Fifty years ago, Americans were thunderstruck by Rudolph Flesch's best seller, "Why Johnny Can't Read." Today we have evidence that Johnny not only can't read, but he doesn't even want to. Worse, Johnny can't behave himself. What happened?
The "Three R's"Many parents believe that the core of "education" is primarily learning the Three R's: Readin', Writin', and 'Rithmatic.
With the media attention to test scores of schools, districts, and statesand politicians sensing that "education is a hot issue"school leaders have developed a mania for looking good on tests.
Odd as it may seem, their low-score phobia pushes them to turning children into test-taking robots. Many a teacher will tell you that we are drifting ever further from genuine education.
"Education" is more than skills trainingWhen our schools help an intelligent person become the smartest accountant in the world, but somehow undermine his moral formation, they turn out an embezzler you can't catch.
Traditional educators, on the other hand, held "wisdom"not just skillsas the goal of an educated person. But for over a century, American school leaders have more and more focused on "career skills" and for over a half-century, on "life adjustment" or "social skills" as the ultimate goal for their students.
This is dishonest. Schools implicitly tell students a lie: Mere professional and social success can bring satisfaction. How many parents believe that a person can find happiness by selling a cancer therapy he knew was a fraud?
We in the Alliance for Separation of School & State believe that the restoration of "Honest Education" can help every Johnny and Jill on their path to wisdom.
Indeed, even the earliest stages of wisdomfor example, diligencewill help them apply themselves to learning the many important skills of life, including Readin', Writin', and 'Rithmatic.
Honest Education promotes discussion among teachers and students of "The Big Questions of Life." It can also be called real, authentic, or genuine education.
Some of the Big Questions of Life
When one grasps the underlying structure of school-by-government (called "public schools" in U.S.), it becomes easier to solve the riddle of why all school reforms have failed for the entire 160-year existence of state schooling in America.
Separation of school and state applies to schooling the approach Americans have used for churching: Government doesn't run, compel, or finance Sunday School. We believe the same approach should be applied to Monday school, Tuesday school, Wednesday school, etc., etc.
Dishonest EducationDishonest education deceives teachers, students, and parents by pretending that a person should "compartmentalize" his life. That means the Big Questions of Life can be discussed home and church but not brought into school, the workplace, or the political process.
Compartmentalizing causes a breakdown in the integrity of all who try it. We saw this breakdown at Enron, Arthur Anderson, WorldCom, etc. People who were in the church choir on Sunday were shredding audit reports on Monday. They were compartmentalizing their lives.
Prominent People Who are Signatories of the Proclamation
- Recent Signers
- Writer, Author, Editor and CEO of WorldNetDaily
John K. Rosemond
- Psycologist, Author, Syndicated columnist and Speaker on parenting
- Catholic Apologist, Author, Speaker, and blogger
Penn & Teller
- Magicians, Comedians and Variety Show Hosts
- Author, What's So Great About America, The Virtue of Prosperity, The End of Racism and Illiberal Education
- Talk Show Host, Syndicated Columnist and Author, The Ten Things You Can't Say In America
- "Public" and Private School Educators
- John Taylor Gatto
- 1991 New York State Teacher of the Year
- William Kirk Kilpatrick
- Author, Why Johnny Can't Tell Right from Wrong
- Home School Leaders
John Mark Reynolds
- Biola University
- Art Robinson
- Publisher, Access to Energy
- Raymond Stalker
- Executive Director, Illinois Christian Home Educator
- Policy Leaders
- US Congressman, Texas
- President, Competitive Enterprises Institute
- President, Cato Institute
- Business, Media, and Foundation Leaders
- Barry Conner
- Homebuilder, Gainesville, Georgia
- Douglas Dewey
- Children's Scholarship Fund
- Tom Monaghan
- Founder of Domino's Pizza
- Talk Show Hosts
- Chuck Baker
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Gary Nolan
- Rocky River, Ohio
- Lowell Ponte
- Carlsbad, California
- Religious Leaders
- D James Kennedy
- Coral Ridge Ministries
- Fr Hugh Barbour O Praem
- St. Michael's Abbey
- Rabbi Mayer Schiller
- Teacher, Author
- Mark Skousen
- Foundation for Economic Education
- Hamza Yusuf Hanson
- Islamic Scholar
School-by-government can never be Honest EducationA teacher who has children of different beliefs in her classroom can't honestly share her own beliefs on the Big Questions because that would seriously undermine some of the parents. Such honesty by a teacher would result in intolerable turmoil among parents and administrators, costly lawsuits, and if she persists, very likely the loss of her job.
Rather than teaching the children in common, some countries have government support for religious schools. Over the years, constant meddling by political forces has gradually drained religion from the subsidized schools so that they have become state school look-alikes.
You've now completed reading the overview of Honest Education. Whether you agree or disagree, doubtless you have many questions. To help you find our best answers to those questions, you can:
- use the list below for some additional overview questions
click here to read short answers to the most common questions
- click on the questions to the left for more detailed answers
- and if you want to see just what sort of people are in this movement, just click on one of the links on the column to the right.
- if you want a summary of the ten benefits of Honest Education, click here.
And if you're ready to add your name to the Proclamation, click here.
Request for financial supportYour support is needed to help us grow. In our first ten years, about 2500 people have generously donated to enable us to have a full-time staff, to engage consultants in specialty areas (for instance, web design and bookkeeping), and to cover the necessary mundane stuff such as rent, utilities, and photocopy paper.
Now I am asking you to become a donor, too, specifically to help us move to the next step of helping advocates of Honest Education: Add a new person to be our "Director of Volunteer Support." Not only can you help provide the financing necessaryevery monthly $5 donor adds a tributary to the river we needbut perhaps you might even suggest a candidate for the job? See the Person & Job Description byclicking here.
If you can consider making a tax-deductible (per IRS Section 501(c)(3)) donation, either one-time, monthly, or both, please click here.
Donor Recognition: With two exceptions, we keep our donors' names private. You will not see a list of donors with fancy names depending on size of gift. The two exceptions are these: 1) Our choice to be an "IRS recognized non-profit" requires us to include in our tax return the names of donors giving $5000 or more. 2) Those who underwrite SepCon and other conferences are given the option of having their names listed on the program.
One more thing: sometimes there can be tax advantages in giving appreciated stocks to a non-profit. Please call for more information.
Becoming a Signatory of the ProclamationPlease consider adding your name to the Public Proclamation by clicking here. Your name will be alongside the 29557 who have already become "Proclaimers." Our goal is one million Signatories, world-wide, on this Proclamation. It is called a Proclamation because it proclaims an ideal rather. We are not pleading with political leaders; that would be a petition.
Your signature moves us one step closer to our goal of 1,000,000. By inviting your spouse and others in your family age 13 or higher, to sign, maybe you can accomplish your first outreach and move us two, three, or more steps closer.
WARNING: If your family income depends on today's government schoolingor if you are considering running for elective officeyour public endorsement of Honest Education may be used against you by your opponents.