To destroy the United States it is first necessary to undermine the popular conception of democracy in the modern world. As long as the citizens feel they have a duty to protect democracy it will be almost impossible to destroy the United States. However, if the citizens can be convinced of the futility of democracy then there will be less opposition to its destruction. So the primary thrust of any attempt to destroy the United States must be to convince the citizenry that their democratic government is the source of their problems.
In addition, you absolutely must suppress any idealistic portrayals of democratic government. When you discredit popular democracy there must be no countervailing effort to convince citizens of the ideals of democracy. For the average citizen this is simple, but for parents of school children that are constantly reminded by their children’s schoolwork of how the struggle for democracy evolved in the United States, it can be problematic.
Thus to destroy the United States it is absolutely crucial to stop the teaching of the fundamental principles of democracy to children. At the same time, it would be helpful to destroy any knowledge of how democracy came to exist in the first place, and that would mean to stop the teaching of the American experience.
Any attempt to have the public schools stop teaching civics and history to American children would be opposed by most citizens, so it is necessary to develop a subterfuge for accomplishing the same thing. The easiest and most subtle way of doing that is to create enormous pressure on the schools, encumbering millions of dollars and social prestige, to focus on teaching subjects other than civics and history. At the same time, it would be helpful to divert attention away from the logical explanations behind these subjects and instead to exalt teaching only the superficial manifestations.
Therefore the first step to destroy the United States is to discredit its most powerful institutions, particularly public education. The easiest way to do that is to take what is already known from scientific research and then espouse the opposite in order to force government to try to do the impossible. It is easiest to establish failure if one ensures that failure is the scientifically proven outcome.
Destroying public education will both prevent children from becoming citizens willing to defend democracy, and provide the means for manipulating citizens by indoctrinating children to distrust reason and follow authority. Knowledge that depends on pure reason and facts, such as evolution, should be discredited as the first step. In addition, the citizenry must be rewarded for ignoring reason as the source of knowledge and instead indoctrinate the repetition of authority as true knowledge.
A simple example of espousing the opposite of scientific research as a goal can be found in the enforcement of so-called "academic achievement" tests in education. Research has established over decades of study that academic test scores primarily reflect the economic status of the parents.
Thus one simply has to espouse that test scores reflect "academic achievement" and claim that the gap in test scores between the economic extremes is due to a lack of proper education. Because these test score gaps are a consequence of economic circumstances, it is impossible for any education efforts to change them.
This is enhanced because test scores also do not actually reflect "academic achievement." Harvard University Professor Daniel Koretz, a national expert on testing, writes in his 2008 book "Measuring Up" that there is "a single principle" that should guide the use of tests: "don’t treat ‘her score on the test’ as a synonym for ‘what she has learned.’" So the path to destruction naturally leads from espousing that test scores DO represent what she has learned and then insist it also represents what she was taught.
This fool’s errand creates problems for public education by forcing them to divert efforts away from productive educational programs in order to pretend they are doing the impossible. This pretension can be augmented by fraud and other techniques to provide public awards to the most fraudulent. There is no better way to convince people to attempt the impossible than by holding up fraudulent examples of success for emulation.
At the same time it undermines the granite substance of professionalism and creates a plastic laminate in its place. In order for public education to continue to develop professionalism and evolve the teaching process for a changing world, it is necessary for expertise to be recognized and given authority. However, by creating a testing process that depends on a lack of expertise and that rewards superficial knowledge, those with the greatest expertise will be undermined by the most fraudulent. So the bonus to the destruction is that it sterilizes any attempts to refute it through expertise. Indeed as proof, nearly all professional educators who have been named "Teachers of the Year" have opposed this form of evaluation but have been ignored.
Ironically, as an additional bonus, by linking prestige and funding to fraudulence and superficial learning, there will be an eventual destruction of even the more wealthy schools that would naturally have high test scores as they compete to achieve awards for being the most fraudulent and superficial under the banner of "excelling" schools. The more they narrow their curriculum and concentrate on test prep and superficial answers, the more they will be awarded with additional funding and prestige.
This process of destruction must be embedded in the governmental demands imposed on schools. Fortunately this has already been accomplished by a program called "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) which contains all of the necessary elements to destroy the public school system of the United States. This has been evidenced in multiple ways, not the least of which is the complete abandonment of any attempt to utilize logic in the process.
For example, the fundamental core of NCLB is a punitive testing regime that opponents argue narrows the curriculum and results in only superficial short-term memory instead of actually learning the logical "higher order" significance. Thus even though everybody recognizes that this is a natural outcome of the process, even opponents don’t seem to understand that those are the fundamental core intents and instead keep futilely arguing logically against it.
For example, the foremost experts in academic testing in the United States have almost unanimously decried the NCLB approach on purely technical testing reasons. Even before NCLB was enacted, one of the foremost experts on academic testing in the world, Professor Robert Linn, wrote in a 1998 technical paper for the Center for the Study of Evaluation:
"I would like to conclude by summarizing a compelling case showing that the major uses of tests for student and school accountability during the past 50 years have improved education and student learning in dramatic ways. Unfortunately, that is not my conclusion."
In a 2005 interview, a reporter quoted Steve Dunbar, head of Iowa Testing Programs, developer of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, as saying experts in the University of Iowa Lindquist Center "expect the No Child Left Behind to run its course, confident the politically driven pendulum will swing back to a more reasonable view of the value of testing. Dunbar predicts public support will wane because of results that don’t seem to make sense. ‘The tests,’ Dunbar said, ‘will lose credibility.’"
But the experts can easily be dismissed if there is money and prestige to be gained through fraud. These are all highly trained experts in the professional testing industry logically describing their opinions against the utilization of the very things that their expertise reflects, and they do not believe that the academic testing enacted by NCLB will do, or is even capable of doing, what NCLB purports it will do.
NCLB turns scientific knowledge on its head and espouses the exact opposite as a goal, but then, even the top experts in the field don’t seem to understand that those are the fundamental core intents and instead keep futilely arguing logically against it. Even experts don’t seem to understand that the core intent is for NCLB to narrow the curriculum and destroy logical thinking.
Ironically, even if testing were capable of accurately measuring learning, it would be destructive to utilize it. This is because the nature of tests lends itself to short term memory. Thus once testing becomes a dominant method of evaluation, one invariably finds efforts to "cram" for these tests. Test "prep" becomes a dominant feature of the education process as teachers seek to provide a disconnected jumble of information that is likely to be queried by the test.
It is this disconnected illogical unreasoning approach to teaching which essentially destroys the entire purpose of education. The fundamental purpose of education is to teach logical reasoning and to provide the fundamental principles of democracy for which the logical reasoning can be used to extend it. In essence, what civilization has developed over the centuries is a process of thinking which involves the manipulation of facts and symbols for the purpose of making decisions by the average person that constitute rational responses to the environment.
It is primarily this process of thinking, the reasoning with logical precepts, which constitutes the brickwork of democratic civilization. The prima facie need of democracy is the ability for citizens to erect and defend it using logical reasoning. Logical reasoning is the individual’s source of freedom. If an individual cannot utilize internally generated reasoning to make decisions, then the individual becomes susceptible to decisions made by others and the whole point of democracy is lost.
So the simple process of requiring testing for superficial knowledge will destroy the democracy of the United States. On the surface, academic testing seems a relevant means of evaluation. But on examination the truth is that it fails to provide even a logical foundation for that evaluation. It is rather easy to show that there is no internal logic to academic testing as practiced.
For example, academic testing is often suggested as a means to evaluate the efficacy of schools. However, this implies that the tests accurately measure the knowledge of the students in the schools. As already noted, this is fundamentally incorrect. But even if it were correct, there exists another glaring flaw in the logic.
The implicit logic is that tests measure what students were taught. Thus if we could accurately measure what students have learned, then we PRESUME that they learned this from what they were taught. However, this is an easily demonstrable fallacy. Students are tested in schools in which they may have had little or no opportunity to be taught and there is absolutely no attempt during testing to derive to what extent the students have been exposed to teaching.
Students who have been absent most or all of the year are tested the same as students who attended every day. Students who just arrived in a school are tested the same as students who attended every day. Students who were ill, or incarcerated, or subject to family disruption, or disruptions from weather such as tornados and hurricanes are tested the same as students who attended uninterrupted lessons for an entire year.
In other words, the existing practice of testing does not make any attempt to determine the extent of exposure that students had to teaching. In many urban areas the students are highly transient and the great majority of students who attend at the time of testing were not there at the beginning of the year. Even if they were there at the beginning of the year, and attended every day during the year, they may have never attended a single day of school prior to that.
In fact, the recent nationally endorsed decision to fire all of the teachers and administrators in a Rhode Island school involves a highly transient student population of which almost two-thirds are Hispanic migrants who typically do not even understand English. Yet both the Secretary of Education and the President of the United States have endorsed firing all of this school’s faculty based on "academic achievement" test scores even though the students were rarely even present for the faculty to have any impact.
It is not uncommon for children who were forced to flee warfare in remote jungles in foreign lands to arrive in American public schools at advanced ages and be expected to absorb in a single year the same knowledge that other children have been prepared to absorb over many years of preparation. But there is no attempt to account for this difference. A test score is a test score is a test score. Ask the President of the United States. Where is the logic in this?
In one prominent study that attempted to demonstrate the superiority of one school over another, the researcher included, in the test scores of one school, several test results that were zero. The students on those zero score tests had not attempted to answer a single question. That prominent researcher, from Harvard University, made no attempt to adjust the findings for the fact that some students did not even participate in the test. This seeming absurdity is consistent with the entire absurdity of typical testing taken to an extreme.
The typical logic of academic testing, in its common implementation, is that it does not matter if the student tested ever attended the school. Thus there is a glaring flaw in the logic that a test score reflects what is taught. A test score in reality does not even matter whether it was taught. Indeed, one of the fundamental objections to the National Assessment of Educational Progress is that it tests subject matter that might not even be taught in some schools.
The NAEP presumes that some ex nihilo concoction of questions should be known by students and then is administered to students to see to what extent they can answer those questions in the manner expected (there is no connection to right or wrong answers) regardless of whether the students were ever taught the topics underlying those questions. Simply put, tests in general very rarely make even a feeble attempt to determine what was taught.
So the reality of NCLB is that we use tests that experts publicly aver will not measure what students have learned, to make a false presumption that this represents what students were taught, that is then cited as evidence of what a teacher or school failed to teach whether or not the students ever attended the school. There are those who consistently argue that this makes no sense, but they don’t seem to understand that those are the fundamental core intents and instead keep futilely arguing logically against it.
If tests could logically measure what students were taught and we did actually determine to what extent the students were exposed to this teaching, it still would not represent an adequate measure of good education, but that is not what is intended by NCLB. The nonsense engendered in the testing regimen of NCLB is entirely the point. Children in stable affluent homes will score well on most tests because the tests are primarily designed to measure family affluence and these students will do well even if they attend the school regularly only for baby-sitting purposes.
Children in impoverished circumstances are not going to score well on tests because they do not have the affluence and they will not have the regular attendance because of illness and other factors, and likely will move from school to school as their parent (they typically have only one) takes various jobs and changes addresses often for economic or judicial reasons. This ensures that schools who serve low-income students will invariably score poorly on tests and thus can be further disrupted by intrusions of programs and personnel changes.
The whole point of those intrusions and personnel changes is to prevent the establishment of a stable learning environment and instead to require that the funding of the school be diverted to vendors who provide the intrusive programs and implement the personnel changes. These vendors are never accountable for their programs and the personnel are never accountable for their contributions.
But in the process, not only are the schools looted, but the students will be prevented from receiving the education in logical reasoning that is necessary for democratic government. This creates a great mass of impoverished workers without the capacity to challenge the existing status quo with reason. They are always subject to government rather than controlling government.
Which is, of course, exactly the point of the whole process of taking scientific research and espousing the exact opposite as a goal for public institutions. The beauty of this process is that the more the institutions attempt to succeed at this process, the more they are assured of failure and in failure the more they assure the public becoming dissuaded from democratic government. At the same time, through fraud an entire populace can be convinced to distrust reasoning and instead to believe only what they are told by authorities.
How to destroy the United States is thus quite simple if no one recognizes the obvious logical process underway. Sure, people will point out that it makes no sense. Sure, experts will explain that it turns scientific research on its head. Sure, professionals will complain that it is counter-productive. But if they just stand around and let it happen the process will go smoothly to conclusion.