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Families that cannot afford private school or a relatively high tax on schooling can pay significantly less and still send their child to a public school. Under objectivism, what happens to a child who's family cannot afford education?

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Families that cannot afford private school or a relatively high tax on schooling can pay significantly less and still send their child to a public school. Under objectivism, what happens to a child who's family cannot afford education?

They either get a scholarship or go to a charity-run school, I suppose. I think the far more pressing problem is what happens when parents do not assume the responsibility of educating their child, whether at a recognized school or at the very least at home.

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Families that cannot afford private school or a relatively high tax on schooling can pay significantly less and still send their child to a public school. Under objectivism, what happens to a child who's family cannot afford education?

There was a good discussion not long ago on this subject. Public Education

To start with, parents should not have children unless they can properly provide for them and that includes some sort of basic education. But this would not be as difficult as many people would choose to believe. Right now somebody has to pay for that education. Imagine the increase in real income if taxes were slashed that now pay for bloated, inefficient state run schools. Imagine how the private sector could do twice the job with half the money. There would likely still be some children who would need some help, but that's what charity or scholarships are for. Think how truly charitable people could and would be if they were not jaded by altruistic sacrifices demanded of them at every turn.

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They either get a scholarship or go to a charity-run school, I suppose. I think the far more pressing problem is what happens when parents do not assume the responsibility of educating their child, whether at a recognized school or at the very least at home.

Where does the money for a scholarship come from? The rich? Isn't that essentially the same thing the government does now?

And I can't imagine a charity school offering a decent education.

And what would happen if a parent doesn't assume that responsibility?

Or they don't get education. Education isn't a right. It's not a ludicrous possibility certain children will not have formal education.

Without education though, one will never be able to be up to par with the rest of society. School is where we learn to read and write. How can you succeed if you can't read and write?

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So what right does anyone have to an education? Your statement that someone will not be on par with the rest of society is utterly meaningless.

For the record, I've only discovered objectivism recently. I find it crazy to let someone go without an education, but your reasoning does make sense. I suppose any parent could teach their children how to read and write, and from there a library could do wonders.

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The thing you're not taking into account is that if there were no public schools, then all schools would be private and competing for students. Competition spurs quality up and drives tuition down. It would almost certainly be cheaper than government schools are today.

The families who couldn't afford any type of school for their child in a completely private market would be few and far in between. Most of them would probably be hovering at or around the indigent/poverty level, ie. not a whole lot -- especially under LFC. Private charities or scholarships could help these small numbers of children.

Edited by Myself
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For the record, I've only discovered objectivism recently. I find it crazy to let someone go without an education, but your reasoning does make sense. I suppose any parent could teach their children how to read and write, and from there a library could do wonders.

Well welcome to the forum! There's a forum for introductions that works wonders in letting people know a bit more about your background (what you have read) and motive in being here. It's also a good place to receive suggestions on good reading material. FYI, the word "Objectivism" is usually capitalized as a proper noun as it refers to the philosophy of Ayn Rand. The search feature also comes in handy as there is oodles of information on this forum.

Back on topic, the main problem with state sponsored schooling is that it requires taxation, which is acquired by the state using force. Taxing the rich to educate the poor is not charity and actually destroys many charitable desires. While education is extremely important (I personally will never have children until I'm able to provide them an education I think they require) not everyone needs the same level of schooling. State run education is simply not capable of properly dealing with the unique educational needs of every child. Within any sized group, from a society down to a family down to an individual, respect for education and a desire to learn will take a person much further in their learning than our vanilla, cookie cutter "public" schools of today.

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So what right does anyone have to an education? Your statement that someone will not be on par with the rest of society is utterly meaningless.

That isn't as straightforward a question as you make it out to be.

Obviously an adult (or a child) doesn't have the right to force "society" to pay for his education. I do think, however, that a child has a right to expect his parents to pay for an education. Parents who refuse to educate their child are committing a worse act of abuse than starving him of food.

To be clear, I'm not talking about a college education, graduate school, or even a trade school. The obligation would be a minimum level of education necessary for cognitive development, objectively defined as a baseline.

Edited by Myself
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Where does the money for a scholarship come from? The rich? Isn't that essentially the same thing the government does now?

The government takes money. A charity run school would be GIVEN money by donors of their own accord, not by forcibly taken money. Big difference.

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One thing that borders this subject that i've been thinking about is what rights do biological parents have to be the ones to raise their children? I mean, how far does it go?

I haven't thought about this all the way yet, but why wouldn't a parent refusing to teach his child to read, write, speak, count etc. not be on par with parental negligence, and be enough for removing the child from the care of the parents. Obviously the leash should be pretty long, so im not advocating that a child should be taken away from parents after one late night drinking binge that left the child unfed, but if the parents are destroying the childs mind by refusing to educate him, and dont provide the basic tools for a child to function as a human being, shouldnt the child be removed from the parents and given up for adoption/foster care..... Obviously if the child is older, it gets a bit tricky, but i cant think of a single reason why parents should be allowed to destroy a childs mind, just because they have a biological connection to the child.

I really think that refusing to educate the child to speak, read, write, count etc. is grounds for removal of the child from the parents.

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School is where we learn to read and write.

This isn't always the case. My parents read to me and recited ABCs, and while I don't remember exactly where, when or how I learned to read I have to assume that much of the learning happened at home. In Kindergarten one of my friends could already read upside down. I'm sure he wasn't taught that skill in school.

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I blogged about this last year. It's interesting to note that these people in the article I link to on the blog are, to quote Mother Teresa "Among the poorest of the poor".

http://uncommonsensecanada.blogspot.com/20...nt-be-done.html

Please be sure to read the linked article it is eye opening to say the least.

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And I can't imagine a charity school offering a decent education.

As opposed to today's public schools? Which systematically destroy a child's ability to think, tear out their conceptual mentality, bore them to never want to open a book again, expose them to repulsive prison-like environments that are completely antithetical to development and produce wave after wave of criminals and drug addicts?

Public education is, by nature, impossible to do well - because public always means political. The goal of public education, always, isn't to produce a rational, independent person - but to mould a child into a good citizen: and the effect is always the opposite.

If the only education available to me, financially, was public - I would not have children. Public schooling is cruelty beyond belief, it takes an incredibly heroic child to come out of it a rational, productive and benevolent person.

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And I can't imagine a charity school offering a decent education.

That is becuase given today's mindset an "education" is defined as a single product consisting of a single set of features, and obviously has a single price. Additionally becuase today's teachers lobby is probably the largest political lobby out there, out teachers are paid relatively uniformly and relatively far over-compensated.

In an objectivist society education education is a free market, capatilistic venture. If you look today at what the free market does with a wide variety of needs, you'll see that it develops a wide variety of products. Some are high end; some are low end. Most will do better at meeting the individual needs of their purchasers than their socialized counterparts. Today's public education is a Socialist-style clunker but because its the only product available we don't know what we're missing. And because we think everyone should have a Ford Taurus, we forget that a 50 cc motorbike meets the needs of a much larger proportion of the population.

How about a decent education for 10 cents per day?

http://crucibleandcolumn.blogspot.com/2007...t-solution.html

Edited by KendallJ
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Without education though, one will never be able to be up to par with the rest of society. School is where we learn to read and write. How can you succeed if you can't read and write?

You mean like John von Neumann? If you had told him that you had to have some magical seal of approval from a state entity to 'make it' and call himself 'educated', he would probably have slapped you. After he stopped choking from his laughter attack.

So would have other autodidacts such as Socrates, Descartes, Avicenna, Benjamin Franklin, George Bernard Shaw, Feodor Chaliapin, Abraham Lincoln, Ludwig van Beethoven, Thomas Alva Edison, William Blake, Walter Pitts, Frank Bender, Srinivasa Ramanujan, and Kató Lomb.

All, of course, rotund failures because they didn't go through the ever-enlightening system.

*Sarcasm Turned Off*

It's perfectly alright for every child not to become a high-powered lawyer or a doctor. Education is a privilege, not a right, and many kids are sitting in chairs listening to classes who could care less about learning- and who will retain that attitude throughout the rest of their lives. It doesn't matter that they show up for school- it's wasted on them.

Everything I have learned, I've learned because I've wanted to learn it- not because some government drone handed it to me. As the list of individuals above exemplifies, someone who wants to learn will do so no matter the circumstances. My partner of four years is a programmer, and he taught himself everything he knows about programming.

Education is important. All that is needed is for there to be a source of information somewhere where the information can be found- be it books or magazines, or even novels for example when we are talking about Lomb, one of the first simultaneous interpreters who gleaned the grammatical rules of several languages from reading novels. Government-run institutions are never to be trusted to educate, since the information they present will be aligned irrevocably with the government's agenda du jour-- how can you trust the government to educate and mold the minds of your children when they can't even keep themselves from screwing up the country?

Edited by kainscalia
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I suppose any parent could teach their children how to read and write, and from there a library could do wonders.
You might be surprised at how much can be accomplished with near-zero resources in this regard. Consider the type of resources available to many rural communities a century ago. With a few text books, one can accomplish a lot (80%?) of what is taught in today's elementary and middle schools. For the elementary school portion, it does not even require much knowledge on part of the teacher. From a few basic books, a reasonably educated adult can do a good job. Most of the success at the elementary level, much of it at the middle-school level, and a fair amount throughout life, is about the approach to learning.

Think back on your own elementary and middle-school years. Imagine your teachers (most of whom did a few years learning how to educate kids) were replaced by people who had high-school degrees, and were about the middle of their class...not rocket-scientists. In other words, in terms of employment possibilities, imagine that they were about average in the workplace. Imagine these people were to read a few books about some special techniques, tips and tricks used in teaching (e.g. how to use block to teach toddlers counting and basic math). Would such folk teach almost as well as any existing school (on average)?

Suppose we accept this hypothesis that teaching elementary and middle school requires a very average person from the workforce, with a very average salary. What follows in terms of its affordability? Here's some quick math about teacher's salaries. If we have teacher-student ratio of 20, and if we assume that cost for building, material, admin are 50% of the costs and teacher's salaries are the other 50%, then it follows that an average wage-earner will spend about 1/10 of their income for each child's education.

Growing up in India, we had 1 teacher for every 30 student, and comparatively low overhead costs. yet, our elementary and middle-school education was not much behind that in the U.S. It follows, that a poorer school could end up charging about 1/15th of an average wage-earner's salary to educate a child.

A poorer person, might still end up paying 1/10th of their salary to educate a child. Kids cost money, and folks need to think about how many they can afford, and about how important a value kids are to them compared to other things they can do with their money.

Take all of the above, and add in some charity, and you can see why schooling would be extremely affordable in a free-economy.

Another way to look at is this: the tax-funding for K-12 schools is not as skewed as the funding of Federal programs (i.e. not as "progressive). This means, most average people are already paying for the existing schools (mostly via sales taxes and property taxes).

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I find it crazy to let someone go without an education,

So do I. That's why I freely donate money to charities that provide education or educational aid to children whose parents can't affordd it.

It's something you should think about, too.

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And I can't imagine a charity school offering a decent education.

Can you imagine public run schools offering decent education? I can't. Where I live all education is dictated by the government and education-wise I think most people would be better off on their own(and yes, you can actually learn to read, write etc. on your own).

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How did Twain put it?

I never let a school get in the way of my education.

How is it that Einstein was so bright in physics and mathematics but did poorly in school?

Many things are unaffordable. Why is it that "free" education doesn't have outstanding results? Maybe because it requires no desire to work for the education.

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there are lots of options -

home-schooling (and its pedagogically anarchic cousin, unschooling)

charity-run schools / religious schools

scholarships to private schools

on-the-job training / learning a trade

apprenticeships

sponsor-a-child charity payment schemes

local group of friends from the area getting together for group-home school sessions

teachers choosing to work four days in a private school and then one day pro bono in poor area community centres... etc

and if education was genuinely opened up to the market, you would probably see the development of the tele-schooling market, where kids watch prepared lessons at home, or e-schooling, getting lessons online. with low overheads, these would be really cheap

I sincerely doubt the situation could be any worse than government-run establishments that are half-day care, half-p.c. indoctrination camp...

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Can you imagine public run schools offering decent education? I can't. Where I live all education is dictated by the government and education-wise I think most people would be better off on their own(and yes, you can actually learn to read, write etc. on your own).

Remember, at the beginning of this country, without 'public education', the literacy rate was around 95%, compared to today's at best 75%, and with all the public schooling about now... [see Gatto's The Underground History of American Education - http://www.amazon.com/Underground-History-...5895&sr=1-2 ]

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Remember, at the beginning of this country, without 'public education', the literacy rate was around 95%, compared to today's at best 75%, and with all the public schooling about now... [see Gatto's The Underground History of American Education - http://www.amazon.com/Underground-History-...5895&sr=1-2 ]

Thanks for that information!

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Remember, at the beginning of this country, without 'public education', the literacy rate was around 95%, compared to today's at best 75%, and with all the public schooling about now... [see Gatto's The Underground History of American Education - http://www.amazon.com/Underground-History-...5895&sr=1-2 ]

Wikipedia says 99%. Where do you get your 75% figure from? I haven't met an illiterate person yet, but according to you I should see one in every four. I guess the CIA fact book could be lying.

Actually, that's probably the case:

Jonathan Kozol, in his book Illiterate America, suggests that this very high figure may be due to poor methodology [8]. The Census Bureau reported literacy rates of 99% based on personal interviews of a relatively small portion of the population and on written responses to Census Bureau mailings. They also considered individuals literate if they simply stated that they could read and write, and made the assumption that anyone with a fifth grade education had at least an 80% chance of being literate. Kozol notes that, in addition to these weaknesses, the reliance on written forms would have obviously excluded many individuals who did not have a literate family member to fill out the form for them. Finally, he suggests that because illiterate people are likely to be unemployed and may not have telephones or permanent addresses, the census bureau would have been unlikely to find them (and that if they did, these people might be especially reluctant to talk to a stranger who might be a bill collector, tax auditor, or salesperson).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy_in_the_United_States

Edited by brian0918
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