Tag archives: Education

Revolution Then and Now

by Robert Morrison

July 14, 2014

The French Revolution began this day two hundred twenty-five years ago, July 14, 1789. Then, a mob in Paris stormed the grim royal fortress of the Bastille. When one of King Louis XVI’s counselors came to him at Versailles with the news of the bloody attack on this prison, the king asked: “Is it a revolt?” His aide answered: “No, Sire, it is a revolution.”

I had occasion to reflect on the French Revolution and on our own during a walking tour with three French students in my hometown of Annapolis this past weekend. We had started at the Alumni House of the Naval Academy Alumni Association. It turned out that this particular building had hosted a reception in 1824 for General Lafayette. The aged Marquis was on an extensive tour of the U.S. then, one where he was met with wild enthusiasm in all the 26 states he visited. This French nobleman was a hero of our American Revolution. In 1824, he was the last surviving general of our Continental Army (it helps when you get your commission at age 21!) We then proceeded to the grounds of St. John’s College, there we visited the Monument to the French Soldiers and Sailors buried there. They died fighting for our freedom.

There are many French connections to Annapolis. When Congress met in Annapolis in 1783-84, the Treaty of Paris was presented to our elected representatives for ratification. This treaty officially recognized American Independence and concluded our own Revolution. It was from the Old State House that Congress in 1784 dispatched Thomas Jefferson as our second minister to France. Upon arrival there, young Jefferson was asked if he had come to replace Benjamin Franklin. “I am Dr. Franklin’s successor,” Mr. Jefferson replied with becoming modesty, “no one can replace him.” Jefferson remained in Paris until 1789, leaving shortly after the Storming of the Bastille. He would long defend the French Revolution and his pro-French tilt would affect the destiny of our own republic. It would be Jefferson who, as president in 1803, would double the size of the U.S by his Louisiana Purchase—from France.

Taking my friends around the Naval Academy, they instantly recognized the French architecture. Ernest Flagg had been educated at France’s Beaux Arts school, and the USNA Chapel is a replica of France’s famous Hotel des Invalides. Below the Chapel is the Crypt of John Paul Jones. My guests also saw the obvious link to the Tomb of Napoleon, beneath the Invalides.

The Continental Navy’s Captain Jones, our first naval hero, sailed the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard into battle against Britain’s HMS Serapis. As his ship’s name (“Poor Richard”) indicates, Jones’s warship was a gift of the French. John Paul Jones died in France in 1792 and his body lay in a Paris cemetery for a century before being exhumed and returned to the U.S. for burial here. As a tribute, the entire French navy escorted John Paul Jones’s remains across the Atlantic in 1904.

Don’t forget the bone ships! [You can see a video here at minute 2:14.] The bone ships are an amazing collection at the USNA Museum. There, in subdued lighting, you can see highly detailed models of British and American fighting ships, all fashioned from beef bones, mutton bones, and even an occasional human bone. These precious works of art are two hundred years old and were crafted by French prisoners of war. They had been captured by the British during the wars of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, taken prisoner over a period between 1793 and 1815. These ship models almost seem to have been crafted of ivory they are so beautiful. And they speak volumes to us today about the souls of these tough French sailors who wanted to leave a legacy. We don’t know their names but we see the work of their hands and it tells us about their hearts.

As I guided my French friends around my town, pointing out the French connections to them, they were teaching me about the latest developments in France. They spoke of their immigration issues, their clashes on church and state matters, and, of course, of their fight to defend true marriage.

The French have been turning out hundreds of thousands of protesters in the Manif pour Tous (The Manifestation—we would say demonstration—for all.) The Manif grassroots supporters have come to Paris repeatedly, but they have even greater strength in the provinces. That great part of France, that enduring part of France, outside of Paris, is sometimes called la France profonde, the deeper France. Here, the resistance to the Socialist schemes of President Francois Hollande is rising.

One of my student visitors tells of the Vendee, his home region. During the French Revolution, that portion of Northwestern France rebelled against the bloody excesses of the Jacobins and their supporters in the Paris mobs. From 1793-1799 the revolutionary republican government put down their peasants’ revolt with extreme violence, with an estimated 200,000 victims. Documented stories of mass guillotining and drownings—even of children—shock us to this day.

The French are teaching us that abolishing marriage is only a part of the Left’s agenda. They speak of Le theorie du genre (Gender Theory) that will be incorporated into all school curricula.

We Americans should especially heed this danger. If we think counterfeit marriages can be limited to adults, limited to the few who would claim those privileges, we should think again.

Radicals are demanding the end of marriage. They say so on their website [www.beyondmarriage.org.] We know from past experience they will soon be demanding the right to teach all children they can marry persons of the same sex. After this will come, inevitably, the indoctrination of children into the false idea they can change their sex.

One reason the radicals want Common Core and are so intent on nationalizing all school curricula is so they can conscript all pre-school children into what President Obama calls “universal pre-K.” This is so he can bring about that “fundamental transformation of this country” that he promised in his 2008 campaign.

The French Revolution began this day in 1789 with great hopes:

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive/But to be young was very heaven.” So wrote the English

poet William Wordsworth. Soon, however, as the radicals leading the French Revolution began to crush religious freedom, to stamp out local governments, and sever the connections between generations, many Frenchmen, Englishmen, and even Americans had second thoughts. It was then that people said the Revolution was consuming its young. It’s time for us to remember the famous words of John Paul Jones: “I have not yet begun to fight!”

College Gone Wild: Classes on How to Achieve Orgasm, Yet Neglects Abstinence

by Krystle Gabele

January 29, 2013

Every year, the Young America’s Foundation releases a list of outrageous course offerings at various colleges and universities across the country.  Aside from the courses that a student might take, they are also exposed to campus wide events that may stand contradictory to morals and have nothing to do with the reason why they are there in the first place:  To learn and gain the skill set necessary for their future.

Case in point, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is having an event, and this is one that will no doubt raise some eyebrows.  In April, students at this public university will have the opportunity to attend an event about the female orgasm (no, I am not making this up) from two sex educators.  This event is open to both genders, and while the goal of the class is to educate students to use the skills learned in a current relationship or for marriage, it is no doubt sending the wrong message.

Despite the disclaimer that they are trying to empower women, they are denigrating women by merely making them a sex symbol.  While they claim that the information from this lecture can be used in current relationships and in the future for marriage, there is no educating students about respecting women and the choices of abstinence.

Abstinence is not a dirty word, and in fact, it is time for academics to take some time to examine this, rather than orgasms.  FRC’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) has released several studies that show that married couples have more satisfying sex than those who are unmarried.  There are also more benefits to being abstinent, as it cuts down on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), depression rates are lower in those who are abstinent, and the abortion rate decreases.

While college is for learning, it is a time to expand your horizons towards more academic approaches, like reading the classics, gaining experience in your major through internships and lectures, and debating the merits of studies.  It is definitely not a time to learn about orgasms.  Save that for marriage.

Setting the Solitary in Families

by Sharon Barrett

September 26, 2012

In her post May I have this [politically-correct, gender-ambiguous, tolerance-driven] dance?, MARRI blogger Lindsay Smith points out the problem with the recent ban on father-daughter dances and mother-son baseball games in Rhode Islands Cranston school district. Banning events that encourage parent participation undermines childrens academic well-being, because parental involvement is related to a childs academic success. Lindsay summarizes the research (further data is available from MARRIs Mapping America surveys):

On average, children from intact married families earn higher test scores, have higher high-school GPAs, are less likely to drop out of school, and have better behavior than their peers. In addition, adolescent children of single-parent families or stepfamilies reported that their parents had lower educational expectations for them, were less likely to monitor schoolwork, and supervised social activities less than the parents of children in intact biological families. Based on these findings, one can see parental involvement directly correlates with academic success.

Lindsay suggests an alternative solution to the Cranston school districts problem: instead of banning parent-child events, encourage community members to reach out to children in non-intact families, just as an elderly neighbor did for her when it came time for Grandparents Lunch Day at her school.

I propose a better solution is not to eliminate the event, but rather to embrace the child. Allow traditional families to show what love and support look like and invite a child whose mom or dad cant attend, whatever the reason.

Lindsays suggestion should sound familiar to readers who have also read the Bible. Scripture throbs with Gods concern for the widow, the divorced parent, the fatherless child, and everyone who is affected by the breakup of a family. Psalm 68:5-6 says this:

A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains.

Gods people ought to take the lead in reaching out and offering a family to the solitary, whether that be a teen mother, a divorced father, a youth who has trouble fitting in at school, or simply a young girl whose grandmother cant make the 10-hour drive for Grandparents Lunch Day. Research suggests this will have a far greater impact than raising academic success levels; for instance, by sharing the love and security found in an intact family environment, it can bring out those who are bound with chains of addiction or imprisonment by reducing rates of drug abuse, youth behavior problems, and violent delinquency. Intact families strengthen society. As Lindsay Smith says, Thats something that should make us all get up and dance.

Facebook Inc. valued above McDonalds Corp.: What does that mean for your kid?

by Family Research Council

May 15, 2012

Whether we like it or not, kids are now spending far more time with media and technology than they are with their families or in school — as much as eight hours a day on average in the United States alone. So wrote Jim Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, a San Francisco think-tank focusing on media and families.

Facebook Inc is now worth more than Citigroup Inc. and McDonald’s Corp. But even when parents keep their kids off of the social networking site, numerous other apps and social media start-ups are vying for their use. The Wall Street Journal reported that 20 companies pitched online and mobile products for kids in Pasadena, Calif., at the 6th annual Digital Kids Conference, just last month.

The technological landscape is ever-changing and one mother-daughter team has an eye on the challenges of parenting in this brave, new world.

Concerned by the brevity of contemporary childhood and the crisis of premature sexualization brought on through “sexting” and related activities, Dr. Brenda Hunter and her daughter Kristen Blair have tackled these themes in a new book titled, From Santa to Sexting: Helping your Child Safely Navigate Middle School and Shape the Choices that Last a Lifetime.

Join us at noon on Friday, May 18th as Dr. Brenda Hunter and her daughter Kristen offer research, stories, and resources to help keep kids safe and strong in middle school.

RSVP today!

New Video: Who Should Decide How Your Children are Educated?

by Carrie Russell

March 29, 2011

Who has the primary responsibility for making critical decisions about the education of school-aged children? Their parents? Or government and the school system it operates? That is a fundamental question about education policy that faces the United States as it attempts to build educational institutions for the twenty-first century.” - Jack Klenk

For more information on this topic, click here.

New FRC Pamphlet Available: Jack Klenks Who Should Decide How Children are Educated?

by Chris Gacek

March 23, 2011

Who Should Decide How Children are Educated?FRC is proud to announce the availability of its new policy pamphlet entitled, Who Should Decide How Children are Educated? by Jack Klenk. Mr. Klenk is a retired, long-time Department of Education policy expert and proponent of educational reform.

You can download the document here. [PDF]

Primarily, Klenk asks the following linked questions: Who has the primary responsibility for making critical decisions about the education of school-aged children? Their parents? Or government and the school system it operates?

Klenk presents an extended overview of the development of American public education and demonstrates that we now have a top-down model that has been designed to promote the preferences of experts, bureaucracies, and unions above that of parents. Rather, a system must be developed that overturns old patterns of behavior. The current educational system is overdue for a modernization, that will it make it more flexible, less bureaucratic, and more family-friendly. To be authentically public, it must serve all parents from the whole public.

For education to serve the public, it must give parents access to a variety of schools, not just the monolithic government option. The old system is a monopoly that is not suited to modern life. As with other monopolies, it gives disproportionate weight to itself and special interests, and not enough to the customers the parents and children. Furthermore, monopolies always resist improvement-forcing competition. Any new system of education for the public must leave behind the mindset that only government schools can serve the public. Parents should be allowed to select the educational institutions that best suit their needs.

However, the reforms must be accomplished in a manner that does not interfere with the freedom and distinctive identities of nongovernmental schools. This is critical. Government financial support of parental educational choices cannot be allowed to threaten the independence and distinctive features (e.g., religious education) of alternative institutions. Vouchers, tax credits, and charter schools are all part of a wave of educational change that appears to be on the horizon as the public realizes that government schools are very costly and are not performing well.

Who Should Decide How Children Are Educated?”

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 18, 2011

Is “public education the same thing as “government education?” Dr. Jack Klenk argues it is not, but that the two terms have been conflated, in our time, to mean the same thing.

Dr. Klenk is the author of a new FRC booklet titled, “Who Should Decide How Children Are Educated?.” His new publication, which you can download at no charge, answers this probing question through the application of both careful analysis and common sense.

It’s a question well worth asking. According to the federal Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics, in constant dollars, spending per pupil in public elementary and secondary schools went from $2,769 in the 1961-62 school year to $10,041 in 2007-07 school year.

What have we gotten for this massive investment? According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, “the reading skills of 12th graders tested in 2005 were significantly worse than those of students in 1992, when a comparable test was first given, and essentially flat since students previously took the exam in 2002.”

Jack Klenk believes we can, and must, do better. He makes a strong case that parents should be allowed and empowered to decide how to education their children. Here’s an excerpt from his new FRC publication:

(W)hat we need today is education that serves the public: education where power flows back to parents; where empowered parents are able to choose schools as they see fit (public charter schools, other government schools, private schools, homeschools, cyber schools, or other schools yet to come); where schools of all stripes that offer quality education are free to compete to serve parents; where the success of schools depends more on satisfying parents who freely choose them than on pleasing bureaucracies; and where nongovernmental schools retain their independence.”

Dr. Klenk’s impressive credentials lend support for his case. He served for twenty-seven years in the U.S. Department of Education under five presidents and eight secretaries. He directed the Office of Non-Public Education which is responsible for fostering the participation of nonpublic school students and teachers in federal education programs and initiatives. Dr. Klenk worked on policies and programs affecting school choice, private schools, home schools, urban faith-based schools, and the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

Who Should Decide How Children Are Educated?” is an important contribution to the debate over the future of American education. This is more than an academic discussion — it’s about the well-being of our children and the nation they inherit.

Social Conservative Review—June 24, 2010

by Krystle Gabele

June 24, 2010

Sign up for our newest publication: The Social Conservative Review.

The Social Conservative Review:

The Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News

June 24, 2010

FRC has recently published a comprehensive study of President Obama’s efforts to repeal the historic ban on homosexuals in the Armed Forces. Written by respected military analyst Lt. Col. (ret) Robert Maginnis, “Mission Compromised: How the Obama Administration is Drafting the Military into the Culture War” is an important contribution to the debate over this critical issue.

After over 30 years in the Marine Corps, including service as the senior military attorney, I know the serious risks present if the current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and law are repealed. I am compelled to speak out since those currently on active duty cannot voice their opinions. Robert Maginnis uses facts, the law, and a dose of military perspective to debunk the myths put forward by those seeking change from the current law. James C. Walker, Brig.Gen. U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)

The free PDF of this compelling study can be downloaded here.

Educational Freedom and Reform

Environmental Issues

Faith and Policy

Health Care

Homosexuality in the Military

Judiciary

Marriage and Family

Family Economics

Marriage

Pornography

Religious Liberty

Check out Persecution.com, one of the best websites regarding Christian persecution throughout the world.

Sanctity of Life

Abortion

Adoption

Bioethics

Stem Cell Research

Other Articles of Note for Social Conservatives

Staggering Increase in Education Spending for 2011

by Chris Gacek

February 4, 2010

Well, I checked the facts, and the Politico was correct. I only doubted the reporting due to the massive amount of President Obamas proposed increase in education spending. Could it possibly be true? Tuesdays February 2nd Politico column by Eamon Javers and James Hohman on the newly released proposed federal budget contained this text on one of the Winners Education:

Obama calls for ramped-up education spending. Department of Education outlays would increase from $32.4 billion in 2009 to $71.5 billion in 2011. Obama puts money into a laundry list of initiatives, from a $1.6 billion increase in child care funding to making permanent the expansion of Pell Grant payouts.

He has sought to please his supporters in the powerful teachers unions by pushing to rework the unpopular parts of Bushs No Child Left Behind Act. Now hes trying to put $3 billion more into K-12 education generally, with up to an extra $1 billion if Congress reworks the education system in the way he wants this year.

If you look at the 2011 budgets section for the Department of Education (pp. 63-68), go to page 68 and look for the line entitled Total, Outlays. There one finds that the actual 2009 budget for the Dept of Education was $32.409 billion and that the projected amount for 2011 is $71.479 billion. By my calculation that is a 121% increase in two years.

I am not an expert on direct loan programs, but on the same page the figures for disbursements increases from $100.7 billion (2009 actual) to $135.0 billion (2011 projected) a 34% increase over two years. This Congress wants to enact a statute to federalize the student loan programs, so the budget contains this gobbledygook comment: This measure would then use savings to make historic investments to increase college access and success, and would lay a foundation for success for Americas youngest children. What does that mean? $$,$$$,$$$,$$$.$$ Good grief.

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