During my time at one of Minnesota’s best public schools, teachers would often skip class or “teach from the VCR.” However, one teacher, Mr. Perkins, made a lasting impression on me by sparking my love for U.S. history and government through engaging debates. Unfortunately, today’s schools are failing students at an alarming rate. The National Report Card revealed that only 13% of 8th graders scored proficient in history and only 22% in civics, essential subjects for functioning in society. Public schools were shown to perform worse than private and charter schools, but instead of collaborating to find solutions, Big Education prioritizes self-interests over student success. The decline in education is not new; it’s been happening for decades, and the blame cannot be placed solely on COVID-19 or lack of funding. The decline in history and civics scores deprives students of critical thinking and understanding our constitutional system. Complicating matters, bad actors are manipulating the minds of our youth, leading to disengagement and fear in expressing opinions. The truth is, unless changes are made, education will continue to be a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our nation’s future.