If liberalism was a religion, it’s parishes would be the nation’s public schools and its catechism would be the curriculum. Any evidence of their failure would be systematically denied, if only because “What happens in church must stay in church!” or “Who are you to question what we teach?”
Sounds a little bit like the Catholic clergy abuse scandal, no?
Back to the point. A short while back, Allison Benedikt published an article in Slate entitled “If You Send Your Child To A Private School, You Are A Bad Person.” Ms. Benedikt basically argues that parental choice in terms of what school their children should attend is a very bad thing, evidencing not “murder bad” but “pretty bad” parents. She writes:
If every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve…It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.
What a gem of logic!
- “it could take generations“…(in English) parents should subject the children of this generation to a subpar education that results in high dropout rates and poor tests scores.
- “Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime“…(in English) education doesn’t really matter in the short run so providing a subpar education in this generation really won’t matter.
- “for the eventual common good“…(in English) we are all in this together, comrades, enduring a little short-term pain for some long-term hopium is a good thing.
Benedikt believes the body politic would do impoverished children a great favor by keeping them trapped in a failed educational system (especially in the nation’s urban areas) if only the body politic would pour all of its children into that system.
That’s nothing more than liberalthink! If the rich get all of the goods, the poor will suffer. So, let’s distribute the suffering equitably by tossing every child into the same failed system. Then, the long-term good will eventually be achieved.
What Ms. Benedikt’s ideology disallows is the fact that per-pupil spending in the nation’s public elementary and secondary schools has increased 18% between 2000 and 2010. Today, there are more teachers, more reading specialists, more social workers, more assistant principals and principal, and yes, more computers.
But, guess what?
For that investment of an additional $1.9+B on the part of 48% of the body politic, standardized test scores have not improved. Except for many of those impoverished students whose parents have taken advantage of various voucher schemes.
When parents are allowed to choose where their children will get the best education–giving the “public” choice–marketplace competition produces better results than a government monopoly.
The Motley Monk wouldn’t ever call Ms. Benedikt “a very bad person” because she believes in the ideology of public education. That would be an illogical, ad hominem argument. Deluded, perhaps, Misguided, perhaps. But, not a “murder bad” or “pretty bad person.”
To read Allison Benedikt’s article in Slate, click on the following link:
To read the NCES report on spending in the nation’s public elementary and secondary schools, click on the following link:
To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, click on the following link: