My wife, Laurelee, died when our six children were 12, 10, 8, 6, 6 and 1 years old.
Today, one has a doctorate in chemistry, two have doctorates in nuclear engineering, two have doctorates in veterinary medicine, and one has a master’s degree in nuclear engineering. In college, five earned BS degrees in chemistry and one earned a BS in mathematics. Three of the six went through college in only two years, by passing advanced placement exams that allowed them to enter college at the third year level.
When my wife died, I continued their homeschooling, which she began. Together, the children and I developed a homeschool curriculum. This curriculum has now been used by more than 100,000 homeschool and public school students – as a complete curriculum by the homeschoolers and as a supplement by the public schoolers.
I have 30 years of experience in K-12 education. I also taught college and graduate students at the University of California at San Diego and Stanford.
Yet, I am not writing this to advertise curricula. I am speaking out as an educator – one who deplores the well-financed public school system that pretends to educate our students, but instead short-changes the students and turns many of them into permanent second-class citizens.
Let me make a controversial but true statement.
The public schools are by far the most racist institution in our nation!
An example of this are the public schools of Washington, D.C. – the only schools that are constitutionally under the control of the U.S. Congress. These schools have 50,000 students, 67 percent of whom are black. Of those students who manage to graduate from a D.C. high school (many drop out), the majority cannot even read effectively and have almost no math skills.
As a result of their very poor educations, most of these students are condemned for life to second-class citizenship, poor-paying work if they can find it and reliance upon public welfare – which is just fine with the leftist politicians who ruin their educations. The more people on welfare, the more votes the socialists can get.
Let us, however, consider Portland, Oregon. School taxes are generous and a little higher than the national average. These taxes are paid by everyone. Even a citizen whose low income excuses him from direct taxation pays high taxes. He pays the school taxes of the farmers, truck drivers and grocery store owners from whom he buys food. He pays the school taxes of the oil industry and fuel distribution businesses from whom he buys fuel. He pays the school taxes of everyone whom he pays for goods and services.
The total school taxes in Portland, Oregon, amount to $400,000 per nine months per 30-student classroom. Only about one-third of this money actually reaches the students, teachers and classroom. The other two-thirds is spent outside of the classrooms by special interests, highly paid non-teaching bureaucrats and others who have attached themselves to the school system.
Consider this: If Portland were to pay $130,000 per nine months of work to every full-time teacher – in wages and in benefits (more than they receive today) and $20,000 for a room in which to teach (more lavish per square foot than most high-end homes) for nine months – and not pay any money to anyone who does not teach a full load of classes, there would be $250,000 per nine months per classroom left over. Over 12 years, this would save $3 million per classroom.
This $3 million over 12 years is enough extra money to provide every graduating K-12 student (assuming all graduate and none drop out) with a $100,000 scholarship for college.
The students could keep the classrooms clean, and, for this raise in pay, the teachers would happily handle the administration expenses.
My uncle Carl Robinson was a school teacher in the once excellent K-12 schools of Iowa. When he resumed teaching after serving in World War II, he taught a full load of classes – and was paid a little extra to be superintendent of the county schools. Those Iowa farmers were not paying “educators” who did not teach.
What is more valuable – continuing to pay non-teaching employees and special interests who do not teach, or providing every student with $100,000 for college?
Moreover, there is another matter – quality of the schools. Non-teaching people are just in the way. They do not take their pay and go on vacation. They stay in the school system making rules and regulations and getting in the way of teachers, thereby making it more difficult to teach.
Why do I say this is racist?
Black students have a much more difficult time living a joyful and prosperous life because their poorer education provides fewer opportunities. To be sure, many do succeed regardless of adversity, but the percentage succeeding is much lower than for other races.
Black students have far lower SAT college admission test scores than other races because they have much poorer schools. The state and national educational systems, run for the benefit of school unions and the vast mob of non-teachers, preferentially fails in the education of black students.
SAT college admission average test scores in our nation are black – 946, Hispanic – 990, white – 1123, and Asian – 1223. Yet, the genetically determined mental ability of these four races is essentially identical.
Asians especially excel because the discipline and education ethic in their culture is very strong. But why should an individual student do more poorly because of the culture in which he happens to live?
The schools have total control of these students during the best hours of every day. They control their discipline and educational habits.
If the schools were good, the students would not depend on the culture and opportunities at home to learn. As a result, the advantage of Asian and white students would diminish.
I have spent more than 50 years of my life in education.
I could provide a quiet room, good discipline and a curriculum the students follow every day to any group of students of any mixture of races – with the result that all of the students would receive a superb education that prepares them well for a prosperous and fulfilling life.
Surely, there would be differences between students because, while there are no significant average racial differences, there are differences in individual abilities. These differences however, are of small importance in the subjects that comprise K-12 education.
In fact, education of this quality was once the norm in our nation’s public schools. The public schools I attended 50 to 60 years ago were excellent. Those schools enabled me to attend CalTech and have a wonderful life in science. During the past 50 years, special interests, unions, bureaucrats and politicians have gained control of our public schools and spectacularly diminished their quality, while greatly increasing their expense.
It is immoral to neglect and ruin the mental training of a young man or young woman. This needs to stop!
The greatest educator in our nation’s history was Booker T. Washington. Raised on the floor of a slave cabin and then in further poverty by his mother after the Civil War, Booker T. Washington raised himself to a very high level of educator, author, orator and presidential advisor, and founded Tuskegee University, where he was later joined by George Washington Carver.
Washington taught his students at Tuskegee:
“What, then, do we mean by education? I would say that education is meant to give us an idea of truth. I do not care how much you get out of all your text books: – unless you have got truth, you will have failed in your purpose to be educated.”
One of our nation’s finest scientists and also a great educator was Nobel Laureate Robert A. Millikan, founder of the California Institute of Technology. True to Millikan’s ethics, the motto of CalTech is the biblical quotation, “The Truth shall make you free.”
“Human well-being and all human progress rest at bottom upon twin pillars, the collapse of either one of which will bring down the whole structure. These two pillars are the cultivation and the dissemination throughout mankind of (1) the spirit of religion, (2) the spirit of science (or knowledge).”
The spirit of religion, Millikan wrote, is stated in the Golden Rule by Jesus, “Whatsoever you would that men should do to you do you even so to them.” Millikan points out that “Man alone of all creation has been given the power of choice between good and evil, and it is in the exercise of this choice that man fulfills his greatest mission on earth.”
The spirit of science is truth – the truth Booker T. Washington and Robert A. Millikan both taught to their students.
Throughout our society today, we see a trend of miscreants suppressing both the spirit of Christianity and the spirit of truth. This has been extended into our schools.
The Golden Rule should cause those in control of our schools to seek the same opportunities for the students that they were given. Instead, they seek further opportunities for themselves at the expense of the students. This violates Millikan’s first pillar and violates the mandate of Booker T. Washington – the black slave who became the greatest educator in our nation’s history.
Moreover, under Washington, the college education at Tuskegee University was free for the students. Washington raised the money from other Americans. The American people can give this opportunity to all of their students without additional expense by simply ridding the schools of all other expenses except for the teachers and the classrooms.
Why should the black race – that gave our nation its greatest educator – be mired in last place in our public school system?
We must stop the trends toward poor education before they ruin our constitutional republic – by providing superb educational opportunities for all students.