Tonight, I want to talk to you about something else that is beginning to absolutely collapse on us. It’s our education system. It has begun to collapse, and I don’t know if you remember, when we first started feeling like the country was collapsing, we feel the loss of rights, we all asked each other, “How did this happen to us? How did we get here?” And it was important to go back to Woodrow Wilson and look at the progressive era to understand what we’re going through now. We have to start at the beginning.
Well, that’s the thing that we have to do with education as well. America’s earliest days featured some of the most prolific thinkers in history, people like Thomas Jefferson, who could write two different languages at the same time. He could write sentences backward starting at the period. Franklin, who was absolutely a genius, if it wasn’t for Franklin, I contend we wouldn’t have had Faraday, we wouldn’t have had all of the electrical experiments in Paris, and we wouldn’t have probably the electric that we have now the way we do – brilliant man.
George Washington, all brilliant in their own right. Jefferson studied Latin, Greek, French, and that was by the age of nine. He was giving advice to everybody, never read any book not in its native language. He got onto a boat, he never read Spanish before. He got on a boat to go over to England. By the time he got there, he could understand and read Spanish. He brought Don Quixote in English and Spanish. And he read it, and he figured it out – brilliant man.
Benjamin Franklin invented just about everything and a huge philanthropist, started the first hospital in the United States that was a public hospital. Washington was an official county surveyor at the age of 17 years old. Now, were they a product of some giant government-run school that the king had spent all kinds of money on that somehow or another we destroyed through the American Revolution? No, there was absolutely no system in place.
In fact, for decades after our founding, most Americans were primarily educated in a way that is completely foreign to us now. They were taught at home by their parents or tutors and in a completely different way. Now, how could that be?
Teachers unions will make it sound as if without the teacher that has gone to school, there is no chance of you being anything other than an uneducated rube. They’ll tell you that you’re harming your child if you teach them at home, but the fact is going to school was not always a way of life in America. You’ll never guess when it began.
Neither the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights even mentions a public education. You’d think with these guys who were so smart they would have thought of what are we going to do for education? They knew it was the parent and the family’s responsibility. The first public school didn’t even appear until 1821. Now, progressives will suggest to you, I’m sure, that we were subhumanoid imbeciles roaming the country grunting when we wanted something, but nine out of ten people here in America, they were all farmers, were literate.
Their parents, their tutors or local educators, taught them to read, nine out of ten. And then they went out and did something really unusual, they actually read books, lots of books. I challenge you right now, go back and just Google, you know, 1870 test for eighth graders, just do it. You will never be able to even understand their mathematics. You won’t be able to do it, and it’s not Common Core. You won’t be able to process what they already knew.
You go look for their test on citizenship. It was rhetoric on citizenship. They were just asked a series of questions. You had to prove why freedom was better, and you had to do it by the time you were ten. Most adults couldn’t even do it. It was a parent’s responsibility to educate their child. You could do it yourself or the towns often had an educator that all the parents would decide, and then they would bring all the kids into the schoolhouse. Regardless of what age, everybody was together.
So what happened? Well, everything began to change rapidly during the progressive era, and I know, it’s a real shock. The long-held idea that children were the parents’ responsibility was aggressively being challenged. See what’s happening right now at our hospitals. They’re challenging your right to take care of the health. Well, they’ve already challenged your right to be responsible for their education, why not the health, then the food?
Well, it would be the turning point that began to build the progressive education infrastructure that is now collapsing our education system because it doesn’t work. But on the think tank, we wanted to show you a few key moments on what happened. In 1867, we began the Department of Education. It was called the Office of Education, now the Department of Education.
It was created with a budget of about $15,000, and it was designed to study how can we make education better? You’ll see in a minute, and you decide, did it make education better or just bigger?
1874, this is when we have the Board of Ed, and this one is really important. The Massachusetts, surprise, surprise, Board of Education stated, “The child should be taught to consider his instructor, in many respects, superior to the parent in point of authority.” That sounds exactly like Woodrow Wilson a few years later, the progressive ideal, the state knows best.
Let me give you some quick perspective on this one. We went from a nation where parents were primary in education to today, most Americans start sending their kids off to school at the age of five. Think of this, at five years old, instead of being with mom or dad or anybody in the family, your child is shipped off at 8:00 in the morning or 9:00 in the morning. You don’t usually see them again until later in the afternoon, maybe 3:00-ish. That’s six to seven hours a day that you let someone else other than you program your child.
As you know now, we do not have similar views on the country or freedom or anything else. You know it. You’re seeing it. What is it that they are programming your child to believe? This is why it’s no surprise that Mayor de Blasio is actually pushing for prekindergarten for all. This is something that they wanted to do for a very long time. They want control from cradle to grave, and with that control, they are now pushing for year-round school 12 hours a day.
But let me go back to the timeline because this is where Woodrow Wilson is introduced, Woodrow Wilson and the American Federation of Teachers. It’s a union, but remember, at the time, unions were communist looking for that communist goal. It was established in Chicago by 1918, and all states now have a compulsory attendance law within two years. So now you’re trapped. America’s youth had been trapped, and there is no way out.
In 1919, you have the Progressive Education Association, founded with the same goal of reforming the systems, and boy, did they ever. By 1922, the state of Oregon actually made it illegal for children to attend a nongovernmental school. What they were trying to do was they were trying to squeeze out the religious schools out of the education picture. That later was shot down by the Supreme Court who said children were not mere creatures of the state, but this was a harbinger of things to come.
And then you go back to 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act passed by none other than the world-famous LBJ. It’s frightening, the sweeping legislation helped pave the way for federal government to exercise control and influence over the local schools through funding. They got it passed by claiming it was just for poverty areas, that’s it, but within a few years, it provided aid to 60% of America’s school districts, and we were all hooked.
By 1965, the one miniscule Office of Education now had 2,113 employees and a budget of $1.5 billion. By 1976, the NEA did something they’ve never done before, they endorsed a candidate for the very first time, the one and only Jimmy Carter. Then the one real final death blows to this whole thing, in 1979, Jimmy Carter signs a law elevating the Department of Education to cabinet level status. Now that meant your education was not in the hands of the federal government. When it’s in the cabinet, it means it is in the hands now of one man, the President of the United States. That’s who the cabinet reports to.
By 1994, it’s reported that the government was losing $3-$4 billion a year to waste, to fraud, to defaults in its student programs. They now get $72 billion a year in funding, and they all say it’s for the kids. And you’re a hatemonger who hates children, and you just want them to fail in life, you want them to live in the gutter if you oppose more education funding.
But what have been the results of this progressive education explosion? We saw what it was like at the beginning of our country where people were literate. We’ve had lots of spending. What are the results? Because it’s all about results, isn’t it? Or is it about control? Is it about conform? Look at the results, look at the spending.
We put this book out what, two weeks ago, three weeks ago, shot to the top of the New York Times best-selling list. It was the number one selling book in the country, number two on the New York Times best list, but it has everything in it that you need to stop Common Core. And it must be stopped.
I told you a minute ago we’re doing something to Stage 19. One of the things we’re doing is we’re building an entirely new set with a studio audience section of 150 people, and that is partly for Conform. We want you to go and meet with us in movie theaters all across the country, and there are 600 movie theaters now across the country that are going to be having a night of action where we all get together and learn from some of the greatest minds about this education system.
Wewillnotconform.com, you know the history, now where we go from here is up to you. Go to wewillnotconform.com and find out how to get your tickets. Tell everybody you know, and we will see you on Stage 19 from movie theaters all across the nation July 22.