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The Decay of Education

: Armstrong Williams on

The decay in American education is an alarming national security threat. Most high school or college graduates know about little more than their sexual orientation or Taylor Swift's juvenile lyrics and strutting. They are unable to write a single, succinct, evocative sentence, like the magnificence of a "rosy-fingered dawn." They could not pass the civics test required for naturalization.

They do not know the fundamentals of citizen duties, including informed voting and participation in politics, eternal vigilance over their government servants, and petitioning for redress of grievances.

They do not know the majestic, inspiring gospel of the Declaration of Independence.

They do not know the United States Constitution or about the separation of powers, its crown jewel finding expression in judicial review.

They do not know the Federalist Papers, the greatest assemblage of political wisdom in the history of mankind.

They do not know President George Washington's farewell address or President Thomas Jefferson's first inaugural address, both warning against the bane of extreme partisanship.

 

They do not know the unhappy history of the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Missouri Compromise, the Trail of Tears, or Alexis de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America."

They have not mastered the Bible, the Holy Quran, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucius, Seneca or Epicurus.

They are clueless about Aristophanes, Sophocles, Homer, Virgil, Dante, Plutarch, Chaucer, Shakespeare, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, John Donne, John Milton, Samuel Johnson, Balzac, Alice Walker, Washington Irving, James Fennimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass and countless other literary giants.

Parents should be complaining about what's not in school libraries and classrooms more than what is there. Indeed, if education was made vastly more demanding in reading, writing and arithmetic, there would be no school time remaining to squander on obscenity or sexual orientation.

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