Today I get to talk about three of my favorite subjects: education, politics and religion. Dear reader, you do realize that all three intertwine, don’t you?
What exactly is education (in America) as we know it today? I have always been a lifelong learner. I decided to go to Ball State University in 1962. This was my senior year of high school. I am a product of the Indianapolis Public School system. I later obtained a master’s from Indiana University. I furthered my studies at Ivy Tech. I also have 30-plus hours above the master’s; 15 of these were obtained from the University of Indianapolis.
I have also been in the wacky world of politics for four decades. I taught in both the public school system and a school run by the state of Indiana. I currently teach driver education. If the Lord allows me to live another two years, I will celebrate 50 years of teaching the youth of Indiana.
So what is education in America all about? I submit to you that it is about religion, politics, bureaucracy and a parent’s right to expect the best education for their child.
Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. This can be debated by some. This author strongly feels that America was founded on these principles. Our ancestors’ early education was deeply intertwined with religion. A good case in point is the McGuffey Reader. It begins by saying, “When Adam sinned we falleth all.” This reader is still used today by some homeschoolers and charter schools.
Today some have lost faith in our public school system. This author has not.
Let’s next look at politics in today’s schools. Are you aware that the federal Department of Education had its birthing during Andrew Jackson’s presidential tenure? The Federal Department of Education morphed into a cabinet position during the term of President Nixon. Interestingly enough, in the 1860s the budget for education was $15,000, and the department had a staff of four people. Compare that to today.
The current budget tops $60 billion and employs a staff of nearly 4,300 people. Let us compare this to the state of Indiana Department of Instruction.
Section 15 of the Act created a department of education and provided that the department of education was in charge of the board of the department of education. Interestingly enough we have the DOE and the SBOE. Josh is the Director of External Affairs of the ISBOE.
So how is education doing in the state and the nation? I would submit it depends on whom you are talking to. I believe it is the fundamental right of each parent to expect the best education for their child. How one goes about it should be somewhat regulated by a lot of soul searching on the part of the parents.
My wife and I have been blessed. When our now 45-year-old son was born, we concisely decided that he would get the best education possible. He spent his early childhood education K-5, attending Heritage Christian School. Was it a sacrifice on both of us? Yes it was.
We then moved to Hancock County. I can honestly say that the years he spent here in Hancock County at a public school were great — dedicated teachers, administrators and athletic coaches.
He then went to Anderson University. This was another sacrifice for us. But my wife and I would not trade it for the world.
So what is wrong with education today? This author feels there is way too much intervention in the lives of our children and us as parents. This intervention comes from the bureaucracy at both the federal and state level. The recent edict from our president is a good example.
I thank God daily for our educators and our politicians, men such as my congressman Representative Luke Messer. Rep. Messer has recently introduced legislation addressing the problem of transgender bathrooms.
Education? I submit it is up to the parents to have the final say as to how to educate their child.
C.O. Montgomery of
New Palestine is a former teacher, Sugar Creek Township trustee and co-director of the Hancock County Character Council. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.