If you doubt John Taylor Gatto‘s assertion that public schools are all about indoctrination, not education, here’s something for you to consider.
The U.S. Census Bureau has announced a plan to educate schoolchildren on the benefits of the U.S. Census, and why they should nag their parents to answer the census takers who will be arriving at their front door next year:
Between January and March, the Census Bureau will help plan a week of Census education in schools. During Census Week, teachers will devote 15 minutes every day for five days to the topic by discussing such things as civic participation, confidentiality or geography. Beginning in mid-March, more than 120 million Census questionnaires will be delivered to residential addresses.
The Census Bureau is partnering with Sesame Street to extend the 2010 Census message to preschoolers and adult caregivers. Under consideration: Using Sesame Street characters on Census materials and having characters participate in school events and public service announcements.
Aside from the fact that the school day is supposed to be spent teaching kids how to read, write and do math, I have to wonder why the government is coming after kids with this Census Public Relations campaign. I understand that some students have non-English speaking parents and can explain the census to their parents. But they are the minority of students, and really should not be expected to do the government’s job.
But there’s something a bit more disturbing here. Consider what it says in the U.S. Constitution:
Representation and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers … . The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.”
— Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States
The Census Bureau quotes this part of the U.S. Constitution right on its site. Note the use of the word “enumeration.” According to Dictionary.com, “enumeration” means “to determine the number of; count.”
Now take a look at a sample of the census. Note that “How many people are living in this home?” is only the first question. Then the government wants to know the following about every person in the household:
First and last name
Date of Birth
Hispanic or not?
Whether each person sometimes lives somewhere else
How they are related to each other
That’s one heck of a lot more than just enumerating. It’s actually pretty intrusive, and certainly not specified in the Constitution. But the government wants this information badly enough that it’s got a plan for pressuring schoolchildren to get their parents to answer all of these questions.
In other words, they’re indoctrinating and using kids for their own purposes.
Yet another reason I’m glad to be a homeschooling parent. How about you?