Friday, October 7, 2016

Education: What Do Mothers Want?

Given that government education is a mess, what do we do now?

From the policy analysis shops come a couple of articles arguing for more school choice: Lennie Jarratt argues for "The Right of Parents to Choose Their Child's Education." And Michelle Ray writes that "The Children Have Been Left Behind." These ladies get into the weeds about school choice and bureaucrats and dilapidated buildings. If that is your thing.

Then there is Rhonda Robinson with "Why Self-Directed Education Has More to Offer Than Public Education" making the home-school argument. Not that she started out as a home-school advocate. Her son was failing in school, not learning to read until he found his father's military training manual. Then it was Katy bar the door, and home-schooling and now her son "is a conservative business owner and a self-made man."

It all depends on what you think education -- or indeed childhood -- is for.

The fact is that education activists have always had an ulterior motive: they want to substitute their judgement for yours on the raising of your child. If it's the Jesuits, it is "give me the boy before he is seven and I will give you the man." If it was the French revolutionaries, it was to get the kids away from the Jesuits. If it was the Germans it was to make soldiers for Germany. If it was Horace Mann it was to turn Boston Irish Catholic boys into Protestants and to cut the crime rate by 90%. If it was education experts in the US at the turn of the 20th century the idea was to prepare children to be obedient workers in factories.

The problem is that when these activists come with free education for your children they are not doing it to help you and your child; they merely want to enlist your child in their ideological army.

So if you are not paying for your kid's education you are probably surrendering your kid to somebody else's agenda, making them into somebody else's mind-numbed robot.

The point is that one-size-fits-all is probably not a good idea, because,

If you are a mother that is barely literate you probably should want a KIPP-style education that force-marches your kid into the literate middle class.

If you are an ordinary middle-class mother you probably want an ordinary middle-class education.

If you are an elite mother you probably want your kid hot-house educated into one of the elite professions.

If you are a creative mother you probably want your kid to educate him/herself at home and follow his/her bliss and create a life on their own energy and will.

And if you are a liberal mother you probably want your kid to grow up to be an activist.

Meanwhile the current wreck of a government education system will continue to go down, year after year, and it will be left mostly to fail to educate the children of the poor. That, of course, is a crime, but you don't see many in our ruling class that concerned.

Then there is another question. Should mothers direct childhood education, or fathers? I wish I knew.

I'm inclined to believe that we should bring back child labor and chuck kids out of the home at age 13 and only let them stay in school if they are willing to crawl over broken glass.

But I could be wrong about that.

1 comment:

  1. No Child Left Behind really means, No Child Gets Ahead. Classes that are kept at the level of the child that doesn't want to learn or the disruptive child is damaging our educational system. We need a system that puts children in classes of their level, military style classes for the disruptive, and lower skilled learning classes for non involved children. Each level should teach something the child is interested in and general studies. Children can move up or down the levels depending on their commitments to learn.
    I never thought about it but like the idea of child labor for kids that will not go to school to learn.

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