Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Missing the point

Jonah Goldberg's latest article is an argument that we need to end public education. He points out the problems with our schools and says we should just throw up our arms and give up.

What's noticeable about his article is how he dances around one of the most obvious reasons to keep Public Education around. Under the old system poor kids got screwed, while wealthy kids did fine. It created an educational caste system; the wealthy kids go the educational opportunities needed to go on and remain wealthy. The poor kids got an education that ensured that they stayed poor. And I'm not even bringing up racial factors.

Any new system that does away with public education has to consider this, and yet Goldberg pays it scant attention. Instead he seems more concerned with providing civic identity, which he assumes the private schools will do better. That might well be so. Wealthy kids will learn that they are better than others. Middle class kids will learn to keep their heads down and do their jobs. Poor kids will learn that society doesn't give a damn about them.

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