The New American magazine ran an article this week entitled “How to Eradicate Illiteracy in America,” by Sam Blumenfeld.
Blumenfeld writes that according to the National Center for Education Statistics 2003 report, 43 percent of American adults are virtually illiterate. But nobody seems to have noticed.
Blumenfeld writes that “The socialist curriculum is so deeply entrenched in the education system, that there is no possibility that the illiteracy-producing machine can be stopped. Such reform efforts as Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education can’t even begin to address the issue of illiteracy. They espouse the thinking of all previous establishment reformers: set standards and spend more money.”
Blumenfeld blames John Dewey for much of the illiteracy in America today.
“Today many children not only can’t read the Bible, they can’t read a newspaper. They can’t read, period. How did this situation come about? It all started in 1898 when socialist John Dewey proclaimed that the traditional primary school subjects that emphasized literacy, spelling, and arithmetic for the development of independent thinking, must be replaced by a new curriculum that emphasized socialization and group think. ”
Blumenfeld calls Dewey’s sales pitch baloney. Dewey had written: “It is one of the great mistakes of education to make reading and writing constitute the bulk of the school work the first two years. The true way is to teach them incidentally as the outgrowth of the social activities at this time. ”
Blumenfeld explains, “The illiterate student doesn’t make rapid progress later. He becomes stuck in his illiteracy.”
Blumenfeld concludes that the only way to eradicate illiteracy is to go directly to the people affected by the programs that create illiteracy.
“This means creating a massive campaign for universal literacy that can only be successfully undertaken by conservative leaders who sincerely believe in the cause. They must want to help those who have been academically damaged and handicapped by the schools. And they must embark on a program to teach these people to read.”