Essential Citizenship

Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

History has clearly shown that in order for a country to survive, especially a republic, it must retain its essential cultural integrity. The Founding Fathers recognized this fact when they emphasized the importance of educating each generation about the values expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson referred to this as patriotic knowledge, beliefs and duties as citizens.

A question we are faced with now, is how well are doing developing and ensuring that we have patriotic citizens who appreciate America’s uniqueness. It is obvious to me that love and respect for America has been declining, primarily due to the influence of the Left on our public education system. Instead of learning about the freedoms and opportunities that we have in America, they are taught that America is a flawed country and needs to be “fundamentally transformed” as Barack Obama stated. Indoctrination through Critical Race Theory (CRT), Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI), the 1619 Project, and transgender instruction is not producing freedom loving patriotic citizens. No wonder so many parents are choosing to take their children out of the public school system. Obviously, no country is without flaws. America went through a period where slavery was tolerated, as it was in many other countries. Ridding our country of slavery was not easy, but was accomplished by dedicated patriots who realized that the Declaration of Independence emphasized the rights of all people regardless of race and were willing to fight for that principle. The Left, instead of accepting equal opportunity regardless of race, now wants to use a system of racial quotas through the DEI agenda. This will only divide our country; something we cannot allow.

No clear thinking person wants race or gender as a determining factor in the selection of people for positions in our society. When you go to a surgeon, you want to be assured that that person has the requisite skills to perform successful surgery; similarly, with other professions and positions of responsibility. Knowing that race or gender is being used in the selection process, creates doubt that should not exist in the minds of the public. We deserve better than that. Our children should be taught that success depends on their motivation and hard work and that the American Dream still exists in American for all those willing to work to achieve it. Not as the Left would have it that the government is there to take care of you.

Look at the message that the Biden regime is sending to the rest of the world with its open border policies: break our immigration laws, lie about needing asylum and we will give you free food, shelter, cell phones and healthcare all paid for by the hard working citizens of America. These illegal invaders do not have the values to make good citizens as the Democrat run sanctuary cities are finding out. These illegals need to be deported before it is too late. This election will determine the fate of our country. No question. A blind man could see what is coming. You must get out an vote!

Fixing Our Schools

By: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

We are all aware, or should be, that the public school system in N.C. is an expensive failure. The 2022 test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that 34% of eighth graders failed to meet basic reading skills and 39% failed to meet math skills. This in spite of spending about $10,000 per student per year. We are not getting what we are forced to pay for, and the trend is getting worse.

The recent election placed more Republicans on local Boards of Education. What changes should we expect? Here are my recommendations: (1) Re-focus on basic academic skills such as reading, spelling, writing and math by eliminating other subjects until the fourth grade. No point in teaching social studies, history, geography, etc. until basic skills have been mastered. (2) Remove lap-tops, tablets, etc., and go back to paper and printed material. Children need to learn cursive writing and spelling so they can communicate effectively in English. Electronic learning is distracting and distances teachers from the student’s performance. (3) Eliminate Critical Race Theory, Social Equity Learning and other harmful indoctrinary teaching. (4) Implement strict discipline in the classroom without which learning cannot effectively occur. The ability to remove incorrigible, disruptive children to alternate programs is needed. (5) Establish an independent, interview process that would determine why teachers are leaving. For example, the Craven County school system currently has an estimated 75 teacher vacancies. We must know the reasons why teachers are leaving so that retention can be improved. (6) Start a pilot program of video cameras in classrooms that allows monitoring of the classroom environment and potentially allow parents to observe the educational instruction their children are receiving. (7) Reduce the funds for non-teaching administrative positions by at least 20%. Studies have shown that funding of administrative positions have been increasing substantially more than funding for classroom instructors. (8) Re-introduce programs that recognize and reward academic achievement. The goal should be to encourage every student to maximize their potential not some socialist nonsense of equal outcomes.

You may have noticed that most of these recommendations reflect a return to the traditional methods of educating our children. The truth is that the traditional methods were much more effective than what is being followed now, which accounts for the declining academic performance of our children. The question becomes, “Do local Boards of Education have the wisdom and courage to make bold changes?” We will see.

Of course, support of school choice and vouchers for public, private, charter and homeschools must be the basis for improving education in North Carolina. Parents must be given the authority to choose the educational option that they deem best for their children. Without parental control, no meaningful improvement will occur in the public schools


Some Of Our Elected Representatives Have Forgotten Who Elected Them

On Tuesday, The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about some recent comments made by Michigan Democrats regarding the education of children.

The article reports:

Michigan Democrats were heavily criticized over the weekend for telling parents that they are not ‘clients’ of public schools and that public education teaches kids what society ‘needs them to know.’  

A Facebook post on Saturday shared by the state’s Democrats on their official page blasted the idea that parents should be involved in what public school teach their children. The post was taken down on Monday morning following heavy disapproval.

This is the post that was taken down:

In case you can’t read the small print, this is what it says:

‘Not sure where this “parents-should-control-what-is-taught-in-schools-because-they-are-our-kids” is originating, but parents do have the option to send their kids to a hand-selected private school at their own expense if this is what they desire.

The purpose of a public education in a public school is not to teach kids only what parents want them to be taught. It is to teach them what society needs them to know. The client of the public school is not the parent, but the entire community, the public”

There was a time when elected officials considered themselves ‘public servants.’ It seems as if we have lost that concept. The parents have every right to tell schools what to teach. Almost all parents want their children to graduate with a basic knowledge of math, reading, and history. It is not too much to ask that our schools prepare our children to become contributing members of American society. By the time a child graduates from high school, he should know how to fill out a job application, how to balance a checkbook (manually or on a computer), how to create a budget, and generally how to take care of himself. That’s why home economics and shop used to be taught in school. We need to go back to the concept of actually teaching our children things that are useful in navigating the world around them.