America's Public Schools: Crisis and Cure - Introduction

By Dr. Ronald Nash

Introduction

This book is about the educational crisis in America's public schools. Anyone who does not know that this crisis exists is either badly informed, is part of the establishment that has helped create the crisis.

In all likelihood, this is the shortest book ever written about America's educational disaster. Longer books are available and some of them will be mentioned along the way. Indeed, I wrote such a book myself several years ago. But I believe that a brief and inexpensive survey of the problem is needed at this time. Such a book should help parents and other interested parties understand the extent to which many of America's public or government schools have become a threat to their children. I do not deny the existence of some public schools run by a declining number of administrators and teachers who are still committed to academic standards and discipline-- and even, on occasion, to the fundamental moral values that provide a necessary foundation for any civilized society. But as we will show, public education in America has begun to look more like an asylum where people who ought to be the inmates happen to be in charge.

To be sure, lots of American families understand how bad the public schools of this land have become. Many of these parents have long since taken their children out of the control of the public school monopoly and are either paying the financial costs to educate their children in private schools or incurring the sacrifices involved in educating their children at home.

Americans need to know about the collapse of public education in this land. They also need to know that there is a solution, a matter that I will eventually put on the table. Concerned citizens have attempted to get several states to adopt this solution. But with a few exceptions, the powerful people and organizations that value their position and privilege more than the children whose futures they are destroying do not want American citizens to know the truth about this solution. They have spent millions of dollars to defeat efforts to secure even experimental tests of this solution in some of the most challenging school districts in the nation. In states where their campaigns of distortion and misinformation have been conducted, frightened voters have turned away from the only real educational hope for millions of American youngsters in favor of the people and the programs that have turned most of America's public schools into fever swamps of functional, cultural and moral illiteracy.

I will not at this time identify the solution to America's school crisis, although many informed readers can easily guess what that solution is. Much of this book will describe how it works. Another big chunk of the book will answer the most commonly encountered objections to this solution.

But if the subject is so important, why is this book so short? The answer is really quite simple. First, I wanted to write a book that could be read in about an hour, unless of course the reader happens to be a recent graduate of a public school. Second, I wanted this book to be inexpensive so that even people of rather modest means could afford to purchase several copies and circulate them among their family and friends. It is especially important to place copies of this book in the hands of people who are still naive enough to believe everything they see and hear from the liberal media and foolish enough to believe dishonest television commercials paid for by powerful special interest groups that do not want the public to know the truth.

This book has six short chapters. Chapter One explains the deplorable state of America's public schools and how the extent of this disaster makes it necessary for America's families to have more access to alternative schools. I do not deny that there are still acceptable public schools in this country, as well as a rapidly decreasing number of dedicated and competent teachers in these schools. But the clock is ticking and all over America the alarms are starting to sound. One reason why so few people seem to care is because they have yet to learn how bad America's schools are at this moment and how much worse they will be tomorrow. Eventually, noo public school will be safe.

Chapter Two identifies some of the causes of this educational disaster. Not surprisingly, the people who are responsible for the crisis are the same people who want to deny help to the children who are the victims of their educational philosophy, their liberalism, their secularism and their incompetence. Chapter Three explains what many believe is the only solution for the educational disaster that liberals have created. Chapter Four presents and discusses the major attacks on this solution and answers them. Chapter Five examines what I and lots of others believe is the only legitimate concern with the solution defended in this book. Chapter Six concludes the book.