David “stops making sense” today in a post reprising his notions on education.
- He cites “The parents at one suburban New Jersey raised $187,000 to send their choir to Vienna, Austria for a concert. It is not a failure of commitment that prevents parents in Anacostia from doing the same.” The pedagogical value of sending a chorus to Vienna is of limited use for the school in general, and is not the sort of “commitment” failure (which largely have little to do with funding). Raising this is, what? A straw man argument? Committement means teaching your kids values, it means making sure they don’t “hang with the wrong crowd”, it means feeding them breakfast, reading to them when they’re young. These aren’t things which cost lots of money. But you have to care. You might have to spend some of your families money on the kids instead of cell phones, widescreen TVs, and other trappings of modern our intellectual wasteland.
- One of the expenses that inner city schools face that suburban and rural schools don’t is that the kids aren’t fed breakfast, so the school does. This is a failure of commitment or responsibilities of the parents.
- He cites commeter PG, who wasn’t making much sense either, when she wrote children are not “property of parents” in this respect — if parents don’t care about education, well, guess what, we still do. Uhm, this seems an erroneous trope borrowed from pro-abortion logic. Children are indeed not property of parents, they are the responsibility of parents.
- She continues: Since we can’t reform the values of the parents directly, we’re still left in precisely the same position as when we started — looking at alternative mechanisms to reform our educational system so it fairly serves children in inner cities. Well, I the actual solution for what she desires is one nobody wants, can afford, or things is righteous. That is, if you fail as a parent, your children would/should be taken from you. To suceed, kids need a parent. Spending 1/4 of the day in school isn’t gonig to make up for the rest of the day, not counting the days off school. For if the parent is failing, no part time school is going to be able to replace the advocacy, the support, and the benefit provided by a loving committed responsible parent. So “to be fair” to the inner city failing schools seems logically to strip the kids from those “failed parents” and send them into some magical place/system where parents will be provided by, our progressive big brother? Yech.
The main point is, education of a child is the responsibility of the parent not the state. If the kid isn’t getting a good education, it’s not a “failure” of the state, it’s a failure of that parent. The “problem” isn’t that the parent is a single uneducated mom in a urban setting, that’s a symptom. That mom, if responsible, wouldn’t be having sex, not to speak of kids with/by a father who’s going obviously (or likely) to be absent even before the kid is born.
The interest of the state in educating these kids, seems to me two fold (and equality in the absence of responsible parents is clearly impossible).
- The first thing the state might be interested in is to identify and encourage movement to a better environment those kids displaying true genius. Carl Gauss reportedly “cried” at age three when his father made an error in summing his accounts in his presence. When chastised for misbehaviour in kindergarden he was told to “sum the numbers between 1 and 100” before he could go to recess with the other kids. He immediately got in line, when reminded he had to do the assignment he responded, “The answer is 5050.” Kids like that (and for other less important fields than mathematics) might appear in our inner cities and other disadvantaged environments. Giving those children and their parents the resources to give those children the opportunities to feed and challenge their talent is in the interest of the state.
- For the rest of the kids, the state’s interest is far less. Ethics education and giving them the moral tools to become themselves responsible parents for the next generation is the most important thing to teach. How to do that is a question, but for now, the goal isn’t even on the table, so musing on method I’d argue is premature.