By Mike O’Neal, Chair, New Horizon Education Council
One would be hard pressed to find any thoughtful citizen who does not believe that the educational system in the U.S. is broken. After decades of increasing federal government interference and massive dollar infusions, in 2016 the richest, most powerful nation on earth is failing its children and putting the future of liberty and prosperity for our children in jeopardy. Virtually every measure of educational attainment shows American school children falling further and further behind their peers throughout the world, and it gets worse with each passing year. Our youth are arriving at adulthood less and less capable of making good decisions for their lives and of contributing to the social capital of this nation. The founders of America believed and warned in many writings and in many ways that the democracy they bequeathed to us could not long stand without an educated citizenry. Regrettably, their prophecy is proving true. The current fraying around the edges of our political, social, and economic systems threatens to tear apart the fabric of our culture.
If there is any hope for changing that grim picture, it will require a return to principles—principles on which most people can agree and principles that have proven to work effectively when actually tried. Among those fundamental and immutable principles are:
These principles naturally lead to several policy implications for American education: