By Bradley Harrington
“The more subsidized it is, the less free it is. What is known as ‘free education’ is the least free of all, for it is a state-owned institution. It is socialized education — just like socialized medicine or the socialized post office — and cannot possibly be separated from political control.” — Frank Chodorov, “Why Schools are not Free,” 1948 —
For anyone interested in developing an understanding of what’s wrong with our “educational” system, one need look no further than this:
“Surveys and interviews with state leaders, educators and parents raised a broader question about what Wyoming’s education system should be offering to its students, consultants told lawmakers Thursday [Oct. 12] … The responses — collected over recent months as part of the consultants’ wide-ranging review of the education funding model here — covered a range of topics, from special education to the effectiveness of the existing funding system.” (“Surveys touch surface of deeper question about Wyoming education,” WTE, Oct. 15).
So, what did these consultants find? A number of things:
When discussing the issue of whether Wyoming schools should be used to “ready students for a college campus” or “prepare them for an office or job site,” they found that:
“Educators interviewed by the consultants and the broader range of people who took an online survey said that students are generally ready for college but that more emphasis should be placed on preparing those teenagers who will join the workforce after high school.”
I’m sure the “educators” would like to believe — and would like even more to have US believe — that high school students are “generally ready for college,” but that’s not what the facts say:
“The Wyoming Department of Education reports that 42 percent of the state’s 2007-08 high-school graduates who attended a Wyoming college needed remedial help in college math in 2008-09. About 24 percent needed help in reading.” (“Many students hit stop sign at college,” WTE, Sept. 5, 2010).
Now, by comparison, would you continue patronizing a restaurant that got your appetizer wrong 42 percent of the time, and where the cook processing your order can’t even read your ticket 24 percent of the time?
Yet such travesties, today, qualify as “education” — despite the fact that, after 12 years of it, nearly half of our “graduates” can’t perform mathematical computations and nearly a quarter of them can barely read what the teacher writes on the blackboard.
Yet, you can still find people like Rep. Cathy Connolly (D-Laramie), also a University of Wyoming professor, who’ll say stuff like this:
“For girls, they need to go to college,” she said. “It concerns me some if we don’t encourage our young people to consider postsecondary education.”
So, Ms. Connolly: Care to answer the question of WHY a high school graduate would be desirous of “further” education when what they’ve received already renders their diploma as little more than toilet paper?
And why the big push to get students into college, anyway? To make absolutely sure that any streak of independent thought gets wiped out of their fragile little snow-flake minds before it has any opportunity to surface in the real world? Our schools now function as little more than tax-supported propaganda camps whereby “education” has become synonymous with “indoctrination” — and I actually know several employers who won’t hire college graduates because of it.
And, speaking of “funding systems” for education, just how does ours work, exactly? (1) We take your money by force; (2) We blow it on what the educrats think “education” should consist of, instead of what would actually work in the real world; and (3) We do this whether you have kids in the system or not, or whether you’re already paying for something that works better for your kids or not.
Such a “funding model,” I submit, flies in the face of every fundamental precept of liberty and individualism that the United States was founded upon. It is nothing more than institutionalized coercion, and has yielded the only results such a system could ever yield: “Good citizens” awaiting their orders.
The communists, fascists and Nazis knew the drill: When those thugs took over their respective countries, one of the first things they all did was nationalize education. “Free education for all children in government schools,” Karl Marx opined in his Tenth Plank — for he knew that the greatest threat to his power-schemes was aware and intelligent subjects, the kind you get in the absence of state control.
Now, nearly two centuries later, our educational trees are bearing Marx’s fruit — but who but a herd of programmed robots would ever want to take a bite?
Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: This column was originally published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on October 22, 2017.