Friday, February 13, 2009

Why Does Public Education Censor Academic Freedom?

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I was reminded again yesterday how public education continues to censor free speech.

A Zogby Poll, conducted between January 29 and 31, found that 80% of Americans, "Agree that teachers and students should have the academic freedom to discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of evolution as a scientific theory."

Only 14% agreed with the statement that teachers, "Should teach only Darwin's theory of evolution and the scientific evidence that supports it," and that's down from 21% in 2006.

Darwin himself wrote in his book, "Origin of Species," "A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question."

Why does public education insist on presenting his theory as scientific fact, yet completely ignore his instruction on having an open debate about his theory?

I can tell you why and give you the solution.

I can also tell you how a growing number of students are reacting to this censorship in the classroom.

Public education in America has an extremely secular social agenda. We see it in the considerations of the origins of life, the sanctity of life and every issue where consideration of Judeo-Christian ethics and principles could be a viable consideration.

How do they get away with this kind of censorship? The only way they know. By doing what they do at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day and any other day that might in some way take on some moral or Christian significance. They marginalize the day by elevating some obscure event or celebration and censoring the traditional and historical importance of any given event they deem inappropriate or " religious" in nature.

And this is done, as you know, under the myth of "separation of church and state" or the "establishment clause" which doesn't even support their far-left positions. If per chance, they get weak-kneed and think about using the word Christmas or some such thing, the ALCU is there to threaten a lawsuit.

However, there's good news. The Darwin-only crowd is falling out of favor with the general public. It has been their way for the past 5 or 6 generations, but this recent Zogby Poll and previous polls show a growing division between public education as usual and the public's willingness to accept censorship.

Public education is isolating itself from public opinion.

The answer?

School choice.

Neal McClusky of the Cato Institute has said, "When we have public schools that everyone has to fund, then everyone is paying for a single answer."

School choice is the only answer. More money will not fix the problem. There is a strong record to prove it.

Censorship, however, is not the only problem public education is facing.

With their considerable commitment to a so-called "values neutral" education, they are aggressively teaching material, particularly in sex-ed, that indoctrinates rather than educates in critical areas such as sexuality.

I will tell you, there is considerable discussion around Washington State that if the present domestic partnership expansion of rights bills become law, the resulting effect on sex-education curriculum will cause a massive withdrawal of children from public schools.

In it's isolation from public opinion and it's immersion in the secularist and gay rights agenda, I am certain the NEA will continue to fiddle as Rome burns, continuing in their aggressive agenda and their indifference and some times defiance towards families of faith and conservatives. And they will do so under the false delusion that their people in elected office and the "not as elite as we are" folks in the cities and neighborhoods will continue to respond to their threats of school closure, reduced classes and the like by continuing to somehow come up with more money.

There is a crack in the dyke---so to speak.

In addition to discussions around the state regarding the viability of public schools in regard to curriculum, there is a national youth movement under way to respond to censorship in the classroom. A growing number of kids are celebrating what they call "Academic Freedom Day." And they have declared the annual event to be celebrated on Darwin's birthday each year. I have linked to their web site. Check it out.

Noah Webster, the father of public education in America, wrote in his book, "History of the United States," published in 1832:

"The brief exposition of the Constitution of the United States, will unfold to young persons the principles of republican government; and it is the sincere desire of the writer that our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion....The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all of our civil constitutions and laws."

Take a step back. Take a deep breath and realize where we came from.

You are not a right wing extremist because you believe in traditional values and hold a biblical worldview.

As you stand for morality and moral values based on Scripture, you are not only standing for the principles that caused this county to become the greatest country in the world, but you are standing shoulder to shoulder with those who founded this great enterprise.

Abraham Lincoln once said, "To sit by in silence when they should protest, makes cowards of men."

This is not a time to be silent.

God bless you.

Gary Randall
Faith & Freedom

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