The need for educational reform

educational reformFor nearly twelve years I have been openly discussing the need for educational reform in our public schools and within higher education. Each semester it seems more and more college students are enrolled in remedial and developmental courses that will not transfer to other colleges and do not count towards the degree’s requirements for graduation. Students who take these courses must either pay out-of-pocket or with their federal and state financial aid.  Almost all of these students that take the remedial courses have one thing in common – they hold a high school diploma from a public high school.

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The Rise of American Fascism

52222747_fascism_xlargeWithin our nation we have witnesses the emergence of American fascism. It is prevalent within American politics, the mainstream media, and even within formal education. What was once considered every American’s right to debate and disagree with the government, social trends, and even just each other is no longer remotely considered as a natural right. All it takes is a study of America’s founding to understand how important this was  considered. Throughout America’s history, one of the constant features of the American people is a history of disagreement, dissention, and discussion about the differing opinions – also commonly referred to as the natural right to exercise individual freedom of conscience.

The Constitution: a product of Enlightenment ideas

American-ConstitutionThe Constitution of the United States is a product of Enlightenment ideas that define the relationship between the national government, the states, and the average citizen. This is a very important key to understanding what makes it a truly unique document and why it has thus far endured the tests of time.  Over the past few weeks, through Facebook, emails, telephone conversations, and even a few “real” world conversations, I have been asked by many why the current generation of Americans, those who are graduating from high school and college, seem not to be interested in politics or in defending or standing up for the Constitution. As a college instructor and as a freedom-loving American, I honestly believe that the major problem is the way we teach the history of the founding of our nation and the Enlightenment ideas that would define its nature.

An educated electorate: required

 

stack-of-booksWhile serving in the United States Army in the early 1990s, I had to prepare for the much-anticipated promotion board for sergeant. Like many, I had bought a study guide to help me prepare for the range of questions that I could expect to be asked. Besides the obvious questions on military tradition, job-related skills, and the history of my unit, the study guide had a section devoted to what it called “general knowledge citizenship.” As I prepared for the promotion board using the study guide, I began to understand how much about the Constitution of the United States I simply did not know. I prided myself in being a high school graduate and even had thirty-four hours at a local college before joining the Army. Although I considered myself as educated, I was far from being a member of the educated electorate our founding fathers said must exist to protect the Constitution and the national government it defined.

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