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Alan Keyes on Education

Republican challenger for IL Senate; previously Candidate for President

Break up the government monopoly on public education

I support school choice. Parents should be able to send their children to schools that reflect their faith and values, schools of their choice, where they can have an influence over a curriculum that goes beyond just what information kids are given and that affects how their consciences will be shaped, how their character will be developed. Above all, we must break up the government monopoly on public education.
Source: Campaign website, "Issues" Sep 9, 2004

Pray in the classroom, pray in the hallways, pray everywhere

If they tell us that we cannot pray in the classroom, we should pray. If they tell us that we cannot pray in the hallways, we should pray. If they tell us that we cannot pray at graduation ceremonies, we should pray. Because what they are doing fundamentally violates probably the most important of our God-given rights, which is the right to appeal for aid to our Almighty God.

When the tyrants who seek to oppress you tell you that you cannot even appeal to God for His aid, you know that they have in mind a tyranny without limit. [In that situation], that which actually provides the foundation for the most reliable courage against tyranny is interfered with, and our children feel fearful and hesitant to call upon and to speak the name of God. And in my opinion the proper recourse against this is not to wait upon the courts, but simply to do what we unequivocally have the God-given right to do--to pray WHEREVER and WHENEVER we feel that it is necessary for us to pray.

Source: Organizational website,, "On The Issues" Aug 3, 2004

Break up the government monopoly on public education

support school choice. Parents should be able to send their children to schools that reflect their faith and values, schools of their choice, where they can have an influence over a curriculum that goes beyond just what information kids are given and that affects how their consciences will be shaped, how their character will be developed. Above all, we must break up the government monopoly on public education.
Source: Organizational website,, "On The Issues" Aug 3, 2004

Replace the Department of Education with parental control

Q: How much power should the federal government have over state education?
A: We [must] put the control of our educational system back in the hands of our parents. We have to overcome the arguments that those parents don’t have the responsibility, the concern, the love, the capacity to do the right thing. [I] would abolish the Department of Education and make it clear that it is primarily the leadership of the parents, not any level of government, that we have to rely on in this society.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

School’s bureaucratic monopoly hurts teachers & students

Q: What is the biggest reform issue confronting schools?
A: Schooling has largely fallen into the hands of a remote, bureaucratic, costly, and often ineffective monopoly. Teachers, families, and students all suffer from this state of affairs.
The greatest need is for liberty, both in the public schools, which need to be free from excessive mandates and secondary tasks imposed from above, and in the independent sector, whose families must not be penalized by the tax system.
Source: National Association of Children’s Hospitals survey Jan 8, 2000

Violence in schools due to loss of moral heritage

Q: How would you interrupt this culture of violence? A: The first thing we have to do is restore this country’s allegiance to its basic moral principles. We express great shock and outrage that we are bloodying the hallways of our schools with the blood of our children. What about the blood of our children killed in the womb on the basis of a doctrine that completely rejects the basic principles on which this nation was founded? If our rights come from God, then we ought to shape our children’s consciences in the fear of God. And I think that what we’re seeing in our schools is the direct result of our failure to respect that heritage and to pass it on.
Source: Des Moines Iowa GOP Debate Dec 13, 1999

Use bully pulpit to advocate prayer, not coerce it

Q: Is there a contradiction in advocating abolishing the department of education, yet using the bully pulpit to push for more prayer in schools?
A: I don’t see the contradiction at all. Using the bully pulpit is not coercion. I would not use federal leverage to force state and local officials to adopt any particular approach to prayer in schools. Since we took prayer out, we seem to have let violence and decline in. And I think we ought to draw those lessons.
Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Let God into schools to keep Columbine shooters out

In a statement after the Littleton, Col. school shootings, said the incident was a “reminder of the tragic consequences of the moral void that is threatening our young people.. If we would let God into our schools under normal circumstances, then we probably wouldn’t have to see our children turn to God when faced with this kind of evil.”
Source: Jul 2, 1999

Sex education should be abstinence-based.

Human sexuality is primarily a matter of moral and not physical health. So-called ‘health-based’ sex education programs have done more harm than good. They too often encourage adolescents to consider sexual activity apart from marriage and family life. Sex education is, as a rule, the private responsibility of the parents. The government should not usurp this role. Where parents choose to encourage school-based instruction, I strongly support abstinence-based approaches for young adults.
Source: 1/7/99 Jan 7, 1999

The Constitution does not forbid prayer in schools.

As President, I would do everything in my power, through public speeches and persuasion, by proposing legislation, and by careful scrutiny of the candidates for judicial appointments, to turn the tide against constitutional interpretations that undermine religious freedom.
Source: 1/7/99 Jan 7, 1999

We need prayer in schools and by educators.

We not only need prayer in schools, we need schools that are in the hands of people who pray. Above all, we must break the government monopoly on public education.
Source: 1/7/99 Jan 7, 1999

Black education historically focused on family & church

During the immediate post-Civil War years, [blacks were] 95% illiterate; this had dropped to 30% in 1910. There was no federal funding, and Southern states refused to spend anything close to adequate amounts on education for blacks. [Blacks accomplished the drop in illiteracy via] the black church and the black family.

[Liberals] argue that black Americans have never made any progress in their history without a government initiative. This assertion is repeated like a religious mantra by the liberals who act as budget shills for the public sector bureaucracy.

When will public policy that affects the black community begin to reflect the real facts of black history? When will we stop accepting approaches to social challenges such as poverty or education based on the false assumptions of black incapacity? When will we begin to demand policies that reflect the strengths, the character, and the positive values that are the real heritage of black America?

Source: Our Character, Our Future, p. 54-6 May 2, 1996

Government corrupts higher education

Q: What do you consider the greatest strength and greatest weakness of American higher education?
A: The greatest strength of American higher education is the dedication and courage of the many professors who, knowing the difference between liberal learning and politically correct indoctrination, fight to maintain civility, academic standards, and discipline. The greatest weakness is the growing and corrupting role of government in higher education.
Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Seven Questions” Feb 23, 1996

College tuition rises due to taxpayer subsidies

Q: Which is more responsible for the increasing difficulty of paying for college: the rising costs of college or the diminished availiability of financial aid?
A: There are 2 main reason why college is getting harder and harder to pay for. One is that taxes are higher than ever, making it increasingly difficult for families to save for college. The other is that taxpayer subsidization of higher education is driving tuition costs two to three times faster than the inflation rate.
Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Seven Questions” Feb 23, 1996

Alan Keyes on School Choice

Pro-voucher; gov’t out of K-12 education

Source: 2000 NPAT Jan 13, 2000

Money should follow parents’ education choices

I strongly favor letting the parents take over the education process. With the parents in the lead, we will know that the cooperation between home, school and faith has been restored. The money we spend on education should follow the choice of the parents, not the choice of educrats & politicians. Let parents decide where the per capita spending is going to go. And that way every parent, rich or poor, will be able to make the right decisions for their child.
Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Value-free public education is brainwashing.

The value-free education offered by the government run schools has all too often proven to be education without value. This is especially true now that Outcome Based Education has been used as an excuse to establish curricular elements that amount to the politically correct brainwashing of our children.
Source: 1/7/99 Jan 7, 1999

Empower parents against the monopoly of public schools.

Parents and local citizens often know better than their educrat masters, but find themselves unable to resist the power of an entrenched and costly monopoly. Education reform is thus a question of liberty and self-government. I strongly favor school choice approaches that empower parents to send their children to schools that reflect the parents’ faith and values. This should include choices in both the public and the independent schools.
Source: 1/7/99 Jan 7, 1999

Let communities decide school rules like all-male academies

The Detroit school system wanted to try the idea of all-male academies, aimed especially at young black males. A District Judge decided that this would discriminate against the city’s young females and struck down the idea. The judge should have shown some respect for the judgment of the people who live with the daily life-and-death crisis [of urban life].

Inner-city black males need special help and attention. Is it better to give it to them in al-male schools, or in the all-male prisons they now populate in disproportionate numbers?

[Liberals] supported the creation of a welfare state that helped to destroy the social infrastructure of the black community. Not they want to quash community-based efforts to correct their disastrous handiwork. This is wrong, stupid, and unfair. In Detroit and elsewhere, the dogmatic liberal judges and ideologues should get out of the way and let communities seek answers to their problems. Let the people go.

Source: Our Character, Our Future, p. 63-5 May 2, 1996

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