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View Diary: How to fix America's schools (32 comments)

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  •  Commercial and Religious Culture in America (2+ / 0-)
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    erictmacknight, Mostel26

    values money and adherence to a religious creed  above all other values. This means that any learning which is viewed as "less able to turn a profit" or as "thinking independently outside a prescribed religious view" in is inferior to learning which is for self-actualization, personal accomplishment and growth, interpersonal relations, a happy home and hearth, and life satisfaction, is at best, just not paid attention to, and at worst, not funded and opposed at a very personal student level.  

    The more we emphasize that learning is for profit and supporting a religious belief, the more we spiral down in relation to the world. Hence the failure of No Child Left Behind, and the future failure of Race to the Top.

    Public Education, as envisioned by Franklin, Jefferson and Madison, is not about job training or promoting religion. It is about ensuring that people have a reason to live well, enjoy each other, enjoy their surroundings, and enjoy self-discipline for self-government.  In this way, true liberal education shares many goals with religious or spiritual enlightenment.

    This, of course is a horrifying statement to religious fundamentalists, who wrap their attacks on public education in the language of "training" and "job preparation." What they mean, of course, is that public education should not tread upon the turf staked out by the narrow religious/profit agendas (the many of them) of the conservative right.

    Why haven't we made more progress in education in America? It is not because of the teachers. It is because education is hated and resisted by the two most powerful factions in American culture; the culture of profit and the culture of religious predjudice. It is a miracle we have made the progress we have made given the strength of the opposition.

    Public school is the only remaining major institution in America that speaks for every individual's right to think and act for himself. It is the only institution remaining arguing for a Republic.  

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Sun Apr 18, 2010 at 07:54:05 AM PDT

    •  At least at some schools (0+ / 0-)

      Public school is the only remaining major institution in America that speaks for every individual's right to think and act for himself. It is the only institution remaining arguing for a Republic.  

      In the 50's in much of the south, not so much. I used to get all the checkmarks for good behavior except one or two. I never did satisfy them on Respect for Authority and usually didn't get finishes all assignments promptly.   Oh well.

      "You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - Rabbi Tarfon

      by samddobermann on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 12:46:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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