Words by Woods

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Mailbag: If Not Public Education?

In comments to my post Islam vs. Islamism, Fareed made a comment asking about my views on education.  Finding his question very interesting, I wanted to chew it.

“…since you are a supporter of free market education…”

I do not think that accurately describes my position.  While not necessarily by Fareed, this framing smuggles in the premise of government regulation of market activity.  Thus, I think about it more fundamentally.  I am supporter of freedom of association in education.

For me, it is an issue of both a fundamental and enumerated right.  As such, I challenge the argument by statists that government coercion by a majority is the only means of people acting together.

“…under your system, who decides what is taught?”

Ultimately, and rightfully, the choice belongs to the parents.

“Who decides curriculum across the country?”

No one would; there would not be a uniform curriculum.  I also point out that we do not now nor have we ever had a uniform national curriculum, which remains a utopian fantasy of some.  Further, such national uniformity contradicts one of Thomas Jefferson’s objectives in his founding of public education: local governance.

“How do people of one state, or tax bracket even, ensure their kids get the same quality education as the next state?”

Equality of education is not a legitimate goal.  Even within the same public school today students are assigned unequal educations as a matter of school policy.

As a parent, I always wanted my children to have a superior education.  Those who seek educational equality in the name of the state or the general will are the enemies of parents who want the best for their own children.

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  1. thanks for the reply. I too support more educations freedoms and a shift away from the monolith of government education. I did have another question that I should have included:

    4)Where does the money come from to start these schools under such a system? would it be solely tax credits ?


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  2. Fareed, I have drafted a long response to your question, which I will post once it has been made more coherent. To give a quick response to your questions: (1) not in the way that anyone would expect (how is that for a tease?), and (2) no tax credits, no vouchers, no pandering to legislators.

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