Those of us who are old enough to draw comparisons can tell you that what passes for public education today does not even resemble the public education of our youth. In the 1950s when I attended public schools we started every day with a Bible reading, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Pledge of Allegiance. This kind of start to the school day would get a public school teacher jailed now or, at the very least, fired. But it is more than the Bible and the Lord’s Prayer that are missing from the modern classroom. It is also respect for authority.
In my youth even the tiniest, oldest, frailest teacher in our school was treated with respect and instant obedience. Why? Because prior to the 1960s, public school teachers had authority over the children they taught and we—the children—were required to respect that authority or else. The authority teachers enjoyed in those days came from school administrators, parents, the community, and society in general. These were the days when a kid who got in trouble at school could expect to be in even more trouble when he got home. But oh how things have changed.
If you want to see first-hand what the inclusiveness, tolerance, lack of discipline, and political correctness spawned during the 1960s has wrought in public education, read the new book out by Linda Ball, a public school teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio. Titled 185 Days: School Stories, Ms. Ball’s book pulls back the curtain on what really happens in public school classrooms today and why. The book is a chronicle of students who have no interest in education, teachers who have no authority, and parents who either are disengaged or non-existent. A few examples from Ms. Ball’s book make this point.
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