Educational Freedom

About: the threefold social order and educational freedom

source: ... The public nurturing of spiritual and cultural life in education has in recent years become more and more a matter for the state. That the schools are the state's business is presently a notion so deeply rooted in people's minds that anyone who tries to dislodge it is regarded as an unworldly “ideologue.” Yet this is a sphere of life that presents matter for the most serious consideration. People who complain in this way of “unworldliness” have no idea of how far what they uphold is removed from the world. Our school system is marked especially by features that reflect the tendencies toward decline in modern cultural life. The social structures of modern governments have not followed the requirements of actual life. For instance, they have taken on a form that does not satisfy the economic demands of modern humanity. They have also set this same backward stamp upon the school system, which, having liberated it from the religious confessions, they have now brought into complete dependence on themselves. At every level, schools mold human beings into the form the state requires for doing what the state deems necessary. Arrangements in the schools reflect the government's requirements. There is much talk, certainly, of striving to achieve an all-around development of the person, and so on; but the modern person unconsciously feels so completely a part of the whole order of the state that he does not even notice, when talking about the all-around development of the human being, that what is meant is molding the human being into a useful servant of the state.
...
ibid: ... In this regard, no good may be expected from the way of thinking of those today who hold socialist views. They are bent on transforming the old state into a huge economic organization. State schools are supposed to project themselves on into this economic organization. This would magnify all the faults of present-day schools in the most dubious way imaginable.
...
ibid: ...  The question should not be: What does a human being need to know and be able to do for the social order that now exists?, but rather: What capacities are latent in this human being, and what lies within that can be developed? Then it will be possible to bring ever new forces into the social order from the rising generations. The life of the social order will be what is made of it by a succession of fully developed human beings who take their places in the social order. The rising generation should not be molded into what the existing social order chooses to make of it.
... i.e true diversity not robots of the state.etc... read the whole 2328 word essay by Rudolph Steiner. Strange how it applies today.

 ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Juxtapose these thoughts against what Obama & the teachers' unions want when they oppose school vouchers:
source: ...

Mr. Obama says he opposes such vouchers, because "although it might benefit some kids at the top, what you're going to do is leave a lot of kids at the bottom." The example of his own children refutes that: The current system offers plenty of choice to kids "at the top" while abandoning those at the bottom.


You might ponder why the public school teachers are so afraid of private competition - even when it doesn't take away money from their present budgets.
At least one of the classmates of Obama's children will not be able to go next year if the program is not reauthorized.
RS goes much deeper than any of the current controversy on vouchers, though - to the very core of why education must be independent of state control.
 

Tags

  1. steiner
  2. threefold
  3. education
  4. freeedom
  5. d.c. scholarship
  6. vouchers
  7. parochial schools
  8. private schools

Comments


Mark de LA says
source: ...

Recent studies are showing that vouchers are working. Families are more satisfied with their children’s education with school choice, students are safer, test scores are going up, and even public schools are getting better thanks to the competition.

But the DC public school system isn’t doing as well. D.C. spends some $14,000 annually on each child in its public schools, one of the highest per-pupil costs in the nation, yet DC ranks 51st -- dead last -- in test scores among the 50 states, and only slightly more than half of students graduate. The DC Opportunity Scholarship Program provides parents and students a better option than this failing school system.


...


Seth says
Well if it were up to me I would evolve the current public school system into vouchers for parochial or charter schools.  The quality of education provided in public schools is very poor - i have my own son's experience to attest to that.  The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program appears, on first blush, to be a experiment that succeeded in proving that evolution would be possible.  

The arguments against it seem to be (1) that those of us who do not wish to subsidize someone else's church will continue to be forced to do so through our federal tax dollars.  But this argument is pretty easily refuted because the program allows the parents to choose whatever school they want - whether sectarian or secular.  And (2) Sen. Kennedy's objection that the program "takes funds from very needy public schools to send students to unaccountable private schools".  But that objection assumes that schools should be run by the state (and for the state's objectives).  Well i am with RS on this one; but that will be a hard sell to our current institutions.  Perhaps what is needed is for a scientific study that persuasively proves that private schools can do a better job. 

We will need to track this item and see if it makes its way into law or not.  I'm betting that along the way it will be traded away for some factions vote to actually get the budget passed.  

Mark de LA says
Too bad RS's prime argument will be ignored throughout the debate. In essence he is saying that using the standards & measurement of the government only perpetuates the status quo & thinking of education under purpose to create the same economic & state-ism we have.  We need new blood, new thinking & new spirit drawn from beings of each generation & the ability to alter things out of that new spirit.  An efficiency study by the people in charge is futile because measuring is against the standard of today's failed system.  Even today's private schools have to be accredited against standards written by the establishment. Vouchers is a possible portal to the future.

Mark de LA says
We are forced nowadays to support the public failed schools even if we have no children. We are forced to support them even though they seem to indoctrinate children in homosexuality, & sex in grammar school. We even have teachers who take a side in election politics & such issues as abortion.  I see no reason why vouchers for private faith-based schools is any worse!


Seth says
source: M above
We are forced to support them even though they seem to indoctrinate children in homosexuality, & sex in grammar school. We even have teachers who take a side in election politics & such issues as abortion.
If a complete voucher system were implemented you would be supporting beliefs far more alien to your own than that.  You might be supporting instruction in the Koran, the Talmud, and the Book of the Dead as well as sex education.  That is what freedom of choice for parents implies.  So I would not engage this as a fight for some particular partisan ethic.  Rather it is a fight for a parent's choice of educational curriculum and quality instruction.  What needs to be done is to prove that the private sector can indeed provide better education at a reasonable cost.  Once that belief is firmly established among citizens, then local educational tax monies should start flowing into voucher systems.  But once you wave the red flag about allegid "indoctrination of  children in homosexuality, & sex", which proposition is probably not even true, you will just marginalize your own efforts and discredit them as normal right wing bloviating.

Mark de LA says
Yep, you seem to have made partisan my statement while I am simply stating that the public school system teaches stuff that many consider harmful to children. We are all used to the various governments collecting taxes for stuff like wars & massive boondoggles we disagree with. Not everyone will agree with what is being taught no matter who chooses the curriculum. The best is for parents to choose the curriculum. The worst is for the state to do so. The main argument of RS is for teachers to be real educators:
source: ...
educate 1447, from L. educatus, pp. of educare "bring up, rear, educate," which is related to educere "bring out," from ex- "out" + ducere "to lead" (see duke). Meaning "provide schooling" is first attested 1588 in Shakespeare.
...
i.e. to bring out of a student his unique qualities not brain wash him. You have to understand forces in an evolving human being from infancy to adulthood to do so.  Good Luck finding that in most teachers today.


Seth says
source: M above
Not everyone will agree with what is being taught no matter who chooses the curriculum. The best is for parents to choose the curriculum.
I agree.

Mark de LA says
seth 2009-03-09 08:16:56 11592
source: M above
Not everyone will agree with what is being taught no matter who chooses the curriculum. The best is for parents to choose the curriculum.
I agree.
I'm not talking about various PTAs either. It will also help when the parents themselves no longer are brainwashed products of the old school public school system.

Seth says
I think one thing this project needs to digest is that this would be a long range evolutionary plan.  The first problem, as i said above, is to prove that it is the best path for the future.  That has not been done yet.  We need more live pilot projects.  The public school institution is not going to die easily.  Enough people are not just going to jump on the bandwagon for partisan reasons or because of the inflammatory rhetoric from pundits.  This must emerge as a clear advantage for  delivering quality education at a reasonable price to everyone - not just disadvantaged minorities, wealthy patrons, and narrow sectarian interests.  If you are serious about this as a solution, you must carefully watch the attitude with which you project it.

Mark de LA says
seth 2009-03-09 10:03:40 11592
I think one thing this project needs to digest is that this would be a long range evolutionary plan.  The first problem, as i said above, is to prove that it is the best path for the future.  That has not been done yet.  We need more live pilot projects.  The public school institution is not going to die easily.  Enough people are not just going to jump on the bandwagon for partisan reasons or because of the inflammatory rhetoric from pundits.  This must emerge as a clear advantage for  delivering quality education at a reasonable price to everyone - not just disadvantaged minorities, wealthy patrons, and narrow sectarian interests.  If you are serious about this as a solution, you must carefully watch the attitude with which you project it.

Perhaps or not;  making education independent from the state & the economic domains of life into the freedom of the spiritual (being) domain is so great a task that I am doubtful that anything short of massive failure of the current system will force people to transform education per se.  Vouchers is just a small defensive skirmish in a long battle of a giant war for those who care about their children's education in the context of the system we live with today. Children today are the tomorrow's future country.

Mark de LA says
I guess the Obama administration would rather pay for scholarships for the Palestinians in Gaza than those in the District of Columbia! When will Hamas pay taxes for our children's education? As always trying to buy our way into peace in the Middle East - more details here.


Seth says
source: Washington Post: Senate Approves $410 Billion Bill to Fund Federal Government
Another contentious provision targets the District's school voucher program, a Republican favorite that provides 1,700 low-income students with the equivalent of a $7,500 grant to attend a private school.  Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) sought unsuccessfully to strike language from the bill that would require its reauthorization after the 2009-2010 school year, a move he said would leave current recipients in limbo.

"We're talking about real children here," Ensign said on the Senate floor before his amendment was defeated yesterday, pointing to a poster-size photo of two voucher beneficiaries at Sidwell Friends School, where Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha, are students.

 Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) defended the reauthorization requirement as a routine review to determine whether the voucher approach works. "Congress will take a look at the program and decide if the money is well spent," he said.
This is not Obama's doing.  We don't even know how Obama would have voted on the amendment had he still been in the Senate ... but i'm sure you will hold him responsible anyway.  Btw, how did McCain vote?


Mark de LA says
seth 2009-03-11 10:13:58 11592
source: Washington Post: Senate Approves $410 Billion Bill to Fund Federal Government
Another contentious provision targets the District's school voucher program, a Republican favorite that provides 1,700 low-income students with the equivalent of a $7,500 grant to attend a private school.  Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) sought unsuccessfully to strike language from the bill that would require its reauthorization after the 2009-2010 school year, a move he said would leave current recipients in limbo.

"We're talking about real children here," Ensign said on the Senate floor before his amendment was defeated yesterday, pointing to a poster-size photo of two voucher beneficiaries at Sidwell Friends School, where Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha, are students.

 Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) defended the reauthorization requirement as a routine review to determine whether the voucher approach works. "Congress will take a look at the program and decide if the money is well spent," he said.
This is not Obama's doing.  We don't even know how Obama would have voted on the amendment had he still been in the Senate ... but i'm sure you will hold him responsible anyway.  Btw, how did McCain vote?

     Kicking the can down the road until media attention has waned as Durbin the Dick wants is certainly not a Republican idea. I don't care how McCain voted - I'm not a Republican.  In any event, Obama signs the bill - it's his! It's his party that hates vouchers or any competition to the teachers' unions.
     I guess money for the Hamas children is more important!
 

Mark de LA says
Open note to Obama:  You can't just vote present when you sign an appropriations bill - you are involved. You can't just blame congress or previous administrations. Take a fucking stand & stick with it!


Mark de LA says
Here is an interesting nuance on home schooling.
source: ...

Venessa Mills was in the fourth year of home schooling her children who are 10, 11 and 12 years old. They have tested two years above their grade levels, she said.

"We have math, reading; we have grammar, science, music,” Venessa Mills said.


...
Apparently it is OK for the public schools to indoctrinate her children, but not the parents! A divorce is involved & the report is a little muddy.
ibid: ... He was upfront and said that, 'It's not about religion.' But yet when it came down to his ruling and reasons why, 'He said this would be a good opportunity for the children to be tested in the beliefs that I have taught them,'" Venessa Mills said.
    (video also)
...Would he have made the same ruling if the children were from an Islamic faith? Some of the books (she prefers?) seem to be from a Kingfisher series. A sample is here. They don't seem objectionable.  Although the science encyclopedia in Google books seems to be a later version than the ones in the video & the article they do bring up evolution in several places see this search of the book. If these are the books she uses where does the religion creep in ? They look a little better than some we use today.


Mark de LA says
BTW, the above is about forced public schooling vs home schooling.  WND seems to be a good source of articles on the subject here including the above. The list of their articles on similar incidents is at the bottom of their article on this case.

Mark de LA says
~here's looking a you kids..


Mark de LA says
Somebody had to say it in pictures:


Mark de LA says
The DC Opportunity Scholarship program apparently is being killed by Democrats & their dependence on the teachers' unions:
source: ... It's clear, though, from how the destruction of the program is being orchestrated, that issues such as parents' needs, student performance and program effectiveness don't matter next to the political demands of teachers' unions. Congressional Democrats who receive ample campaign contributions from the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers laid the trap with budget language that placed the program on the block. And now comes Mr. Duncan with the sword.
...

source: ... To echo the Washington Post, it's a choice Obama has the luxury of making for his kids. It's a choice almost 50 percent of the U.S. Senate exercises for their kids. It is a choice teachers' unions are petrified of giving to Carmen and Patricia. And, it's clear that, when given a choice, Democrats are more petrified of unions than they are interested in doing something that works for some of the most underserved kids in the District. Hope and change!

...take a second look at the hope & change machinery that is bringing about the exact opposite of what those words mean. Is this what Obama's master education program is all about?

Mark de LA says
~D.C. 's children lose to the teachers' unions.
source: ... Despite the growing public preference for private education, Congress recently canceled the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which was created in 2004 to offer students from low-income families in the nation's capital an opportunity to join the voucher educational community. The law provided $14 million in scholarships to help pay for tuition at private schools of their choosing. But no longer.


Why did Congress nix the program, especially when recent studies showed that students receiving vouchers since the program's inception were academically 18.9 months ahead of their peers? (I read the other day that 100 percent of Thurgood Marshall Academy's charter graduates are accepted to colleges.) And why would Congress phase out a program that costs $7,500 per student annually, compared with the $15,000 it costs in Washington's public schools to educate a child?

So its cancellation is not a result of costing too much, because it's half the price of public schooling. And it's not because of inferior quality, because the kids enrolled in the program were scoring higher than students in regular schools. There's only one reason Congress canceled it, and it comes down to this: federal control and educational indoctrination.

...
ibid: ... Is it merely coincidental that the private choice of home schooling was outlawed by the Soviet state in 1919, by Hitler and Nazi Germany in 1938, and by Communist China in 1949?

...why are the teachers afraid of competition?



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