What Do You Think of This?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Adam's Apple, May 14, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Politicized Public Schools Have Forfeited Their Right to Exist
    By David Gelernter
    May 13, 2005

    Discussions of school choice and vouchers nearly always assume that public schools are permanent parts of the American educational scene. Increasingly I wonder why. Why should there be any public schools?

    I don't ask merely because the public schools are performing badly, although (as usual) they are. Pamela R. Winnick discusses science teaching in a recent issue of Weekly Standard. One survey found that a whopping 12% of graduating U.S. seniors were "proficient" in science. Global rankings place our seniors 19th among 21 surveyed countries.

    Agreed: The national interest requires that all children be educated and that all taxpayers contribute. But it doesn't follow that we need public schools. We need military aircraft; all taxpayers help pay for them. Which doesn't mean that we need public aircraft companies. (Although if American airplanes ranked 19th best out of 21 contenders, the public might be moved to do something about it.) Schools aren't the same as airplane factories, but the analogy is illuminating.

    What gives public schools the right to exist? After all, they are no part of the nation's constitutional framework. Neither the Constitution nor Bill of Rights requires public schools. And in one sense they are foreign to American tradition. Europeans are inspired by state institutions. Americans are apt to be inspired by private enterprise, entrepreneurship, choice.

    I believe that public schools have a right to exist insofar as they express a shared public view of education. A consensus on education, at least at the level of each state and arguably of the nation, gives schools the right to call themselves public and be supported by the public. Once public schools stop speaking for the whole community, they are no different from private schools. It's not public schools' incompetence that have wrecked them. It's their non-inclusiveness.

    American public schools used to speak for the broad middle ground of American life. No longer. The fault is partly, but not only, theirs. A hundred years ago, a national consensus existed and public schools did their best to express it. Today that consensus has fractured, and public schools have made no effort to rebuild it.

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/gelernter.php3
     
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  2. archangel
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    I personally support public as well as private schools...although the public school system does need a major overhaul in most areas...They do need to get out of the political arena in the K-12 grades...Concentrate more on the basic ABC's and less on teachers bombarding our kids with their social and political beliefs...Just teach them history and the Constitution and let them make up their own minds...Fair science and and comparitive religion would also be good..They use to teach comparitive religion in schools...at least when I attended!
     
  3. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Yep, teachers need to devote their time and effort in the classroom to teaching rather than political agendas, and it's the administration's job to see that they do. Don't think it's going to happen as long as the NEA has the clout that it does in education.
     

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