► Creationism, Intelligent Design or Evolution?
► Religious or Atheistic world view?
► Diversity & multiculturalism or shared beliefs/interests/priorities/cultures/etc.?
► Defining family/marriage as traditional or discussing the multiple configurations of family/marriage?
► The three “Rs:” Reading ‘Riting & ‘Rithmatic?
► Whole word or phonics?
► Civic responsibilities or global obligations?
► Higher order or rote math?
► Global warming: fact or theory?
► Allow, limit or prohibit debate of controversial subjects?
► Teachers who obtain teaching certificates or those with real world subject experience?
► A school with a unionized work force working under a detailed contract or a school with a principal who has flexibility but responsibility?
► Sexuality or abstinence?
► Common core or local control?
► NCLB or local control?
Should we have more or fewer?
► Charter Schools?
► Private Schools?
► Magnet Schools?
► STEM Schools?
► Special Interest Schools?
► Special Needs Schools?
► Religious Schools?
Who should have the power to decide the education needs of each child and who should have the power to decide who will meet those needs?
► Federal Government?
► State Government?
► Local Government?
► Teachers/Education Professionals?
The answers to the above questions are Yes and No.
Year after year, legislative session after legislative session, school board meeting after school board meeting, parent meeting after parent meeting caring people fight for what they believe is best in educating our children. Yet, none of us agree what “best” is.
The point I belabor to make is we are an extraordinarily diverse society and one entity-the government-cannot, has not, and will never be able to mass produce an education to fit the needs, wants, beliefs &/or priorities of every unique child.
While we continue our incessant arguing of what is best in educating children large numbers of our children are being damaged, broken, tossed aside or worse.
We must stop working against each other over the myriad of individual pet issues and begin working together on our shared goal – improving the education for all of our children. We must simply (or perhaps it’s not so simple, but in spite that) agree to disagree and create an education system that is diverse enough to meet the unique needs for the majority of our children.
What is this system you ask? It’s so simple; it’s criminal we are still arguing and failing our children. Our entire nation was built on it and has flourished on it: a system with choices.
How do we get choices in education? End government control and empower parents to tailor the education to the child instead of trying to tailor the child to the education.
It is imperative the reader understand it is only with a universal system of choice that a diverse and thriving system of competing educational choices can be achieved. To continue the decades old practice of empowering only selected politically palatable or favored groups is to continue the practice of extremely limited choices (competition) and extremely limited improvement in educational results. Half measures get half results. Yes, it’s a cliché, but the evidence proves it’s true.
But what about vouchers you ask? The two above systems would negate two of the greatest concerns and objections created with a voucher system. By their design a system established upon ESA or TCS would address church/state concerns and creeping control of private education by the government.
Freedom in education, by sheer necessity, will eventually become a reality. The only question is how many more children and generations will be destroyed by our unwillingness to just agree we disagree on what is best. There are approximately 55 million students enrolled in elementary through high school in the U.S. No bureaucrat, group of bureaucrats, or well intended “experts” can know what is best for 55.5 million unique children in the way their parents do. Yet, wrestling power and control away from those who believe they know what is best will be difficult – in fact impossible – until parents demand their right to choose their child’s education.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C. S. Lewis