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But rather, according to Mr. Ayers and most of America’s schools of education, teachers ought to be committed to cultivating “critical thinking” and preparing people to participate in a “democracy.”

I’m not sure how you can think critically about things you don’t know, or participate in a democracy when we live in a republic, but maybe that’s me being picky.

One positive outcome of the lack of confidence in public schools might be action on the part of parents and legislatures to do some critical thinking of their own about the purpose of education, and the conflicting goals of those who seek to prepare our children for the future, as opposed to those who use our schools for social engineering.

Perhaps we’d all have more confidence in our schools if the folks setting the educational agenda in America stopped using them for incubators of social change, and instead simply educated our children in a rigorous curriculum of core knowledge.

Progressive? No. But it would be progress, that’s for sure.

Marybeth Hicks is the author of “Don’t Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left’s Assault on Our Families, Faith and Freedom.” Find her on the Web at