DSM: DEMOCRACY, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, AND STANDARDIZATION IN EDUCATION


David Rovner (rovners@netvision.net.il)
Sun, 4 Mar 2001 20:17:00 +0200


DEMOCRACY, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, AND STANDARDIZATION IN EDUCATION --
*
a Nation MUST NOT be a Welfare State in order to Secure Equal Opportunity for
everyone.
___________________________________________________________________
1.
"Equal Opportunity in education means that EVERY STUDENT
EXPRESSING A WISH TO PURSUE A GIVEN COURSE SHOULD
BE GIVEN THE SAME CHANCE TO TRY IT. A person's life-destiny
is his to decide, and the only guidance program consistent with
democratic ideals is one that gives everyone the same chance at
everything -- Equal Opportunity does not of course, mean an equal
outcome for everybody. That is what differentiates the Democratic
approach from the various socialist approaches to society."
[The Crisis in American Education, The Sudbury Valley School,
 1970, P. 27,37.]
2.
A Welfare State is not a Democratic Nation -- it does not protect
the Rights of Individuals.
3.
Social "Democracies" (or Popular "Democracies" as they used to
call themselves) of Eastern Europe Regimes -- autocratic one-party
rule conducted for the presumed benefit of the masses -- and
Post-modern Social-"Democracies" as they are called today --
ARE NOT DEMOCRACIES AT ALL. The hallmark of democracy is the
Protection of Individual Rights. Welfare Statism DOES NOT protect
Individual Rights. In Welfare Statism the Collective stands Supreme.
Protecting Collective "Rights" supersedes everything and Equality is
translated into Standardization and Homogenization.
4.
In order to give everyone Equal Opportunity in Education we must not
drive our schools into Standardization and Homogenization. This is fit
for Socialist, Fascist, and Statist Regimes -- namely Collectivism --
and it is a violation of Individual Rights, thence an attack on Democracy.
5.
"Standardization (and Homogenization in Education.- D.R.) is an
abomination. It runs totally contrary to the underlying ethic of America
(and of Democracy.- D.R.) which stresses individual variation. It is
totally unnecessary in the post-industrial era which we now inhabit.
It is abandoned helter-skelter by all the former communist-block
countries, who have tasted it fully for many decades. In those countries
where community -wide homogeneity is held to be a virtue, such as
Japan, many of the leaders are questioning its validity in today's world,
and many of the businessmen are taking their money elsewhere --
for example, to the United States -- for investment. Standardization
(and Homogenization.- D.R.) in schools is costing us dearly in higher
teachers salaries, in smaller classes, and in a far larger bureaucracy
than would be needed if it were abandoned."
["Standardization is the Chief Culprit in the Runaway Cost of Education,
 EDUCATION IN AMERICA, A View From Sudbury Valley, Daniel Greenberg,
1992, P. 16-18.]

David Rovner



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