This proud father has an exceptional story to share with Fox News readers. I’m in Boston today, May 29, watching my home-schooled daughter, Dakota Root, graduate magna cum laude from Harvard University.
Four years ago Fox News interviewed Dakota and me about the remarkable results of her home-school experience. Dakota had just turned down an early admissions offer to Yale and days later turned down acceptance offers from Stanford, Duke, Columbia, Penn, Brown, Chicago, Cal-Berkley, USC and Virginia (among others). She decided to attend Harvard- her goal since childhood.
In her four remarkable years of college, Dakota earned the John Harvard Award (for earning grades at the top 5% of her class), 2nd Team All Ivy League in Fencing (for the Harvard team), and “First Class Honours” (for being in the top 10% of students) at Oxford University -- where she was accepted for her junior year.
Hers is a remarkable story about the positive results of school choice. But even more importantly, it is a story about why the Obama economy isn’t working (and can never work).
Like so many cities, Las Vegas public schools are a failure: 40% drop out rates and graduates requiring “remedial reading and math” at local community colleges. Dakota just proved Hillary Clinton wrong. It doesn’t take a village to raise a child. It takes school choice and two loving parents that give a darn!
Under Barack Obama and his socialist cabal we have experienced the highest education spending…and the worst results (lowest national SAT reading scores) EVER. We have also experienced the highest government spending ever…and the worst economic results since the Great Depression. I believe these results are related.
There are clear lessons from Dakota Root’s experience:
Lesson No. 1. Government is a failure at virtually everything… from the U.S. Postal Service…to Amtrak…to Obamacare…to public schools…to the Veterans Administration…to the failing U.S. economy. The results of government intervention and massive government spending are pathetic and tragic (ask the vets on died on phantom waiting lists).
Lesson No. 2. Today’s public school system could best be titled, “Every Child Left Behind.” Why do liberals demand children be slaves to failing public schools and greedy teachers unions? Study after study proves that school choice works. There could be millions of Dakota Roots, if only liberals allowed "choice." Parents know best, not teachers unions, bureaucrats, politicians or “a village.” Home-schooling may not be right or possible for everyone. But, why not offer a choice of public, private, religious, charter or home-schooling? Competition works for Coke and Pepsi, Apple and Microsoft, the Yankees and Red Sox…why not for education? What are teachers unions so afraid of? That children might succeed without them?
Lesson No. 3. Most importantly, Dakota’s experience provides a lesson for the entire U.S. economy. How did Dakota achieve her out-sized success? She was disciplined. She sacrificed. She craved competition. She was taught work ethic by her parents. Most of all she was taught there is a REWARD for outperforming the competition. She learned society values the best and brightest. That was Dakota’s motivation. She wanted to beat the competition and prove her smarts, creativity and value to society. She wanted those A’s. She wanted that title “Harvard, magna cum laude” next to her name.
But suppose someone came along who upset the apple cart. Someone who declared we have a new set of rules. Someone who believed “we have to spread those A’s around.” Someone who said “It isn’t fair that some people get better grades than others.” Someone who said to A students, “You didn’t build that grade.” Someone who believed in punishing success and rewarding failure. Someone who believed in “grade redistribution.” Someone who believed that good grades hurt the feelings and self-esteem of those with poor grades.
What if that new leader of the college (let's call him Dean Obama) declared that from this day forward, in the name of fairness, equality and “social justice," all A grades would be downgraded to C. And all D and F grades would be upgraded to C. That would create perfect equality.
Would Dakota have worked long hours, woken up at 6 AM to study, stayed in the library until midnight, or sacrificed her social life, if all she could ever get was a C? Why out-work the competition if you’ll be punished for your success?
What lesson would “grade redistribution” teach the best and brightest? What would be the incentive to strive for the top, when there is no top? What lesson would be learned by the slackers, if their lack of performance resulted in the same C grade as the kids who sacrificed and studied?
The entire system would quickly collapse. No one would learn a thing. The whole point of education would be destroyed overnight. Without the reward, there is no reason to give a damn. In the real world, if everyone is guaranteed a C, all is lost. Ask the people of Cuba or Venezuela, or the old Soviet Union.
That folks is the story of the entire U.S. economy under Obama. That’s precisely why there are no good-paying jobs, and there won’t be any until after Obama leaves office.
The smart…the disciplined…those who sacrifice…those who get up the earliest and work the latest…those who risk their own money... are being punished, demoralized and even demonized. Their success is being redistributed.
The very reasons America is the greatest nation in world history -- opportunity, mobility, ambition, risk vs. reward -- are all being erased by Obama and his liberal/progressive/socialist cohorts.
Within one home-schooled girl's amazing journey at Harvard and Oxford is a lesson for every American. A lesson for why America cannot recover until Obama and those who share his views are gone.