Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Competition in a free market prompts people to excel and continually pursue greater achievements. This is why the United States is a prosperous country and that our population as a whole lives much more comfortably than most others around the world. Choice in education provides those needing educational services more options and a competitive product. If a product isn't up to speed, people will not seek it out. Universal Tuition Tax Credits are the only option that would allow consumers from any socio/economic background the opportunity to pursue the education that best fits their needs without drawing from public education dollars. There are additional ways to insert competition into the public school system.

One suggestion worth considering has educators run the public educational system by electing their principals. It's worth noting that everyone has been given the opportunity to change the present system of education in our country except the teachers, who have been given no power in the system. Teachers often fear losing their jobs or offending the principal or others if they truly voice their opinions.

Electing the principal would remove the fear teachers have of expressing their true beliefs about how things should go. It would also introduce an element of competition. Next, principals would serve as the school board members because they are infinitely more knowledgeable about how the tax dollars should be spent in their district.

These same principals would elect one of their own to serve as superintendent for a term -in charge of appointing and hiring teachers. Teachers would no longer have to answer to untrained school boards and administrators who are removed from the every day problems of the classroom. Classroom teachers could simply vote out those who impede the educational process.

If there must be a teacher union, it will be to do the job for which it was established; to seek proper benefits and working conditions for the members. That would be the extent of any union role in education.

It is the teachers who have the proper training and classroom experience necessary to run the school system. It must be acknowledged that in the sum of their practical experience and training lie the only answers to the question of what works in education.

More here :


The only book by Laura Ingalls Wilder I've read is Farmer Boy, which is about the life of Wilder's husband, Almanzo Wilder, when he was ten years old and growing up on a farm. I was surprised by his life, which wasn't all that long ago--in the 1860's.

Almanzo had a place and a purpose in the family, and an important one. The functioning of the farm was very much dependent on him, and Almanzo didn't mind at all. He enjoyed it a great deal. How many teenagers today can say the same? How many today just live with their families, but don't truly feel part of them? As for school--ugh.

There was something very interesting about Almanzo's life. He hated school passionately and apparently only attended a few months at the most in his entire life. Yet he grew up intelligent and well-read.

He also remembered nearly everything that happened to him when he was young. I remember little, mostly because I spent most of my time in school, and it was the same meaningless thing day after day. I couldn't tell one day from the other. I have few memories from between the ages of six and 11. I'm not the only one..........

I've come to the conclusion there is no hope for the public schools. They bore kids, they destroy their imaginations, they give them no meaning or purpose. I'd shut them down on the spot if I could. How many kids like school? Almost none. Doesn't that tell people something?

Why in the world do we need 12 years of schooling anyway? What exactly does it take 12 years to learn? And that doesn't include college and graduate and post-graduate work. Is all of this necessary? It isn't a good thing, of that I am convinced. I read an article several months ago about a rather strange man who lived in a cave with his 12-year-old daughter. He taught her out of a set of old encyclopedias. When the police finally found them, investigators said the daughter was "usually intelligent and knowledgeable."

I'm certainly not recommending living in a cave with your kid, only pointing out perhaps schools aren't only not necessary, maybe they are instead a obstacle to true education. Watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off sometime. It reminds me of a nightmare I sometimes have: it is the last day of high school, and for some horrible reason I won't graduate and have to go another year. It is the only nightmare I have repeatedly.

It'd be better if a lot of kids started as apprentices at 12 years old. I've known several people who just simply could not finish high school. All of them later became successful in their field. One friend who lived next door to me when we were in high school dropped out, and later became an airline pilot. None of them could find a place, a meaning and a purpose in schools they attended.

As for families, I do know one thing; the State is the cause of most of their problems. Interference by public schools, interference in the economy, destruction of neighborhoods and communities...all of these things are created and exacerbated by the State. Interference by the State takes away the meaning and purpose of people's lives, and tries to replace it with its meaning, which is generally bureaucracy, militarization, war and empire.

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For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

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