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Public Schools. Should they stay or should they go

Hello my fellow DP'ers, ever since visiting this website and reading the forums and all that jazz I come to the conclusion that a lot of you are against public schools. I myself could see the negatives of public schools while attending them; the underfunded material, overcrowded classes and questionable curriculum's being taught in class. I also saw the positives of giving people basic educations, allowing people rich or poor to get an education and allowing people to be social with one and another.

I would like to hear peoples arguments against public schools as well as an alternative besides home schooling; not everyone can give up their time to home-school their children. Would maybe allowing government funding to run the schools while they kept out of the studies? Allow private teachers for hire and they're own curriculum based on the subject they teach? Or just turn them all into private schools?

Whatever your solution might be I'd like to hear it, as well as maybe what Dr. Paul thinks about it. Also are they're any good books that provide some clarity to other alternatives that could work besides the current public school systems both in United States and Canada.

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Separation of school and state

(This reply partly paraphrases Larken Rose -- The Most Dangerous Superstition, pp. 59-60)

Government schools' primary purpose is to teach subservience and blind obedience to "authority." Kids are forced to spend their formative years in a world in which they receive approval, praise and reward for:

  • being where "authority" tells them to be, when they are told to be there.
  • doing what "authority" tells them to do.
  • speaking when and how "authority" tells them to speak.
  • parroting whatever ideas "authority" claims to be true and important.
  • immediately telling "authority" about any problems or personal conflicts they have.
  • complying with whatever rules, no matter how arbitrary, that "authority" imposes on them.
  • telling "authority" when another student has disobeyed "the rules."
  • They receive disapproval, reproach and punishment for failing to comply with any of these policies.

    The world of "school" has two distinct classes of people: masters ("teachers") and subjects ("students"). Teachers do as they like and make the rules for the students; students do whatever they are told. The "grades" the student receives and the way he is treated depend upon one thing: his ability and willingness to unquestioningly subjugate his own desires, judgment and decisions to those of "authority."

    After twelve years of this, the victims of such "education" have learned not to judge for themselves, but to obey "authority," in every aspect of their lives. They believe that their success in life, their very goodness as human beings, depends on how well they obey "authority."

    The fact that they have been trained to obey any order, no matter how irrational or immoral, is what makes the vast majority of evil in our world possible. Government in itself could not control millions of people who believed that all men equally have inalienable rights to life, liberty and justly acquired property. That belief has to be trained out of them -- and the twelve year sentence to government schools is the means to that end. No bright kid can retain a belief that "it's a free country" after he's been forced to spend twelve years in a government obedience training program.

    The Constitution provided for a separation of church and state. Not enough; it should have specifically provided a separation of school and state.

    Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

    all I know is this..... the

    all I know is this..... the more money the schools get, the dumber the kids get. It is that simple.

    GO! The sooner the better.

    GO! The sooner the better.

    They should definitely go...

    they are only brain washing centers for the masses, which train "obedient" and dumbed-down workers (slaves) for the bankers.

    If you don't have the time to homeschool, then you must have more money - so hire a private tutor(s).

    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." (Dr. Seuss)

    My prefernece, Privatize all schools

    Alternatively, allow and encourage competition.
    Competition will result in lower prices, better quality or both.
    If schools had to compete with each other, sub-standard teachers would disappear overnight and good teachers would be better compensated.
    If schools had to compete with each other, sub-standard curriculum would disappear overnight and learning would improve sharply.

    We do not need to end government schools, we just need to remove the barriers to competition.
    Think of it in the same way Dr. Paul argues that we don't need to end the Fed, we just need to allow competing currencies and that will end the fed.

    "but poor people can not afford private school" -
    Poor people can not afford booze either yet there is at least one bar in every poor neighborhood I have ever been to.
    This is not a judgement, merely an observation.
    Where there is demand, there is potential profit.
    Where there is potential profit, the market will encourage someone to realize that profit.

    The trick here is not to fight against public school. That is a fight you can not win.
    Instead, fight for easier ways to create private schools. Fighting to make more schools available to more people is a fight you could potentially win.

    tasmlab's picture

    Aren't the schools part of the horror story?

    When you hear about the terrors of national socialist Germany or the fact that the North Koreans believe that Kim invented gravity, and people ask "why did the citizens stand idle during the holocaust??" and someone replies "because the government controlled the schools!" and everybody terrified.

    Why does our population sit idly while we murder thousands overseas, think fighting the war is honorable? Why do we love the welfare state, and why do we think government must control our money, etc.,

    The government controls the schools! (insert shriek of terror!)

    No compulsory school, either. OMG, we're MADE to go to school, under threat of violence! Just let that simmer with any kind of thoughts of what it means to be free and it'll create a headache!

    And this is just a negative societal effect. This isn't even scratching what a good experience would be, and how bad it is to not pursue something good and specific to individual kids?

    I would like a voluntary, free market for schooling with lots and lots of options.

    (disclosure: I'm father of three young children)

    Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football


    The model upon which our system is modeled is the Prussian model. The expansionist dreams of the Prussian state were getting foiled by the intelligent and individualist nature of their countrymen. They would refuse to fight. The State corrected the problem by a thorough indoctrination, I mean education. In short the Fabians and the industrialist (Rockefeller) openly embraced and pushed this model in the US because what makes good servile soldiers also makes good factory workers. A hundred years of the Prussian model led to the acceptance of the Nazi agenda. One hundred years hear and with open arms educated Americans openly embrace the Homeland Security State.

    I am publicly educated with some college, I learned not one meaningful thing in an institution. They do not teach us how to think in public school. We graduate and most would say "I think critically!" Well not likely, at least not systematically. Thats reserved for the boys n gals at Kent, Choat, Canton, Andover, and St Pauls etc.. All people could be educated as such for half of the cost per head of todays federal system. But then who would man the factories? Who would fill the rank and file (I served 14 years is USMC Infantry; never again will I be the elites rifle carrying pawn. Never again will I kill for some "fat cats" commercial interest.)

    There are of course success stories and high income earners out of public schools. Those are in spite of not because of. Those who best do what they are told are find the challenge in menial tasks self select for "Factory management". Nope, not in favor. "To see the farm is to leave it."

    Highly encourage listening to Schoolsucks podcast.


    They NEED to GO!

    All you need to know:

    John Taylor Gatto:

    Astra Taylor on the Unschooled Life:

    ~ Engage in the war of attrition: http://pacalliance.us/redamendment/

    tasmlab's picture

    Bump for Gatto

    He is superb! I loved the five hour history lesson on YouTube.

    Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

    Keeps getting better and better:

    Classic literature to be dropped from high schools in favor of ‘informational texts’


    If not public then private. Private is expensive...you have to work to pay for the tuition. Homeschooling is free...except for your time, of course. But anything worthwhile...you know the rest...

    The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
    Ron Paul - The Revolution

    Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

    The answer is an easy yes

    From a libertarian perspective, the answer is obvious. Our first goal should be to remove the federal government completely, then remove the states. Public education has enormous costs to the taxpayers.

    All of mine went to public school and happen to

    be very bright and took part in the arts, clubs and athletics offered. The extracurricular activities is probably the greatest prop to public schools as they still manage to include, music, art, theater, and skills such as vocational training to those who want to learn how to work on engines, or learn drafting or do metal work.. home economics classes which nowadays boys attend to learn how manage a kitchen. (the laundry is another story =/).. into their curriculum.

    All schools should be


    None of us have ever seen the like, so maybe we can't envision how that could possibly work, but in our colonial days before there were public schools, all children who wanted to learn had a school to attend, and the literacy rate was near 100%.

    There should also be no such thing as compulsory schooling laws.


    are correct, sir. +1

    Get the federal government out of the loop

    The obvious solution is to get the federal government out of our schools. It's not a proper role of the feds to micromanage a state issue.

    Each states' own voters should decide how to manage schools. I suggest that public schools should be turned into private not-for-profits (of course, so should state colleges). They should charge tuition, they should compete with for for-profit and not-for-profit schools. States can decide whether or not to subsidize the poor (for instance the state constitution might mandate a free and appropriate education such that everyone gets a voucher).

    Take back the GOP and Restore America Now.

    There is so much confusion

    There is so much confusion about what defines a 'public' school, so if we left it up to pocketed politicians to get rid of public education, it wouldn't look like what we think it would look like. John Stossel documented a really good story about schools in Belgium vs. the U.S. They have a voucher system across Belgium, so curriculums are more diverse, fitting the needs of each student according to many factors(religious orientation, psychological development etc.) When Mark Sanford tried to transition to a voucher system, he was railroaded by lobbyists and a color revolution of opposition and wasn't able to institute it in South Carolina due to spineless state reps. Most of the problems stem from the monopoly over curriculum. Favorite curriculums and schools are picked.

    The private schools in China do not look like a private sector at all, due to a lot of stigma and many other factors... our private schools might look a lot like their schools if we left it up to federal politicians, rather than working within our states and communities.

    Ideally They Would Go

    Why should those who don't have children in public school subsidize
    those who do?

    Parents would get together--independent of government--and pitch in to hire a teacher for their kids.

    A high school teacher of mine said that prior to college schools are principally babysitters.

    "Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket."-Rothbard

    That's close to what those

    That's close to what those rich enough to do it already do. My cousin is a Montessori teacher, and parents in her community were the investors of the school before hiring her into it as director.

    To the extent we have them

    To the extent we have them they should be as locally governed as possible. That should be the movement's policy, decentralization and school choice.

    Ventura 2012

    They Need to Go

    Charlotte Iserbyt could tell you a lot! She wrote "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDyDtYy2I0M


    I think getting rid of public

    I think getting rid of public education is a non-starter, and our efforts are better put elsewhere. In the realm of education, this is 1) stopping a national curriculum and 2) free states from having federal school money dangling to get the states to agree to everything the government says.

    I see this a lot in my old school district. It was a pretty good system, I was generally happy with the education I got. But I can tell you for sure that everything that I did not like about it-- the teachers who didn't teach, the obsession with meting the 180 day school requirement to the detriment of real learning, excessive testing, etc. -- are all things that the district had very little control over. I blame not only (or even primarily) the federal government but actually the state government, which in terms of education has way too much to say. I think this holds true in many states, particularly in states such as New York, Texas, and California.

    Well put. Funding with

    Well put. Funding with strings attached is a problem with our local schools, particularly the school lunch program. The school lunches are limited as to how much protein they can feed the kids each week so that they don't lose federal funding for lunch programs for low income families- total BS.

    I might add that local control of schools in terms of cirriculum doesn't mean you don't have private accreditation companies rating school performance or compliance. Schools in a system with more local cotrol can do what they want, but they could lose a desired accreditation company's stamp of approval, which would mean lower enrollment and less revenue for the school.

    The founders would be ashamed at us for what we are putting up with.

    A Nutritionalist / health freak mom packs her kid's lunch every

    and every day, some idiot from the school goes through her lunch and decides what the kid can and cannot eat.
    This is happening to a co-worker of my husband. I guess the part that blows my mind is they have not taken legal action or put the kid in another school.

    Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.