"Issues and Action in Education"

Book Review

Walking Targets: How Our Psychologized Classrooms are Producing a Nation of Sitting Ducks, by B. K. Eakman

Reviewed by Allen Quist

EdWatch Index

February 24, 2008



 "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free," Ronald Reagan.

Beverly Eakman's new book, Walking Targets, is a detailed and accurate description of the troubling and dangerous state of education in contemporary United States of America.
It used to be, until some 50 years ago, that the purpose of American education was the teaching of knowledge and academic skills. Not anymore. Today the purpose of education in the States is the "transformation" (not education) of the child.
This new purpose of education in America mirrors education as defined by the United Nations. In July of 2003, for example, UNESCO, an arm of the UN, called for changing the world by utilizing education as "the primary agent of transformation." And how is "transformational education" defined by UNESCO?  It is defined as changing the "values, behavior and lifestyle" of the child, not as the teaching of knowledge and academic skills [p. 4 of the draft statement for UNESCO's "Decade of Education for Sustainable Development"].
Walking Targets explains with precision and detail how transformational education is being conducted in our land. The book is an anthology of Eakman's most popular articles, essays, and lectures. The selections are insightful, written in clear, no-nonsense language, are easy to read and painfully accurate.
The first selection, "Blindsided By Education Leftists: Republicans Assure Their Own Marginalization," is one of the most important-and refreshing-chapters in the book. In it Eakman argues that by supporting the leftward agendas of Goals 2000 and No Child Left Behind, Republicans have ensured their own destruction by supporting a system which requires that our children be indoctrinated in the ideology of the hard left. Eakman shows how these radical federal programs are calculated to produce the "global village idiots" as described by Tom DeWeese in his endorsement of the book.
The obvious consequence of these leftist federal education programs is ensuring that the prevailing worldview of America's up and coming voters will be hostile to the goals and principles of the Republican Party (and the United States America). (For a detailed analysis of how the federal hostile-takeovers of education carry out this radical agenda, see my own
America's Schools: The Battleground for Freedom, EdWatch, 2005, and Fed Ed: The New Federal Curriculum and How It's Enforced, EdWatch, 2002.)
Other chapters in the book describe: the excessive drugging of our school children; brainwashing our children in the name of "mental health," with the stage set by very early universal "psychological screening"; defining traditional values as being "mental disorders"; advocacy of moral relativism under the guise of "moral neutrality"; and undermining the American Creed (as in the statement by Minnesota State Senator Steve Kelley, then-Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, who said that it was an "historical error" to include the Declaration of Independence as one of our founding documents).      
Other topics described by Eakman include: constructivist math (also called "reform math," "postmodern math," and "fuzzy math") which ensures that children so-schooled are not prepared for college-level math; the replacement of Western civilization with the agenda of "multiculturalism"; the advocacy of "tolerance" (gay rights); blatant Marxism; global warming mythology and Earth First ! mentality (Pantheism)-all in the name of so-called "science."
B. K. Eakman also describes how behavioral problems are now defined as mental disorders to be treated by drugs and psychotherapists, not by good structure and discipline. She additionally details how the privacy of our students is increasingly being undermined and is subject to "data mining" that can and will be used by transformational utopians to label, indoctrinate and control these individuals throughout their lives.
What to do? Eakman has a number of concrete and useful suggestions including "twenty questions" for so-called "education candidates." These questions are designed to smoke out the real agenda of these candidates.
Knowing what to do is actually not all that difficult. Eakman's answer is essentially a return to traditional education with its clarity of purpose as being the transmission of knowledge and academic skills and its insistence that the right methods are the methods that actually work in accomplishing these objectives. (Noted education scholar E. D. Hirsch has come to the same conclusion.) It should be fairly obvious that this is the only way we can reverse the persistent 80 point decline in SAT scores that occurred in the sixties and seventies when progressive education replaced traditional education as the norm for education in America.
How important is this book? It is must-reading for all Americans-including those committed to private, Christian and home education. Out of ignorance or a desire to be "with it," even some non-public schools are now adopting the obscene curricula of the leftists, including the horrendously destructive constructivist math.
For our part, let us always remember that truth is essential for freedom. Political correctness and trendiness are no substitutes. This is what Eakman's book is all about. Its purpose is truthfully describing the current state of affairs of education in our country and pointing the way to restoring knowledge-based education. Telling the truth, and as our forefathers said so well in the Declaration of Independence-having the truth-is a necessary condition for becoming, or remaining, a nation that is free.

Allen Quist is a professor of American Government at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota and is a widely recognized writer and speaker. He is the author of five books.

Allen Quist served three terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1983 to 1988. He chaired the Social Services Subcommittee and was also a member of the House Education Committee. Allen Quist played an influential role in legalizing home schools in Minnesota. He was the Republican endorsed candidate for Minnesota Governor in 1994, and was one of seven delegates elected from Minnesota to the White House Conference on Families in 1980.

Profesor Quist holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) and a Master of Arts degree from Mankato State University (Mankato, MN). He and his son, Andrew, also farm 1200 acres of corn and soybeans on the family farm in rural St. Peter.

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