Category Archives: Perspectives

The ‘Village‘ is the place that I would not wish to be in today. I was privileged to participate in one of the last non-socialist school systems. Hell – I don’t know – maybe it had already begun, but I had great teachers. At 71 years of age – I can still picture and name over 90% of those whose care I was placed into. What we present here includes a range of commentary by a wide range of authors, which may well not fit into other designated categories. So here we provide, well – you know – “a little of this and a little of that!

Illiteracy is a national emergency unfolding across America…

… and it’s only getting worse

I once walked into an inner-city school cafeteria for an author visit and was amazed by the scene. A donor had gifted copies of my latest “Will Wilder” book to each of the children in this particular middle school. As I entered the cafeteria, nearly all them were embracing their books and some were caressing the volumes.

“What are they doing?” I asked the principal standing in the doorway. Continue reading

Hard Words: Why aren’t kids being taught to read?

Scientific research has shown how children learn to read and how they should be taught. But many educators don’t know the science and, in some cases, actively resist it. As a result, millions of kids are being set up to fail.

It was 2015 and Jack Silva, the chief academic officer for the public schools in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had a problem: Only 56 percent of third-graders in his district had scored proficient on the state reading test. Continue reading

Kanawha County Textbook War and How It All Started For Me

Forty five years ago this year an event occurred in Kanawha County, West Virginia that seems to have had more far-reaching ramifications than many of us who became involved in it could have imagined at that time. All I can say is thank the Lord for those who possess a historical perspective that far outdistances mine.

Back in 2004, on the 30th anniversary of this event, I wrote an article called The Thirty Years War which was posted on a website that has long since become extinct. This dealt with the Kanawha County, West Virginia Textbook Protest (war). Actually, I guess the term “war” would be more appropriate, as the politically correct cultural Marxists of that day had declared war on the mostly Christian culture of West Virginia and upon that culture’s children, via the government schools. Their weapon of choice was the textbooks for Kanawha County’s government (public) schools. Continue reading

Charles Dickens and an Incomplete Ideal

Through reading the works of Charles Dickens, we may be inspired to take a closer look at our own priorities and come to a deeper understanding of our inability to embody perfectly our own ideals…

Buss, Robert William; Dickens’s Dream; Charles Dickens Museum, London; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/dickenss-dream-191221

Throughout the career of the esteemed literary giant Charles Dickens, selfless love as opposed to selfishness served as an underlying theme in his novels. In the characters of Nicholas Nickleby, Lucie Manette, Bob Cratchitt, Cissy Jupe, and many others, Dickens illustrated the proper understanding and execution of selfless love. On the other hand, in story after story, he condemned those who prioritized their own gain over the good of providing aid to others; Ralph Nickleby, Josiah Bounderby, and Wackford Squeers are a few examples. Continue reading

What Is Education?

It is necessary for the perfection of human society that there should be men who devote their lives to contemplation. ~ St. Thomas Aquinas

The trouble with mere pragmatism is that it doesn’t work. ~ G.K. Chesterton

What is education? I emphasize “is” because I am not here asking what education is thought to be, or what it should be according to a particular educational theory, however sound and persuasive. These are good questions, but they are secondary. What education is, in fact, comes first. Let us, then, look at education. Continue reading

Benson: Are Socialists Running “OUR” Public Schools?

An assessment in three parts

The title of this series is a rhetorical question. Sort of like asking “will the sun rise in the east tomorrow?” The material I have presented in the last few articles should have answered that question. When you look at the involvement in and promotion of public education by people like Horace Mann, Robert Owen, and John Dewey you have to realize that there has been socialist promotion of public education literally since day one. To deny that is to deny history.

That being the case, what should the response of Christian parents be? Should they just go along with the “system” and hope it doesn’t totally ruin their kids? Should they try to reform it and get it back to the “good old days” when it was only less socialistic by degrees? Should they study to find out what really makes this system tick and then expose it and the people that run it? Continue reading

Parents protesting contentious curriculum

A California family group says mothers in the state have had enough of public schools exposing their children to radical sex-ed curriculum, and they’re doing something about it.

Leaders of Informed Parents of California recently gathered on the Capitol building steps to make legislators and the State Department of Education aware of their outrage. Continue reading

Teacher: Students Crave Ethics Instruction

High school English teacher Paul Barnwell made two interesting observations in July of 2016 in The Atlantic.

The first was that his students have no moral compass. Barnwell discovered this when discussing various ethical issues with his class. His students were, he found, quite oblivious to internationally and historically accepted values of moral living. Continue reading

Benson: Socialist Education in America

Dewey’s ideas were apparently judged as crucial to the revolution as any weapon in the arsenal of the Red Army.” ~ Paul Kengor

That America’s public education system is rooted and grounded in socialism has become more and more evident in recent years.

Commentator Charles Morse noted on March 25, 2002 in an article wherein he stated: “That the prevailing philosophies and methodologies of American public education are leftist is not up for debate. Leftists have dominated the federal Department of Education, most state Departments of Education, the teachers’ unions, many teachers colleges, and education foundations for several decades. Many rank and file teachers know this, and have observed the catastrophic results, yet the situation is so rotten that they dare not speak out…On December 5, 1928 The New Republic published an article written by self-described socialist John Dewey, the revered father of so-called progressive education, in which he revealed the true nature of the leftist education agenda. In the article, Dewey spoke of “the marvelous development of progressive educational ideas and practices under the fostering care of the Bolshevist government.” That’s where Mr. Dewey sought to take public education in this country and where his spiritual descendants have indeed taken it. Continue reading

The Founding Fathers of the Public (government) School System in America

Horace Mann

Alex Newman has written an excellent article in the February 4th issue of The New American magazine entitled From Educational Excellence To Mediocrity in which he brings up several issues I have also dealt with in the past.

He noted that the Puritans in Massachusetts were “outliers in America” in the area of having the government start to enact governmental education laws. For all the good things the Puritans may have done, in this one critical area, the promotion of governmental education laws was a horrible mistake. In fact, labeling it as a grievous error would not be an exaggeration. Continue reading

Public Education ~ The New Marxism For Our Day

Karl Marx

Back during the “conservative” Reagan administration we got the federal Department of Education. Reagan was supposed to kill it, but he didn’t because he realized where his bread was buttered. I wonder if even he realized where the idea for that federal department came from. Most folks don’t have a clue. However the idea of a federal department of education was not new with Reagan, or even with Carter before him.

The idea wasn’t new with either one of them. It goes all the way back to 1932, and possibly before that.

In 1932 American Communist Party leader William Z. Foster wrote a book, Toward Soviet America and in it Comrade Foster listed several objectives to be forwarded to make this country into a Soviet America. Continue reading

America First is based upon Traditional Heritage

Accurate history is the first causality in any establishment account of events and their significance. When the fundamental chronicles of national heritage is purged and supplanted with a total reversal of the nature of America’s essence, the public is browbeaten into adopting a phony and destructive departure from traditional values and purpose. The intense disparaging of the America First Committee and their vigorous defense of the Originalist Perspective for a non-interventionist foreign policy was a profound departure from constitutional restraint and limited Presidential authority. Continue reading

Finley: Higher Ed Getting Lower

I entered Antioch College in 1957 in the tiny village of Yellow Springs, Ohio, which had no stoplights, one flashing light at the railroad tracks, one greasy-spoon diner, one tavern, one pizza place and spartan dormitories.

What Antioch did provide was an outstanding liberal arts education with an excellent faculty. It also prepared generations of graduates for professional and graduate schools.

All of this was before the advent of political correctness, identity politics, “social justice warriors” and “intersectionality hierarchies.” Continue reading

College meltdown‘: Small private schools disappear in face of changing educational landscape

Rising expenses and fixed endowments force institutions to make tough choice

Small private colleges across the country are increasingly finding themselves trapped between ever-rising expenses and unchanging endowments, forcing administrators into hard decisions such as canceling courses, merging with other colleges and even closing schools.

“The college meltdown across America has been occurring for at least eight years, and there are few signs that it will slow down in 2019,” said Dahn Shaulis, whose College Meltdown blog monitors concerns in higher education. Continue reading

Thanks to Their Student Loans, Millennials Expect to Die in Debt

Adulting, the now common idiom, is hard. And to many millennials, the grim realization that debt will always be part of their lives is not making it any easier.

In some cases, their debt load is so soul-crushing they expect to die without ever paying what they owe back. So how much does this problem have to do with the higher-education crisis the country is facing? As it turns out – EVERYTHING! Continue reading