Think about things differently? Perhaps, to strive to excel? To have a mind of our own and use it? Is that what public education exists to develop, our individual talents? Government-run education? A bureaucratic exercise if there ever was one?
What is the basic problem with government-run schools? The bigger the operation the more difficult and costly it becomes to operate. What is required for economies of scale? The product has to be all the same. To reduce complexity to manageable proportions, an assembly line requires uniformity. When we put our children in a K-12 assembly line, are our children all the same? Do they all have the same needs and talents? Do we expect or even want the same outcome for all of them? Are our children widgets?
So, why would we want to give our children over to a bunch of administrative bureaucrats? Do we really expect those bureaucrats to have the ability to treat each of our children as unique individuals?
In fact, to make thing easier for themselves — to make it easier to manage people — bureaucrats strive to stamp out individuality, and that includes stamping out individual excellence.
Consider how the military operates. Everyone is put in uniform and categorized by rank and assigned a specialty. “Individual” success is defined as checking all of one’s assigned boxes.
Our educational system is becoming a bureaucracy every bit as big as the military, and children don’t have the skills to adapt to such nonsense. To describe the latest drive to squelch the quest for educational excellence, The Larry O’Connor Show (wmal.com) had Asra Nomani of Parents Defending Education as a guest (You can listen here, Asra Nomani on The Larry’O Connor Show 04.23.21 – The Larry O’Connor Show – Omny.fm.).
Nomani and O’Connor were actually astonished by this story, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) moves to eliminate all accelerated math options prior to 11th grade – Parents Defending Education. Here is the official description, VDOE :: Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI).
Note that there is nothing new about any of this. Because he had so much disdain for trying to treat children as identical widgets, C. S. Lewis wrote about it decades ago (see How C.S. Lewis Predicted the Woke Nightmare by Jared Whitley (townhall.com)).
When C. S. Lewis wrote about treating children as widgets, instead of speaking of equity, he used this phrase.
I’m as good as youScrewtape Proposes a Toast. (samizdat.qc.ca)
Well, the envious in our country did not adopt that phrase. Instead they use “equity” as an excuse. For the sake of “equity,” we have to treat everyone as if everyone actually is identical. For the sake of “equity,” we must eliminate diversity, even educational excellence. Hence, the envious would cut off the heads of anyone who achieves excellence.
Was C. S. Lewis the first to describe this problem? No. Not even close. Even Jesus Christ encountered this problem.
Because Jesus had grown up among the people of Nazareth, they saw him as just one of them. So, instead of celebrating His success, they envied Him.
What is the “cure” for this sort of envy? There is humility, of course. However, for the sake of our children, we must also give some consideration to the objective of their education. Consider this proverb.
The way Proverbs 22:6 is usually translated does not make it obvious what this training should include. What is meant by “the way should go”? Of course, we want our children to grow up to be righteous people, but there is more to it. Here is an “amplified” translation.
Instead of being jealous of the successes of our neighbors or worrying excessively about the self-esteem of our children, we should be more concerned about developing whatever God-given gifts they have. Then, if our children are righteous, God will be able to make the best use of our children.
If our government is too bureaucratic and ideological to get the job done, then we also need to find people more suited to the task of educating our children as individuals, not widgets. That is, parents need school choice for their children.
What else do we need to do? We need to pray, Intercessors for America – Pray For America’s Leaders (ifapray.org).