Chairman's Blog

Nothing Beats Quality

September 05, 2017

Failing Education

Most of my friends already know that I am a high school drop out (oh, say it ain’t so.) I hated school because from the first grade pretty much through to the end, I was never made, encouraged, or threatened to do my work.

Even way back then, I was just passed from grade to grade with no examination to determine whether I had actually learned anything. For those of you who actually care, my father was in New York and my mother and I were in LA and she started law school the day I started the first grade so she simply wasn’t around.

The sad result was that I never really learned how to read. As most of us know, if you can’t read you can’t decipher math problems, you can’t learn about history, you can’t read great books, and civics become a blur.

My bad grades caused me to attend summer school every year, and move from school to school, but by design or neglect, no one ever sought to diagnose or remedy my reading problem. The end of the story for me was that at age 24 while in the United States Air Force, I taught myself how to read.

Now as an adult, I realize the opportunities I missed as a result of my poor education. That’s why it makes my blood boil when I consider the sad, and worsening, state of education in our country and how that lack is hurting our most vulnerable young people.  

Let’s work backward and start with Universities and Colleges. I do know that many college students are not members of BLM or ANTIFA or other simi-terrorist organizations, but the actions and demands of these groups must be a distraction to those kids who actually want to learn. But administrators and teachers seem aggressively inclined to surrender authority to these noisy, often violent, idealogues.  

It should not be surprising I guess. Recent studies show that among educators overall, the ratio of Democrats to Republicans is 11.5 to 1. Among history professors, Democrat loyalties are even more lopsided: 33.5 Democrats to each Republican. For journalism educators the ratio is almost as bad: 20 Democrats to each Republican. I’ve seen similar numbers for college educators who teach law and liberal arts. Fair and balanced? Certainly not.  

Sadly, this imbalance explains a fearsome trend rearing up among colleges and universities today. That is the growing tide of black separatism.

Now, don’t me wrong. I know that black men and women have often been abused in the history of our country. It would be surprising, in fact, if there wasn’t a black backlash to the sometimes hate, and many times plain ignorance, many whites have shown toward blacks.

But if we’re ever going to move out of the past and into a future united as one people — black, white, brown, or whatever — we need to recognize racism for what it is and make a determined effort to leave it behind.

Instead, a great many institutions of higher education today seem bent on promoting a new kind of Jim Crow-style division that clearly divides rather than unites.  

At NYU, for example, black students can room on a separate floor in the dorm.  So can LGBT students. (Where does a black LGBT student go?)  Harvard held a separate, blacks-only graduation ceremony. At the University of Missouri, administrators barred white students from ‘spaces of healing’. At the University of AZ, demands are on the table to provide safe spaces for all ‘marginalized’ students (what the hell is a marginalized student?) At Yale there are demands that english classes focusing on white poets be abolished (I guess it doesn’t matter whether they are great poets or not.)

Can you imagine if white kids at a given university said they wanted their own dorms…they would be expelled for racism (and they absolutely should be).

Black-only dorms, black-only graduations, and black-only “safe” spaces are harbingers of the new separate-but-equal mentality that seems to be running amok in American academia today. And it’s dangerous.

Not that I would expect any of these racist snowflakes to read this, but while you may succeed in re-introducing segregation at your school, please be assured that should you ever go to work for a real company, NO ONE will give a damn if you’d prefer to work next to someone of your preferred color or gender choice. And should you demand segregation by race, you will more likely be fired than caved to. Don’t like it, don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

Expectations that colleges set by catering to extremism are doing tremendous harm to their students. My understanding of the college experience is to prepare students to meet the challenges of adulthood in the real world. Sadly, higher education is earning a big fat F.

High schools are also failing to help their students adequately prepare for success. Way too much time is spent on subjects that are meaningless for their futures, and political correctness is out of control.  

In fact, in recent days, a Georgia math teacher forced two students from her classroom because their t-shirts said, “Make America Great Again.”

In Sacramento, CA the department of education thought a good use of classroom time was to dress the girls in Burqas. I’m sure someone can explain to me how that will help the girls land jobs.

In another school district, kids were taught that Democrats benefit individuals while Republicans only care about big business. (The LBJ lie continues.)

In Nebraska, teachers were told to remove all reference to gender because saying, ’good morning boys and girls,’ would be offensive to transgenders.

In Portland, Oregon peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were ruled racist because there may be a Somali who doesn’t eat sandwiches (I guess baby back ribs are out of the question?).

In Baltimore, teachers are not allowed to remove disruptive students in spite of the fact they may be totally ruining the educational process for all the other kids.

And in way too many inner cities, where our most vulnerable kids need great schools the most, an unholy alliance of teacher unions and liberal politicians have fought tooth and nail to keep families from the right to choose which schools their children attend.  No wonder.  Parents would naturally shun those schools more concerned with political correctness, and, instead, choose schools that were actually succeeding in the goal of preparing their children for a better future.

Students who attended such schools would be far less likely to look for colleges or workplaces that promote segregation and racial dysfunction.

I’m not saying there aren’t victims of hate, intolerance, and stupidity. But there’s a world of difference between dealing with that and making a lifestyle out of it. All the division, political correctness, and leftist ideology in the world won’t help prepare a single kid for a happier, more prosperous, more productive life.

Nothing beats quality. That’s true in life, and it’s true in our education system.

John Philip Sousa IV

John Philip Sousa IV is an entrepreneur, political activist, author and accomplished business person. John has worked in the financial services industry for over 40 years, built a highly successful marketing company, ran for congress at age 24, and in 2016 created and led the successful movement to draft Dr Ben Carson into his candidacy for President of the United States. John is author of John Philip Sousa, A Patriot’s Life in Words and Pictures and Ben Carson, RX for America.