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Liberate the schools

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Ken Hemingway

Liberate the schools

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Chris wrote (in the Zaney Zell thread): Prayer in school is bad for society for many reasons. We need to add some words to the Constitution and be very precise. Taxpayer money will not go towards funding religious programs, nor will religious programs be permitted on taxpayer property.I suspect I have a very different opinion from the people around here about the relationship between government, religion and education. I believe that government ought not to be involved in education at all, except to provide funding for those children whose parents cannot afford an adequate eductation - certainly government should not be attempting to exercise a near monopoly of education. To me that is about as desirable as having a goverment monopoly of newspapers and other media. If a Catholic believes that he wants his children educated in a school in which the Catholic view of cosmology, ethics and spirituality are presented, I think he should be allowed to do that. Without being double charged - once through taxation to provide us secularists with a free education for our kids, and again in Catholic school fees.
MadArchitect

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Re: Liberate the schools

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I suspect I have a very different opinion from the people around here about the relationship between government, religion and education. I believe that government ought not to be involved in education at all, except to provide funding for those children whose parents cannot afford an adequate eductation - certainly government should not be attempting to exercise a near monopoly of education.I think a state-sponsored education is desirable, both for the state and for the citizen, on two grounds. The first is the necessity for a knowledge of the rights, obligations and terms of citizenship. So on the one hand, I think an education in civics is one of the principle recommendations for a state-sponsored educational system. That isn't to say that public education should be the sole source for civic education, but it should be a primary source on that count. Some history would probably stand as a necessary supplement to an education in civics, since the civil practices of any given nation are the product of historical pressures. The second ground to my position is that the government ought to provide an education in any of the skills demanded of the citizen for a minimal operability within the society established by the state. This would include reading and low-level mathematics, maybe some basic economics, and language to the extent that it is required (as, for example, when the state has two official languages).
Niall001
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Re: Liberate the schools

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In my model of a perfect society, all children would have access to schools of the highest standard and this would be paid for by the state. Ditto for health and nutrition.Its only when children have equal access to the highest levels of services that they can have equality of opportunity. Should religion be taught in schools? I wouldn't object to it, do I don't think that one should be compelled to take it. And children should be taught to approach it in a critical manner. I know that my younger sister is studying religion in school for her exams. The text book is certainly a step in the right direction. It covers various religions and philosophical positions from Buddha to Dawkins. It is still a little too focused on the Christian POV and there are parts where it moves toward teaching good morals, but like I said, its a step in the right direction. Let us agree, there is no one single reality. Not upon this stage, not in this world, all is in the mind... imagination is the only truth. Because it cannot be contradicted except by other imaginations - Richard MathesonThere are no conclusive indications by which waking life can be distinguished from sleep - Rene Descartes
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Re: Liberate the schools

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NiallQuote:In my model of a perfect society, all children would have access to schools of the highest standard and this would be paid for by the state. Ditto for health and nutrition. Its only when children have equal access to the highest levels of services that they can have equality of opportunity.I agree completely. Chris
MadArchitect

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Re: Liberate the schools

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Well, the economic dilemma of that model of education is that the money available to the state to pay for education is usually gathered through taxation. So unless you can be reasonably sure that every tax-paying citizen in the nation has exactly the same number of children, or that the tax system is scaled in proportion to number of children, there's a rather wide inequality where people who have no children are contributing to the education of other people's children. If everyone does have the same number of people, or if the tax system is scaled so that the amount of taxes an individual pays is proportionate to the number of children one has, then you're faced with the question of "why make it state-funded at all?" -- especially since the process of taxation will serve as a sort of processing middle-man that will incease the cost of education.To my mind, it's not so problematic to devote tax money towards a level of education that serves an explicitly social end. Civics is a no brainer in this regard -- a more thorough understanding of the civic and legal rights and obligations of citizenship should promote a better society, at least when that society is democratically inclined. A state-funded education in reading and lower mathematics is not so much in the interests of promoting a better society -- it will not necessarily bring down crime rates, for example -- but I do feel it's a duty incumbent on the government to provide its citizenship with the minimum requirements for functioning in the society imposed by the state. But it does not seem to me at all intuitive that the government should be compelled to equalize the opportunities available to individual citizens, nor to subsidize equality save in historical phases where the government must counteract a previously subsidized inequality.
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Loricat
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Re: Liberate the schools

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Has anyone here ever read "The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education" by Grace Llewellyn? It's a passionate argument for an open, relaxed form of home schooling, aimed at teenagers, designed, essentially, to create autodidacts...I wish I'd read it 20 or so years ago.Lori "All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds."
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