Take politics out of education


As is typical, education is a subject where Troy Smith and I agree in principle but have cavernous differences in the details and defining terms. Most individuals know that I am a strong supporter of educators and education. I have sometimes disagreed with teachers and the school system, but most educators who know me consider me an ally. I dislike the political power of the teachers' unions, but I know they also do some good for teachers. 

As for education, I do not accept Troy's argument that we need to leave education to those trained to educate. Education, at least for minors, should be a cooperative effort between the student, the teacher, and the parent. As the child reaches adulthood, the parent's role in education should naturally decrease. The end consumer in the education market is initially the parent. The parent ensures the child receives an education they approve of and determines if the teacher effectively performs their role. Children are a parent's responsibility. Saying parents should stay out of their child's education is wrong and offensive.

Today's government agenda is enforcing groupthink. If you do not accept government narratives or "facts," you are ostracized as a heretic. Facts are supposed to be provable and unchanging. Today, facts have become whatever is said and repeated enough. When the government dictates these " facts," it is called propaganda. We used to condemn propaganda. Children's education has always been the spearhead of the propaganda movement. This is why I deeply oppose federal control of education. I want schools to be accountable to the parents. I don't want some unelected bureaucrats making decisions about my child's education. The government shouldn't force teachers to tell children what to think. I want educators who teach children to communicate, calculate, experiment, and reason.

Memorization is not education. Is it more important to know when slavery ended or why it was wrong? Is it more important to know who discovered penicillin or how and why it is used? When you mistake memorization for education, you create educated idiots who can remember and repeat "facts" but cannot think or communicate effectively. This is the society we are creating. We are building a generation of test-taking encyclopedias full of information with no ability to process it. This is the education that "liberals" want.

My sister-in-law and some of my closest friends are educators in White and surrounding counties. They want to inspire children to learn. They want to encourage creativity and critical thinking. They want to answer the children asking, "Why?". When the government mandates the classroom curriculum and requires a standard outcome, you don't have educators; you have workers on an assembly line. The government doesn't want schools that educate. The government wants carbon copy obedient followers produced in factory schools.

Troy complains about the state government getting involved in education. Troy says to leave education to the educators while advocating for federal control of education. The problem Troy has is with which government is in control. I don't want any government control of the classroom. We used to believe in students' potential and the importance of education. It is incredible how low our standards have become since the creation of the Department of Education. Both parties share the blame. "No Child Left Behind" didn't help struggling children reach that high bar; it just lowered the bar for all children.

Troy complains about parents interfering in the classroom, but I have always heard teachers complaining about parents not being involved. I won't tell a teacher how to educate, but I can appraise the results. I work with my children's teachers to reinforce what they learn in school, and the teachers shouldn't actively undermine what my children learn at home. I have read many posts by Troy complaining about the caliber of students attending his classes. We all need to take a moment and think for ourselves.          


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