Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The right to a "decent" education

I've been thinking quite a bit about this statement from Barack Obama to the American Federation of Teachers,
"Now, I don't believe that government can or should try to solve all our problems. I know you don't either. But I do believe that government should do that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide a decent education for our children;...."(emphasis added)"
If America's parents accept Obama's premise that we cannot provide a decent education ourselves and therefore the government should provide it, we are left to the beliefs and legislative whims of those in authority to define a "decent education" for "our" children. That isn't a good thing for us, our children, or our freedom.

As parents charged with the responsibility of educating our children, our definition will become subordinate to their definition and will likely require some proof of compliance. Failure to conform to the standard of a "decent education" dictated by the state would likely result in lack of consideration for college or employment opportunities or worse, charges of educational neglect simply because our definition does not match theirs.

I readily acknowledge that this would not happen right away so some might be quick to dismiss this as a scare tactic against Obama. It's not.

The rule of debate is - he who defines wins. I am NOT willing to yield the definition of a "decent" to the state- no matter who is in the White House. Are you?

Don't misunderstand. The desire for a "decent education" for all is noble and laudable. But an equal education is a fallacy because as individuals we will never all have the same definition or goal. What one may call a success or a "decent education" another would call a complete failure. That is the great dilemma of the public schools. Equal education only works with a uniform goal. A goal which works well for the state but leaves the individual out in the cold.

No comments: