Seeing the other perspective

Experiment: Writing about something I don’t believe. . . oh, this is too hard!

The case for the privatization of schools is an incredibly complex topic. I’ll summarize these main points:

  • The purpose of government and the protection of freedom
  • Education should be local, truly democratic and imposed by federal government
  • The purpose of education is to develop the potential of each individual child
  • The current education system is failing to meet this expectation
  • The only way to have a democratic, local, individualized education system is through putting schools into the marketplace

The original purpose of government was to bring together people for a common purpose. The legitimacy of a government rests on its ability to maintain a population loyal to that government. This basic tenet is still true of governments today, with the most important functions of government being defense of the people loyal to the government and the continued population and economic growth of a country. Government in places like the US has overstepped its boundaries, taking on social services that are unrelated to the purposes of a national body and that infringe on the individual freedoms of people within the country. Individual freedom means that citizens are able to make their own decisions based on their own self-interest without intervention from the government, unless they interfere with the basic purposes of government.

Federally mandated education is one of the realms where the US government is infringing on individual freedom. Because education serves to instill the morals and ideals of society, it cannot be entrusted to a government that is focused on the whole rather than each individual. True democracy allows each voice to be heard, not overarching mandates from a detached agency. Parents, students, and teachers are robbed of their voice in an education system that is forced upon schools as a one-size-fits-all. Rather than local values and community morals, students are likely to be indoctrinated with the views of the government.

Because a government’s purpose is to maintain a population, it was never intended to cater to each individual. For each person to fulfill their potential, education must be individualized with a focus on the specific needs of each child and with deference to the culture of the local community. Assuming that all children are the same and basing teaching on what the whole needs rather than each individual will only serve to dilute education and create a society of mindless drones.

Everyone agrees that education is failing our children. Parents are unhappy with the current education system in the country and are increasingly turning to options that fulfill their expectations for a proper education for their children. We have seen this evidenced in the increase in charter schools and numbers of parents homeschooling their children. When parents are given freedom to choose their preferences for schooling, like in the case of charter schools, everyone benefits. Only the best schools are able to gain students and schools are locally responsive to their community’s needs.

The only way for this ideal, democratic, and individualized education to exist is through the market place. Schools must be set up in a competitive environment so that only the best schools are available to our children. Schools that are successful will be able to maintain a student population. Schools that dismiss the needs of the community or go against parents’ values will no longer exist. Each student can choose the school that fits  their individual need and is free to change schools at any time if those needs aren’t met. Schools within the market place will be able to efficiently provide high quality services and competition will allow schools to make a profit and reinvest the money into continuous improvement. Incredible disincentives ensure that schools provide excellent education and never allow schools or teachers to lackadaisically continue with their old ways. By thrusting schools into the market place, schools will be forced to innovate and to be at the leading edge of the global knowledge economy.

This is the only way to ensure that our children receive the education they deserve. Anyone who is against this idea is just stuck in old ways of thinking or is benefiting from the previous system in an unfair way.

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