Los Angeles-based psychiatrist Dr. Mark McDonald said “America’s schools are broken” beyond repair and have now become “dangerous” centers of leftist indoctrination – a problem parents must solve by changing their lifestyles, if necessary, to save their children.
Leftist totalitarians, McDonald wrote in his Substack column “Dissident MD” last week, prefer to see American public schools “broken” as a sign they are achieving their goal of “total control of the population.” But, for those who view education as a means of imparting general knowledge and critical thinking skills and instilling a sense of values and sound character, “the government school system has become an enemy, one so dangerous that the only way to fix it is to destroy it,” he said.
Dissident MD: The Dangers of Education https://t.co/kX4J2cT4T2
— Dr. Mark McDonald (@MMcDonaldMD) March 9, 2023
Even though the United States spends more taxpayer funds per student on education than most other industrialized nations, the test scores of students in government schools have declined over the last several decades – even before the pandemic.
Dr. Peggy Carr, Associate Commissioner, notes that the lowest performing students–those readers who struggle the most–have made no progress in reading since the first assessment almost 30 years ago. Learn more: https://t.co/EWajchXvIH#NAEPDay pic.twitter.com/9zanK5fPmv
— NAEP, The Nation's Report Card (@NAEP_NCES) October 30, 2019
Yet, even as results of national education assessments released in October showed unprecedented drops in academic achievement in fourth- and eighth-grade math and reading scores, black, Hispanic, and low-income Catholic school students outperformed their counterparts in national, charter, and public school averages.
If Catholic schools were a state, they’d be the highest performing in the nation on all four NAEP tests. pic.twitter.com/ackCK2MTtI
— Kathleen Porter-Magee (@kportermagee) October 24, 2022
“In schools where children perform well, it is largely due to the efforts of parents who guide the learning of their children at home to make up for the lack of learning at school,” McDonald observed. “No wonder home schooling has exploded, especially among black and Hispanic students, whose home-schooling numbers increased by 500% during the two years government closed the schools.”
McDonald, author of United States of Fear: How America Fell Victim to a Mass Delusional Psychosis and co-host of the Informed Dissent podcast, explained how education has declined to its current state in America:
Education became dangerous because of centralization.
Centralized government, media, and corporations led to the fear pandemic of 2020. Centralized education, controlled by a centralized government, led to the transformation of education into indoctrination.
Of course, parents are also to blame.
Adult narcissism and the now common hands-off approach to parenting provided a fertile space for toxic weeds to grow in the classroom, which many American parents see as a babysitting space of respite from the responsibilities of parenthood. “Don’t ask don’t tell” became the preferred approach to parent involvement in children’s education.
The nation has only recently been forced to face the depth and breadth of rot in the government schools, leading to an educational revival not seen in generations.
“The way to solve this problem of failed and destructive education is to destroy the system,” McDonald wrote, adding:
That means a total decentralization of the government school system. It means a return to parental and community control over both curricula and the hiring and firing of teachers. It means the abolition of the teachers’ unions, which are a purely destructive force that serves no one’s interests but those of its members.
This may require a transition to home schooling for many American children, so that the state is starved of the funding necessary to keep the unions afloat.
McDonald said, nevertheless, that state school choice legislation that allows education funding to follow the child, rather than the government system, is a positive first step.
In comments to The Star News Network, he also noted that parental rights organizations that are taking totalitarian school districts to court and working to elect school board members who want to eradicate leftist ideologies from public schools can be “effective,” depending on the size of the school district and the number of like-minded parents and community members:
The community action model, though, only works when you have a critical mass of like-minded people, and that (right now, anyway) appears to be in small to mid-size communities with a fair mix of liberals and conservatives.
It’s not effective in places like Los Angeles, where I live, because the conservative voices, although numerous, are drowned out by the overwhelming percentage of leftists who carry the silent support of the well-intentioned but naïve and destructive liberals.
I think that in cities like Los Angeles, the only viable option is to pull the kids from government school or move out of the city.
McDonald related his own recent experience in evaluating a child in Los Angeles – home of the second-largest school district in the country:
Yesterday I completed an evaluation of a child, with the child’s parents in my office. I told the parents that there is little I can do without a radical shift in the child’s environment.
It’s unlikely these parents will be willing to home school their eight-year-old boy or move, so I suspect the emotional and behavioral problems he’s suffering from will continue. I think this family represents most concerned families in LA. They know there is a problem, but they’re not yet ready to make the necessary sacrifice to preserve the health of their child.
This reality, though, doesn’t stop me from advocating for what I feel is the best course of action: home school or move.
In his column, McDonald challenged what he calls parental “narcissism” head-on.
“Parents must combat their narcissism and re-assume their responsibility as parents, even if it means scraping by with a one-parent household income,” he wrote. “Get rid of one car, downsize your house, take less expensive vacations … which is more important, raising a good child or living a comfortable life? You chose to have a child. Do what is necessary to raise him properly.”
McDonald urges parents and communities to “abandon the government school system and the unions that back it up.”
“This country did not achieve greatness because of its government,” he asserted. “Its success came from the hard work of American citizens at a community level. That is where the new educational system must be built.”
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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Mark McDonald” by Mark McDonald.