Before Common Core, There Was William Foster: Why the Dept. of Ed. Needs to be Abolished

Before Common Core, There Was William Foster: Why the Dept. of Ed. Needs to be Abolished
By JBS President John F. McManus

In 1932, William Z. Foster led the Communist Party USA as its National Chairman. His book, “Toward Soviet America,” published that year, spelled out what changes the communists would work for in order to have our nation succumb to their rule. On page 316, Foster spelled out the following: “… the schools, colleges, and universities will be coordinated and grouped under a National Department of Education and its state and local branches. The studies will be revolutionized, being cleansed of religious, patriotic and other features of the bourgeois ideology…. [Curriculum will focus on] internationalism and the general ethics of the new Socialist society.”

In 1979, Congress approved and President Carter signed a measure creating the cabinet-level Department of Education. Score one for Foster. And the schools have largely been cleansed of anything related to religion and patriotism. Score a second victory for Foster. What communists wanted as far back as 1932 has largely been accomplished. Along with their victories, the quality of education throughout the nation has deteriorated year to year.

Skip ahead to 1983 when a federal panel known as the National Commission on Excellence in Education issued its findings after 18 months of looking into the matter. In its report entitled “A Nation at Risk,” the panel stated:

If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre education performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves.

But the performance of America’s schools didn’t get better; it got worse. By 2009, Harvard University’s Program on Education and Governance issued ratings of U.S. students compared to those in other nations. Our students registered 25th in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading. Four years later, America’s teenagers were ranked 31st in math, 24th in science, and 21st in reading. In other words, the Department of Education’s domination over education has resulted in a disaster. Programs such as Outcome Based Education, No Child Left Behind, and Race To the Top have failed. Each has actually contributed to the steady decline.

It’s not easy to find the monetary costs of the Department of Education. Some searching showed that its requested budget for Fiscal Year 2012 called for $77.4 billion, plus $9.3 billion mandatory spending, and $113 billion for student loans. With 4,300 full-time employees, the department directs a maze of 230 separate programs. More recent budgets continue to rise. But the results continued downward.

There is absolutely no authorization in the U.S. Constitution for any federal involvement in education. If William Z. Foster were still alive, he would be pounding his chest and claiming great successes. He would surely approve of the Department of Education’s newest fiasco, the Common Core Standards for America’s schools. Critics already claim this program will worsen an already dismal record.

The Department of Education can’t be fixed. It never should have been started and should be abolished.

Take the next step of getting involved: join The John Birch Society today to get started on accomplishing “Less government, more responsibility, and — with God’s help — a better world.”