“The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.”
—H. L. Mencken
I have thus far attempted in this series of essays to examine 1) the intellectual origins and history of government schooling in America; 2) the nature and purposes of government schooling; and, 3) the moral case for adopting the principle of “Separation of School and State” and with it the need for abolishing America’s government school system.
You are all by now familiar with my judgment on America’s government school system. I consider it to be immoral and anathema to the principles and institutions of a free society. The evidence for my position is overwhelming and the logic is irrefutable.
Still, some of you might not yet be fully persuaded by facts and logic, or at least maybe you can’t give up your attachment (for any one of a number of reasons) to the government schools. Those who know that the government schools are a mess but can’t quite give up their attachment to them do so almost always for sentimental reasons.
Maybe it’s because you’re a product of the government schools (as most of us are), and, well you “turned out ‘ok’ after all.” Or maybe your kids go to a government school and it doesn’t seem all that bad despite the fact that you know that the America’s system of government education is failing nationwide (this phenomenon has been dubbed by others as the “Thompson paradox”). Or maybe you think that the government school system is the one and only institution that holds small-town America together (or what I refer to as “Friday Night Lights” syndrome). Or maybe you hold the cynical view that ordinary Americans don’t love their children enough to do whatever it takes to educate them properly. Or maybe you think (incorrectly) that poor families couldn’t afford to educate their children if there were no government schools. Or, finally, maybe you think that government schooling is a good thing in principle (just like Marxism) but just needs to be “reformed” in practice.
It might also be the case that you’re one of those hard-headed realists who doesn’t like to think in terms of moral principles. Maybe you’re put off by my moralistic rhetoric. Maybe you’re one of those pragmatists, who is only concerned with whether an institution works or does not work. Maybe you just need to see some data.
Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.
The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”
2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results
Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.
My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results
“An emphasis on adult employment”
Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]
WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators
Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results
Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.
When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?