Article Overview:   How many children do we leave behind educationally when we expect the government to shape their minds?  When we as parents turn over our child to a school system, are we delivering it to the Beast of Terror?  Find out if your child has been left behind.


Monday--June 23, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 649
"No Child Left Behind"--The Government's or Parent's Role?
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

  GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--June 23, 2003-- On January 8, 2002, President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.   It's goal is to strengthen the grip the federal government exercises over public education to reduce the gap between minorities and disadvantaged students and their peers.

The "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001"

      But, is it the job of the federal government to educate children, or the responsibility of each parent and community?    Can a central regulatory source demand educational Vigilance from the top down, forcing parents to insure their children's educational evolution, or will the final say in the education of a child rest with the support, coaching and stimulation of a parent or loved one to turn the straw of knowledge into the gold of wisdom?
      There are more than 90,000 public schools in America, approximately one for every 3,333 people in this country.   According to the U.S. Census Bureau's October 1999 School Enrollment In The United States, 8 million children are enrolled in nursery school and kindergarten, 33 million in elementary school and 16 million in high school.
      Fifteen percent of the kindergarten to elementary school students attend private schools--learning institutions outside the federal hand of educational authority--and another ten percent of high school students attend private education facilities.
      The No Child Left Behind program reforms the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) founded in 1965.   Essentially, it sharpens the government's teeth to demand certain policies and procedures since public schools receive a hefty part of their operating budget from the government.
       The government has put money where its mouth is, increasing Title 1 funding by 26.4 percent to help pave the way to education reform with gold. 
        But all that glitters isn't gold.

        The program, geared primarily for urban educational systems where students are densely concentrated, breaks down when you reach the small rural communities in outlaying areas in Montana and Alaska.
        This morning, the New York Times reports a story of a teacher in a small Montana town who may be forced to leave his teaching position.  Under the No Child Left Behind guidelines, teachers are required to have majors in the fields they teach.  Small schools that have minimum students often have teachers presenting a variety of classes from math to history.   Earning meager salaries, the challenge of going back to school to degree themselves in specific areas is onerous.

The "No Child Left Behind Act" reforms the "Elementary and Secondary Education Act" (ESEA) founded in 1965

        The Times also noted that the No Child Left Behind requirements include shifting a student to better school, at the school district's expense.  In Alaska, the article points out, this can mean transferring a student up to 130 miles.
         But the crux of the education dilemma in America doesn't rest, in my opinion, with the amount of funds, or the government's heavy hand swatting schools with dictates.
         Many states and communities look upon federal enforcement as a violation of state's rights, and a form of governmental Terrorism.
         It concerns me that government is taking on a stronger role in trying to "cure" the ills of education, when, in the final sense, the true force behind a child's education is not society but the parents, guardians and loved ones of a child.
         Somewhere along the line we, Americans, and other developed nations, have become Complacent in our duty to exercise Vigilance over a child's education.
         Under the "public education" concept, we have turned over our children's mental, emotional and often spiritual development to "others."   We expect the "educators" to mold our children's minds, to inspire them, to spark their imaginations while we go about the job of paying the rent, cooking the food, buying the clothes, and keeping the bills paid.
          This is "Educational Complacency," a rich, fertile growing field for Terrorism.
          The more we remove ourselves from a child's education, the more we open the door for the Beast of Terror to wriggle himself or herself into the child's mind and twist thoughts to "his or her" way.
          Long ago I learned that I was in school "not to learn, but to learn to think."   I passed that wisdom on to my children.
          But I stood by each day to review what they had learned at school, not just from the books, but from life itself.    And while I may not know everything, I was able to question the knowledge, to remind my children about their responsibility to seek the Truth and to find Knowledge despite all the roadblocks that popped up.
           Today, I believe, the No Child Left Behind Act is doing what it opposes.
           Children will never be educated by public or private schools.
           Ultimately, parents who look to government or a school to shape a child's mind, to spark his or her imagination, to build foundations for a child's future identity, will be sorely failed by such expectations.  It's like throwing a child to the wolves and hoping that the child won't be eaten.

Children are sponges

           Children are sponges.  They will absorb everything around them.
           They will absorb the Fear, the Intimidation and the Complacency, as well as the Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for future generations.
           If the child believes a parent isn't interested in his or her education, that will create an emptiness in the child.   It creates a hole in the child's soul.
           Imagine coming home from school where the teacher taught things that weren't clear, or were in conflict with your parent's beliefs, and, that during the day you called names, and you went into the bathroom and cried.    Your parents are busy, your mother and father spend little time with you on your schoolwork, and expect you to do well, but do not engage you in teaching you what you've been taught.  They ask you:" How was your day," not, "What did you learn today that will help you live life better?"
           What do you do when you come home?  Do you tell your parents to stop what they're doing, to turn off the television, put down the martini, don't go to the party and spend time with you reviewing your homework, discussing how it will impact your life?
           Or, do you just shrug and say, "Everything went okay," and go to your room to do your homework so you can go out and play, or meet your friends at the mall?

"No Child Left Behind" is the parents' duty

          No Child Left Behind is not the government's job.
          It is the parents' duty.
          To achieve this, one must become a Parent of Educational Vigilance.    When a child enters the world of knowledge, he or she has but one ultimate authority, one teacher over all others--the parent.  No one can supplant the role of parent as teacher, unless the parent gives up that right and turns his or her child over to the Beast of Terror.
          Public education has suffered as we turn more and more control over the quality of teaching to government control, because government is not a person.  It cannot put arms around a child and preen the child's soul, or root the child to overcome that feeling of confusion and dismay.   Government cannot go to school plays, or after-school games.  Government can't sit with a child and help him or her with homework, or, if there is a problem at school, go to the office to fix it.
         Government can't make a child want to dream about the impossible and improbable.
         No Child Left Behind is ironic.   The mere name suggests the more government takes over the duty of teaching children by directing policy, the less education will result.
         America needs a new program--"No Child Left Behind By His or Her Parent's Complacency About Education."

Take the Pledge of Vigilance today

        Only when this program is installed will the shift in education occur.
         But, to start it off, each parent needs to become a Parent of Educational Vigilance and learn that Right Action for the benefit of the Children's Children's Children is the only way to drive the Beast of Complacency back where the Beast belongs, away from our children.
         Take the Pledge of Vigilance today, it is your diploma to higher Vigilance Education.