Today we share an article written by Dr. Ben Carson as published in the Washington Examiner.
There are quite a few reasons for the shift away from our public school system. Foremost is the shocking mismanagement of our education system during the COVID-19 pandemic. From stifling mask mandates to the shift to “remote learning,” the quality of education fell precipitously on the tails of the pandemic. As a former neurosurgeon who worked on children’s brains, I can tell you this for a fact: Children cannot learn effectively over a Zoom video call. We did a historic disservice to our young people by altering their education experience from a classroom to a screen — in some districts, for several years.
The pandemic also allowed parents to overhear lessons and know precisely what was going on in the classroom. Parents were exposed to the radical ideological agendas that are being forced on so many of our young people in the public school system. Divisive concepts such as critical race theory and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are teaching our children that we are defined primarily by our race. They are taught negative division rather than the positive commonality that we are all Americans.
Parents have also seen schools allowing pornographic imagery in children’s books, allowing children to use the restroom that does not align with their sex, and even encouraging children to consider themselves transgender (and then hide this from their parents). When concerned parents stood up to stop this madness at their local school board meetings, they were compared to domestic terrorists by President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice.
With young people now swayed by the propaganda of Osama bin Laden, I question whether they are learning the critical thinking skills they need to succeed. We must fix this situation. That is one of the goals of the Little Patriots Program from my organization, the American Cornerstone Institute. Little Patriots is a patriotic education curriculum featuring lesson plans, curriculum guides, video lessons, animations, and activities that teach young people the true history of our country — warts and all, but free from the taint of political bias. Alaska recently approved Little Patriots as a supplemental curriculum option.
Conservatives must also defend the rights of parents to homeschool their children and better curate their individual educational experiences to the needs of each child. But while homeschooling is a noble endeavor, this isn’t a national solution. We need to fix our schools so that our young people are prepared to lead our country into the future, and one way we can do that is by supporting school choice measures. School choice introduces an aspect of competition into our school system and allows parents to find a school best suited to their unique circumstances.
Young people are the future of our country. The effort we invest in them must reflect this truth.
Dr. Ben Carson serves as founder and chairman of the American Cornerstone Institute.