How’s That NEA Working Out?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the NEA is the biggest single obstacle to quality education in the United States. By relentlessly opposing any measures that would guarantee accountability and quality instruction (vouchers, school choice, teacher testing, etc.), the teacher’s union does immense harm to the future of our nation. We’ve seen the lowered standards at work in the whining from some quarters about algebra as a requirement for a high school diploma – now we see it in the absolutely shameful fact that only 1 in 4 Americans knows what the First Amendment is.

Now, don’t get me wrong – it SHOULD be required that all Americans know all the members of the Simpsons, not just two (and the right to own a pet is the most sacred of American rights – it’s about time we made that explicit with a new constitutional amendment!)…but couldn’t we learn at least the basics about our government to begin with? It’s going to be hard for Bush opponents to light a fire over the NSA controversy on 4th Amendment grounds – that’s WAY too obscure for America today…

6 comments to How’s That NEA Working Out?

  • peter

    I completely agree with you about the NEA — it is hard to think of an organization which is more reactionary and resistant to change — but I’m not sure they deserve the blame in this instance.

    When I was working for Lorimar, which produced People’s Court, I remember a survey taken at the time which found that 25% of the Americans polled thought that Judge Wapner was on the Supreme Court.

    I think that the fault lies in a general apathy about government and American history as much (or more) than with teachers and curricula. I bet that if you polled recent immigrants who are studying for their citizenship exams, you will find a much higher awareness of the Bill of Rights. (A guy who works for me was born Swiss but is now a US citizen — one of the questions on the test is to name two sitting Supreme Court justices.)

    And who can’t name the Simpsons? Homer is my role model in all things…

  • Reminds me of those Jay Leno ‘Jaywalking’ bits…

  • Muffin the Cat

    What is interesting is that when in 8th grade I was required to pass the Missouri Constitution test and then the US Constitution test while in 10th grade. I have a copy of the Constitution with me at all times in my brief case. Just a small 3′ x 5″ booklet given to me by the Boy Scouts many years ago.

    Talking about an education of many years ago, I had to learn all 50 states and their respective capitals while in high school. It can still recite all 50 today. It is my opinion that the education I received in high school in the 60’s is equal to two years at a junior college today.

  • Robert Marmorstein

    To be frank, I think the problem has more to do with broken homes and the decay of discipline in the schools. How can our classrooms be productive when the students can get away with behaving however they like? Not that the NEA isn’t complicating things by pushing for many counterproductive measures and fighting against true reform, but that’s not all there is to the picture.

  • Well, I’ll meet you halfway – the problem is 50% NEA and 50% decline of traditional family…your points are well taken…

  • Claire

    Yes, I do agree that our young individuals must be taught how our government works. They must be made to understand what is happening in our own States so that they can be in a much better position to do something when they feel they are up to it already. Let us not protect them from the hard realities of government because in time, they will have to inherit it.

    Cheers!
    Claire of White Space International

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