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Alan Keyes: Teaching the essentials
WND ^ | Saturday, December 22, 2001 | Alan Keyes

Posted on 12/22/2001 9:25:26 AM PST by Gelato

Saturday, December 22, 2001


Alan Keyes Alan Keyes
Teaching the essentials


By Alan Keyes


© 2000 WorldNetDaily.com--> © 2001 WorldNetDaily.com

According to the Washington Post, "The start of the war on terrorism proved an unexpected tonic for education reform." The Post cites a White House aide who said, "I think [congressional education negotiators] saw it as a way they could demonstrate to the country that Congress had not been immobilized." Apparently, the nation lives in fear that terrorists will intimidate the people's representatives away from the now rapidly resuming task of federal over-reaching executed in the name of reform. Take heart, oh people! Our politicians will not be dissuaded from expanding state power at the expense of liberty.

There are those, of course, who would rank a "mobilized Congress" high on the list of terrorizing sights. Heaven help us when Ted Kennedy partners with "compassionate conservatives" in issuing marching orders for the education bureaucracy to "leave no child behind." War tends to increase national governmental power – not only in matters directly related to the conflict, but also in vastly broader realms of our common life. In a season of national pride and solidarity, advocates of expanded government power tend to find rich fields offering "targets of opportunity." Education is such a field, and in the legislation passed last week, it has received a direct hit.

That's the bad news, as I discussed last week. The good news is that federal pressure and control will be applied slowly, and curricular pressure will be applied only indirectly through a new testing regime that will serve as a benchmark for the states' own measures, not as the basis for direct federal control. Accordingly, much state autonomy will actually remain – if the states and their citizenry vigorously claim and exercise it.

Better still, rising up from below to meet the new federal activism is a range of state and local initiatives that will have significant effect in preserving local autonomy in education. This is particularly true in the realm of civic education which, as Jefferson pointed out, is – after elementary literacy and arithmetic – the chief purpose of education.

And here, the news from the states is very positive. Ebbing, flowing, but generally advancing around the country is a movement to restore to the education of our children an effective and formative exposure to their true civic heritage as Americans. This is a project that can mitigate much of the servile effect of high-dollar federal educational meddling. And it is a reform that genuinely and fruitfully draws on the spirit of national resolve prompted by the current international conflict.

The reforms we should pursue can be divided into three steps. First, Declaration recitation bills should be encouraged, such as those recently passed in Texas and defeated in New Jersey. The daily recitation of the Declaration in our country's schools would be a simple and effective beachhead for the restoration of real civics education. Our children would experience concretely the fact that the Declaration is considered vital to their daily lives, and this experience would point naturally and effectively toward a more substantial curricular treatment of the principles and history of American liberty.

Second, commitment to civics education must be embodied in principled state standards and in corresponding materials for substantive instruction in Declaration principles. This is appropriately included, when possible, in the same legislation that establishes the recitation of the Declaration. The "Founding of America" bill in Ohio, to be voted on next year, does just that.

Finally, standards and officially approved materials must be effectively used in the classroom. This is the particular challenge, and opportunity, for local educational authorities – beginning with parents. Wherever progress is made in including real American civics in the law and standards of public education, citizens and local educational authorities must make the most of their opportunity to educate not "labor force participants" or mindless "tolerators" of "diversity," but citizens.

We would do well to imitate the zeal of the liberal ideologues whose influence we are seeking to replace. They understand that the standards and materials used in teaching young Americans about America are not trophies to be collected, but tools to be used in the formation of young souls, and they set about their task with energy and determination whenever they see the chance. We should be no less energetic and determined in the task of reclaiming and reshaping the souls of our young people for the cause of true national virtue.

The new consensus in Washington for federal educational activism is indeed bad news. But as with all bad news, what finally matters is our response. A world made safe from organized terror will more than redeem the pain of Sept. 11. And a renewed and increased citizen devotion to real civic education in response to last week's deformation of national education policy will do much to overcome the damage even of so ill-conceived a law.


Be sure to visit Alan Keyes' communications center for founding principles, The Declaration Foundation.


Former Reagan administration official Alan Keyes, was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Social and Economic Council and 2000 Republican presidential candidate.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: keyes

1 posted on 12/22/2001 9:25:26 AM PST by Gelato
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To: RDF; Clinton's a Liar; Keyes for President
Ping!
2 posted on 12/22/2001 9:26:51 AM PST by Gelato
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To: EternalVigilance; Rowdee
Bump!
3 posted on 12/22/2001 9:28:11 AM PST by Gelato
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To: Miss Marple
Thought you might be interested in this article
4 posted on 12/22/2001 9:34:36 AM PST by Gelato
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To: Gelato
Looks like you beat me by a couple of minutes!

:-)

Another good constructive article from Dr. Keyes on education reform.

Merry Christmas to all!

5 posted on 12/22/2001 9:36:01 AM PST by Keyes For President
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To: Keyes For President
Looks like you beat me by a couple of minutes!

You were late! ;)

Merry Christmas!

6 posted on 12/22/2001 9:38:28 AM PST by Gelato
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To: Gelato
The good news is that federal pressure and control will be applied slowly, and curricular pressure will be applied only indirectly through a new testing regime that will serve as a benchmark for the states' own measures, not as the basis for direct federal control. Accordingly, much state autonomy will actually remain – if the states and their citizenry vigorously claim and exercise it.

We must be vigilant at the state level to maintain and increase local control of the education system. Of course the best way we as individuals can control our own children's education is by sending them to private schools and eliminate the goevernment schools system all together.

7 posted on 12/22/2001 9:42:30 AM PST by Keyes For President
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To: Keyes For President
We must be vigilant at the state level to maintain and increase local control of the education system. Of course the best way we as individuals can control our own children's education is by sending them to private schools and eliminate the goevernment schools system all together.

Home-schooling works, too. Of course, that's the most private of private schools.

8 posted on 12/22/2001 9:46:16 AM PST by Gelato
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To: *keyes; NativeAmericanFemaleVet
FYI
9 posted on 12/22/2001 9:46:38 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: Gelato
Not up to par for Keyes. I miss the days when he was on radio, talking to the street, and focusing a lot of attention on the Ron Brown crash. He was in his prime, back then. This is too advanced for most people to enjoy reading. Not a word about School Choice. A lot of people don't even know what school choice is. Nothing about charter schools.

Mind you, it isn't bad writing. But I know Keyes can do much better when he is fired up. He once moved my liberal aunt to tears when he talked about Ron Brown.

Maybe he is hoping for a cabinet post and wants to avoid too much conflict? Daschle would never allow it.

Freegards....

10 posted on 12/22/2001 10:00:11 AM PST by Arthur Wildfire! March
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To: Keyes For President
This is particularly true in the realm of civic education which, as Jefferson pointed out, is – after elementary literacy and arithmetic – the chief purpose of education.

Actually, if they could just master elementary literacy and arithmetic, it would be a great improvement.

Of course the best way we as individuals can control our own children's education is by sending them to private schools and eliminate the goevernment schools system all together.

Ain't gonna happen. It might happen in your neighborhood, but the "red zones" are always going to be dependent on the public schools, at least as long as the parents in those areas are largely poor and ignorant, or until vouchers are available.

11 posted on 12/22/2001 10:01:46 AM PST by Amelia
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And a renewed and increased citizen devotion to real civic education in response to last week's deformation of national education policy will do much to overcome the damage even of so ill-conceived a law.

That's the key: if citizens want education to be a local, not federal, issue, they must get involved. It is the failure of citizens get involved that causes the expanded federal role.

12 posted on 12/22/2001 10:02:20 AM PST by Gelato
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March
Maybe he is hoping for a cabinet post and wants to avoid too much conflict?

He's implicitly criticizing the Bush administration's education agenda. I doubt he's doing this for a cabinet post.

13 posted on 12/22/2001 10:06:19 AM PST by Gelato
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To: Gelato
True.
14 posted on 12/22/2001 10:14:17 AM PST by Arthur Wildfire! March
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To: Gelato
Bump for Dr. Keyes
15 posted on 12/22/2001 10:17:29 AM PST by hattend
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March
>I miss the days when he was on radio, talking to the street, ...

I missed those days too - only I was watching his radio show on TV - he really had a fire in his belly and the power to convince. What ever happened to that station - can't even remember its name now.

16 posted on 12/22/2001 10:20:58 AM PST by Symix
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To: Amelia
the "red zones" are always going to be dependent on the public schools, at least as long as the parents in those areas are largely poor and ignorant, or until vouchers are available.

True. Until then we must keep working to reform the public school system:

We would do well to imitate the zeal of the liberal ideologues whose influence we are seeking to replace. They understand that the standards and materials used in teaching young Americans about America are not trophies to be collected, but tools to be used in the formation of young souls, and they set about their task with energy and determination whenever they see the chance. We should be no less energetic and determined in the task of reclaiming and reshaping the souls of our young people for the cause of true national virtue.

Regards,

17 posted on 12/22/2001 10:53:04 AM PST by Keyes For President
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March; Symix; Gelato
The new consensus in Washington for federal educational activism is indeed bad news. But as with all bad news, what finally matters is our response. A world made safe from organized terror will more than redeem the pain of Sept. 11. And a renewed and increased citizen devotion to real civic education in response to last week's deformation of national education policy will do much to overcome the damage even of so ill-conceived a law.

Dr. Keyes, like Ronald Reagan, always the eternal optimist.

18 posted on 12/22/2001 10:56:46 AM PST by Keyes For President
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To: Keyes For President
bump!
19 posted on 12/22/2001 11:11:13 AM PST by Gelato
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To: Gelato
Thanks for the Ping! It's a thoughtful and careful piece, and it would be nice to see folks who have had a bone to pick with Keyes come in and discuss it.

There is information about the state initiatives Keyes mentions at the DF website.

Merry Christmas to all,

Richard F.

20 posted on 12/22/2001 3:52:23 PM PST by rdf
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To: rdf
It looks like everybody's Christmas shopping. :)
21 posted on 12/22/2001 4:06:48 PM PST by Gelato
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To: Keyes For President
Good to see you back at the front, ready to 'fight the good fight'.
22 posted on 12/22/2001 4:26:40 PM PST by Lucius Cornelius Sulla
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To: 2jedismom
ping!
23 posted on 12/22/2001 4:31:12 PM PST by TxBec
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla
I'm here....where's everybody else?

;-D

Merry Christmas!

24 posted on 12/22/2001 5:01:09 PM PST by Keyes For President
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To: Kentucky Woman
citizens and local educational authorities must make the most of their opportunity to educate not "labor force participants" or mindless "tolerators" of "diversity," but citizens.

Ping!

25 posted on 12/22/2001 5:10:19 PM PST by Keyes For President
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To: newblood
Thought you'd like this one, my friend!
26 posted on 12/22/2001 5:11:55 PM PST by Keyes For President
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To: KentuckyWoman
citizens and local educational authorities must make the most of their opportunity to educate not "labor force participants" or mindless "tolerators" of "diversity," but citizens.

Sorry, I put an extra space in your name when I tried to "Ping" you to this the first time.

27 posted on 12/22/2001 5:15:53 PM PST by Keyes For President
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To: Keyes For President
I'm here....where's everybody else?

Well I have been busy at this thread 'Poll: IF, and this is a BIG if...', which is having a big fight about having a pro-choice VP candidate in 2004. You wouldn't believe some of the names being suggested, but you would not be surprised at the venom and arrogance of the pro-death Freepers.

28 posted on 12/22/2001 6:00:51 PM PST by Lucius Cornelius Sulla
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To: Symix
Founded by Paul Weyrich, it was first called NET. [National Empowerment Television.] Later it was called America's Voice after Bob Sutton ousted Weyrich and took complete control. America's Voice phased out all the great voices of NET. They added Mike Reagan like a bone tossed to a dog and then phased out Mike Reagan as well. And he replaced them all with drab, stereotypical talking heads. After that, they ran low on money [wonder why?] and turned to low cost clips of 50s and 60s flashback news before the channel shut off completely. That was how I heard Keyes too.
29 posted on 12/22/2001 6:39:38 PM PST by Arthur Wildfire! March
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To: Gelato
War tends to increase national governmental power – not only in matters directly related to the conflict, but also in vastly broader realms of our common life. In a season of national pride and solidarity, advocates of expanded government power tend to find rich fields offering "targets of opportunity."

Yes it does...and the statists in both parties are not shy about taking their shots, either.

Bump.

Regards to you, my friend..

30 posted on 12/22/2001 6:50:53 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: Gelato
..."Take heart, oh people! Our politicians will not be dissuaded from expanding state power at the expense of liberty"""....

A Classic! Sort of like the Post Office's , (paraphgrased I believe) Neither rain, snow, sleet, or hail will stop delivery of the mail"!

I hve a lot of concern about the States standing up and stepping forward.....I daresay among the GOP ranks there are Party worshipers like there is everywhere else, including here at FR.

31 posted on 12/22/2001 6:53:52 PM PST by Rowdee
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To: Rowdee
Sunday morning bump!
32 posted on 12/23/2001 8:43:44 AM PST by rdf
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To: rdf
Thanks for bumping this to the top. I may have missed it otherwise.
33 posted on 12/23/2001 8:47:41 AM PST by Inspector Harry Callahan
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To: Inspector Harry Callahan
My pleasure. I think it's a fine piece.

Cheers,

Richard F.

34 posted on 12/23/2001 8:55:44 AM PST by rdf
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To: rdf
Sunday Afternoon bump!
35 posted on 12/23/2001 1:05:24 PM PST by Keyes For President
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To: rdf
Godo evening, Richard...

I would imagine those of you at the Declaration Foundation gnash your teeth on a number of occasions....especially when those who know better do the dumb and stupid things they do in fedgov--or even stategov.

What I was alluding to in my earlier post was the very real possibility that GOP governors are solidly behind the fedgov taking over education (of course, in all but 'name')....they like those whore dollars they get for selling themselves out.

Does the Foundation see the governors as possible/probable problems....or perhaps you're going to each state's legislators direct?

36 posted on 12/23/2001 3:13:30 PM PST by Rowdee
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To: seattlesue, Benighted, malador
More amplification of education....
37 posted on 12/23/2001 3:16:10 PM PST by Rowdee
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To: Rowdee
Does the Foundation see the governors as possible/probable problems....or perhaps you're going to each state's legislators direct?

So far, all of the energy has come from legislators, and from grassroots activists ... but I don't write off the governors ... just no action there yet.

38 posted on 12/23/2001 3:34:26 PM PST by rdf
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To: Gelato
This man should be president.
39 posted on 12/23/2001 3:37:03 PM PST by la_liberte
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To: Gelato
..."Heaven help us when Ted Kennedy partners with "compassionate conservatives" in issuing marching orders for the education bureaucracy to "leave no child behind."...

What is so hard about this to understand? Why don't conservatives see that when the likes of Teddy "The Swimmer" Kennedy wants to 'partner up' with them, they might as well bend over and grab their ankles!!! The conservatives do NOT know how to street fight like the Demoncraps.

When the newsmedia let out the fact that Teddy "The Swimmer" was a guest of the President's at the WH Theatre, I knew the screwing was about to begin!

For the children.....NOT!

40 posted on 12/23/2001 5:47:39 PM PST by Rowdee
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To: Keyes For President
..."That's the bad news, as I discussed last week. The good news is that federal pressure and control will be applied slowly, and curricular pressure will be applied only indirectly through a new testing regime that will serve as a benchmark for the states' own measures, not as the basis for direct federal control. Accordingly, much state autonomy will actually remain – if the states and their citizenry vigorously claim and exercise it"....

Oh sheeet, Dr. Keyes......how can it be good news to be sticking the damn frog in the cold pot of water? The sheeple will never know what hit 'em!!!!!

41 posted on 12/23/2001 5:50:29 PM PST by Rowdee
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To: Rowdee
I agree with you, Rowdee. If I had my way, there wouldn't even be a public school system!

Merry Christmas to you, my friend! May the Lord's peace be on you and your family.

Warmest regards,

42 posted on 12/24/2001 8:17:33 AM PST by Keyes For President
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To: Keyes For President
And a Merry Christmas back at you, KFP.
43 posted on 12/24/2001 9:27:10 AM PST by Rowdee
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

To: malador
It seems that every time we engage in a "war" (forgetting the fact that the Congress has not declared war on anyone or anything since 1941 (WWII), "to defend freedom" we always have a little less of it when the "war" is over.

It's interesting that the only wars for which this isn't true, where liberty was expanded and not diminished as a result, were the Revolutionary and Civil wars. The reason for this, as we all know, is that the philosophical objectives behind those wars were more clear, and the commitment to liberty was stronger, at the beginning of our nation than now. By the 20th Century, American principles were pretty much forgotten. The common man lost his liberty-loving perspective, as well as his diligence in keeping his government in check. He had too much faith in his leaders, in the “experts,” and not enough feelings of personal initiative. What other result could there be when this happens, but a lessening of his freedoms?

That’s why it’s so important for each one of us to take self-government seriously. When we feel we can rest easy with our government officials, or we are content to just let things be, our complacency is taken advantage of. No minuteman was ever born with that attitude of laziness.

Our difficulty is that we must be not just modern minutemen, but watchmen also. This is impossible if we are not firmly devoted to our founding principles.

45 posted on 12/29/2001 12:08:09 AM PST by Gelato
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