Friday, August 27, 2010

Separation of School and State

I have been reading John Taylor Gatto's "Underground History of American Education".  As I was reading John Taylor Gatto’s Presentation Remarks On The Fourth Purpose Film Series, I read this paragraph:
To bring about such a result requires that most of us have to be infantilized—made childish—lifelong if possible. School has been the training laboratory for this project for between fifty and one hundred years, depending on the location. It is the most ambitious piece of social engineering in modern history, and has been a brilliant success in reaching its goals. Of course, these are hardly the goals of ordinary citizens, of families, of religions, or of cultures, but they most certainly are the goals of management, whether of business, army, or government.

Between this, and the book I've been reading, it occurred to me:  if we want true separation of Church and State, then it is crucial that we have Separation of School and State as well.

This is because education is key to instilling the values and knowledge necessary to preserve liberty.  When the State is in charge of determining what values and knowledge we should acquire, the State is in charge of our life.


  1. Oh, my. How embarrassing for you.

    We already have separation of school and state. Always have. You have the option of homeschooling or various private education options. Further, if you don't care for the public education in your locale--you are free to move to a location that is more to your tastes.

    Now, I suppose your next complaint will be But I'm *forced* to pay taxes for public schools!

    True enough. But you are also the recipient of goods and services made possible by the fact your fellow citizens were educated at public schools. If you could find a way not to avail yourself of these goods and services, perhaps your demand to opt out would have some merit.

  2. We do NOT have separation of school and state. Your statement is like and Englishman saying "We've always had separation of church and state. You have the option of being an atheist, or of various other options. It doesn't matter that the Church of England gets tax money, and is the default religion of those who claim no religion."

    As I have been looking into homeschooling, I have learned that in Utah, at least, homeschooling has not always been a legal option; it's only recently that homeschooling has become a legal option.

    Also, moving to a new locale only gives me limited control over the education of my children: it's pain to move, housing in different areas are limited (especially when constrained by budget), and certain national forces (California and Texas practically controlling the textbook market, for example, or the "No Child Left Behind" Act) have an effect of flattening out our choices.

    And no, my next complaint won't be "But I'm *forced* to pay taxes for public schools!" although that's a valid complaint. My next complaint is this:

    John Taylor Gatto, in his "Underground History of American Education", makes a very strong case that we were far better educated before we started forcing children into schools; that Americans severely opposed compulsory schooling (to the point of burning down schools and humiliating teachers); and that the primary goal of nearly everyone behind compulsory schooling has NOT been to educate my fellow citizens at public schools, but instead to create two classes: a small, elite "educated" class, and a massive "worker" class that would have a dumbed-down education.

    Because reading is dangerous. It might make the masses restless!

    Everything I've seen of public education, and even some private education, has only confirmed what John Taylor Gatto has said.