Home front – schools and government (Libertarian Commentary on the News, #13-34B)

Schools – antidote to government-run, tax-funded (GRTF) schools
Home schooling continues to grow in US

(HSLDA) The new [NGO-published] report concludes that approximately 1,770,000 students are homeschooled in the United States—3.4% of the school-age population. NCES said that among children who were homeschooled, 68 percent are white, 15 percent are Hispanic, 8 percent are black, and 4 percent are Asian or Pacific Islander. … It shows that parents continue to choose to homeschool their children, even during a time of economic difficulty. It is especially noteworthy that homeschooling continues to grow, even though another recent NCES report showed that the number of students in private schools continues to fall. … When asked why they chose to homeschool, 91 percent of parents said it was because of a concern about the environment of other schools; 77 percent of parents said it was because of a desire to provide moral instruction; 74 percent of parents said they homeschool because of their dissatisfaction with academic instruction in other schools. When asked to select the single most important reason for homeschooling, 25 percent of parents said it was because of their concern about the environment of other schools.

Nathan: “Environment” is probably a fancy way of saying (1) children are in danger of bullying, mental and physical harm (from other students, teachers, and staff, as well as the random mass-killer nutjob), (2) exposed to indecency and immoral activities and examples, (3) taught lies and myths and propaganda (such as environmental “education”), and (4) actual physical environment: school buildings are incredibly unhealthy places, which are significant avenues for spreading disease and filled with contaminants.  Moral instruction (at least as traditionally defined) is all but prohibited in schools: where slavery is not just tolerated but promoted (all-race slavery, not black slavery), where instruction is not just immoral but anti-moral; or based on moral codes more related to the codes of the Dritte Reich or Azteca or Canaanites than civilized society.  As for academics: well, the public schools (and too many private ones) have a race between dumbing down the instruction and dumbing down the performance evaluation tests, which “instruction” keeps winning.

But WHY is homeschooling growing?  Perhaps the next stories can give us a clue.

Government Ruined, Theft Funded Schools – Liberals who are almost right
SLATE:  Schools are prisons and damaging our kids

(SLATE.com) Schools as we know them today are a product of history, not of research into how children learn. The blueprint still used for today’s schools was developed during the Protestant Reformation, when schools were created to teach children to read the Bible, to believe scripture without questioning it, and to obey authority figures without questioning them. The early founders of schools were quite clear about this in their writings. The idea that schools might be places for nurturing critical thought, creativity, self-initiative or ability to learn on one’s own — the kinds of skills most needed for success in today’s economy — was the furthest thing from their minds. To them, willfulness was sinfulness, to be drilled or beaten out of children, not encouraged. When schools were taken over by the state and made compulsory, and directed toward secular ends, the basic structure and methods of schooling remained unchanged. Subsequent attempts at reform have failed because, though they have tinkered some with the structure, they haven’t altered the basic blueprint. The top-down, teach-and-test method, in which learning is motivated by a system of rewards and punishments rather than by curiosity or by any real, felt desire to know, is well designed for indoctrination and obedience training but not much else.

Nathan: I am thrilled that a Tranzi/Liberal outfit like Slate has FINALLY made this statement: saying what many of us (and not just libertarians) have been saying for decades, going back to the beginnings of the home school movement and the increase in private schools.  BUT…

Although Slate has its head together about the evils of public schools, they do NOT have their history straight, and therefore are very likely to find the WRONG “solutions” to the problems.  As you can imagine, SLATE blames the entire mess on the Protestants.  While I am NO friend of Protestants in general, I have to point out that the history is wrong.  Most Protestants were no more happy about letting the general public (the laity or proles) have access to the Bible than did the Papists (Roman Catholics).  When the Reformation came along, there were already many hundreds (if not thousands) of small, private schools in existence, many of them family oriented, that taught people (not just children) to read and reason, which did NOT teach unquestioning obedience to authority nor blind faith in the Bible (although their reason to teach people to read was so that they could read the Bible).  These people had rejected (or never accepted) Roman Catholicism, and were not either protesting or reforming the “church” but rejecting any kind of national or state church for “just plain” christianity.  Of course, they were persecuted as much by Protestants as by Catholics.

But all the various Protestants did was take over or imitate Catholic schools.  It was not until centuries later that the schools with which we are burdened in the US today developed, and it was NOT because King Frederick the Great of Prussia was a protestant, but because he was a totalitarian tyrant.  The Prussian system of schools designed to produce “good citizens” REPLACED the American system of free, often family-based, private or community schools and teaching that was common in the United States prior to the War Between the States.  The Prussian system was brought to the Americas by the same Socialists and Communists who gave us the Republican Party and the War Between the States and Indian Reservation Socialism.  These were people like Carl Schurz and his wife, who had tried to replace Prussian (and other) monarchies with a dictatorship of the proletariat, rather than freedom and liberty.  They were able to make a “public” school system compulsory not because of religious fervor but because of hatred and bigotry towards religion: specifically (but not only) Roman Catholicism and the parochial schools (then organized much differently than 21st Century private schools).  Using the excuse or justification that Roman Catholicism would take over America, the public schools were made mandatory to compete (unfairly, of course) with family-based learning (which we call homeschooling today), parochial and other private schools: a Gresham’s Law of education: the bad drove out the good.

It was not that “willfulness was sinfulness” in the eyes of the Schurz and their followers (thugs like Horace Mann come to mind) but that willfulness would prevent the students from becoming good, productive citizens: cogs in the massive machinery of the state, whether led by a hereditary king or an elected king or some politburo.

If we do listen to Slate, we will just create another monster: all the new-age schools we can dream of will be as bad (or worse) than the current regimented public school system.  It will only be when people revolt against not just government schools but against schools controlled by liberals or Tranzis or conservatives (who do not like home schooling any more than the liberals do) that future generations of children will have the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Sadly, today not just private schools but home schools still too often accept as “for granted” that the regimentation and rewards/punishment model of the public schools.  Slate is wrong to condemn reward and punishment in learning: it is a basic part of human nature: it is the way in which it is administered in the public schools – and WHAT is rewarded and punished, that is the problem.  Education – teaching the young – is a basic part of parenting: there is no real difference between teaching a child to walk, to be “toilet-trained,” to have good manners, and to read, do math, and know history and politics.  If we do not recognize that, then Slate’s idea of making education “scientific” will simply give the education of the young over to another “government” in all but name.  It matters not if that is controlled by a legislature, a synod, a religious (or “secular”) heirarchy, or a bunch of self-appointed technocrats. Liberty is lost, and evil results.

Stupid government – Government-run, tax-funded schools
DOJ tries to trap poor black children in bad schools

(Washington Post Editorial) NINE OF 10 Louisiana children who receive vouchers to attend private schools are black. All are poor and, if not for the state assistance, would be consigned to low-performing or failing schools with little chance of learning the skills they will need to succeed as adults. So it’s bewildering, if not downright perverse, for the Obama administration to use the banner of civil rights to bring a misguided suit that would block these disadvantaged students from getting the better educational opportunities they are due. The Justice Department has petitioned a U.S. District Court to bar Louisiana from awarding vouchers for the 2014-15 school year to students in public school systems that are under federal desegregation orders, unless the vouchers are first approved by a federal judge.

Nathan: More surprises from the media today: first Slate and now WaPo.  But this is just third-party confirmation of what I and a lot of other people have been saying for years: vouchers and charter schools are just a way for government to get control (MORE control) of private schools and the desire for home schooling.  No way would WaPo support vouchers in LA if they thought it would REDUCE government control.  Of course, the WaPo has clearly decided that the current Administration is both vulnerable and unwilling to do what the Tranzis think should be done, so that is another reason to find such an attack on one of the chief minions of the “messiah.”

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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