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Letters to the editor for 7/27

July 27, 2002

Government schools are a mess; give vouchers a shot



To the editor:

That Allan Powell's vision of the world is different than that of theists is understandable. That he would attempt to popularize that vision with half-truths, distortions and even a little invention now and then is also understandable once you comprehend that among moral relativists, a little verbal slight-of-hand is a small price to pay in pursuit of a noble (in their view) cause. Government schools is one of those causes.

"Gone is the traditional idea that a democracy has the responsibility to offer an adequate, viable series of programs of education for all segments of our society."

Powell makes four glaring mistakes here. First, the educational system Powell means is not a traditional idea but is instead, a relatively recent idea in the scope of human civilization.

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Second, having an educated citizenry is not synonymous with government doing the educating.

Third, government doing the educating is not synonymous with an educated citizenry. (If you think that I just said the same thing twice, read those last two sentences again.) And fourth, America was not formed a democracy, it was formed a republic with government severely limited in scope and power. Men such as Powell disdain that magnificent form of government, promoting in its place democracy, a thoroughly despicable form of government in which 51 percent push the other 49 percent around.

"This (school vouchers) will eventuate in a disaster to public education." How will we be able to tell? Government schools are already a train wreck. If you don't believe me ask those colleges which have to teach high school material to incoming freshmen before they can present 101 material to them.

"...(E)very dollar handed out to voucher systems is that much lost to the public schools of America." Here Powell makes a sweeping attempt to pull the wool over our eyes. It is true that every school voucher represents money that flows somewhere other than to government schools but it is also true that every school voucher represents a student that government schools don't have to educate. And since the per pupil cost of government schools is greater than the voucher cost, government schools are left with more money per pupil to carry out their mission. Powell understands that, of course, but he doesn't want you to.

"The same conservative politicians who are pressing hard to get religion into science classes...." Some names would be nice, Allan. There are a considerable number of politicians who want kids to be exposed to ALL the available science facts, not just those that you pick and choose for them, but that's hardly the same thing, now is it?

"At other times, people accepted the fact that if they elected to send their children to religious or private schools that they would expect to pay for what they purchased." You, of course, expect them to pay both for what they want, a good education for their kids, and what they don't want, a non-education from your failed social experiments. How generous of you.

Your quote from James Madison was right on target, though. "Religion and government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together." How true. Religion will regret lying down with this dog because they will get up with much more than fleas.

Although you did not do it out of admiration, thanks for passing along this little bit of wisdom from Milton Friedman: "The most feasible way to bring about a gradual yet substantial transfer from government to private enterprise is to enact in each state a voucher system...." God, I love that man.

"The Supreme Court decision has contributed to the erosion of support (for government schools) by making an exodus from the public schools possible." And the failure of government schools has made an exodus from them necessary. This is not to fault teachers. Ask any experienced teacher and they will tell you that kids today are far different than they once were. You and your fellow travelers have wanted a world free from the influence of theistic morality. Well, you are getting your wish, Allan, and it's not a pretty sight.

"Public schools are in dire need of visible defenders who will point out the many good things going on in our public schools." Really? More than a few educators have told me that teaching today is a hellish thing compared to what it used to be. What do you know that they don't?

"Finally we need parents who are actively involved in the education of their children." They are, Allan, they are. By the thousands they are home schooling their kids and/or sending their kids to private schools. But that isn't what you meant by being involved, is it?

No, you want parents to pony up the money, send their kids to your government indoctrination centers, and keep their mouths shut. No thanks.

On a more positive note, I like your new photo, Allan.

Glen F. Miller

Hagerstown




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