I know this is coming late, but I just ran into this article towards the end of the week myself. Anyway, my school has a weekly newspaper that it puts out called the Maroon Weekly and this week, they had a little article done by two separate writers over the pros and cons of a public education. One points out the benefits of the government having control of the education system, while the other article argues against the government’s involvement in education. You can view the Pros article here and the Cons of a public education here.
While I agree with the pro article that the government should take responsibility for the education system, I also agree with Tony Listi’s con argument that parents should have the right to choose what school their children go to. Simply because many children don’t have access to schools that offer a more substantial education mostly because of location. However, what if a parent cannot make the trip out to the school, especially in this economy where money is tight and gas prices are starting to rise again. Or what if there isn’t a bus that goes to the other school? Some bus stops only extend to certain areas and past that the student has to find their own transportation to and from school. In the case of this, I’d say the government needs to step in and improve schools in all areas and not just certain ones.
The one argument that Listi makes is that children are taught to embrace lies, atheism, socialism, and sexual perversity. Now I don’t know about all schools in the U.S. but I don’t look at it as schools teaching children all of these negative things. I see it as teachers giving their students an objective overview of events so that they can choose whether they think something is right or wrong. I never felt pushed to embrace atheism or socialism, my own views were my own, and the same could be said with my other classmates and friends. Some of us had our own opinions that differed from our parents/guardians, and some of us didn’t drift far from what our parents taught us. It all depends on the individual and I think that’s how it should be.
At least toward the end of Listi’s argument, he does say that parents can have the right to take their children to a private institution, whether it’s affiliated with a church denomination or not, and that’s fine. Parents have the right to do whatever they think would benefit the child or make them happy. But when it comes down to public education, you can’t always have your cake and eat it too. You can’t include everything in education because somewhere along the way someone will get offended by something. The system would have to constantly change their curriculum just to make it politically correct, and yet have it be balanced, which is where the system currently is now. Until there is a new solution for public schools and the curriculum being taught, it will more than likely stay the way that it is.