Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Education is NOT just for federal judges.


So a federal judge in California ruled that home-schooled kids must be taught by a certified teacher (Falk 5).

Again, sigh.

Now, the judge made this decision based on an education law passed in California in 1950. But I'm going to go ahead and say it: this has nothing to do with a law passed in 1950. This has everything to do with our bumbling, bureaucracy of a government again stepping into the lives of citizens. It is a microcosm of a bigger picture.

I understand that many parents home-school their kids so as to cloister them from a world they believe to be too secular, and I know that many of them teach their kids that global warming doesn't exist, and that the world is 10,000 years old.

Do I think these people are narrow-minded nuts that would rather sign on to superstition and myth rather than empirical evidence that gives much credence to a planet billions of years old and getting hotter as hell everyday?


Do I think, therefore, that the government should step in and make sure such narrow-minded nuttiness is curbed as much as possible so as to save the commons from such idiocy?

Nay, good readers, nay.

Here is the scenario: The Federal government muddles with an education issue in California. Advocates of said education issue get mad. The governor also gets mad and declares that he will fight this decision. The system gets more bogged down, nothing really gets done, and we all pay for it in one way or another.

People of this country have a right to be stupid individuals. They have the right to opt out of the federal education system and do their own thing. They pay taxes too, and they can decide what they want to do, even if we all think they are the aforementioned narrow minded nuts.

And that is why, as a practical libertarian, I say: leave em alone judge! Don't worry your pretty little gavel about whether or not home-schooled kids are getting what the Federal government defines as education. Do we really need to talk about the broken machine known as the Department of Education?

That is what is happening here, not a decision based on a technicality, but continued statist intervention into the lives of individual citizens.

I've got an idea! Get rid of the DoE, give us our money back, create the legal framework to protect competition of private education institutes, thereby providing as many educational options as possible with lower prices, and let individuals decide ALL of their educational needs for themselves and their children.

Hell, I'll even compromise and say give us our money back and let each independent state maintain it's own department of education. At least that way, those legislators couldn't hide in some tower in D.C.

Is it practical to say that education can be handled by the states, and even the people?


Will some states have crappy education systems?


Should we allow that?


But why, TL, why?

Because to be free, we must allow others to be free. They must be free to create and manage their own affairs. To assume that crappy educational for all is worth a Federal DoE, consider this:

They take our money for this department, yet schools are being forced to make contracts with soda pop companies to get money. Now, maybe a new administration will come in, take more of our money, and seemingly improve the system a little bit; but then those same resources are subject to the next administration's moral whim, and they keep the extra money the previous administration took while letting the program degrade.

I have 60 years of American domestic policy history on my side to show the pendulum constantly swinging, and costing the people ever more as the years go on. In order for the system to improve, we the people MUST reclaim it.

The federal government cannot manage education anymore than it can manage the other social issues facing us today.


Work Cited

Falk, William, et al, eds. "The World at a Glance..." The Week. 21 Mar. 2008: 5.


Jessica Watson Photography said...

The federal government has actually managed public education in this country for around 200 years producing some of brightest minds the world has ever seen, and becoming at one point the envy of the modern world (especially since for a long time most of the world worked under the libertarian model of education only for those who could pay for it, where most people were home schooled by parents completely unqualified to do so. The blind leading the blind, and the whole society suffered for it.)

Public education is the cluster fuck you know it as because selfing conservatives and libertarians have, since Reagan, steadily dismantled and underfunded it, intentionally destroying it for a two fold purpose. One, to open up a new market they could exploit for profit, and two, to take away the best weapon the poor have to take on the rich, knowledge. The failure of the current public education system isn't the fault of it's nature, it is the fault of those who have INTENTIONALLY RUINED IT. Public education in other countries puts even our highest priced public schools to shame, so clearly it can be done.

If libs had there way you would see two things, private schools getting government hand outs as they charge exorbitant tuitions, ensuring only the wealthy will get proper educations, and vocational schools for those who can't afford a general education. This is the way it's happened throughout time, since before the beginning of recorded history, and it's the reason EVERY SINGLE first world nation has publicly funded and managed education systems.

If you want to fix our schools, don't hand them over to greedy fucks in the private sector, who just want to exploit kids for a quick buck, elect better leaders, become involved in a political party, get active, and work your ass off to keep libertarians and corporatists out of office.

TPL said...

To my esteemed friend and loyal statist, I say, sigh.

The federal government has controlled education since the 50's. The 1950's. It dabbled in it previously with the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890, which granted land and money to states that whose colleges focused on agriculture and mechanical arts. The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 supported vocational education, and the first GI bill in 1944 gave money to vets for education costs. In 1950 aid was given to schools impacted by the presence of federal facilities.

This is far from "managing" education for 200 years.

The government took over education in 1958 and 1965 with the National Defense Education Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The formula under which the 1965 act operated granted more money to the wealthiest counties.

This persists today. The failure in fact is the fault of the systems nature, as these programs fall under the power of whoever happens to be in office. With this kind of statist activity degradation is a necessary result.

You claim the decline of education is the result of Ronald Reagan and libertarians. I claim the decline of education stems from 40 years of government mismanagement, and the exclusion of a legal framework protecting competetion, thereby allowing people the real opportunity to choose where to get their kids schooled. We both know this option does not truly exist for everyone in this country.

I am fine with having state education, but I do not support federal control. You forget that most of these countries with public education are the size of one or two our FIFTY states. On a smaller scale, the logistics permit a healthy public education system, given that the citizens of said states have the funds at their disposal to keep the programs running. But, given the officials that are elcted, these funds will not return to our pockets anytime soon.

This governmental system of central control of the marketplace, education, and our day to day lives has gotten us where we are today. It is not Bill Clinton, Reagan, or Carter. It is all of our elected leaders since the New Deal.

Increased governmental control has taken us to war. We have granted the government so much greater power, that they can build and and tear down whatever they please, and you and I have no say in it.

I reject the model of a socialized America, because thus far it's results have been naught but death and taxes. Education in poor areas will always suffer, because this system is not concerned with redistribution of wealth and power, it is concerned with centralized power that eliminates the real possibility of ever more individuals escaping the bind of poverty.