July 22, 2004
"… an anti-education bias …"

I've been linking to quite a lot of American material from here lately, and here's another link to something else American, in the form of a piece by Steven Yates called How I Survived Government Schools.

But although American, it sounds extremely like the government schools here in Britain:

I also do not question that there are teachers out there who care about children and are sincere, serious, and dedicated to their craft. But they are also caught up in schemes like "classroom management" (the euphemism for teachers as social directors, controlling unruly children in today’s politically correct environment of hypersensitivity) and teaching to standardized tests. Many suffer from high levels of stress, and some eventually leave the profession out of frustration. There are too many agendas in government schools not under the control of teachers, or even of principals and local districts. They result from directives coming from Rome on the Potomac, often with huge sums of money as a reward for compliance. In most states, districts either follow the new federal guidelines or they lose federal dollars. Teachers either teach to the test or their recertification is refused! The current buzzword: accountability.

In sum, whatever anti-Christian bias exists in government schools is not their only problem. From the start, I perceived an anti-education bias, in the sense of education as what the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead called an adventure in ideas. In this conception, a primary purpose of education is to produce informed, intellectually curious and vigilant citizens for a free economy and a free society. That School-to-Work, Workforce Investment, No Child Left Behind, and other unconstitutional federal programs do not have this as their primary purpose, you can rest assured!

You do not need a resolution by some religious body to remove your children from government schools. You don't even need to be a Christian. You only need a strong sense that your child's mind might be at stake.

For Rome on the Potomac read, I don't know … Babylon on Thames?

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 12:31 AM
Category: Politics