For the Sake of Our Children, Abolish the Department of Education

April 11, 2022 Updated: April 12, 2022

Commentary

I don’t know if there’s a more reactionary, superfluous arm of the U.S. government than the Department of Education.

(Well, maybe National Public Radio, which has a newsroom that called the Hunter Biden story a “waste of time,” but NPR only gets a small government stipend.)

During the Trump administration, among his most criticized appointees was Education Secretary Betsy DeVos—probably with justification. But in fairness to DeVos, no one could have done that job well, short of turning out the lights and shutting the doors forever.

Education should always be done locally, as far from Washington bureaucrats as humanly possible. This local control should avail itself of charter schools and school choice (obviously), homeschooling, and every other form of education that people—largely parents—can devise for the better education of their children to prepare them and the country for the future.

This doesn’t have to do with money.

One of the great illusions—great lies, actually—is that the more you spend on education, the better it is. Of course, you need to spend a certain amount, but at a certain point, the reverse is true.

Money becomes an instrument of control, with the government withholding it if you don’t go along with their diktats. Further, fancy buildings don’t make a child smart. Never have. Some of the most brilliant people of all time came out of one-room schoolhouses, right, Mrs. Lincoln?

You don’t learn to read and do basic math from gleaming buildings. You learn in small groups, working hard.

These days, few young people can write coherently or even parse a sentence. They don’t even know what parsing a sentence is. It’s rarely taught because it’s considered too difficult by the geniuses with education degrees.

The results of federal control of our children’s education, any federal control—including the egregious Common Core—have been nothing short of horrendous. The U.S. public educational system, once the envy of the world, is a disgrace, run from above by people who would never think of sending their children to public schools, but are certain about exactly how we should run them.

This begins in our kindergartens, where 5-year-olds are taught the likes of critical race theory (overtly or covertly) or explained the intricacies of transgenderism before they have the faintest idea of how to read or add and subtract.

In classrooms today, teachers no longer teach. They read from preplanned syllabi as if they were robots. These syllabi, often filled with carefully crafted left-wing gibberish, are intended to make sure our children get a “proper” education, but they actually do just the opposite: cut off communication between student and teacher.

This also produces teachers who are know-nothings, educated only in “education.” The process is circular and destructive. Teachers spend more time learning how to teach (i.e., recite by rote what they’re told to recite) than they spend actually learning information that’s worth teaching.

Instead of imparting information or actually teaching, that function is left to highly manipulated technology in the form of iPads and the like that are given to students from kindergarten onward. The outgrowth of that is what I wrote about the other day—that 5-year-olds are putatively taught to read via “The GayBCs,” including N is for nonbinary, T is for trans, and so forth.

And don’t get me started on teachers unions, which are a conspiracy to preserve this system and exercise unfair leverage against taxpayers and parents who can only respond to their demands through politicians years after the fact. They also should be abolished.

I say that even though I believe that the greatest people alive are the best teachers, worthy of more respect than anybody, national treasures, in essence.

Years ago, when he was running for president, I was a sometime speechwriter for then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry. I liked him a lot, and he seemed a possible front-runner until he had that calamity during a debate when he couldn’t remember the federal government departments he would eliminate as president.

The truth was that Perry had just had back surgery and was on painkillers. If he only had explained that to the audience, all might well have been forgiven and who knows what would have happened.

Obviously, one of the departments he would have abolished is the Department of Education. Maybe Trump or DeSantis will take up this worthy cause.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His most recent books are “The GOAT” (fiction) and “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already” (nonfiction). He can be found on GETTR and Parler @rogerlsimon.