Do you know where Dublin is? What happened at the Little Big Horn? Who is Harry S. Truman? If the big hand of a clock is on 11 and the little hand is on 4, what time is it? If I owe you $14.17 and I give you $20.27, what bills and coin do you give me back? If I dig for Au, what am I digging for? Quick, what is 8x9? An electric train is moving north at 100 mph and a wind is blowing to the west at 10 mph. Which way does the smoke blow? In what century is 1865?

Most Baby Boomers can answer these questions right off the bat, but today’s Gen Z age group probably haven’t the slightest idea as to the answers. Math, science, English — not so much spelling — and social studies form the core of the curriculum in Georgia high schools. If you talk to today’s students, you wonder just how in-depth are they really taught.

Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which sponsors the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) initiative, in 2018, the U.S. ranked 31st in math and 18th in science and 13th in reading. China and Singapore led in all three. This is a disgrace.

Talking about China, what language do we mostly teach in American schools — Spanish. The Chinese teach English in their schools. Learning Spanish enables the police to give criminal illegal aliens their Miranda rights. We better start teaching Mandarin so that our next generation can talk to their Chinese bosses. Flush with cash, Chinese companies are entering the U.S. marketplace, endeavoring to destroy our businesses and take over our industrial base in a disciplined manner.

The United States spends more than any other country in the world at $7,743 per child on education, yet Finland out-scores American school children while spending only $5,653 per student.

Why do we have a federal government run Department of Education? What has it done for our children’s education? Nothing that I can see. In the United States, education should be a state and local matter under the 10th Amendment of the Constitution.

The Constitution doesn’t mention education, public schools, teachers, teachers’ unions, private schools, students, Title IX, classrooms, curriculum, Head Start, Common Core, math and science initiatives, teacher education, teacher certification, bilingual-education mandates, charter schools, educational vouchers, mandatory attendance laws, or a Department of Education. And the Constitution doesn’t authorize the federal government to spend one cent on education. The Department of Education is just another government boondoggle.

The essential problem with the Department of Education is that it takes away decision authority from the parents and local communities. The states and school officials must agree to numerous federal requirements to access federal funding — our taxes. Put together the problems within the department and the growth of successful state-level parental choice programs, the U.S. Department of Education should be abolished once and for all.

Shouldn’t the school system teach personal finance and basic law to all children in high school so that they can handle real-life problems? Speaking skills, logic, reason, entrepreneurship, and business are not and have never been taught to our next generation of adults. If knowledge is the end goal of education, then today’s focus on learning for real life earns our education system an “F.”

Not everyone should go to college and accumulate debt that will carry on for many years afterwards. Our schools do not prepare our students, who are not college material, for physical careers, such as electrician, plumber, auto mechanic and welder, nor do they teach what will be needed for the highly technical jobs of the future, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing. The average American school teaches students x, y, and z, but teaches little of how to apply these principles in life. The reasoning of education is not the rationality of the working world. Today’s schools are not preparing the workers of tomorrow.

President Biden shows no concern for the growing consensus in favor of school choice. He prefers to spend his presidency gratifying the teachers’ unions and promoting their disastrous one-size-fits-all method of education. The unions oppose policies that encourage charter schools, school vouchers, and education tax credits that give families access to nonunion schooling, which have proven to be superior to public schools. 65 percent of K-12 parents support school choice, including 74 percent of African Americans and 71 percent of Latinos.

Even now, the unions want to keep the schools closed even after they are proven safe from the pandemic, causing an entire generation to anticipate a drop in lifetime earnings of 5 to 10 percent, because they are losing a whole year of learning. Learning through Zoom is just not working.

Did you expect me to give the answers to my questions? Since Google has replaced education, google them.

Mark Twain once said, “Don’t let school interfere with your education.”

Len Calderone is a constitutional conservative who lives in Rossville. He can be reached at lencalderone1942@gmail.com.

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