Sunday, October 15, 2006

Assortment of Quotes

A nation under a well regulated government, should permit none to remain uninstructed. It is monarchical and aristocratical government only that requires ignorance for its support.

Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1792

That is the single greatest argument for the support of public education that you'll ever find.

It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf.

Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 19, 1776

The cunning of the radical fox is as murderous as the defensive wolf.

I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.

Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 19, 1776

'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, and it seems all the minds in government have shrunk to nothing.


dhammett said...

If the minds of government have shrunk to nothing, how can we trust the government to educate our children? Paine said the well regulated government should permit none to remain uninstructed, but said nothing about having the government instruct them. When one does, one gets government dogma, arguably making it easier for the government to exert and maintain control. It's a parent's responsibility to educate their children, whether at home, or by providing a private (but parent-monitored) education, or by using the public system, but exercising a parent's vigilance and control as necessary. But to leave the responsibility for education solely in the hands of our government is to invite ingnorance in and government conditioning of our children.

Rae Ann said...

dh, blah, blah, blah, so on and so forth. We need NEW minds in government AND in education. I never, and Paine never, said that the GOVERNMENT was supposed to do the actual teaching. Only that the government should assure that ALL are educated. In case you're unfamiliar with the history of education in this country let me share some things you might not have considered. The beginnings of public schools was a community-based service that the members of the community set up so their kids could become literate while they WORKED all day, the women too. The POOR people couldn't afford lives of leisure and teaching their own kids, and they couldn't teach them in the first place because they mostly weren't literate themselves. Now, I'm not talking about city people here. I'm talking about the poor rural ones. There's an ever-so-slight tone of superiority in your comment which is probably just a reflection of your own experiences. I forgive you. ;-)

I'm very bothered by the "eliminate the 'government' schools" movement. By advocating such a thing people are essentially trying to deny the right to an education to the ones who need it most. Of course, there are many problems with the school system, but abolishing it isn't the answer.

Sorry if I seem to be jumping your ass about it. I'm in a pretty pissy mood today, and you just happen to in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thanks. ;-)

dhammett said...

Jump away, Rae Ann. Having experienced a variety of schooling methods in my too many to mention years as a parent, I have pratical experience and knowledge about home, private and public schools. I never advocated the elimination of government schools. I just noted what happens if our children are left unattended there and their parents are not involved.

Government schools serve a purpose. If the government stopped at teaching literacy and basic math skills, I'd be absolutely fine with them. And I'm thinking that's just what they did at the dawn of time for public schools.

It's when they start with the government dogma and trying to tell my children how to behave and think that I start to have a problem. No situational ethics for me: what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong...period. And I'll take care of teaching them about the birds and the bees, thank you very much. I don't need teachers handing my children condoms. And I won't even start about the evolution debate.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not against government schools. All I'm saying is that the parent who does not (and I know you do) become and stay involved with his/her children's education is a fool.

Oh, and your pissiness? I forgive you. ;-)

*climbs down from very high horse*

Rae Ann said...

dh, we will have to agree to disagree about much of the education topic. However, I would think that a teacher handing out condoms wouldn't be such a bad thing if a parent has done his job. And handing out condoms and teaching evolution (which isn't really debatable) are preferable to the teaching in private and home schooling that public school (or non-christian, or whatever) children are inferior. And I do know that this is a common theme in private and homeschooling.

My main concern with public education for my children is that the schools will try to tell them that global climate change is man-made. I've already instructed my fifth grader to let me know as soon as this subject is taught in the classroom and that he has my permission to question it openly. I'm fully prepared to discuss it with the teacher(s) if I have to. If nothing else I can use the argument that manmade climate change is against our "religion." ;-)

I think the same way about "intelligent design". It has no place in the classroom other than in some philosophical discussions. But it's NOT science.

dhammett said...

RA -

If a parent has truly done his/her job, then condoms would not be necessary. That parent would have taught the child self-control. The psychological and other damage caused by pre-marital sex and its consequences on future relationships has been documented. Just look at divorce rates, for example. Not a direct correlation, but definitely a trend.

And sex education has to do with the role of parent, not parent-as-educator. And it's certainly not part of the role of a teacher, public or private school.

And, I'm sorry, but evolutionary theory has so many holes in it that it really is debatable. You don't have to accept creation or intelligent design as your alternative, but don't teach my children a faulty theory as fact.

And, please, don't ascribe public school inferiorities to private or homeschoolers. Your experiences are obviously different than mine, but generalizing as you have done is not fair. As I noted before, I have children in both public and private school currently, and have been a home-schooler in the past. If I felt public schools were inferior, no child of mine would be there. Likewise, a parent needs to be involved in his/her child's education at private school as well.

Having said all that, even you would concede that certain school districts are better than others. And I've seen school districts pour good money after bad into those poor performing schools, with no measurable increase in performance as measured against standards.

Without involvement from parents, all is lost.