Obama Admin Calls US Education Failure
By Staff News & Analysis - August 31, 2010

Education secretary says schools have been lying to children and parents … Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said the Obama (left) administration's Race to the Top contest has reversed the trend of officials lowering educational standards and misleading students into thinking they are prepared for college. "As a country we've dummied down standards. We've reduced them due to political pressure and, we've actually been lying to children and parents telling them they're ready when they're not," Duncan said on Sunday during ABC's "This Week". He also argued the educational system in America has reached a crisis point that threatens the nation's long-term economic stability. – The Hill

Dominant Social Theme: Well, some things went wrong.

Free-Market Analysis: The Hill never met a large-scale socialist program it couldn't analyze and present with resolute clarity. This is what passes for journalism these days on Capitol Hill. Other publications are not much better and now that we think of it, the Washington Post is probably even worse. All of these prestigious mainstream entities have perfected the art of presenting huge public programs in calm and comprehensible ways. It is actually the rape of the commonwealth that is taking place, but the term for it is "wonkery." The money is supposed to mean nothing. Merely the rearrangement of digits.

Given what we just proposed above it is startling that The Hill would run an article like this, or that the Obama Administration would tolerate its proposal via its own Secretary of Education. To be clear, the person who is responsible for education in America (just writing the sentence makes us smile – and not in a good way) is proposing that a monstrous lie has been told. This is rhetoric we might expect from the Reagan Administration not from an Administration that seems to think a trillion dollar stimulus is a kind of pocket change. We have no explanation for it expect that things are going very, very poorly and the Obama Administration has decide some sort of distraction is necessary.

It sounds like panic time in the White House. The November elections are looming, the insanely expensive health care bill has all the appeal of an irradiated waste dump and the economy is definitely not recovering. It's enough to send Barack Obama back for another round of golf. Everywhere the power elite looks, memes and themes that were gold plated in the 20th century are turning to dross.

In the other story in this issue, we report on the emergence of Austrian economics as a challenge that the power elite is going to have to manage. But that is perhaps the least of its problems. There was just a Glenn Beck rally on the metaphorical lawn of the White House, the global warming meme looks like it cannot be resuscitated and people like Steve Forbes (see our interview with him) are lauding Ludwig von Mises and talking about the inevitability of some sort of gold convertibility. The Federal Reserve remains under attack.

We've often indicated our belief that Barak Obama isn't entirely his own man. The continuity between his administration and the one that came before it is startling. Bush presided over a US$700 billion TARP program and Obama supervised a trillion dollar bailout. Bush tried to push through a guest workers type program for Mexico and South America and Obama wants to do the same thing. Bush started about three wars and Obama has maintained them.

But Obama's ratings are continually descending these days and that cannot be pleasant either for him or his backers. Mortimer Zuckerman, owner of the New York Daily News and apparently a former part-time Obama speechwriter, has taken to blasting Obama regularly. We cannot imagine that others who believed Obama would be the second coming of Franklin Delano Roosevelt are any happier. And what does Obama do? When the pressure heats up, the pressured go golfing.

Bascially, we think the economic crisis is worse than the elite estimated it would be. It's strained nearly to the breaking point the European Union and is threatening to undo decades of socialist brainwashing in the US as well. The fiat money system itself has come undone and the bailouts and other salvage operations of elite Money Power have been conducted in the full glare of the Internet. Too many people understand the immorality and basic unfairness of a system that prints money-out-of-nothing for fat-cat bankers but has little to offer tens of millions losing their homes and jobs.

And now there is education. We don't know why this issue came up now but perhaps it simply has to do with the Obama administration grasping at ways – any methodologies – that can prove to voters that it is a fiscally responsible regime. The rhetoric itself is startling. Here's more from the article:

"We have to educate our way to a better economy. In this country, we have a 25 percent dropout rate," Duncan said. "That's economically unsustainable and morally unacceptable. We have to get the dropout rate to zero as quickly as we can. The status quo is not going to work for the country, we have to get better."

Of course, public education is a bugaboo of libertarians generally. While we cannot find it on the Internet currently (not using Google anyway) there is plenty of information (somewhere) about how the terrible public school system that afflicts the West came to pass. We've mentioned it before. It began in Germany with Otto Bismarck who invented so many of the signatures of today's big government programs.

The system is actually military in its application. Bismarck had the idea of grade-schooling by age to promote bonding. This meant that healthy village lads would grow up together and go into battle together. The system was eventually imported to Britain, the US and the rest of Europe. It was sold in the US as a way to segregate the Irish but of course it was more than that. From 10 percent of the US juvenile population to over 90 percent, this dysfunctional military system, emphasizing rote learning, has grown like Kudzu.

The teachers unions today have virtually taken over the Democratic party. The dysfunctional system of public education is firmly entrenched and we have no doubt whatever the Obama administration does to change things will be nothing but a kind farcical elaboration on a failed system.

After Thoughts

John Dewey, who added yet more dysfunction to the current system, believed education was about creating amiable students that were generally well-socialized and able to labor in the traces of a techno-corporate society. The Obama Administration's intention to "fix" the broken education system is not serious. It is nothing but an electoral promotion.

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