[box]This is not a tirade against teachers. If someone wants to pay someone else to teach their children, that is the parents’ prerogative. Ideally, it would be done with much parental supervision and interaction, though. Or why bother having (or keeping) children. If they are that much of an inconvenience to a person fulfilling their own personal goals, give them to someone who likes them. (Notice I didn’t say take them by force.) But that’s not the main thrust of this discussion.[/box]
I know there are those who will try to make the argument that “we” (that nebulous group called society) cannot leave such important decisions about education to parents. Some children ‘might’ be neglected or educated in a way not approved of (again, not approved by that bodiless entity know as society). However, I’m pretty sure that if I would try to make decisions for their children bases on my ideas of the greater good for “society” they would fight me about it. Somehow, there are only certain ideas that seem to qualify as what is acceptable for all of society. And for some reason they are all basically communist. Maybe it is because those who believe in freedom are minding their own business, in the truest sense of those words.
Which is exactly why the government has taken control of education. People in positions of power have their ideas. They want to be constantly gaining more control. Are all governments basically dictatorial in the end, only using past proclamations of revolution to solidify their own legitimacy?
There is no better place to start than with the mind of a child. A child who is kept away from parental influence for several hours a day. Away from the protective filter of the parents, the children are taught all the “proper” history and social perspectives, for every subject, by a (mostly) friendly staff. The staff are either misinformed themselves, in collusion with the government schemes, or have their hands tied by regulation and threat of losing their livelihood. It is likely that, in our generation, many parents and teachers have been so numbed by their own “free, public” education, that they happily accept what they are told to do with “the” children.
The so-called public education system really is the first welfare system, creating massive dependency on, and regulation by, the government. Those who work hard to make money are taxed for it, but nearly everyone, at some point in their lives, uses it. Even for private and home schools, there is so much governmental oversight for how we fulfill what they deem to be education, that we live in fear of not living up to such standards as are outlined. With this kind of ability for control in place, it is sure to attract the wrong sort of people to positions of influence.
The concept of education is rarely discussed outside of the idea of what the government calls “standards.” (What do you think “education” is?) It brings up the whole manipulation of vocabulary by the government. We could start with the ubiquitous words “public” and “free,” because something the government “provides” is neither public nor free, no matter how often it is referred to as such. The first definition that I find in my dictionary for “public” is “of or concerning the people as a whole, open to or shared by all the people of an area or country.” The second definition states that it often means as controlled by the government. In other words, the idea of something being “public” is really a sneaky way of saying the government is taking control of it for the “good of all.” Sounds communist to me.
Seems it is impossible to even have one sentence about the government without running into multiple re-writing of concepts or definitions. For instance, how can the government “provide” anything? By saying that, it is playing with our minds, suggesting IT has some god-like ability to call up resources from some vast supply which we are unable to tap into ourselves. And here you thought only the ancient rulers of old declared themselves to be gods. What these governmental busybodies do is play slight-of-hand tricks with us, taking our money and mutilating our opportunities to cooperatively better ourselves, while they are skimming huge amounts for their own comforts, all while telling us they are “taking care of us.” Right. Even if, for a little while, a person receives some of this “largesse,” they suffer for it sooner or later, because it is a cancer that is destroying all in it’s path.
And what about the idea of “standards?” Standards should be about things like virtue and kindness. Or it might be part of the discussion of a free individual or enterprise who is setting goals about how to please the customers. However, in government-speak, it means forcing limits on ideas and creativity. It means threatening nonconformists with loss of money and freedom. It means governmental control based on the special interests of those in power. In government run education, it means inculcating the children with ideas that keep the status quo and keep them from having too much time to be creative. By the time kids get out of the government system, most of them are so sick of “learning” that they just want some free time. True exploration and excitement about the stuff of life has been either drained out of them, or directed into “approved” lines of work in which there are “standards” to keep them under control.
The government and it’s schools spend a lot of time trying to affect us with the word “social.” In its strictest definition, “social” means “having to do with human beings living together as a group in a situation in which their dealings with one another affect their common welfare.” This in no way implies that the living has to be without individual freedom or private ownership. It doesn’t address how various decisions and actions affect the communities. It doesn’t even say that kids have to get together with kids their own age in classrooms on a regular basis to learn how to be “social.” Instead, it strongly implies that we are “social” by default if we are anywhere near other people. The governmental authorities would have us believe that they
enforce provide the epitome of mafia protection social services. They bring us laundered money “social security,” indoctrination “socialization” for school children, blackmail and bribes “social safety” in the form of regulations.
They really wield this social factor at the school level, and not just with the kids. Much like networks that develop in prisons or the military, the idea of loyalty is emphasized. Be loyal to your
indoctrination center school. Be loyal to your fellow inmates students and parents associated with the institution. This is extended to the idea of being loyal to the country, which really means be loyal to the way the government wants to do things. Parental involvement at the government institution is encouraged, to help legitimize the all the hoopla, but what it often really boils down to is raising more money for activities run by the government institution or showing up at ceremonies that exalt those who conform to the system. This superimposed social network creates a phenomena very important to the acceptance of the government way of doing things. The fact that the kids are hardly home and are given very little free time is distracted from by a Hollywood like attention to their school existence.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about $12,000 on average per child is spent each year for their “education.” As someone who has taught my children at home all the way through high school, I find this figure both horrifying and astounding. I was able to give all 7 of my children private tutoring in Spanish for about $3000 a year. They are all fluent in the language by the time they graduate from high school level studies. I spent a few hundred dollars a year on books and supplies for them all (not per child), including building a library of books that were just available. I know I spent more than the average and there is lots of proof that the majority of kids taught at home are doing well in colleges and interacting well in the “social” arena.
But approximately 88% of kids attend government schools. I guess indoctrination costs a lot of money. But it’s never enough, judging by the number of
begging events fundraisers for every interesting activity no one could possibly deny the children. (More about fundraising here.) If this “educational” system isn’t teaching everyone to confiscate other people’s hard earned money make use of government welfare, then I don’t know what is. The redistribution program commonly known as Welfare, and the up and coming Socialized Medicine agenda, seem to be of great concern to many people, but will no one admit that a large segment of the population is already addicted to the government for the original welfare scheme called “public education”? (read some history about American public education here.) It is disingenuous to complain loudly about what other people are trying to massage out of the government when you are “using” the system for your own ends.