Criticism of the Obama agenda has centered primarily on the most visible projects, such as taking over the healthcare system and the massive stimulus packages. I have also spent most of my commentary time on these. Along the way, though, I have called attention to a quieter revolution that most people have missed. It’s time to bring that one to the forefront now.
In an op-ed in the Denver Post that appeared last month, two former Republican senators who are involved with higher education—one a current college president, the other a former president, Bill Armstrong and Hank Brown—sounded a warning about the intentions of the administration. The U.S. Department of Education, they said, is going “ahead with its proposal to turn both private and public schools into ‘authorized’ institutions.” Here are the details, as they describe the proposal:
As a practical matter, the department’s power grab carries with it an implicit invitation for various pressure groups to seek legal mandates requiring colleges and universities to implement their pet theories about curriculum, degree requirements, faculty qualifications, teaching methods, textbooks, evolution, phonics, ROTC, climate change, family policy, abortion, race, sexual orientation, economic theory, etc.
This is not only an assault on academic freedom, but it’s an attempt to destroy an institution’s liberty to carry out education in its own particular manner. Private colleges, especially Christian ones, are in great danger of being subjugated to state control.
An article last week in The Chronicle of Higher Education talks about how the president is going to use federal funds as leverage,
offering carrots to colleges and states that embrace his goals, and sticks to those that hinder them. More than any of his predecessors, he has demanded results in exchange for federal dollars, requiring grant applicants to set benchmarks for improvement and threatening to withhold aid from programs that fail to prepare students for jobs.
I will repeat my concern again: whenever Christian colleges take money from the federal government, they eventually will have to face demands that will challenge their ability to teach as they believe God wants them to.
Expect an attack on home-schoolers in the future. After all, they are the height of independence from the government-controlled education system. And you know how dangerous they are to the republic:
Absolutely dangerous—to government control.