Why All True Republicans Should Be Worried
The Super's Blog is taking a brief timeout from our satire fun with the Flubsome Chronicles for a very serious message. This message does not purport to represent any group except the contributors to this forum.
But....this is why true Republicans should be worried. Believe it or not, it might shock you to know that the main contributors to this blog site mainly vote Republican. Believe it or not, several of us have been supporters of vouchers and/or public school choice in the past. We thought public schools had become complacent and happy with the status quo. Not true anymore. Every school system we know has taken the school improvement challenge seriously and has made major strides in becoming accountable and even aggressive, in their effort to meet the challenge. Are they perfect? No - but who is? Only One.
First, some background:
The first public schools had as their primary purpose, the goal of teaching children literacy so they could read The Bible. In this way "The Old Deluder," Satan, couldn't deceive them. Years later, another purpose emerged for public schools. As new immigrants flooded the nation, the "Common High School" was envisioned as a way of creating "Americans." The idea of the "great melting pot" was born and the common public high school experience became a "rite of passage" as an American. While not everyone stuck it out to the end (the dropout rate was always an issue) even those who didn't, learned to read, write and understand enough about history, freedom, liberty and the constitution to understand the value of being an American. Despite all the criticism leveled at public schools, this is one common experience that almost all Americans had. Struggles and battles to provide equity for children of all races were taken on and mostly won. Along the way, America became and still is, the greatest country in the history of the world. Liberty, freedom, wealth and a standard of living unprecedented in the history of the world. Doesn't seem to us that public schools are the problem.
When Republicans give up on public schools by blurring the lines between public and private schools, they open up the risk of "Balkanizing" America into thousands of little private schools everywhere. Who will decide what brand of history is taught? We admit, some of the PC mush that passes for social studies today might appal our American forefathers, but the battle over controlling the curriculum will go on for ever. How will you feel if every local community has a separate school for every conceivable interest group there is? What will happen if Americans give up the fight over what should be the common curriculum and just let anything go? Let everyone do their own thing. Just give up the fight, and allow anyone to teach anything. Somehow, we don't see that contributing to the cause of becoming an American. Especially when immigrants continue to arrive in America, most of them full of hope, and possessing the desire to better their lot in life. Somehow the common experience called public school, still seems an important aspect of becoming an "American."
It seems to me the greatest way for groups of diverse people to respect each other is to value their commonalities and not just their differences. The public school has helped create the richness, individuality and creativity that America is known for. The common American public school experience has contributed to one of the greatest countries ever known. We can hardly imagine that public schools are now the primary problem. A problem so severe that they need to be broken up into thousands of separate private schools with few, if any, commonalities.
I fear that us Republicans are about to throw the baby out with the bath water.
What do you think?