During his State-of-the-Union speech, President Obama used the word “education” often, rightfully connecting the Country’s overall education level with its ultimate success in the world economy. With typical Progressive logic, the President looks to the government to fix America’s sagging education level stating: If we take these steps – if we raise expectations for every child, and give them the best possible chance at an education, from the day they are born until the last job they take – we will reach the goal that I set two years ago: By the end of the decade, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.
If only it were so straight-forward. The government has repeatedly proven that its interventions into social working ultimately lead to a worsening of the problem it attempts to address. There is no better example than the War on Poverty and other Great Society programs started under President Johnson in the 1960’s that promised to eradicate poverty and other social ills. After spending trillions, these programs accomplished none of the stated goals. There is no logical reason to believe that a government program to fix America’s education system will end any better.
America’s educational problems begin with the breakdown of the family and a society that is often more focused on self-indulgent behavior than the next generation’s needs. As the bonds and strengths of a strong family structure have waned over the decades, society has looked to others including teachers to take on the complex responsibilities of raising societies children and fixing problems that have resulted from dysfunctional families. Ms. Clinton, the “village” has failed!
A few weeks before the President’s State-of-the-Union speech, the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey published some disturbing statistics about the family structures within an earshot of the Capital building. Over half of family households with dependents in the District of Columbia and nearby Prince George’s County are run by single parents. Similar figures are found in many inner cities. As long as parents are unwilling to take on the responsibilities for real parenthood, the educational figures will not improve no matter how much money is thrown at it by the government.
Had the Great Society grand experiment met with success, it might be justifiable even though the Constitution does not give the federal government the power to implement such programs. However, the programs have been miserable failures. It would have been nice to hear the President call the social work industry for this failure in a similar tone that he used to chastise other industries that have failed the Country. Unfortunately, it is likely that the President will suggest still more government programs and expect different results.