When I saw the trailer for “Won’t Back Down,” I thought I must be dreaming. I could hardly believe that uber-liberal Gyllenhall would agree to play a role in a movie that showcases the failing incompetent school systems and portray a parent fighting against them. But then, uber-lib Meryl Streep, who gushes over Obama, did a knock-out performance as Margaret Thatcher in Iron Lady. Wonders never cease.
John Fund recently wrote a piece on the film for National Review. It doesn’t surprise me at all that teachers unions are attacking the film as “egregiously misleading.” In Chicago only about 20% of students can read, 44% of students aren’t graduating high school, but they demanded more pay at the teacher’s union protest that ended earlier this month. Of course the disgusting lying slobs in the unions don’t want a movie that dramatizes what parents have to go through and how schools are failing no matter how much money they get.
The characters in this movie have to fight against the public school system because it is a bureaucracy that leaves the children uneducated and doesn’t answer to the parents. This was something I learned first-hand growing up. My mother was actively involved and constantly at odds with the school system and their curricula. At one school board meeting she asked who they answered to, the parents or the State. The State was the answer, with a haughty “We don’t answer to you.” Whether it was sex education or what plays the students were to perform, neither the teachers nor the administrators were beholden to the parents, whose children they are in charge of for the majority of their waking hours each day.
What many don’t realize is that this is mission accomplished for the Left government bureaucracy. Woodrow Wilson, the father of Progressivism, knew that taking over education (beginning with higher education) would garner control of the country. If you have the kids, you have the control, and so they do.
Being from Boston, my mother had a unique view of how this tactic was taking shape during her childhood education in the 50’s. “The school systems took their cues from the Harvard School of Education. They told my mother and the other parents: ‘Don’t read to your children. Don’t help them with their homework. We’re the professionals.’” The attitude was that parents would ruin their children, that those bureaucratic “professionals” knew better what and how to teach.
Step into the next decade to “women’s lib” and the rewriting of history against “dead white men.” You have sex education whether you want a stranger teaching your kids to put a condom on a cucumber or not, and an ingrained left-leaning curriculum wherein you can’t criticize the president. It was in the 90’s that they started the self-esteem push in classrooms wherein 2 + 2 could equal 5 as long as you didn’t hurt a kid’s feelings by telling him that’s wrong.
Consequently our children don’t know how to read or do math let alone how this country was formed and why it’s better, more free and prosperous than any other form of government ever tried. Kids whose (usually conservative) parents do teach them about our founding and the values that go with it can have a harder time fitting in. I remember my “Western Civilization” class in high school which was taught by the school’s football coach. We rarely cracked open our textbook and his idea of familiarizing us with other countries was to do things like Chinese food day where we ordered take-out. He spent more time talking about current events than the history of, well, any country. I remember one class in particular where the Anita Hill case was being discussed. I was soundly ridiculed for suggesting that they were setting up Clarence Thomas so that he wouldn’t be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Of course, it came out that they were and he was innocent, but I never forgot how an opposing, conservative opinion was treated by the teacher and the indoctrinated students. Combined with the knowledge that I wasn’t being educated and wouldn’t be prepared for college, this moved me to drop out so that I could home school and actually prepare for higher education. Many more parents are choosing that same option or charter schools, but many are stuck with the public school systems.
Lenin said, “Give me four years to teach your children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” It’s up to the parents to take back those years of bad seeds and replace them with ones that don’t teach what to think, but how to think.
A hundred years ago Wilson had the long view. We need to have that long view as well if we’re going to take back our children’s education. It has already begun with the charter schools, but this administration is fighting against them as he did by shutting down the D.C. school voucher program in 2009. We have seen that when given a choice, parents – no matter how poor – will send their children to private schools. We need to continue the fight not only to ensure our children’s educational success, but also so that they’ll understand what makes this country free and prosperous and what’s at stake if we go down the path of socialism, communism or tyranny.