Preserve Innocence released it’s July report, this white paper examines the tension between parents, communities and elitist fads. These fads are also present in the Iowa Core Curriculum that was passed into law in 2008.
Here’s the executive summary:
A great struggle exists in American education policy. On one side, traditionalists argue for local control of education. Underlying their view is the belief that parents should be the principal and primary shepherds of their children’s education. Traditionalists seek a return to the framework in which parents and local communities dominate education policy-making.
On the other side, elites argue that education is a specialized field and that parents cannot be trusted to make the best decisions for their children. The elites argue that society should look to experts to develop the best framework for raising children. That view is heavily influenced by the Progressive movement of the late 1800s and early 1900s, most notably led by John Dewey.
The elitist approach creates several problems.
Our founding recognizes tremendous dignity in the individual, sourcing such dignity in direct and equal grants of sovereignty from the Creator to each individual. It further recognizes that individuals make only limited grants of sovereignty to the state governments and to the federal government. Our founding affirms the principle that parents are the primary and principal shepherds of their children’s moral and educational formation. The centralization of education policy-making undermines that founding.
Centralized education administrators are severely disadvantaged in that they lack a direct connection to parents. They fall prey to theorists who push education fads upon them. The Iowa Core Curriculum’s reliance on integrated math exemplifies such decision-making.
True local control of such policies would likely have averted that decision. Such control exemplifies the principles of democracy and our founding. It is decision-making that is directly connected to the affected individuals –the parents and their children. And it encourages serious debate and deliberation.
The public debates surrounding the Constitution contradict the view that citizens are incapable of making weighty decisions. Certainly, centralized education has not yet rendered us incapable of such debate and decision-making.
You read the entire report below.