suburbs, and designer clothes? If poor kids (and all children) have an alleged right to an education, don’t they also have an alleged right to everything else that other kids have whose parents are well-off? Why not then say that anyone, poor, middle-class, or rich who has less money than his neighbor, has the “right” to steal from his neighbor? Where do we stop if some people can legally steal from others because they claim their kids need this or that?

The answer is, we don’t stop, and we haven’t stopped. That is why our country has turned into a devouring welfare state that is drowning in debt. When I use the word “welfare,” I don’t mean only for the poor. Rich, poor, and middle-class alike in America now claim the right to everything from corporate tax breaks and subsidies, to price supports for farmers, to Medicare, to rent subsidies for unwed mothers. When we let government steal money from taxpayers to give unearned benefits or subsidies to special-interest groups, we open up a Pandora’s box. We become a nation of thieves stealing from each other. Is this what we want America to become?

It is true that a free market does not and can not guarantee that all children have enough to eat or live in a comfortable house. Likewise, a free-market education system in which all parents have to pay for their children’s education obviously can’t guarantee a quality education for every child.

However, government-controlled public schools also can’t guarantee that every child gets a quality education. These failed schools can barely teach our children to read. Also, neither system can make guarantees because there are no guarantees in life, and because each child’s abilities, personality, and family background are so different that such guarantees are impossible. The real question, then, is not which system is perfect, but which system is more likely to give the vast majority of children a quality education that most parents could afford?

Public schools fail and betray millions of children, year after year. The only “right” the public-school system gives to school children is the right to suffer through a mind-numbing, third-rate education for twelve years.

In contrast, the free-market, while not perfect, gives us all the wondrous goods and services we buy every day, such as cars, fresh food, computers, refrigerators, and televisions. The superbly efficient and competitive free market gives us all these marvelous products at prices that most people can afford. Even the poorest American families today have a car, refrigerator, and sometimes two televisions in their homes. If we want to discover which system would give the vast majority of children a quality education at reasonable prices, I think we have the answer — the free market, hands down.

We therefore don’t need a failed public-school system to enforce an alleged right to an education, when there is no such right in the first place. Each parent should be responsible for paying for their own children’s education, just as they pay for their children’s food or clothing.

Finally, public-school apologists use this alleged right to an education to justify keeping the public-school dinosaur alive, in spite of these schools’ never-ending failure. Many public-school apologists who claim that children have a right to an education do so out of good intentions. They want to give all children a chance to get a decent education. But good intentions mean worse than nothing if they lead to dismal consequences. This alleged right to an education lets government bureaucrats have tyrannical control over our children’s minds and future.

The “right” to an education requires a massive government-controlled public-school system to enforce that right. But it is this same public-school system that cripples the education and lives of millions of children. So, ironically, the alleged right to an education is the worst thing we can offer our children.

Most low-income families don’t need government education handouts anymore in the form of allegedly “free” public schools. Parents today can buy quality, low-cost food in a competitive, free-market food industry full of grocery stores and supermarkets. In the same way, parents today can give their kids a quality education using low-cost Internet private schools and homeschooling.

Only when we reject the notion that all children have a “right” to an education will we get government out of the education business, permanently. Only a fiercely-competitive free-market education system can give kids the quality, low-cost education they deserve.

An Innovative Modular Approach to Building Schools

There is much discussion amongst the education sector about how, given the budget constraints and withdrawal of BSF (Building Schools for the Future), the educational buildings of the future will be delivered, let alone meet the aspirations for a dynamic learning environment. And so, increasing numbers of schools and local authority specifiers are looking to modular building to help meet their construction needs, in terms of cost, efficiency and sustainability.

Offsite construction has been widely used over the past 60 years in the education sector and this is largely where the industry built its reputation. Back then, these “portable classrooms” were chosen as they met the challenges of the rapidly growing population in the baby boom years. Now, schools are facing no less of a challenge. With educational budgets slashed, they are looking to meet their obligations to provide good quality buildings that meet the aesthetic and performance requirements of modern teaching methods and that provide environments that are conducive to learning.

Design flexibility

The latest hybrid off-site construction systems still offer desirable benefits in terms of speed of construction and quality. However, they have transformed methods of modular construction completely in other respects in that they offer the same design flexibility as conventional buildings with, for example, floor to ceiling glass walls, bespoke building heights and the ability to create a seamless link between existing and new buildings.

With schools now having to reassess their budgetary arrangements and plan for the future, these innovative new methods of offsite construction are continuing to provide the answer to meeting the requirements for aesthetics, scheduling, performance and cost.

An innovative modular approach

Modular building, working closely with UK architects, provides an innovative approach to meeting the design, build and budgetary requirements of the education sector.

The aim is to make the specification process much easier, by providing schools with a dedicated list of building components that meet performance, aesthetic and legislative requirements and are Building Bulletin compliant. These components have been specifically selected based on extensive experience in supplying the education sector. Offsite construction has been providing modular classrooms and fully-fitted schools to the educational sector for over 60 years, and so the industry is ideally placed to move forward with new, sustainable and affordable approaches to building schools, colleges, nurseries and universities.

The principle behind this new approach is that the majority of schools are built with the same components – such as a large span hall, classrooms, study areas, libraries, which often follow the same construction layout. The modular approach approach simplifies their manufacture and reconfigures them to create unique designs. As the whole system has been developed to make the construction of school buildings more affordable, the repetition of standard selected components should lead to a reduction in building costs.

This is an exciting time, and the possibilities that modular building offers schools, colleges and universities means that there are viable options for a more affordable way to achieve aesthetically-designed permanent buildings of the future.

Offsite construction is renowned for its extensive expertise in providing modular buildings for schools and colleges. Its unitary systems have been widely used within educational buildings, as they use standardised system components and quality-assured factory fabrication to create permanent or temporary low-rise buildings. These modular systems are particularly well suited to projects where there is restricted site access, whilst still enabling the creation of a weathertight seal to the permanent building within five days.

The flexibility of offsite construction means that volumetric structures can be combined with unitary systems to ensure that school buildings can have much greater design freedom and are not restricted to a box-like appearance.