Occasionally I’ll use phrases like “conspiracy to destroy public education” in these pages, and you, faithful reader, may reasonably wonder whether I’m exaggerating for dramatic effect. I wish I were. But no, there really are people out there who simply want to dismantle the entire enterprise, despite evidence of public education’s benefits so obvious that David Brooks wrote a whole column about them this morning. People like Neil McCluskey, associate director of the Cato Institute’s “Center for Educational Freedom,” who recently published a new policy brief explaining why public education is intrinsically un-American. Again, that’s not bloggerly snark, it’s the actual thesis: McCluskey believes that public education is a “fundamentally flawed–and un-American–institution” and a later subhead describes “Public Schooling’s Un-American Ideals.” Basically he argues that we had a perfectly swell free-market system of private schools in the first half of the 19th century which gave a great education to the small fraction of people who were legally allowed to vote, own property, etc., until that proto-communist bastard Horace Mann came along and ruined everything. Because, as we all know, American-ness is wholly a function of the political and social arrangements that prevailed in the years immediately following the founding of the Republic and any deviation from such clearly represents a grave national threat to be destroyed at all costs.
- Higher Education
- K-12 Education