Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Separation of School and State

Hooray! Finally someone in the mainstream media understands what many of us realized years ago. That is, that government control of the schools needs to end. Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe is right on. In an editorial, he articulates several battles in schools districts around the country between believers and secularists. Then he states the thinking of many homeschool families.

...it's time to put an end to government control of the schools. There is nothing indispensable about a state role in education. Parents don't expect the government to provide their children's food or clothing or medical care; there is no reason why it must provide their schooling. An educated citizenry is a vital public good, of course. But like most such goods, a competitive and responsive private sector can do a much better job of supplying it than the public sector can.

Imagine how diverse and lively American education would be if it were liberated from government control. There would be schools of every description -- just as here are restaurants, websites, and clothing styles of every description. Parents who wanted their children to be taught Darwinian evolution unsullied by leaps of faith about an Intelligent Designer would be able to choose schools in which religious notions would play no role. Those who wanted their children to see God's hand in the miraculous tapestry of life all around them would send them to schools in which faith played a prominent role.

But the sad reality is that many parents do expect the government to provide these things. That's why we have school lunch programs, before and after school programs, clinics, and sex ed in the schools. Parents don't want the hassle of doing it. Sad but true.

A competitive environment would be helpful and the children would benefit but the educational establishment (unions) is unwilling to yield any control. People would never accept the government telling them where to eat dinner, or grociery shop, or which car to buy. But for some reason they accept the government telling them which school their children go to simply on the basis of what street they live on. I have never understood that.

For more reading see, The Myth of an Equal Education

(Hat tip. Homeschool Revolution)

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