THE SOLUTION TO ALL OUR NATIONAL PROBLEMS lies in proper education. The Natural Law Party advocates scientifically proven educational programs that can unfold the full creative potential of every student and produce ideal citizens capable of fulfilling their highest aspirations while contributing maximum to the progress of society. By harnessing Americas greatest resource -- the unlimited creativity of our 280 million citizens -- the Natural Law Party can bring fulfillment to education and ensure Americas competitiveness and continuing leadership in the family of nations.
Education in America is not working. Even though the United States spends more money per student than any other country, our students still rank far behind most of their international peers in math and science -- and well behind U.S. test scores of 20 years ago. Twenty-eight percent of our high school students drop out -- the highest rate of any industrialized nation -- and those who graduate are often ill prepared to enter the work force .
Drug and alcohol abuse continues to undermine our nations students and rob them of their mental clarity, motivation, self-esteem, and ability to focus . Moreover, juvenile violent crime has increased markedly during the past decade, especially gang and school violence using guns . According to the Centers for Disease Control, American youths are 12 times more likely to die by gunfire than their peers in other nations.
The culturing of inner values has all but disappeared from our nations schools. Yet James Madison observed in the Federalist Papers that democracy cannot function unless our leaders and citizens are in a higher degree of virtue than any other form of government.
Americas problems are human problems -- crime, drug abuse, domestic violence, and declining health. Only through the full development of our human resource can we rise above the reach of problems. Yet research has shown that students graduating from our current educational system use at most 5-10% of their full mental potential . A new and effective approach to education is clearly needed.
Education is for enlightenment -- the full development of mind, body, and behavior. The Natural Law Party promotes proven educational programs that directly increase intelligence and creativity and simultaneously improve moral reasoning, self-reliance, and mental and physical health and well-being. These programs include sound educational approaches to nutrition , natural, preventive health measures , effective drug prevention programs , and innovative curriculum development, including programs to develop the full mental potential of students.
While focusing on dissemination of knowledge, current approaches to education ignore the most fundamental component of learning -- the consciousness or intelligence of the student, which is the basis of gaining knowledge. Todays educational approaches provide no knowledge of consciousness and no scientifically proven technology to develop it. These approaches do not comprehensively develop the brain physiology, causing incomplete cognitive and emotional development and less-than-comprehensive thinking. This fundamental failure is the ultimate source of the problems afflicting education today.
Current proposals to improve education often focus on information technologies, such as computer access to the Internet, that offer larger and larger volumes of data. However, without an educational approach that can develop more than 5-10% of a students full mental potential, no amount of information will ever produce truly educated, ideal citizens.
The Natural Law Party proposes to upgrade the U.S. Department of Education to a Department of Educational Excellence, which would charter several federally funded model schools in which successful educational innovations of all kinds could be implemented and researched. Based on the success of these programs, parents and educators across the country could choose the ones they felt would be most appropriate and effective in their neighborhoods. Rather than dictate educational curricula at the local level, the Federal Government could thereby play a crucial research and leadership role in expanding educational choices for parents and students, improving educational outcomes across the nation.
The Natural Law Party believes that the teaching of our children should be an honored profession with commensurate compensation. We would raise teacher salaries by $10,000 per year through a program of block grants to the states. This would foster greater competition for teaching positions, thereby promoting higher standards
The Natural Law Party also supports federally funded vouchers to increase parental options for school choice and to foster competition among schools. These vouchers could be used to pay for any school of the parents choice -- public, private, or parochial -- provided that the school maintains high academic performance on standardized national tests. The free-market competition that this voucher system will engender will help reverse declining educational outcomes in America.
The Natural Law Party supports education, job training, and apprenticeship programs to prepare all Americans to compete in today's fast-paced economy, fully harnessing our most precious national resource -- the unlimited intelligence and creativity of our 280 million citizens.
The Natural Law Party also supports the following initiatives:
Most of the educational programs promoted by the Natural Law Party have been successfully applied in diverse educational settings worldwide and have therefore been the subject of extensive scientific research. The results of such programs include the significantly improved educational outcomes mentioned above -- increased intelligence, creativity, motivation, academic performance, moral reasoning, psychological maturity, and social responsibility -- as well as a higher quality of life among students and faculty.
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