The decline of America’s youth; Possible causesPosted by Deb Lea Benefiel on February 8, 2015
* This is the first in a series of articles examining possible causes for the decline of America’s youth. It is not intended to incriminate anyone or any one thing. The intention is to provoke thought and possibly create a dialogue which can address some issues before it is too late for some of our youth and change the direction of our country’s future, to be outstanding citizens and leaders.
This article is not meant to indict the education system. It is to look at possible reasons why our children are becoming part of an entitlement society. Not all children are this way nor the majority, but there are enough to make it apparent our nation is in trouble. With the chaos infesting the world today, people are heard asking, “What happened, and how did we not notice?” What has happened is not an easy question to answer and there are many reasons why a large number of America’s youth are on a downhill slide.
Let’s take a good look at our schools. Higher and higher expectations are put on our children, yet the Huffington Post reports the nation’s world academic ranking has fallen to average and is ranked 14th in reading skills. Some may ask how that can be. The answers may lie in part, to the curriculum and also testing to determine a child’s progress. There is no accountability for actual learning in the classroom. In other words, as long as a student is scoring well on standardized testing, grades are not factors in determining whether a child is actually learning.
Adding fuel to the already smoldering fire, Common Core has changed the way mathematics has been taught for decades and made it almost impossible to understand. Not only have mathematics been changed by Common Core, but history has been re-written to further dumb-down students about the actual history of our nation and the world. Common Core is teaching an alternate set of values as well as a false narrative about our country. The Federal government, who is undoubtedly responsible for bringing Common Core into our schools, should not be involved in our children’s education. Some states have taken action to remove Common Core from their schools and write their own standards for education.
The next issue goes back to parental involvement. There is no delicate way to say this but parents need to give control back to the faculty in matters of discipline. The ACLU, court system and teachers unions have all done good service in certain matters. Where schools are concerned, their involvement has had negative effects. They have done nothing but allow outrageous claims of injustice to be represented causing harm to the mission of schools as vehicles for molding children into responsible adults. All of the involvement has led to a breakdown of accountability by students. Tenured teachers are protected from being fired even when they are poor educators and some tenured staff become lazy because they know the union protects them. It is important to note that we certainly have more great teachers than poor ones, but the poor ones reflect on all teachers in a negative way. It would be better to stop protecting them for the benefit of all.
Children are well aware that discipline is limited to a ‘talking to’ or a phone call to parents. Unfortunately, this means nothing to students. Parents have reached the point where the child is put before the school. Parents believe their children won’t and don’t act out at school and are being ‘picked on’ by the faculty or staff. This is certainly not the case and far from the truth. Parents, simply put, your kids are lying to you. There are students who have little or no respect at all. They break rules, skip classes, use foul language and even make out in the halls in public. They do this because they know they can and nobody can step in to change it. It is strongly advised any parent who has a child in middle or high school to be a “fly on the wall” to see what actually goes on. The biggest mistake of all has been the removal of God from the schools. If you think back to a time when prayer was still allowed in schools, you would realize the difference.
This behavior is happening in most public school systems in America. When the ACLU, the courts and the teachers unions stepped through the front doors of our schools, it opened a Pandora’s Box of problems that has contributed greatly to the decline of America.
This article is not meant to offend anyone. It is, however, intended to shake people up and get them involved in taking back our schools. A discussion must be started and action needs to be taken. We all realize that not all students are indicative of what was covered here, but the time has come to realize there are problems which need to be addressed. We need strong, competent, intelligent, courteous and respectful students.
Parents can start by listening to their children and talking about issues with the curriculum. The next step is to get involved with other parents and discuss problems and possible solutions. Become so well versed the teacher’s unions and government will have to listen. Please get involved. They are our future.
Be sure to catch the next part in this Education series to be published on Wednesday, February 11.
Deb Lea Benefiel
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