Monday, May 6, 2013

Atlas Shrugged on Education

  If you've ever read Atlas shrugged, you may well remember that there is a point in the book in which society begins to fall apart.  Trains collide, cities burn, and overall  the motor of the world begins to  screech to a violent, bloody halt.   Innocent people perish  because the  moochers  thought they could count on the  cooperation of the producers indefinitely. The producers in Rand's  work could re-emerge from the shadows and fix it, but to fix it would only prolong the inevitable since the real fix is for the false ideology of the moochers to collapse into the  horrible unthinkable failure that it is.  Ive often thought how in that scenario how difficult it would be to sit back and watch the whole thing shudder and twitch in its death throes knowing that innocent people would be hurt.  Long term, the collapse is actually the  more moral solution, but it seems to me that only a dispassionate robot could watch  it implode without a heavy heart.  Hold that thought.
  As homeschoolers our family exists outside of the system in a lot of ways.  A  couple years back we got  a charming letter from the   Department of Education (as appropriately named as the Patriot Act) of our state. They informed us that   the school year for them would be shortened to 166 days a year, but we would  still be  'required' to   teach for 180 days a year.  The reason they cited for this  was some sort of  union negotiation situation, but a  few  questions asked of the right people revealed the real reason; money. Our state  simply couldn't afford to keep the doors open  180 days, so they would teach  166 days and  fill in the gap with  'teacher work days' and  extended field trips, including a day off for the entire school system when the  local high school team became state champions.  Despite this cost-cutting measure,  the state education system   continues to hemorrhage money, and  not too long after shortening the year, they began to whittle away at  music and drama programs. They laid off  teaching assistants, and   there are rumours that the school year will be shortened again.
  It's taken  over 70 years, but the public school system with its humanistic roots is finally starting to topple, but  a monstrosity that large  takes a while to fall.  Think what you will  of me, but as this   behemoth falls  ,  there are good kids who will be hurt. they will receive an even more sub-standard education than they already have.  Screams for more funding will grow shriller and shriller.  Having established that they have the right to my money, they will clamor for more and more of it. The cost of education will rise even as the worth of it plummets.  There is no other way this can end. The system cannot be mended.  The only moral thing to do is to let it collapse.
    Without my tax dollars, the system would collapse sooner, and cleaner. But the  government school industry  enjoys a monopoly on  its funding source, and  although I can  pull my children out of their classrooms, I cannot  voluntarily stop funding their classrooms.  They will steal from me as much as they can, as long as they can, and the only thing I can think to do  to hasten its demise is to encourage  people to  pull their children out of the system.  That is where the battle is, in my estimation.  A mass exodus from the dying organism seems to me be our best choice. I  think you have a moral obligation to remove your children from the government schools. Your school may be a little better or a little worse, but I assure you that  at the higher levels, they all have the same agenda.
  This is a moral issue.It's  more moral for them to steal our  money than it is  to steal the  hearts and minds and future of our children.  So we fight the  battle where we can; with our  attendance. Without our children, they can shorten the  school year as much as they want, and they can cut every program not directly related to their agenda, and the impact on us will be  minimal.  The collapse is  coming, but  boy is it going to be  slow, and painful and ugly. I cannot save your children, I've done what I can to save mine.
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