Re: virus: Public education vs. freedom

chardin (
Mon, 13 Oct 1997 11:54:36 CST+6CDT

> Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 18:06:11 -0600
> From: Nathaniel Hall <>
> To:
> Subject: virus: Public education vs. freedom
> Reply-to:

> chardin wrote:
> > > Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 18:36:50 -0600
> > > From: Nathaniel Hall <>
> > > To:
> > > Subject: virus: Socialism first, cancer second.
> > > Reply-to:
> >
> >
> > Did you go to public school, Nateman? I may not be the brightest
> > in the world, but I learned to read and write and they pointed me
> > in the direction of the Library. I'm not saying there aren't
> > problems, I just can't see throwing the baby out with the
> > bathwater.
> As a matter of fact I did go to the public schools. Let me tell you
> a story. I was in California when they
> were just starting the "look see" method of teaching to read.
> (phonics is much better, beats me why they wanted to use something
> else). Any ways me and my younger brother managed to get a copy of
> the "Dick and Jane" book that that the school was using. You may
> have heard of it: "see Dick run. See Jane run" etc. . We knew even
> at our young age (having already learned to read on our own) that
> this was B.S. We preceded to mark up the book so that Dick and Jane
> were doing much more interesting things than running after Spot. (
> I've been a nasty little boy for quite some time you see! ) Mom
> found out. When she told Dad at dinner we thought nothing less than
> that our lives were in danger! Dad said instead:" If I had to read
> crap like that I would have done the same thing!" (Must have got my
> good sense from Dad) The point of the story is that public schools
> operate at the level of the least common denominator. If one is
> bright intelligent and promising it usually ends up crushing one's
> sense of curiosity about the world because you are consistently held
> back to the level of whoever the dumbest kid is. I got used to doing
> hardly any work to get my grades, it was too easy and too boring. I
> did manage to keep my sense of curiosity about the world but I
> believe it severely crippled my drive. This list does a good good of
> keeping you on your toes and the challenges I've faced in life are
> helping to repair that drive, but once your mind in set in it's ways
> it is a very difficult thing to undo. Much easier to wire a house
> before the walls are put in than afterwards: The mind is no
> different, and I find myself having to rip up and unlearn all the
> junk and bad habits that the public schools have poisoned me with.
> No so with the marketplace. The Internet is a prime example of the
> beauty of the market. No government organization ever planned on it
> becoming what it has become. The possibilities for education are
> tremendous! Students don't even have to be in the same country to be
> in the same "class" for training! If the market were allowed to
> function at this point who knows how far education could go! Instead
> we are made to pay for a bunch of bureaucrats who deaden any chance
> for the market to take effect because they offer their services at
> no extra cost. Notice I said "at no extra cost" . You pay for these
> public schools regardless if you have kids or not, regardless if
> your putting your kids through some other kind of schooling or not,
> regardless of how good a job the public school performs or not. If
> that's the "baby" we are throwing out with the bath water then good
> riddance !
> >
I agree that there are many things tax dollars are wasted on. The
Constitution does say that Congress should be able to "promote the
general welfare." I can still see a case for having an educated
populace and the government attempting to aid in that as a way to
promote the general welfare. They tried to teach some modicum of
evolution to me in school and I just categorized it. I did the same
thing in college. I put Darwin and his theories in one folder and my
religious beliefs in another folder. I passed all the antrhopology
courses, etc and could "recite" back what I was given for a grade.
It didn't mean I believed it.

As for Dick and Jack books, why I know them quite well. Those were
the very ones we used (I am very old, you see). When my son was 5, I
placed him in a Christian school and they taught him phonics. He
went through the 2nd grade using that system, and he has always been
very advanced in his reading.

My daughter started kindergarten at a public school where she was
taught "look-see" as I was. She started off much slower but she soon
caught up and I think she and her brother are nearly the same. She
is well advanced--far above grade level. So, in my very limited
experience, I can't tell a real difference.

Schools have a lot of room for improvement, I'm just not sure
completely abolishing them would be the answer. I used to favor the
voucher system, but on more careful consideration, I don't think it
would work. Children who had a voucher would, nonetheless, be priced
out of better schools, because the schools would charge the voucher
amount, plus other fees--fees which would price children from lower
economic families out.

> >
> > Rampant gangs where your children fear for their safety.
> > > High school grads who cannot read or write. Socialism taught as
> > > gospel truth.
> > You pay too much attention to Peter Jennings, et. al. More people
> > are reading and writing in this country than at the turn of the
> > century. Inner city schools may have some trouble, but in
> > general, I think kids are learning. How many people do you know
> > personally who cannot read or write?
> None. But I know plenty how are very poor at it. Compare the
> requirements for graduation now with that of many years ago: It's
> been downhill all the way. And of course the cost per student
> (adjusted for inflation) has been spiraling. In short: a failure and
> only getting worse.
Why are they poor at reading and writing? Is this the school
system's fault? One woman I know swore that the school we went to
had teachers who did not care and taught her nothing. She was in the
same room as my younger sister, yet my sister could read above her
grade level for years, an excellent reader. They had most of the
same teachers throughout grade school. One thing is for certain, I
think public education did an excellent job in teaching you the
basics and probably much, much more--judging by your interactions
with me.

> >
> >
> > If schools were private with this kind of record do you think they
> > > would stay in business for long? The public schools however use
> > > their very failure as an excuse to pour even more money down
> > > their festering rat hole!
> > Rat hole???? Exaggerating a bit, aren't we. I refer you to my
> > comment above. Why don't you use that brilliant mind of yours to
> > think of a specific solution to specific problems. Maybe
> > inner-city schools are past hope, maybe not. If you do nothing,
> > surely it isn't going to get better. If you turn all these
> > gansters out into othe street with no way to make a living, what
> > do you suppose they are going to do?
> The best answer for now is vouchers. The best answer in the long
> range is to get government out of the education business
> permanently. Can you think of anything the government does and
> does well?As for gangs that is something I think is more related to
> the drug war, but do your really want gangsters bundled up with your
> children just to keep them "off the street" ?

Of course, not. I'm just saying that not all schools are like
this--in fact, I would suggest that a minority of schools are like
this. We hear the bad cases, just like we do in everything else. I
agree that we need to have teachers who are committed--not just in it
for the job. We need students who want to learn. Yet, I cannot see
just disposing of the whole system, which, overall, I think still
works. You are an example, and many of the young people I see are

> >
> >
> > > It really doesn't take that much to educate a child: Home
> > > schoolers here in the U.S. fed up with the poor quality of
> > > public schools do a pretty decent job of educating their young
> > > even though they are made to pay the taxes for the public
> > > schools which they have chosen not to use.
> >
> > I have known quite a few people who have home schooled. Most of
> > them did it so they could teach Christian values and debunk
> > Darwin. I certainly can't don't blame them for that. I would
> > never teach my children that they crawled out of the primordial
> > slime.
> You make my case for me. By sending your kids to a state school you
> will get them indoctrinated with state values. Their YOUR kids and
> YOU should have the chance to teach them in the way YOU think is
> right. I may not agree with your values but a morality of the mind
> means people must be allowed to THINK for themselves : even if that
> thinking is faulty. By it's very nature you will not get that with
> public schools. The only thing your going to get is the disharmony
> of various interest groups fighting for their brand of
> indoctrination to be on the states agenda. A sure recipe for
> blandness if nothing else.

> > The teachers
> > > union fearing rightful extinction responds by trying to make
> > > home schooling illegal! Just another example of the tyranny and
> > > failure that will always result from socialism.
> > I agree with you that no one should be FORCED to send their
> > children to organized schools. I recall a case of a man in
> > Washingston State (I think) who was shot dead in front of his
> > children by a U.S. Marshall because he refused a court order to
> > put his kids in schools. I guess they learned a lesson ok: if
> > you don't do as you are told, your government will kill you.
> > Government very often gets out of control and people react
> > violently because they do not have the funds and resources to
> > successfully launch a defense. Then again, a U.S. Marshall has to
> > enforce a court order. Terrible tragedy.
> A tragedy that could have been avoided by selling off the public
> schools or at least by providing for vouchers.The Nateman
I know that you must be a big fan of Milton Friedman's but,
unfortunately, everything isn't black and white as Friedman presents.
I just don't want to go back to the days when people have to make
their marks with an "X" because they can't sign their names. Chardin