Education is a critical part of Phyllis Schlafly’s legacy. She valued education policy because she knew the pro-family movement means nothing if young minds are indoctrinated to turn away from traditional American values and reject the principles a family is supposed to instill.
The failure of our public school system is not something that started recently. The May 1974 Phyllis Schlafly Report proves that public schools have been failing our students for decades. Phyllis Schlafly saw firsthand the disastrous federal takeover of education. But how do we fix it now, you ask?
First, we must dispel the myth that more money equates to better education. Phyllis said, “One of the evidences that our society has become more materialistic than idealistic is the general presumption that all problems can be solved by spending more money. Nowhere is this delusion so rampant as in the field of education.” Phyllis Schlafly was unafraid to say that we must not be fooled into thinking that throwing money at a bad system will inherently make it good.
Second, we must dispel the myth that new methods of teaching are always better than old ones. From the very beginning of her involvement in education policy, Phyllis stood behind traditional teaching methods like phonics as the best way for children to learn. Our society of constantly “upgrading” technological gadgets has conditioned us to embrace each new trend as better than its predecessor. Nonetheless, the old way really is the best way in most cases where education is concerned.
Ultimately, the root of the problem is control. Phyllis was able to see the abject failure of federal involvement in education after only a decade of its implementation. She said, “Federal funding must inevitably result in more Federal control.” Simply put: there’s no free lunch with federal funds. While there are many good teachers with a passion for educating young people, no one has more motivation to see a child succeed than that child’s parent. As Phyllis said in 1974, it is time to take education out of the “hands of the professionals” and put it back in the hands of states, communities, and parents where it belongs.