The Government’s War on Real Education Part 1

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In Part 1 of the Government’s War on Real Education, I discuss the changes in the mission of the primary and secondary educational institutions in the United States and the history behind the changes, as well as how these changes have affected the students’ high school completion rate over the last 50+ years.

Below you will find the full show notes and reference list for Episode 5 of The State of Education Podcast, presented by One-Room Education.

I can’t wait to start a conversation with you!

Question of the Day:

What did you think when you saw the term “War on Real Education”?

If you have any questions or comments about this episode or any of the information presented, please make sure to leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

The Government’s War on Real Education Part 1:
What is the War on Real Education and Why Haven’t I heard about it?

Show Notes

Welcome back to The State of Education podcast, presented by One-Room Education.

Today’s episode, The Government’s War on Real Education, Part 1: What is the War on Real Education and Why Haven’t I heard about it? is pretty data-heavy, so bear with me and we will make sense of it all together.

In Part 1 of this amazingly informative mini-series I present you with a wide variety of topics pertaining to how this war on real, or classical, education started. Topics for this episode include:

  • Defining what a REAL education is.
  • Defining/describing what the war on real education is.
  • The effects this war has had on American education since the start in the late 1800s
  • Looking at how the end goal of primary and secondary education has changed.
  • Examining the profit motive of postsecondary institutions in lobbying for bills that go against the best interests of our nation’s children.
  • Break down government numbers in regards to graduation and dropout rates.

What is a “Real Education”?

I define a Real Education as a Classical Education that teaches the basics of reading, writing, math, and civics to all citizens of a given country.

In addition to the 4 basic disciplines, the students are also taught HOW to learn and HOW to think.

What is the War on Real Education?

The war on Real Education is the idea that all students are the same and must fit into a pre-approved box or there is “something wrong” with them. This also advocates for the separation of anyone who doesn’t conform to the systematic norms to be removed from the classroom and isolated from their peers.

This war is staged on several fronts, oftentimes without the general public even realizing it. The war is meant to remove anyone who tries to ask real questions of the system and the people in charge from their peers, so they don’t spoil the entire group. The system self-preserves by labeling these students as troublemakers, learning deficient, or carrying out punishment against them.

This war has been backed and endorsed by the public teacher’s unions and elected politicians.

Why haven’t you heard about the war on real education?

The teacher’s unions and politicians have been working very hard together to keep people silent about this issue through guilt and public shaming.

These groups have allowed for negative stereotyping of anyone who tries to work outside of the system. Think of a homeschool family. Did you see normal people who just love their kids and want the best for them, or did you envision a bunch of jean skirt-wearing cult members who don’t allow their children to interact with the outside world? That’s my point.

They make it acceptable to demonize and other anyone outside of their system to encourage the majority to stay in it. This also goes for those within the system who see what’s going on and speak out against it. Look at the school board meetings from 2020 and 2021 especially. Those parents were demonized and painted as crazy extremists for voicing their opinions and desires about their expectations of their children’s educators.

When did the war on real education begin?

It began in the late 1800s with the breakdown of each trade skill into menial, unskilled labor in the industrial manufacturing era.

The government realized that the less classical education, or real education someone received, the easier they were able to be controlled after the implementation of the the Prussian school standardized model.

With the move to the Prussian model of education, students where no longer taught HOW to learn and HOW to think, but rather WHAT to learn and WHAT to think.

What is the actual goal of the modern education system in America?

The main goal of the modern education system is supposed to be to get students ready to enter the workforce; however, in practice, it has become a funnel to the for-profit colleges and universities.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, politicians and educational “leaders” consulted with economic leaders and were told that in order for people to fill the roles needed within the next 10-20 years, they needed college-educated, specialized workers.

Because of this, every single student in the American education system has been pushed, pressed and groomed to “want” to obtain a degree from a postsecondary institution; even if the career they wanted to go into didn’t require a degree at all.

The American education system propagated negative stereotypes of blue-collar workers and tried to convince us that we HAD to take on a mountain of debt in the form of student loans and attend college right after high school graduation, or we could end up working as a janitor.

In large part due to these negative stereotypes of middle-class, blue-collar jobs, there were 4,089,000 postsecondary degrees handed out in 2020 alone. An additional 19.4 million students enrolled in colleges for the fall semester of 2020. This means that just over 1/3, 35.7%, of the total population of the U.S. between the ages of 15 and 29 were in some form of a degree program in 2020.

The problem this amount of people trying to achieve their postsecondary degree? It creates extreme competition within those fields and leaves many without a job that pays them enough to cover their student debt AND general living expenses, let alone a family.

The landscape of the American education system in 2022.

With the onset of the pandemic lockdowns in 2020, parents were able to see what was being taught to their students, and how it was being taught to them and they weren’t happy about it.

Partially due to parental dissatisfaction with what and how their children were being taught, the reported homeschooling population in the U.S. grew a whopping 8%+. This represents roughly 2.5 million students being homeschooled throughout the United States alone.

A decreasing in actual graduation rate in the United States over the last 50+ years.

If you include the GED recipients to calculate the actual high school dropout rate, the rate has actually increased since 1968. According to an NIH paper by Heckman and LaFontaine, this is in part due to the increased pressure of high-stakes testing for high school graduation. It is also due in part to the increase in single-parent households.

Children Reared in these adverse environments are more likely to drop out of high school.

Heckman, James J, and Paul A LaFontaine. “THE AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE: TRENDS AND LEVELS.” Review of Economics and Statistics, vol. 92, no. 2, May 2010, pp. 244–262.

The U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education provides funding to 12 million postsecondary students and provides $150 billion in new and consolidated loans annually.

With a minimum of $150 billion at stake, it is in the best interest of the educational system in the United States, and throughout the western world in general, to steer their students toward that path, that will, in turn, continue to, and even increase the funding of the teacher’s unions, school administrations, and politicians.

Join me for part 2 of the Government’s War on Education where I track the funding and flow of money within our current education system and how it is directly affecting you and your children.

If you enjoy this topic and the information presented, please consider supporting The State of Education podcast by either becoming a supporter of the podcast directly *HERE*, or visiting the Support Our Content page to become a *Member* of or snag something from the Merch Shop @ One-Room

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Related Reads

  • Should We Be Teaching or Facilitating Learning? *Read More*

  • The Factory Model: Does It Work? Did It Ever? *Read More*

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  • Boyd, Ashley S., and Janine J. Darragh. “Teaching for Social Justice: Using All American Boys to Confront Racism and Police Brutality.” American Federation of Teachers, 9 Mar. 2021,

  • NCES. “The NCES Fast Facts Tool Provides Quick Answers to Many Education Questions (National Center for Education Statistics).” National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. Department of Education, 2021,


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