Thursday, January 04, 2007

Asking too much of public education?

Listserve response to a gentleman whi believes that we should not "pretend it is a panacea for all human ills."

I agree with your post. The problem is, as always, government. The solution is, once again, the free market.

The issue that you address results anytime that government grants monopoly rights to a sector of the economy, whether it's education or security.

We are told, and we tend to believe, that only government can provide security for the nation. And, that they can provide perfect security. Yet, time and time again, we see where the national security agencies have failed us miserably. The very same holds for education. We are told that only government can provide a perfect education system. Yet, once again, the failings are plain to see.

Supporters of government look at the failings of the free market and say that they can do better, though history has shown otherwise.

Government has to sell the belief that it can provide the perfect since saying less would open the doors for free market solutions. The dichotomy is always the perfect versus the failed; with government as the perfect, and the free market as the failed.

Of course the monopoly education system has to "pretend it is a panacea for all human ills." If it cannot provide such an outcome, why would we stick with the current paradigm? The supporters of a market-based system openly admit that it will not be perfect, nothing ever is. It is this admission that is a basis for support of public education; since a system of private schools would not be perfect, we must build and protect government schools.

That said, the free market will unleash the creative forces that built this wonderful nation and allow the entrepreneurial spirit the freedom to improve educational choices for all. It won't be perfect, but nothing is perfect. But, the definition of perfect is purely subjective anyway.

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