In the 70’s, something came down the pike called “New Math.” It was something neither my engineer Father had ever seen, nor had my schoolteacher Mother. It was bizarre; it made no sense and it was difficult to teach and to learn. Parents were not amused, as they could not help their children with the homework and after a year or so, it died out.
Math is not new. It has not changed and I don’t believe anyone in their right mind can see variance in it any time soon. But what came with the “new math” was a way of thinking that was so subtle that many just did not notice. It was an effort to indoctrinate youth into a compliant state. It taught the unquestioning acceptance of authority. It downplayed religion and the Bible as symbolic.
Raised as I was, I was at odds with this new way of thinking every step of the way. I did not accept everything I was being taught at face value. I would look up proof that it was not necessarily that way. I did not agree that the Bible was just a bunch of allegories and should be considered a composite of stories that are meant to represent things that might have happened. I argued that the Bible was the Word of God and it was Truth. (Surprisingly enough, this was a Catholic school. By this time, public schools were headed toward eliminating religion and prayer all together.) I was not interested in conforming. I was not interested in allowing someone else to think for me. And I wasn’t the only one; the handful of students that would not buckle under, myself included, were the ones thought to be troublemakers. Indeed we were, but only in that we would not be mind controlled. We never caused a discipline problem, but both the teachers and the students who swallowed the kool aid at face value did make our lives miserable.
Thankfully, we did have some instructors that did not follow the status quo. They taught use to use logic and think for ourselves. Their careers were harassed by the administration and, unfortunately, they did not last long at the school. And fortunately, I can still remember every word they said. It may not have felt good at the time for the rogue teachers who went against the grain, but I will be eternally grateful that they did.
In the 70’s, there was still enough of the American Spirit to resist this brainwashing. The program went underground. It changed names; it snuck its way in a little at a time.
Now it has risen again as “Common Core.” Common Core was designed to make American children math and science deficient. That way we cannot compete in the world markets. The proof of this can be found in our schools that specialize in engineering. The majority of the students are from other places in the world. Common Core professes to induce logical thinking, but really it just brings confusion. Confusion cripples the student’s confidence causing many to give up.
Is there enough of the spirit that sent the Pilgrims on a quest for a free country left in the youth today? Are their parents strong enough to pack a small bundle of belongings, leave everything behind and take a boat to America like the people who landed at Ellis Island?
I hope so. I believe so. Let that pioneer spirit be fostered in both ourselves and our children. Let us all just say NO! We will be in charge of our children and their education and their values, not the government!