I am a retired educator with 38 years of experience in the New York City Public School System. I write the following in support of charter schools and in opposition to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to close them.
Let’s say you’re passionate about pizza and you live in a neighborhood where only one establishment is permitted to produce and sell pizzas. Imagine those pizzas are unappetizing, but you are compelled to purchase them by law and are forbidden to make your own. Substitute “education” for “pizzas” in this scenario and you will begin to comprehend the true nature of compulsory public education.
In a free market, anyone who produces an unsavory pizza would soon be out of business because people are free to find and choose a better pizza. However, in the sphere of scholastic instruction, competition and freedom of choice, which nurture creativity and excellence, are conspicuously missing.
Except for education, most services we use offer a choice of providers as well as an assortment of options to accommodate our individual needs.
Many who rail against the power, control and influence of Wall Street, corporations, banks, and the “one percenters” readily accept government’s absolute control of education. To make matters worse, compulsory education laws compel all students to attend approved institutions.
Inevitably every politically controlled educational system will inculcate the doctrine of state supremacy. Murray Rothbard in his book “Education: Free and Compulsory” writes: “Once that doctrine has been accepted, it becomes an almost superhuman task to break the stranglehold of the political power over the life of the citizen. It has had its body, property and mind in its clutches since infancy.”
What we desperately need is separation of schools and state. Where are the pro-choice progressives when we need them?