Sputnik was a Soviet satellite that was launched into outer space in 1957 and that sent America into a tizzy. Because many Americans believed wrongly that Sputnik showed Soviet technological superiority when in fact smart people knew that the communist system started rotting from within the day it was established.
But Sputnik got us into higher gear in teaching math and science. Just look at the world today, all built on advanced American technology.
President Obama gave a speech on December 6 saying we need a new “Sputnik moment” to prompt us to reinvigorate our schools to teach math and science so that we can continue to evolve as a modern nation.
Yeah, right… What a crock. This statement is just part of an ongoing media/Democrat shadow play about getting more kids into math and science with suspect techniques and potemkin school programs financed by big government dollars. Our public education system is a debacle that is way back in the international rankings. Platitudes are not going to fix it. Only systemic reform will.
And the main reason for the terrible shape of public education is because of control by people allied with Obama like his teacher union friends who have gutted many of our schools and have fought like wolverines to stop any reforms of or challenges to the status quo. These unions aren’t interested in Sputnik; they’re interested primarily in their paychecks, benefits and retirements, and in building expensive new schools to further indebt us all irrevocably to public ed.
Then think about Obama’s environmentalist allies who have enormous power over our youth through the public schools and through the media and who have been promoting not calculus and physics but ‘junk science’ in the form of enviro bogeymen like ‘global warming’ and carbon dioxide “pollution”.
Huge amounts of student time today is devoted to these eco-charades while other pseudo-science is covered in excruciating detail – ‘green’ energy, the vilification of oil, coal and nuclear power, obsessive focus on every perceived enviro calamity etc. All this takes away from genuine science and favors a political agenda like how to start a homosexual after-school club or how to put a condom on a banana.
A few years ago some guy was praised all over the media when he introduced a hand-cranked computer that would work out in the middle of nowhere. He said that it would help bring African children with no electricity out of poverty. This was more baloney from the intellectual left.
To get kids out of poverty, they don’t need crank-up computers. They first need orderly societies that respect educational discipline and the laws of economics. This philosophy about putting science, math and computers at the center of our educational system is just more misdirection from the left. We can do that certainly, but we can start with lots of more basic things like making our schools more responsive, and making America more business-friendly so that we can have more jobs.
Who says we have to make satellites and computers? We can make furniture too. And toys. And plastics. And everything else.
Just think of the many millions of jobs that have fled our shores in the last few decades, jobs that Democrat-party environmentalists, taxers, regulators, trial lawyers and union activists have driven abroad. How about we just keep those jobs here as a start.
Then lets keep kids in school and teach them the basics. Millions hardly know how to read and write and the public school bureaucracy takes no blame. It should.
Let’s disband Obama’s multicultural cartel and its War on Caucasian Boys – you know, the classic successful science/math nerds. Today multiculti teaches instead that girls rule and white boys drool, and that poor minority kids are going to become nuclear scientists if we give them enough money.
And maybe we can really help give minority kids a chance to improve themselves with private, religious and charter school vouchers. Yet you can hardly get the word “voucher” out of your mouth before the teacher unions start a stampede to fight them in every way.
For instance, starting in 2003 Republicans in the US Congress offered an Opportunity Scholarship program for poor black children in Washington, DC. Over the years, a total of 1,700 kids got federal dollars to get out of the horrible DC schools and to attend private, religious and charter schools.
This probably was some of the best-spent federal dollars in the last 100 years and the kids flourished. But guess who killed the program and sent the kids back to the DC schools?
Here is what happened as described on the Heartland Institute website:
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) in 2009 inserted language into an omnibus-spending bill to prohibit new students from receiving Opportunity Scholarships. Congress also cut OSP funding $13 million to $9 million this year, with funding “zeroed out” next year. (end of excerpt)
There’s a real Sputnik moment for ya… And why did Democrat Durbin do this?
To mollify the teacher unions who didn’t want black children getting any ideas. The union message was and is: There is no alternative to our schools. We have full power over you.
Meanwhile Obama’s friends in the sports/arts/entertainment cabal divert kids’ minds with junk art, junk celebrity, junk sports heroes, and junk entertainment. No wonder kids are spaced out on nothing. Because there’s nothing there.
We could fix our schools and our economy very easily with real reforms, the kinds that the Democrat party fight every time they are discussed.
The fact is that we did not even need a “Sputnik moment” in 1957 to get us into high gear. Because back then, before the 1960s radicals took over the schools, we had a wonderful public system in which American kids got a great education from Latin to the classics, from English literature to physics, from calculus to art history.
No more. Today education has been reduced to a series of politically-prescribed orthodoxies that puts ‘the system’ first, students last and leaves the nation in the dust. This must change. And we can transform things by first getting Obama and his political cronies out of the way of real educational restructuring
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.