Friday, March 16, 2012

Literacy in America

There is a huge problem in America. This problem is education. Literacy to be more specific. George Nicholas said it well when he said "an enlightened people will never suffer what was established for their security to be perverted to an act of tyranny." The problem is that the average person is no longer enlightened, and nor do they have to capabilities to enlighten themselves. 

"How can this be?" some may ask. "Aren't people better educated now than they were before we had our school system in place? Don't we have more and better libraries? What about the vast amount of information on the internet?" Let's look at a few facts:

The first instance of our current public school system appeared in the state of Massachusetts during 1852. By 1850 Massachusetts reached it's literacy peak  - a whopping 98% of it's citizens could read and write at 5th grade level. However, in 1870, just a mere 18 years after the public schools were brought into existence, the literacy rate had dropped to 90%. By 2002, the literacy in that state had fallen to a modest 69%.

This may sound bad, but it get's much, much worse. Literacy is achieved when someone can read at the 5th grade level, all while pulling information out of and fully understanding the matter at hand. However, as the public schools have aged they have been dumbing down their curriculum, to the point that the 5th grade textbooks in 1850 are equivalent to their college counterparts today. This means that the 69% literacy rate in 2002 can't be properly compared to the 1850 rate. The real question that we need to ask is how many 5th graders are capable of reading and comprehending college level literature.

This can't be more than 10%. It would probably be much smaller.

In only 150 years, literacy had dropped from it's peak of 98% to approximately 10% purely because of the free public education system.

How are the public schools failing so miserably in educating our children?
This is a huge question, and so I can only scratch the surface (for more specifics, read this excellent blog, written by a public-schooler:

This biggest reason I see is that there is no competition. Before the public schools came into being, the private school business was very competitive. If you didn't like the education you were getting in one, then you quit there and went to the school down the street. This meant that the education was excellent and the cost was cheap, which equated into the amazingly high literacy rate at that time period. The public schools today have to such incentive. Private schools are few and far between, and nor are they cheap, therefor, they are reserved for the elite. All this means is that the public schools have a corner on the market. They are rich, fat, and comfortable and see no reason to stretch themselves.

Another reason is that the institution is corrupt at its core. The schools are illegally funded by the federal government, and the ones with the best grades get the most money. This means that there is a lot of messing with the facts. A great example is that all 50 states currently report that their average grades are higher than the national average. Something is amiss here, and I can place my finger on it.

Also, the school system was founded by and is administered by people who are part of the Communist Party USA. One of their written goals is to tear the family apart though a public education system where the children can be separated from their parents and are taught that their parents are wrong and that you can only trust federally approved experts. This in turn breeds people who are no more than robots of the "experts", who work for the government.

One more thing of note: Federally funded public schools are illegal. The US Constitution gives no such power to the government.

What should we do? 
Destroy the system. Move to homeschooling and private schools.

However, there are many people who oppose this by asking what will happen to the people who can't afford the tuition or cost of materials. Here's another fact:

Of the illiterate, more than 50% are below the poverty line. However, this changes when you look at homeschooling: the average homeschooler falls into the 75th percentile, regardless of how much money they have, their gender, and their race. Interesting. Also, if the public school system were abolished private schooling would become very cheap as the demand increased. 

Another thing that would benefit from the abolishment of federally funded schools would be the economy. Any teachers from the public school system would have no problem finding jobs in the vacuum of private school teachers. Also, many more schools would be founded and more teachers hired as people would want their children to have a more individual education.

I've hardly touched on this subject, but I hope you have a better understanding now of the problem which abound in the government school system.


  1. Excellant, well written, and to the point... Love it!

  2. Thanks Constitutionalist Reformer!

  3. Now that a comment stream is set up, I can expand upon my thoughts on this one.

    First of all, I see a shadow of my writing style and core values in this - I can't say that for every opinion piece I come across. I can't help but agree with the point in general, but I have small criticisms for individual parts of this post.

    For instance, the last few paragraphs regarding the literacy rate appears to be fallacious. The literacy rate is not how many 5th graders can understand what 5th graders could 150 years ago - it's how many ordinary people can understand what 5th graders should today. In saying so, the literacy rate in Massachusetts is probably closer to the 69% than the 10%. Furthermore, there have been changes to the school system over the years, but gathering information on how this works might prove to be a benefit - you can not only find information that might - sadly enough - refute your argument, but possibly information that you could use to make your argument stronger.

    As for the paragraphs detailing your displeasure with the school system, the system isn't illegal, per se. It just isn't constitutional. Regardless, proving the school system unconstitutional is possible now that people are becoming aware of it.

    Regarding your solution, I think it might actually work better than what I had in mind - preserving public schools under the conditions that they are not mandatory and serve as tools to assist each individual student with their learning (instead of force-feeding everyone with irrelevant facts and data). Or, better yet, both solutions tie together somehow.

    Oh, and thanks for providing a link to my blog. ;)

  4. Duke,

    Thanks for the well thought-out comment. As to your second paragraph, I agree. After I wrote this out I realized that I was comparing incorrectly.

    Also, if something is unconstitutional, it is illegal, as the constitution is what governs the government and provides the law's the government lives by.

    Here's another fact: 40% of Americans are illiterate by today's standards. 80% of Americans are high-school graduates. This means that at a MINIMUM almost 1 out of every 4 high-school graduates can't read and process information past the 5th grade level.

  5. Good points all... btw Anson The Constitutionalist Reformer is in fact your ConLaw buddy... TJ

  6. Are you suggesting that a significant number of homeschooled 5th graders learn out of college-level textbooks? In the lingo of the illiterate-chic, I respond: "lmao."

    1. Anonymous, thanks for the comment!

      Yes and no. My siblings and I have used multiple college-level textbooks throughout our education. However, that is just how our parents think as not all homeschoolers do that. The reason why they don't is probably more a problem of the low expectations that the public schools have fostered in the parents than the children's capabilities (remember, the parents were probably public-schooled).


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