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Thoughts On Public Schooling and Indoctrination.

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Today, as I sit here in class viewing the Presidential inauguration of Barack Obama for the 4th involuntary time, I find it a suiting place to start my career, here on the Objectivist Board.

Has anyone here any throughts on this collective we call the public school system? Where acceptance and tolerance is not an option, but an absolute necessity.

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What kind of class is that?

You should write a letter about it, post it, and then someone around here who is more knowledgable can tell you whether it's well written, what you should change, and more importantly, to whom you should send it to in the educational system.

Why? Because while public education is wrong, you're stuck in it, so you might as well work to improve it. It would be both educational, and quite selfish even without the "educational" benefits.

If you feel that you'd have something to lose, you could write it as an e-mail, from a new account, and only mention the name of the teacher who keeps playing this, not your class or name. That's perfectly justified, when using your name would cause you undue harm.

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  • 1 month later...

I used to think that indoctrination of students in public schools was a conspiracy, but now I find myself thinking that it's simply an indication or byproduct of the low caliber of teachers in public schools. An incompetent teacher can't teach students how to think properly, logically, reasonably, avoiding emotional responses and not falling prey to distractions from charlatans (logical fallacies). Instead they teach students what to think instead of how to think. They pass on all the acceptable opinions on every issue that got beaten into their heads while they were in college listening to lectures from tenured communists in tweed suits who would have never survived in the private sector.

The answer to the destructive influence of the public school system is to do what nobody's willing to do: Follow the Constitution.

It says in the 10th amendment that all powers not specifically granted to the federal government nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. In other words, the federal government's involvement in Education is unconstitutional.

It's the whole rule of law thing, or something.

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I used to think that indoctrination of students in public schools was a conspiracy, but now I find myself thinking that it's simply an indication or byproduct of the low caliber of teachers in public schools. An incompetent teacher can't teach students how to think properly, logically, reasonably, avoiding emotional responses and not falling prey to distractions from charlatans (logical fallacies). Instead they teach students what to think instead of how to think. They pass on all the acceptable opinions on every issue that got beaten into their heads while they were in college listening to lectures from tenured communists in tweed suits who would have never survived in the private sector.

The answer to the destructive influence of the public school system is to do what nobody's willing to do: Follow the Constitution.

It says in the 10th amendment that all powers not specifically granted to the federal government nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. In other words, the federal government's involvement in Education is unconstitutional.

It's the whole rule of law thing, or something.

That would only be a start. Not only should the federal government not be involved in education, but state governments shouldn't be involved. Education is a job of individuals, not the government.

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That would only be a start. Not only should the federal government not be involved in education, but state governments shouldn't be involved. Education is a job of individuals, not the government.

Under the constitution, that would be the choice of the individual and sovereign States, their powers being 'many and unlimited', and the local voters being able to have a more immediate impact on their local educational systems, and able to choose whether they wanted public education or not.

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Under the constitution, that would be the choice of the individual and sovereign States, their powers being 'many and unlimited', and the local voters being able to have a more immediate impact on their local educational systems, and able to choose whether they wanted public education or not.

The Constitution includes a lot of parts that give government greater power than what a legitimate government has.

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I agree that government shouldn't have a hand in education. However if it did, I'd much rather it be in the hands of the individual states where voters at least have a chance to maintain the quality and cost of the educational system (or lack of one). At least then people could vote with their feet by moving to a state with public schools, or no public schools, depending on preference. Almost sounds like freedom of choice.

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I agree that government shouldn't have a hand in education. However if it did, I'd much rather it be in the hands of the individual states where voters at least have a chance to maintain the quality and cost of the educational system (or lack of one).

Why give states that power? A state as big as California, Texas or New York is going to have the same number or more of bad teachers and upper-level busy bodies as a whole medium sized country like Australia, so what's the improvement!? Moreover, those big states are notorious for being so influential in setting standards for book contents that their approval boards almost control the textbook contents for the whole of the United States. You're gaining nothing.

Separate funding and content, if one can. If the political milieu of the day is for government funding of education, then an interim program prior to the abolition of government involvement would be for governments to provide funding directly to parents (eg Miss Rand suggested tax credits) rather than the schools. The schools themselves will be wholly private institutions, ether stand-alone or members of franchise-chains. The parents then pick and choose among them as they judge fit.

If something like that got in place, abolition would then simply be a case of grandfathering it out after a certain birth-year cohort or similar. The hard part would be getting any change in at all that remotely hints at being a precursor to privatisation, because the collectivists will quickly recognise it for what it is and fight against it with all they've got.

JJM

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In other words, the federal government's involvement in Education is unconstitutional.
How in the world do you relate educational problems to federal involvement? The whole problem is because of state government involvement, which is unfortunately not prohibited by the US constitution and pretty much required by the constitutions of the several states. The content problem is squarely the responsibility of state meddling in what should be a private matter.
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Why give states that power? They already have that power under the constitution. We're not giving them anything. The problem isn't due to 'state meddling'. It's about the federal government confiscating enormous wealth that the states would have otherwise used to fund their own services, and then giving it back with strings attached. Quite the opposite of state meddling, it's federal government meddling, and it's unconstitutional for the reasons I've already described.

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Why give states that power? They already have that power under the constitution. We're not giving them anything. The problem isn't due to 'state meddling'. It's about the federal government confiscating enormous wealth that the states would have otherwise used to fund their own services, and then giving it back with strings attached. Quite the opposite of state meddling, it's federal government meddling, and it's unconstitutional for the reasons I've already described.

Education is not the job of local, state, or federal government regardless of the Constitution.

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Why give states that power? They already have that power under the constitution.
Education is not the purpose of government, which is to protect rights. Education is the responsibility of parents.
The problem isn't due to 'state meddling'. It's about the federal government confiscating enormous wealth that the states would have otherwise used to fund their own services, and then giving it back with strings attached.
Ridiculous! You're advocating increasing state taxes?! Nothing is stopping the states from stealing more of our wealth, as it is.
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Ridiculous! You're advocating increasing state taxes?! Nothing is stopping the states from stealing more of our wealth, as it is.

He is also implicitly claiming people got a good education from the state systems before the feds got involved, which is also ridiculous. It has certainly gotten a lot worse since the feds got more deeply involved, but it was plenty bad before they did.

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Has anyone here any thoughts on this collective we call the public school system? Where acceptance and tolerance is not an option, but an absolute necessity.

Actually, I bring it up quite a lot in discussion with Non-Objectivists, usually conservatives. Usually what's being discussed at the time is why a great percentage of the population believes a certain mode of action, usually government action, is correct. For example, in previous discussion about the recession with these people, they would ask why so many people believe that spending money and increasing the government is the way to prevent a depression, and get us out of the recession. I tell them that such a course of action has been taught in public schools for decades; my parents were taught the same thing I was; my sister was taught to regard FDR and his new deal as heroic and correct. Of course, I give non-concrete reasons for the causes of the former topics of conversations, as well. It's not to say that the indoctrination is a conspiracy, per se, it's just the application of the wrong ideas, which are generally held to some degree by the public, to particular subjects, which are taught in the public school system.

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I'm not implicitly claiming anything.

I'm not advocating raising taxes.

I'm not advocating public education.

I'm not saying that people received good educations before the federal government got involved (although its certainly deteriorated)

These claims are your inventions.

I'm saying that the Constitution should be followed, and that the Constitution prohibits the federal government getting involved in Education. That if any governmental entity has any power under the constitution to get involved in education, it's the individual States, and that even the States don't have a responsibility under the constitution to provide for education. This is not an opinion. This is the way it is.

If I have my way neither of my sons nor my daughter will ever see the inside of a public school even if I have to make significant financial sacrifices. I AM NOT A FAN OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN ANY VARIETY.

The most important thing to me, the ONLY thing that's important until it gets fixed, is that we currently have no rule of law in this country, and thus no guarantee of freedoms and liberties, because people refuse to uphold the Constitution of the United States, or demand that it be upheld.

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How in the world do you relate educational problems to federal involvement? The whole problem is because of state government involvement, which is unfortunately not prohibited by the US constitution and pretty much required by the constitutions of the several states. The content problem is squarely the responsibility of state meddling in what should be a private matter.

While I agree that the states do have more power, I also think that the federal government plays a large role in public education problems. Although the Dept. Of Education's spending, $60+ billion, a total that doesn't include ARRA earmarks (FLDOE puts that figure at $90 billion), is dwarfed in total by the amount spent by all the states combined, such funding does give the federal government quite a bit of power to meddle in the affairs of the states.

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I'm saying that the Constitution should be followed, and that the Constitution prohibits the federal government getting involved in Education.
In fact it does not, because of the Welfare clause. But even if there were an explicit constitutional provision precluding federal involvement in education, your comments would be entirely irrelevant to the topic of this thread. Try to stay on topic.
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While I agree that the states do have more power, I also think that the federal government plays a large role in public education problems. Although the Dept. Of Education's spending, $60+ billion, a total that doesn't include ARRA earmarks (FLDOE puts that figure at $90 billion), is dwarfed in total by the amount spent by all the states combined, such funding does give the federal government quite a bit of power to meddle in the affairs of the states.
There is a huge difference between the actual and the potential. Can you provide any evidence that the federal government does actually interfere with the content of education (using its pursestring power)? The annoying political content, the complete lack of logic, the teaching of evasion and emotion as "man's methods of survival", the intellectually dishonest trends that students are trained in and that we see on a daily basis, are derived from state and local board policy, not federal interference.
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There is a huge difference between the actual and the potential. Can you provide any evidence that the federal government does actually interfere with the content of education (using its pursestring power)? The annoying political content, the complete lack of logic, the teaching of evasion and emotion as "man's methods of survival", the intellectually dishonest trends that students are trained in and that we see on a daily basis, are derived from state and local board policy, not federal interference.

There is a huge difference between the actual and potential interference of the federal government in public education. Although actual interference may not be too controlling of local education departments, federal laws have created precedent for the potentiality of future interference and power. A few of these actualities can be found here; one particular example of the ESEA/NCLB that applies to the subject of literacy. Any state that's going to want to continue getting money is going to try their hardest to make sure they don't deviate from the 'scientifically proven' methods that the Department of Education can assist them with; if a school is 'measured' to be failing, their definitely going to be at a disadvantage to act without the department. States have to give 'success' plans to the department of education, to be judged and approved, in order to stay on the dole.

Edited by RussK
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In fact it does not, because of the Welfare clause. But even if there were an explicit constitutional provision precluding federal involvement in education, your comments would be entirely irrelevant to the topic of this thread. Try to stay on topic.

Yes I agree I've unintentionally derailed this thread a bit from its original intent for trying to show the unconstitutionality of federal involvement in education and I apologize for that. I'll make one response to your statement and then I'll drop the matter so people can get back on topic.

"With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators." – James Madison in letter to James Robertson

James Madison is one of the primary authors of the Constitution.

For the list of 'powers connected with them', here's Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/co...n.articlei.html

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

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