Have you decided what the most important long term issue is? I know we have a LOT of issues. Fake news is assaulting us on every hand. Outrageous things are happening everywhere. Long term, however, what we teach our children may be the most important. What will they think when they vote?
While I study educational methodology, I hear a vastly contrary method propounded by … good people. For instance, I am reading and studying how reducing college down to job training is stealing the soul building, skill cultivating, citizen formation from the students, thus ensuring a slave workforce, unable to critique the government. Not a new idea. Then, I hear, from a Canadian, proudly, that their government and colleges are focusing more and more strictly on job skills. Sounds prudent, except in relation to the broader concerns about soul and society. These were the original ideals of public education when founded in the colonies and the new nation here.
For years, I learned Sociology, and made the assumptions that government programs were charitable. Looking back, I see that there was quite a bit of evidence to the opposite. Bureaucracies tend to goal displace toward self-preservation and growth. Nations that had a healthy business environment had less poverty than countries with directive governments. I have been reading a history of Canada, and comparing New France with the Hudson Bay Company. We all know that Canada is today in the British Commonwealth, and not a protectorate of France .. or Spain. So, yes, let’s have less poverty. Of course, let’s have charity where necessary. Why not let’s do some comparisons to inquire what might work along those lines. (O btw, doing comparative studies is frowned upon in American Sociology as racist — even at the country level. But it is common in Indian Anthro/Soc, but so what?)
We were so pleased back in the 1990s that Mrs. Clinton took up the concern for children. But the statistics that she rightly pointed to, if not entirely coherently, have gotten much worse. The solution, to put more children into failed government schools, is increasingly pushed. Surely no one still misquotes that children have their IQs raised when put into group care. NO! That is not what she said. She said IN THE BEST CARE, the child from the worst situation COULD have their IQ raised. But the fact is that the middle class child ends up with a higher IQ and fewer illnesses when kept at home. Of course, we will have to have many children in group care. Many more, now that we have so many young women giving birth without being married. So we ought to make that care better. But the government run Head Start programs and public school pre-Ks are the worst. Guess what are the best. Replicated, robust research says: congregationally affiliated schools.
Today, let’s consider the problems. Next time, the solutions. But be aware, science does not line up with what politics has been insinuating. No surprise anymore. To get the full book, The Government is not a Village, go to www.lulu.com. Do that, and you might get a discount, too.
Please share with your friends and anyone interested in educational policy.