This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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The Bricks Are Starting to Crack
“Pink Floyd-The Wall,” released in 1979, left us with one of the most recognized lyrics of all time: “All in All, you are just another brick in the wall.” The title, “Another Brick in the Wall” was done in 3 parts on the album, but it is Part 2 that is arguably the most iconic. “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) has become, what some may call, a mandatory track on any last day of school playlist. As the group of English children enter the song and begin to melodically recite the lyrics, you sing along! You with your friends in the car, windows down, drive off with the school in your rearview mirror. Summer is on the horizon as you rock out to one of the greatest bands in history, never realizing that Pink Floyd had just written the most prophetic song of the 20th century.
In 1965, when Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Assistance Act into law, the Government takeover of our children began. It was the first step in getting states to relinquish control of education. By offering up federal money for funding, the Government crept into our schools and slowly began implementing policies and practices. With the agenda gaining momentum, the Government cinched the noose on our children when Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education on Oct 17, 1979. Since then, every U.S. President has weighed in on the fate of our youth. Our politicians and political candidates use the education narrative as a talking point in nearly every election. The programs and plans that have been implemented in the 53 years since have created a time bomb in our schools.
“America 2000,” created under George Bush, sought to create “uniform” academic standards across the nation. Uniformity being the focus, Bill Clinton enacted the “Goals 2000: Educate America Act”, which brought the creation of The National Education Standards and Improvement Council (NESIC) and the “opportunity-to-learn” standards. Those standards set by NESIC were quickly repealed, paving the way for the Improving America’s Schools Act and continuing the governments’ focus on “standards.”
In comes good ole’ George W. Bush not to be outdone, and of course, wanting to make daddy proud, he signs into law the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. After decades of Government intervention in our schools, after the research, and the studies, the plans and policies, the push to create a “standard” was branching out. The Department of Education had successfully rearranged the education of our children to portray our history as they see fit. They are choosing what books our children may or may not read, and scripting science in order to cast doubt on Christian values. It was not enough that they had engulfed the metropolitan schools with their ideology, it was time to start helping those who were less fortunate and address the children who had been looked over; to create an “inclusive” system that would find those students who were not meeting the “standard.”
What we ended up with is a president with more policies and another failure. No Child Left Behind came up drastically short of its set goals and even sought to withhold funding from schools that didn’t perform up to par. Without as much as a hint of acknowledgment to its failures, our government pressed on. The Obama administration used high dollar incentives to seemingly bribe states to adopt what is known as the “Common-Core” standards. Creating a program called “Race to the Top,” the DOE offered grants to states that met certain criteria. 46 states jumped on board, and the socialist/liberal agenda disguised as common core took hold.
The Results Of Failure?
Half a century later the statistics show the United States ranks 14th in education. More than 7,000 kids drop out of school every day, with our failure rate being one of the highest. No matter the lifestyle or upbringing, without consideration of individual circumstances, our children are expected to meet the education standard across the country. The “Race to get Cash” or to lose it, is putting the pressure on states and school boards to meet the standards. Cases of cheating are on the rise, and reports that states are making their tests easier in order to meet requirements are well known. The rules and regulations created and imposed by the DOE have essentially created a system where our children are being hurt. Pressures great enough to manipulate school boards are trickling down to our youth. Students across the country are being tested, recorded and compared to each other. The “Standard” has become the focus in our schools, and our teachers (some willing, some not) are teaching curriculums centered on achieving “uniform” test scores.
Pushing the Uniform Standard on our youth through testing and regulated curriculums was only a tool used in strengthening the Socialist agenda. Classroom narratives about inequality, distribution of wealth, and equal opportunity are grooming children to have the same thought process. Professor of Education at Harvard, Charles M. Pierce M.D., recently made comments about this agenda, saying that teachers are making our sick children well “by creating the International child of the future.” There was never a concern for our children’s education. The idea was always to produce a generation of socialist thinkers that would depend on massive government to make the rules and distribute the money.
A Negative Reaction
In a school system based on uniformity, individuality is an important rite of passage for every student. Whether its tattoos or piercings, clothing, or music choices, finding a way to stand out in school was much simpler before social media. For most students, the ability to stand out was dependent on your class size, or at best, your local school district. Social media has taken that away from our youth. As our schools push our students to be a common core from coast to coast, social media has pushed the need to stand out among the nation. Our students desire to be accepted in school has evolved into a need for acceptance among the entire country of their peers. Pioneering a trend has become nearly impossible. Every opportunity for our kids to stand out and be different seems to have already been done. The latest shoes are yesterday’s news from one town to the next. Hairstyles and clothing no longer work as a way to separate yourself from the crowd. Trending videos or viral posts are more exciting than purple hair or daisy dukes, and as the trend grows, the ideas for popular videos grow more extreme. From the ice bucket challenge to the knockout game, drinking bleach, and eating laundry detergent, it seems like our young people are desperate to find individuality.
We Do Not Fit in a Mold
In the music video for Pink Floyds classic hit “Another Brick in the Wall,” the “Uniform” children begin to crack under pressure. The students rise up and tear the school to pieces, destroying everything in their path. Eventually burning the school to the ground, the students seem overjoyed with their accomplishment. Watching the video, it is hard not to draw comparisons to images we see on our screens today. Masses of young people are rioting, looting, and burning down everything in their paths. Creating a uniform core of children across the nation has come at a price. Their desire for individualism contradicts the requirements to meet the standard, and the pressure on our youth has become a struggle for survival among the crowd. For some, fitting in with the crowd running the streets wearing a mask, and defying police bring some form of semblance. For others, the pressure seems inescapable, the desire to fit in goes unfulfilled, and their need to stand out from the crowd seems to be driving them toward the worst. A chance to become an infamous part of history has become a beacon to those who feel worthless, unnoticed, and forgotten.
Pink Floyd saw it coming; their song has become an anthem to those who rebel against education. The lyrics in the song seem to transcend time, as a glaring warning to us all. The human instinct for acceptance and individuality cannot be removed. Trying to program our children through education has created a conflict within our country, our children, and our families, and the bricks are starting to crack. We must take our education system back. We must fight for our youth and show them that they are not clones of each child next to them. As Pink Floyd did in 1979, we must shout loudly across our great nation: “We don’t need your thought Control.”