The Future of America Thrown away Like Trash: The Fall of Public Education

By Dr. Alicia Sigee

If we are going to discuss the US Education System, we must know the history to understand with the current trajectory why we are missing the mark.  The first American public school was founded in Boston, MA in 1635 and made education compulsory in 1642.  While the schools were publicly supplied the families were charged tuition for the majority of white males to attend school.

During the Reconstruction era, the south created the first public school system supported by general taxes.

By 1870, all state’s elementary schools were state funded.  As time progressed the US established schools for the blacks, religions, and Native Americans all with thoughts of keeping whites separate.  The rural areas where still the most undereducated populations.  In 1880, high schools were established for college-bound students.

The American Public-School System was plagued with inequalities for people of color, the poor and special needs.  The system created public laws, policies and funding to provide education for all, with programs such as special education, early childhood education, child nutrition, English as a Second Language, summer schools, and target literacy programs to name a few. 

Now, let’s talk about the current situation with public education.

The current administration’s Sec. of Education DeVos (parents paid for her education), who heads an intuition that she nor anyone in her family has ever participated in, pushes the Republican agenda to dissolve public education labeling the massacre “School of Freedom.”  Although the agenda has been in play for several Republican terms with the title School of Choice or voucher system,” DeVos stays on the path to wreck one of the great intuitions created by America – Public Education. 

Last week the hot topic was defunding Special Olympics, which was a smoke screen while the administration passed other cuts to 29 other public education programs: 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Alaska Native Education, American History and Civics Education, Arts in Education, Comprehensive Centers, Innovative Approaches to Literacy, Ready to Learn Programs, Supporting Effective Education Development and Promise Neighborhoods (to name a few) totaling $6,688 million. In addition, the de-regulation of disproportionality safeguards, which data from the Department of Education supports that minorities are suspended five times more than others and minorities are placed in special education with an emotional disability three times more than whites.  Oh my, that’s the same information DeVos is citing but with a different twist.  Her lens is shaded with the Republican agenda. 

One more nugget, the agenda to create schools of choice has cost the government over $1 Billion in funds for failed unregulated charter schools, while they fight to cut funding for public schools.  Yet the current proposed budget asks for more funding for charter and private schools to provide freedom of schools which lack regulation.

As a nation we have made a 360-degree circle in our quest for being an educated people, the rich get educated and the rest get thrown out like trash. 

The question that is posed:  How are we going to prosper as a country when we do not value God and free public education?

© 2019 Alicia Sigee, All Rights Reserved

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6 Replies to “The Future of America Thrown away Like Trash: The Fall of Public Education”

  1. Pingback: All up in the Business: Federal Role in State Public Schools | J. D. Pendry's American Journal

  2. Dee Armstrong

    I believe the federal Department of Education should be eliminated. In my opinion, the core curriculum is horrendous. Each state should have the authority and responsibility to provide its citizens with the educational programs it deems appropriate. It should collect state tax for those programs. The founding fathers wanted each state to have the right to determine its individual profile, allowing citizens to also determine in which state they choose to live. If you don’t like education in your state, try to improve it or choose another state that offers more of what you want.

    Just because one state is really good at writing grant proposals and being awarded federal grants doesn’t mean we all, as American taxpayers, should pay for those states’ grants.

    With the dissolution of the federal Department of Education, our federal taxes should be less, Then, the state in which we live should tax us accordingly and provide accountability to its taxpayers that our money is being used locally and responsibly.

    Most states, if not all, already have a state-run Department of Education.

    I also believe we could eliminate at least a handful of other federal departments or sub-departments, but that’s another blogging subject on my rather long list.

  3. RayGodfrey

    I agree that education is not going in the right direction. It’s going in the direction that was started many administrations ago when the government stepped in and got involved with national education programs.
    The public-school system needs to get back to preparing students who can contribute to the nation on all levels. The system is not turning out the same quality student it did many years ago. That’s shown in the need of college freshmen having to take remedial courses to qualify for college-level courses. Many have limited reading ability, can’t write a sentence, and can’t do enough math to balance their check books.
    You stated, “By 1870, all state’s elementary schools were state funded.” I think that’s the way it should be now. Every state is not participating in many of the federal programs you listed, but every state is paying for them. If a state wants these programs, it should use state taxes to pay for them. Most states collect tax money for the schools now.
    I commend Secretary DeVos on her effort to stop the federal government from funding federal programs that the states should develop and support as they determine appropriate.
    I think Secretary DeVos should go one step further and work to dissolve the federal Department of Education.
    Thank you for bringing this information to my attention.

  4. JD Pendry

    From the email:

    I determined to send a reply to the post about public education, but when I read it a second time I see it was written by someone else.

    I am a 70 year old man, Vietnam Veteran, and patriot.

    I don’t squawk about paying taxes for public schools because I attended in Kansas as a child and then paid my own way through college for BSN.

    I don’t think there is much doubt that public education is near a total failure.

    Sure there are hard working and good kids in every place but an alarming number of students are from broken homes, abused, hungry, and some homeless which would prevent all but a few to succeed and be prepared for life.

    I think public schools are too left, liberal, and are bent upon teaching tolerance for other beliefs and cultures while discounting American history and traditions.

    Most schools celebrate athletics more than academics and I know of districts where there are more administrators and teachers than students. We visit friends near Old Forge, NY where less than a dozen students are enrolled and where no young people remain after graduation.

    I don’t have answers but I believe public education is a tool of liberals to increase support for NEA voters, and just about anyone who reads a newspaper sees kids smoking, using drugs, and violent at schools despite decades of Democrats in charge of school systems.

    I am not any more proud of GOP members, but it is obvious the biggest failures are in democrat controlled big cities.

    Sorry, I just got on a rant.

    I enjoy reading your column and sent an email because I was unable to log on to the comments section of the story.

    Tom Coats
    Hot Springs Village, AR

  5. Kelleigh Nelson

    Education has been deliberately dumbed down for multiple decades, actually it started in the 1880s. Betsy DeVos is all for charters, for vouchers and choice and she actually donated to Bush’s unsuccessful presidential campaign and sat on the board of Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education which promotes Common Core. The two share an education reform policy that supports the transfer of public dollars to privately run schools, such as for-profit charter schools and voucher programs that use taxpayer funds to pay for private schools. They say they are providing parents with choice; critics say they are destroying the public education system. Imam Fethullah Gulen owns 200 charters in America with euphemistic names. One is even on Nellis Air Force Base. We have Waldorf’s reincarnation schools as charters, we have Chinese charters and tax dollars are funding them. Fethullah Gulen was brought into this country by the CIA…

    What people fail to realize, and I’m sure you probably do, is that when tax payer dollars go to private, religious or home schoolers, the fed regulations accompany those dollars. Thus, they’d own all schools and destroy any chance of a good education for those who either home school or spend the monies on private ed.

    My 21-year-old grand nephew cannot write cursive, he never learned phonics, and his education was not one of academic excellence, yet he’s in college.

    I just read about a man who noticed the bank paid out .60 cents when the amount written was 00 cents, but the person in the bank couldn’t read the cursive, and because the zero wasn’t totally closed he guessed it at .60. They are supposed to read the written out part, but he couldn’t!

    We are in so much trouble! The Constitution is no longer taught, American history and civics are out the window, proper English isn’t even taught.

    I asked a young woman who was in training in Phys Therapy while I was being treated, who we fought in WWII, WWI, Viet Nam, Korea, Spanish American War, the Revolutionary War, etc. She couldn’t answer even one! This is the rotten education our young people who start out so brilliant and end up as robots.

    And in the south, they brought in this dumbing down and used it first on the children of color, saw that it worked, so took it north to the children of color, and then spread it to all the schools. I was educated in Chicago grammar schools, and we had phonics and cursive back then and a complete and excellent education. We moved and I went to school at Maine Township H.S. East in Park Ridge. The education back then in that h.s. is worth more than a college degree today. Hillary Clinton was a year behind me. One of our greatest teachers of American history and our Constitution who taught there for 50 years said I wouldn’t believe how terrible things are now.

    I’m sure you know all this and I’m telling nothing new…but please keep educating the readers. I think few people actually know the rot and the progressive brainwashing that occurs in our govt. run schools today. And few know how horrid DeVos is!

    Thank you for writing.

  6. JD Pendry

    The first step toward fixing public education, I believe, is getting rid of the federal Department of Education and getting the federal government out of our education system. It should be left to state and local governments. Cookie-cutter formulas do not work for every school and every location.

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