RE: Re[2]: DSM: The Value of the Sudbury Model

From: Joe Jackson (shoeless@jazztbone.com)
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 11:09:47 EDT


Dear Lisa,

> I just sent off a big tax check, and it hurt, not because it'll pay for
> education but because of the part that goes to military pork.

One person's "pork" is another person's "bacon".

I resent paying to strengthen an educational system which seeks to rob me of
my First Amendment rights to teach my children what they and I wish, in the
manner they and I wish.

You might resent taxes for the military, and yet nobody would argue that our
country could survive purely as a militia state. Our country survived for
many years without government-monopoly compulsory schooling, but despite the
fact that our nation's military hasn't nearly the budget to maintain any
real operational readiness proportional to the threats our world offers, I
am proud to serve in a military that has preserved a society where we can
openly criticize the underfunded military for "pork".

***

... Which illustrates precisely why it is dangerous for it to be the
responsibility of the government to educate our nation's children: We live
in a democracy where everyone disagrees about how money is spent and no
individual can have control over what and how their children are being
educated at the hands of the government or how their country is defended.

Your problem is presumably not with the *idea* of the military, but with the
*manner and extent* of how they do their job and spend their money. Well,
everyone disagrees on that point, which is why the large interests
(political, military and to a lesser extent, military-industrial) control
those factors. Do I think the F-22 is a great idea? Who cares!

My problem is not with the *idea* of government-provided education, it is
that only the large interests have any say in how government-provided
education is enacted. So the fact that it's being carried our in a
substantially enterprising and facist way is a direct reflection of the
teacher-union dollars, politics, and courts of public opinion lined up
behind it. Do I think phasing music out of public schools is a great idea?
Who cares!

While you might resent the military and can do nothing real about it, it's
not like they are coming to your house and conducting interrogation on your
family. But I resent the government education business because they apply
pressure to me, personally, every day, for me to send my family to their
"house" to endure propaganda. They don't even have the common decency to
oppress my family in my own home :). And there's nothing real I can do
about that.

Despite all the best intentions of Horace Mann 150 years ago,
government-offered schooling, in concept, has become government-monopolized
compulsory education. As it stands now, there are loopholes to compulsory
schooling. These loopholes have constant pressure to close from a variety
of sources, all of them driven by ideology and money. If the loopholes
close, it is likely that parents who do not accept the govenment's view of
how to educate their children will be powerless to interdict on their
children's behalf - powerless to raise their children in a manner they and
the children choose.

If you would like examples of my first-hand experiences with government
officials, paid with my tax dollars, seeking to interfere with my family's
educational choices, I would be happy to provide them. I sense, though,
that it is not necessary - we all know the roadblocks our governments sets
up to hinder and discourage homeschooling and alternative schooling.

There are quite a few reasons why it is important to our nation for everyone
to be "literate", however, the way the dollars (and therefore politics)
inevitably line up behind a government education business to force
homogenous and indocrinating propaganda on our children is clearly at odds
with that goal.

Perhaps there is a perfect world in which there is a way for governments to
give people dollars in order to empower them to choose education that befits
their family - without strings attached regarding the method and manner of
that education per se. But so far, for 100 years and counting, this is not
that world.

-Joe Jackson



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