American public schools: abducton, theft & indoctrination?
In my last post, "Benny the Troll" submitted this comment:
The answer to improving education in America, the ONLY right answer, is to subject it to free market forces instead of government control. You are beating your head against a wall, Dennis, trying to make any progress within the present system of mandatory attendance (abduction), mandatory curriculum (indoctrination), and financing by taxation (theft). And you wonder why so many parents don't seem to want to be involved in public education.
You would probably say that if we removed the government from the provision of education, some would go without. But do you honestly think that many don't go without now?
Before there were public schools in America, literacy rates were high and education was in demand. And that demand was being met by market forces. There was no reason whatsoever for the government to get involved in education, except to indoctrinate young minds into subservience to the state. In that respect, public education has worked remarkably well.
I really do appreciate every comment that is added to my posts. If anything makes any of my posts interesting it is those comments, and it is the ones who disagree with my point of view that make them most interesting of all. Nevertheless, I must say that Benny's comment reflects a mindset that drives me crazy. But, I owe Benny a debt of gratitude because there is nothing like reading something that drives me crazy that inspires me to write posts.
I want to respond to just about everything Benny said, but I don't like long posts, so I'm just going to hit a couple of his points in this one. Benny says, "Before there were public schools in America, literacy rates were high and education was in demand." I have heard that type of statement from public education bashers before, but I have to wonder what that statistic is based on. Who gathered that information and compiled those statistics? What is "high," and just who were the literacy rates "high" for? Did they include the four million slaves in the country? Did they include farming families out on the frontier? Did they include immigrants from Ireland coming over here as a result of the potato famine?
I have to admit that I have no idea what our national literacy rates were before public education became widespread in the country, but I do know some things. I do know that Southern states came up with literacy tests for voting, because they knew that most freed-blacks were illiterate due to not having any education. I do know that they found it necessary to provide a special provision to allow illiterate whites to vote despite the test. That would seem to suggest that the number of illiterate whites in the South was significant. Things like that make me question the statement that literacy rates were high before public education.
On the one hand, public education bashers blast us because we are so ineffective that we can't teach kids anything. In the next breath, however, they argue that we are so effective that we are able to "indoctrinate" the youth of America. Indoctrinate them to what? We have a Republican president right now. Are we indoctrinating our kids to be good little Republicans? Or are we indoctrinating them to be good little Democrats since that's the party that controls Congress? And if that's the case, what were we doing when the Republicans controlled Congress? Or what were we doing when Clinton was president? Or does it go state by state? Well, then what are we doing in Minnesota, because we have a Republican governor and a Democratic legislature? Man, I'm getting really confused here! Would someone please tell me what I am supposed to be indoctrinating my kids to, because I'm getting a headache trying to figure it out.
Although many might disagree with me on this next point, I have to admit that I have little sympathy for those who are constantly whining about taxes. The fact is that the United States has one of the lowest tax rates of all industrialized nations. Iceland and Ireland are below us, and that's about it. My generation has done a wonderful job of convincing our federal government that our taxes are too high, and we now have a nine trillion dollar debt to show for it. That's okay, though. We'll just let our kids worry about that. After all, they owe us something for all that indoctrination.