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Charles

Private Education Vs State Education?

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In the UK Private educational institutions are known as public schools, I will henceforth refer to them by this title. There are also subdivisions of Prep(aratory) Schools (8-13) and Secondary schools(13-18). These schools are very expensive in comparison to the private schools of europe, and I think the US. Some have selective intake based on exam results, others dont. They are generally populated by middle-upper middle and upper class children (divisions that perhaps only have the older british meaning when we talk of party politics, as class boundaries socially speaking are blurred these days/meaningless).

It is often argued that it is a parents moral duty to send their child to a state school - that it is 'unfair' for some children to get a better education because of someones money. If the state school nearest, or indeed the whole system (as is practically the case) has little resources, bad quality teaching and a misunderstanding of education - then it is the parents moral duty to improve the schools - to support their local schools and apply pressure to the government.

The choice in the case of the parent with money; Send my child to a private school and pay for an education that will beyond reasonable doubt be a good one and set him up for further education and give him opportunity to participate in all manner of physical, academic, music and theatrical endeavours....or do I send him to the local state school where all children have to go by law, where the class sizes are to big as the teachers number too little, and are supposedly sub-standard???

Public Schools (private) have a long history of traditions - often with religious foundations, and also may despite all their resources not teach students to desire to learn, which is in my mind a point of education. They are by no means ideal schools, and there students are often by no means ideal people - but they will all have had the opportunity to access much better teaching and more exstensive resources.

So in conclusion I personally can empathize with the assertion that it is our moral duty to ensure state education is improved, however believe it is the parents duty to do the best they possibly can for their children that is more important.

What are peoples thoughts on this issue?

NB. in Britain, the Conservative Party supports the notion of public (private) schools, and the Labour party has threatened several times to abolish them.

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... I personally can empathize with the assertion that it is our moral duty to ensure state education is improved, ...

The best way to improve state education is to abolish it.

Fred Weiss

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It is often argued that it is a parents moral duty to send their child to a state school - that it is 'unfair' for some children to get a better education because of someones money.

That sounds like a semi-monthly assertion by The Guardian. And indeed it is not an argument on their part, it is an assertion, with the occasional assertion that it isn't "fair" for one person to not have exactly the same advantage that everyone else has. I never understood why that is so. It seems to me totally wrong to deprive children access to a decent education just because there is some other child whose parents can't afford to pay tuition. It's a rather perverse mentality -- we must all suffer if anyone suffers.

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why are they called PUBLIC schools if they are PRIVATE?

I think it's because the general public can attend. Church schools are "private"; also, hiring a tutor to come in to your home is "private".

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why are they called PUBLIC schools if they are PRIVATE?

I remember learning about this in a class along time ago. From what I recall, it's because in the late early 19th century state schools were funding by cities/regions, and so in order to attend a child's family had to live in that region. Then in the mid-19th century, private companies started opening schools that anyone from anywhere could attend, as long as they paid tuition. Because anyone could attend, they were called public schools.

I might be wrong, so if anyone knows for sure please clarify.

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David Odden, I agree that such an argument is merely an assertion "that it isn't "fair" for one person to not have exactly the same advantage that everyone else has" and that "It's a rather perverse mentality -- we must all suffer if anyone suffers."

Any support I extend to state schools is based upon an understanding that without an underclass educated to a sufficient level the more advanced features of civilization would not exist due to encroaching barbarism and class wars played out on a revolutionary scale.

Those making money, creating means etc could not do so if they didnt have the customers. I realize however, that the media plays an increasingly prominent role in educating, whilst subduing, the masses to a level of mediocrity.

If I ever had responsibility for a child I would, means providing, give it as many forms of private tuition as I deemed necessary for I can see the obvious faults in the state sector and do not believe a minute of my child miseducation is worth my correcting it.

No doubt such a semi-monthly guardian assertion would deem me a hypocrite; supporting the state schools for selfish means/ sending child through private education.

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Charles your last post shows an over reliance on the statist argument for why education must be handled by the government and why people must be forced to attend, because if the government doesn't do so and uneducated mass will overthrow everything. I say if you believe that then I've got a birdge in Brooklyn for you. Why not have the government let people keep all their money and then see if they don't send their kids to school. I don't know the exact history of British schools but I know that before states and the feds got involved in America most kids were in school anyway. Parents want their children to get an education (they also want them out of the house for a while) and will not just abandon it if the great nanny state is taken out of the picture. That's a myth, not even a good one, and should not be puppeted around here.

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What difference do you believe that sending your child to a Public school would make, in real terms? The syllabus taught is almost identical to that taught in state schools, isnt it? I mean the standard of teaching is likely to be higher, and they may pick up better personal/intellectual habits, but it's not like as if they're likely to get a classical education or anything. Homeschooling would be another option, but I doubt most universities would take a child that hadn't passed the standard exams. Something like the International Bacclaurette might be your best bet, but I don't know that much about it.

edit: I suppose the case is stronger for lower school, ie between the age of 6-14 or whatever.

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Montesquieu, if that is a myth then it is exactly the kind of myth that should be under intense discussion 'around here'.

Whilst I agree with your sentiments and would hope that people would respond in such a way in such a circumstance, I do fear that a significant number would not pay for their childs education. I see too many childrens potential knowingly wasted in favour of a more hedonistic lifestyle for the family.

However; I recognize that it is that fear which you are dispelling as myth. It is that fear which would prevent the system, or lack of, that you suggest, from ever becoming a reality. Society would not let the government give it that freedom.

The myth is accepted by so many, that to the observer viewing things pragmatically its easy to see how one could choose to see it as fact when deciding ones choices with regards to education.

This is the power of the status quo.

What do you believe is the path to change?

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What difference do you believe that sending your child to a Public school would make, in real terms?

Spearmint, it is true that a child could pass through either state or private education without any considerable difference.

However, for the child who is self-aware; is either naturally or decidedly to teach himself; to soak up with interest the information around him - the difference is quite marked. Private schools provide the resources. Whether that be books, computers, experienced teachers/professors. They provide the opportunities. Whether that be sporting, academic, musical, theatrical or of specific interest.

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I do fear that a significant number would not pay for their childs education. I see too many childrens potential knowingly wasted in favour of a more hedonistic lifestyle for the family.

You're compressing too many problems into that objection. First, there is the question of parental responsibility: what obligation -- and rights -- does a parent have to prepare a child for a particular future? Should the parent have to pay for a university education -- all the way through graduate school? Are A-levels really necessary? Suppose Little Timmy has the potential to be a world-class concert pianist, but he needs extensive training to realize that potential. Do his parents have a responsibility to pay for this education? Fortunately for the child, generous benefactors often donate large sums of money to conservatories to support educating such truly gifted children.

Second, voluntary charity would also be widely available for the truly mediocre child who has the terrible misfortune of being born to parents who have no interest at all in providing an education for their child. Since you see it as being in your own self-interest to make sure that the masses have at least some level of education, aren't you willing to translate that interest into charitable contributions? There may well be some irreducible core of irresponsible parents who just aren't willing to lift a finger for the benefit of their children's development, but that hardly justifies a massive coersive state bureaucracy to make sure that absolutely nobody falls through the cracks (especially since it doesn't make sure that absolutely nobody falls through the cracks).

And third, education is vastly over-rated. It is not necessary to put kids in 12 year long day care to teach them "the basics". You do not need a Ph D in Art History to be a clerk at the local Sainsbury's and advanced mathematic is not necessary to learn how to draw a proper pint. Nor do you need a formal education to appreciate good art or bad politics.

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What do you believe is the path to change?

Well, like the war on drugs, the problem of education won't be solved without a general shift from statist thought to pro-freedom and pro-capitalism thought in general. Then something like the public education system will be abandoned because it will be generally agreed that the state and "society" has no right to force anyone to go to school for any alleged or even real benefits. If one merely focuses on just this one issue thougg, nothing will ever happen, which is why most drug war people get nowhere and will continue to do so.

Only the long term, perhaps even longer than my own life, battle of ideas offers any promise to reversing all the negative trends.

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I've always felt the educational system would be the best place to start down-sizing the government. The government could sponsor a sort of transitional period in which public schools are bided on and sold to private corporations and then backed by limited government funding until the market stabilizes. Eventually, like any other free enterprise with considerable competition, schools would be fighting to give its customers/clients the best education possible for the most appealing price point. The progression of our educational standards would as in any free market accelerate exponentially. However, given the current political climate its only wishful thinking.

Honestly, having attended high school not to long ago you get what you pay for with public education. Its nothing short of crap. Its simply an insanely bloated government day care center.

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In Britain the rail system is not functioning properly and many people blame this on it being privatized by the last tory government. When Privatizing anything one has got to be careful: You cannot just decide to do it and then put it on the market for whoever will take it. You have to formerly put up notice saying if any business would like to take over control of a line in the country then they can approach us with an offer. Until they do, it remains state controlled. You cant have change like that over night, and do attempt to do so just gives privatization a bad name.

The same should be considered with regards to education; the government should obviously lay down some rules for the type of institutions that would be privately run (you dont wont xtian and ethnic schools springing up in areas of traditional/multicultural roots) and then make them available subject to a business plan that fits these rules. Opportunity for change within a transitional framework. I might also point out you dont want the american situation where you get Coke/Pepsi sponsored syllabi. The rules would no doubt be a point of contention, as they are to promote freedom, but within a rational framework.

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The same should be considered with regards to education; the government should obviously lay down some rules for the type of institutions that would be privately run (you dont wont xtian and ethnic schools springing up in areas of traditional/multicultural roots) and then make them available subject to a business plan that fits these rules. Opportunity for change within a transitional framework. I might also point out you dont want the american situation where you get Coke/Pepsi sponsored syllabi. The rules would no doubt be a point of contention, as they are to promote freedom, but within a rational framework.

You seem to be advocating a massive increase on state control over education. Because whereas the main goal of liberating education in the UK would be getting rid of state funding, you are advocating much more invasive control over schools. As far as I know, Catholic church schools are indeed allowed by law to open facilities in Muslim neighborhoods.

As for corporate sponsorship, I do indeed want Coke and Pepsi supporting schools. Your comment about syllabi is puzzling but I could imagine that it's the kind of lie that Guardian would tell, that in US schools Coke dictates the syllabus. The point of freedom is that it isn't coercion, and if you find the presence of commercial products such as Coke so distasteful that you cannot stand to send your children to such a school, then you may send your children to a Pepsi school (if it's mere a brand thing) or to a Maoist school if you just want pure PC anti-capitalism.

There isn't a single argument for a long drawn out "transition" period. Remember, the dictatorship of the proletariat was supposed to melt away into freedom after a "transition period". Transition periods simply allow the dictators to become more firmly entrenched and reorganise their power.

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Charles your last post shows an over reliance on the statist argument for why education must be handled by the government and why people must be forced to attend, because if the government doesn't do so and uneducated mass will overthrow everything.
Montesquieu, if that is a myth then it is exactly the kind of myth that should be under intense discussion 'around here'.

It is not debated by Objectivists, because we agree on the fact of the matter, and the principle. Capitalism, to succeed, does not require convincing "the masses" to support it. It requires convincing the productive (let's stop using Marxist mass/class anticoncepts) to support it.

Capitalism will never win a vote put to the union labor block, welfare block, trial lawyers, eco-fasicsts, etc. It doesn't have to (nor would it be "capitalism" if it depended on such a vote).

Capitalism will win when the productive men refuse to sanction the present regime. All the ballast in the world can't hold them back, once that happens.

Imagine a toilet bowl maker's strike demanding a repeal of the absurd law that a flush can use no more than 1.6 gallons? What's that--"Asian imports," you say? Nope, because the import companies realize it's a moral issue and support the domestic manufacturers on this item!

Imagine an energy industry strike demanding a repeal of the insane laws that prohibit drilling for oil in the Great Lakes, Alaska, and the other places in North America that have significant oil reserves.

Imagine a doctor's strike demanding the repeal of the vicious laws that enslave them for the sake of the dirt bags who shoot themselves with drugs, eachother with bullets, and demand unlimited free treatment in the emergency room.

Right now, domestic toilet manufacturers and importers of foreign toilets support the 1.6 gpf regime. Right now, the energy industry sanctions the idea of environmentalism (though opposing the most onerous restrictions). Right now, most doctors subscribe to the doctrine that healthcare is a "right".

That is who we have to convince to think differently. Not the masses of poor, uneducated laborers and welfare moochers. Those people, should we succeed in changing the system, can either get menial jobs, or bloody well starve. Either way. :P

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To address David Odden's last point;

I am not advocating a 'massive increase in state control' over education. In my last post I have specifically advocated the idea of privatizing schools.

My caveats were 1) there would have to government laws within which an educational system must function; if schools are gearing up kids with fundamentalist irrational nonsense; then they are not really educating.

Having read Bearster's post I suppose a radical objectivist's analysis might conclude; let the fundamentalist mosque open an educational facility; let the creation schools continue to refute science - because in the end these people contribute nothing; they are not the great minds and they are not producers and success permitting for the producers assuming they open there own successful schools producing some talented rational young men and women, (a success contingent on abolition of state education in this case) these usurpers and their ideas will perish.

I am undecided; but history seems to tell, and be telling a different story.

My second caveat was that the reason privatization failed abysmally when British Rail was privatized was that the government immediately enacted this change and unloaded the organzation to a group of companies who would take it without any plan for turning it into succesful business and for little of there worth. By Transition period I mean; the necesary time it would take for buyers to step forward once the government has announced its willing to sell; rather than an immediate offload to everyones disadvantage.

I then applied this to the state education system; it would be absurd to stop funding all state schools -halfway through a hundred thousand kids educations - destroying those who have actually committed themselves to learning chances by catching their parents off guard; 1) because even though they would have paid for their childs education they couldn't because the state system meant only incredibly high income parents could send their kids to incredibly expensive private schools 2) because when the government makes it lightening decision to pull all funding there were no alternative schools in existence.

Hence within a short but definite period state schools should be phased out as they are taken over by other institutions who will pay for and charge entry on or sponsor them. So yes to ordered privatization; acting as it were morally; but also taking into account obvious practical concerns. (not to mention the street problems that could rise up with truancy were the changes made so opaquely). No to instant and total change; which equates to madness and chaos.

Incidently; a by-product of the eventual elimination of state education would be that a lot more responsibility would be placed on the future parent - perhaps forcing a change as regards excessive breeding and helping the population problem (one of quality and quantity)

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Phasing out may or may not be the best strategy, but it is not a moral problem.

Deciding whether or not a certain set of ideas perish is not the job of government. History is only telling the story of what happens once governments get their hands on power.

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I am not advocating a 'massive increase in state control' over education. In my last post I have specifically advocated the idea of privatizing schools.

My caveats were 1) there would have to government laws within which an educational system must function; if schools are gearing up kids with fundamentalist irrational nonsense; then they are not really educating.

Well, perhaps it might not seem that way to you, but keep in mind what "privatizing schools" really means. It means an end to state financial subsidy (plus, of course, booting Clarke out on the street to get a private job). So your caveats would involve increased state interference. While I am as far as a fan of fundamentalist religious education as you could imagine, your proposal to essential outlaw church schools would be a significant increase in state control, relative to what exists. Under current UK educational laws, it is allowed for there to be a divinity school at the University of Durham and by jove there is one. Churches do run schools. What exactly is your proposal, which would not outlaw such schools, and increase state interference?

Having read Bearster's post I suppose a radical objectivist's analysis might conclude; let the fundamentalist mosque open an educational facility; let the creation schools continue to refute science - because in the end these people contribute nothing; they are not the great minds and they are not producers and success permitting for the producers assuming they open there own successful schools producing some talented rational young men and women, (a success contingent on abolition of state education in this case) these usurpers and their ideas will perish.
It is not radical Objectivism: garden variety libertarians and very many others even allow the possibility that free people with crazy ideas will be allowed to market those ideas in whatever way is consistent with basic capitalism.

My second caveat was that the reason privatization failed abysmally when British Rail was privatized was that the government immediately enacted this change and unloaded the organzation to a group of companies who would take it without any plan for turning it into succesful business and for little of there worth.

Well, I spent 6 months in Durham and did indeed use the trains, so I really don’t know what you mean by “failed abysmally”. I don’t know the details of how the privatization was carried out, but a comparison between education and railways is completely irrelevant, because that are not at all analogous. Privatizing education primary means removing education from the business of education, where they have undue influence. But non-state education exists! Whereas, the privatization of the rails involved a completely new area of business in the country, and it’s not reasonable to expect someone with zero experience in running railways to perfectly take over a new business instantly.

BTW, the railways were never privatized in the UK, just as power production was never deregulated in California. It's a common leftist myth. Here's the test question: who owns the East Coast Line?

I then applied this to the state education system; it would be absurd to stop funding all state schools -halfway through a hundred thousand kids educations - destroying those who have actually committed themselves to learning chances by catching their parents off guard; 1) because even though they would have paid for their childs education they couldn't because the state system meant only incredibly high income parents could send their kids to incredibly expensive private schools 2) because when the government makes it lightening decision to pull all funding there were no alternative schools in existence.

Your only argument seems to be that it is self-evidently absurd to end government financing of schools immediately, and that when schools stop getting money from the government, they will cease to exist. I don’t see why that should be so. The only real question is the pay-back question. You are assuming, but not providing any evidence at all, that the parents have already paid for their children’s education. But that simply isn’t true. The parents have paid taxes which are used for road maintenance, police, medical care, public works projects, council housing, retirement, and all of the myriad other entitlements that people are accustomed to. That’s what the money has gone for. Not education: the money of rich peple is used to pay for education. [At least, this is according to my understanding of the fine-grained accounting details of who paid for what. Possibly there really is no clear record of who paid for what, and it’s bad reasoning to say that since a person has paid taxes, they have an unbounded right to the bounty doled out by the state -- and that right is not to be abridged by evertaking away free education], since they keep paying and if you take away the free education, they are paying for a service that they aren't even getting -- vastly worse than the present system.

Suppose for fun I allow a transition period. Exactly how long is the leach entitled to such blood out of citizens? 10 years? 5? Specific details are really important. How about, 3 months?

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What right has the British government or any government to sell rail lines? The government had no right to steal the lines in the first place, which is in fact what happened when they were first nationalized, and then you (Charles) would advocate that they sell the lines to private companies? What nerve.

One reason you should consider for why privatization is shaky, especially in a country like Great Britain, is that all the potential companies who may enter the market know they will be risking their investment should the government decide to steal everything again, which it can whenever it wants to. For any privatization to work and to work morally is for all the stolen property to be given back to to those it was stolen from or their descendents if possible, and if the remainder needs to be sold the proceeds from any auctions ought to go to taxpayers who were forced to suffer under crummy nationalized rail service (in comparison to what it would be under capitalism). And, more importantly, people have to have some assurance that the mass theft which has caused the need for privatization won't occur again. Without this assurance, which would have to be an explicit constitutional amendment here, but would be hard to come by for the British government given the way it works, few companies if any will be foolish enough to even consider entering such an enterprise.

As for transition periods, which is what I started addressing, why would a time under the mixed economy make things better? Again, the government has no more right to sell the things is stole than it did to steal it in the first place. If the government privatizes then it should just return the stolen property to the rightful owners if they or their descendents are still around and auction the rest making sure the money doesn't go to the government since it has no right to any of it.

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Montesquieu, like you I am a fan of Atlas Shrugged; but to think that there are rail dynasties such as the Taggarts in the UK, and for each of the old regional railways is a little nieve. The points being made against the concept of a transition period (a mixed economy) are taking my point out of context; I am talking about a methology for changeover from state to privatized.

If your asking for time specifics as regards how long the changeover would take; I would happily say a week in an ideal world where business's were waiting at the door to buy a rail-line; if it werent for the fact that there arent and any government that stands election here now would as said leech on to the time and not adapt my proposed methods anyway. It goes without saying that if these plans were to be adopted it would need a government thats sure fire keen on getting the companies into the ambitious hands of a business.

One way of ensuring the railways go into hands that actually have plans for a line, and not to some government donor trying to acquire assets or whatever, is to sell to the highest bidder; its cuts the chaff out. You cannot seriously suggest the lines be given back to their previous owners & companies which ceased to exist at the start of World War 2 under emergency laws and made permanently nationalized in 1948! I doubt any of the original employees are alive and their relatives? Probably in a completely unrelated field. This isnt realistic.

It annoys you that the government make a buck out of this? Well at least its a buck coming from making things right, and not taxes.

Montesquieu: One reason you should consider for why privatization is shaky, especially in a country like Great Britain, is that all the potential companies who may enter the market know they will be risking their investment should the government decide to steal everything again, which it can whenever it wants to.

This is true. However the constitutional reforms that would be neccesary for this, and many truly capitalist policies would require a complete change of philosophy of government in the UK: which looks highly improbable - hence when discussing policy on this board I do so in an idealistic way; looking at practicalities only in the hypothetical 'if' the government was to decide to turn round on these issues 'how would we make the change'.

The only other time I would see to talk about practicalities is in considering how to bring about these improbable changes. For which im always open to new ideas.

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QUOTE (Charles @ Jul 11 2004, 03:29 PM)

I am not advocating a 'massive increase in state control' over education. In my last post I have specifically advocated the idea of privatizing schools.

My caveats were 1) there would have to government laws within which an educational system must function; if schools are gearing up kids with fundamentalist irrational nonsense; then they are not really educating.

DavidOdden;

Well, perhaps it might not seem that way to you, but keep in mind what "privatizing schools" really means. It means an end to state financial subsidy. So your caveats would involve increased state interference.

Compared to the present system: I think the privatizing more than allows for a few rules that guide what educational instituions can be. I repeat: That is money being spent on a couple of laws; not subsidies, not state schools.......

You then asked how/if I would propose to prevent fundamentalist educational institutions without increasing state control.

Well; I have not got a firm view on this; whether government laws regarding types of institutions be allowed requires consideration of a number of issues:

1) As I described earlier - whether or not such irrational ideas would die a natural death as more rational ideas out-evolved them?

2) The need for some degree of standardization?

3) The rights and responsibilties of students and of teachers?

4) Health and Safety

I realise the latter two are in some cases carried out to a ridiculous exent at present; but there would probably be a need for laws should schools be private, and each school's rules independant. To give the most obvious example; would a religious school be permitted to enact corporal punishment on a child such as convent schools in Eire have be known to and Islamic schools in the certain middle eastern nations.

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You then asked how/if I would propose to prevent fundamentalist educational institutions without increasing state control.

Well; I have not got a firm view on this; whether government laws regarding types of institutions be allowed requires consideration of a number of issues:

Interruption time: no, these are really not the issues. The issue is whether the state has the right to suppress or promulgate religion. The only non-coersive and thus moral way to prevent fundamentalist educational institutions is to persuade all fundamentalists to abandon their irrational beliefs.

1) As I described earlier - whether or not such irrational ideas would die a natural death as more rational ideas out-evolved them?

2) The need for some degree of standardization?

3) The rights and responsibilties of students and of teachers?

4) Health and Safety

As for point 1, there is no issue of evolving. Either people will abandon their silly religious beliefs, or they won't. If they don't, then it is highly likely, given the nature of those beliefs and if there are enough people who accept those beliefs, then they will create a school where the expression f those beliefs in the context of teaching is tolerated, or even required. The way to make sure that religious people don't have an opportunity to teach religion is to make sure that there are no religious people.

As for point 2, the answer is simply "No". Standardization means that there should be no variation, and uniformity has no intrinsic value. There are specific things that would almost certainly be of value to anyone considering educating their children, such as teaching them how to read. Objective "standards" would emerge naturally because parents would recognise the value of e.g. reading and math. Whereas instruction in the history of the struggle of the lower classes for social justice ;) would not be a value for more than a small handful of parents.

On to points 3, 4: these are for the most part already answered. The teacher's rights and responsibilities are spelled out in an employment agreement between the employee and the employer. There are some details that would probably change from location to location and time to time, as they do already. For example, the rights of the teacher w.r.t. a disruptive child might include the right to whack his ass (or arse), or make him stand in the corner, or perhaps he gets sent to the principal's office. Schools would almost certainly differ in terms of whe way they deal with discipline problems, and this would be one f the bases for picking a particular school (just as right now, parents may send their child to a military academy of the child is badly behaved, or may send the child to some touchy-feely school without walls where intolerance is not tolerated, if the parents are badly behaved). Basically, human rights and responsibilities are already known, and if you want something specific such as a statement that teachers cannot assign homework, or that they must assign homework, then that is a matter for negotiation between the teacher and school on the one hand, and the school and the parent on the other.

I realise the latter two are in some cases carried out to a ridiculous exent at present; but there would probably be a need for laws should schools be private, and each school's rules independant. To give the most obvious example; would a religious school be permitted to enact corporal punishment on a child such as convent schools in Eire have be known to and Islamic schools in the certain middle eastern nations. :wacko:  :wacko:

As well as my high school. The answer is, yes, unless there is a general law that prohibits any corporal punishment. There is nothing special about schools in this respect. Schools properly derive their authority over children from the explicit consent of the parent, and the rights of the school can never exceed the rights of the parent. Since paddling your children is legal in the UK, it would also be legal for a parent to permit schools to paddle the child; whereas if the UK enacts a Swedish-style law that prohibits any corporal punishment, then schools, of course, cannot spank. There are no specific issues regarding health or safety that are not already contianed in basic principles of private law. No specific regulations are required to guarantee that private schools do not deliberately infect children with hoof 'n mouth, because that requirement is already present in tort law.

Now then, your questions have been answered. You haven't come up with anything that justifies delaying the full privatization of schools. No further guidelines are needed. Privatizing schools means making education fully a private matter, one governed by the principles of private law.

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Charles

Montesquieu, like you I am a fan of Atlas Shrugged; but to think that there are rail dynasties such as the Taggarts in the UK, and for each of the old regional railways is a little nieve. The points being made against the concept of a transition period (a mixed economy) are taking my point out of context; I am talking about a methology for changeover from state to privatized.
I never said there were rail dynasties in Great Britain and my critique of your complaint about the privatized rail system,

In Britain the rail system is not functioning properly and many people blame this on it being privatized by the last tory government. When Privatizing anything one has got to be careful: You cannot just decide to do it and then put it on the market for whoever will take it. You have to formerly put up notice saying if any business would like to take over control of a line in the country then they can approach us with an offer. Until they do, it remains state controlled. You cant have change like that over night, and do attempt to do so just gives privatization a bad name.

Was simply that the British government, and any other government, has no right to do this any more than it did to steal the rails in the first place. The only just thing the government can do is to return as much of the property as it can to its rightful owners, regardless of what they happen to be doing, and to auction off the rest. Now the use of the proceeds from the auctions can be debated but there is no justifiable reason for the government to have it. No more reason than a thief has to keep the proceeds from the stolen goods he sells.

You seem overly conserned that when privatization occurs under a just method, which I've laid out, that people with no "plans" for using the rails will own them. You say,

One way of ensuring the railways go into hands that actually have plans for a line, and not to some government donor trying to acquire assets or whatever, is to sell to the highest bidder; its cuts the chaff out. You cannot seriously suggest the lines be given back to their previous owners & companies which ceased to exist at the start of World War 2 under emergency laws and made permanently nationalized in 1948! I doubt any of the original employees are alive and their relatives? Probably in a completely unrelated field. This isnt realistic.
First of all, the employees of any railroad have no right to get the rails, only the owners of the railroads or their legal heirs have any rights to the railroads.

Your concern for people with "plans" getting the railroads is entirely irrelevant and it fails to consider how economics works. Whether the rightful owners know how to run a railroad or not is of no importance at all, what's important is attempting to rectify an unjust theft of property, although to do this completely is impossible. As for those who don't know anything of running a railroad, they can sell the property, which is justly theirs, to someone who does and receive market value for their property.

It is entirely obvious that none of this would happen unless there was a pro-capitalism, pro-freedom, and pro-reason government in power, but in the case of Great Britain I think the problem is somewhat deeper in the form of government. With an unwritten constitutional system there aren't enough safeguards against the state from just stealing everything all over again should the capitalists lose the next election. Without a change to rectify this horrible flaw in the English government things aren't likely to change positively or to only do so for a limited period of pro-capitalist dominance.

This is true. However the constitutional reforms that would be neccesary for this, and many truly capitalist policies would require a complete change of philosophy of government in the UK: which looks highly improbable - hence when discussing policy on this board I do so in an idealistic way; looking at practicalities only in the hypothetical 'if' the government was to decide to turn round on these issues 'how would we make the change'.

Your mixed government transition for privatization seemed to me at least as if you were proposing an actual reform and not just some "idealistic" whim. And I say that because it sounds similar to what politicians in the states say about privatization as well.

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