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Saturday, January 08, 2005

 

American Education

The phrase "government school" has ominous overtones, calling to mind an oppressive, gray cinder-block room where young minds are dulled, ground up, and processed into fodder for the ruling elite. It's the sort of place you connect with the old Soviet Russia, or maybe North Korea.

It's time we realize that the involuntary shudder at the sound of that phrase is our better judgment trying to tell us something.

I am no expert on education. I do, however, have a little insight into human nature. Those in power tend to consolidate power. Controlling the system of education is a goal of every despotic regime; if you lead them while they're young, they'll willingly follow you as adults.

Now, I don't necessarily accuse this president of being a despot. I do think it's telling, however, that the Republican Party, which 20 years ago called for the elimination of the unconstitutional Department of Education, has pushed through Congress the biggest expansion of federal control over public education in the nation's history. Republicans don't even pretend to favor a smaller federal government any more; in fact, they look a lot like the Democrats of my grandfather's day.

The Democrats--well, they're lost. The Republican drift to the left has pushed Democrats somewhere to the far side of George McGovern.

Obviously, not every public school is a factory for turning out happy little worker bees for the New World Order. Some of the friends I admire most teach in public schools, and our daughter has attended the local schools since kindergarten. I assure you, though, that we've been very aware of what's been taught, especially in the early grades. My wife used to volunteer at the school during the day and was on a first-name basis with the principals of the elementary and middle school.

Not every parent has that opportunity, and that's too bad. Coupled with the National Education Association's power as the union representing about 2/3 of America's public school teachers, we have what amounts to a federally mandated monopoly of education. It's a cozy arrangement in which government and the teachers union have little incentive to buck the status quo. Parents can yell, but the biggest threat to the sweet deal enjoyed by legislators and educators are engaged, informed voters who are able and willing to think critically.

In other words, it's not in the best interests of the entrenched political class to truly educate our children. It's why we see more tax money flow to Washington every year with no real improvement in how our kids are taught.

It's why parents need to be aware of the real purpose of government schools.

Comments:
Heh, not bad. I'll come back and dissect the parts i disagree with in a few hours.
 
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