Tag: private school

Privatized Education Will Save American Schools

Nickolas Roberson | United States

This past month of February, teachers in West Virginia, California, Colorado, Arizona, Kentucky, and Oklahoma have been leaving their classrooms to take part in strikes all in the name of increasing wages, compensation, and school funding. Their numbers ranged from the hundreds to the tens of thousands depending on the state. Their demands have ranged as well, from a salary increase of few thousand dollars to salary increase of $11,000 dollars, the grand sum of these demands is that teachers want more from the government– in the name of themselves, their families, and especially their students. However, rather than receiving more tax dollars from state and federal governments, there is a better, more sustainable solution; privatize the education system.

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Working Teens Should Not be Forced Back to Public School

By T. Fair | United States

A recent article in The Daily Bell relates that truancy interventionists in Xenia, Ohio, are meeting with students. Regardless of where the kids are, the officers track them down to determine why they are missing classes. Jenny Adkins, the school’s supervisor of student services, even said: “She has gone to work sites before if she knows a kid is working.” 

Ironically, the name of the school is “Greene County Career Center”. That’s right, a so-called career center is prohibiting students from getting a jump start on their working lives. In other words, the school is training students for their jobs by not letting them have jobs.

Nothing says career preparation like “educators” not letting the students they advise actually work. This is a horrible idea. You know what prepares teens and young adults for their careers? Actually having job experience.

Denying young people the right to choose for themselves is not just hypocritical and foolish, because this is a career center, but it is a bad idea for all schools in general. Isn’t the claimed purpose of schools all around America, if not the world, to “prepare the next generation for the real world?” Well, participating in the real world will likely require you to work. A teenager getting a job before adulthood is a first big taste of that “real world.”

This protocol also treats young adults like small children. This, of course, is counter-productive, because part of the real world is also making decisions for yourself. Schools should be teaching students about individualism, that students should always think for themselves and take action accordingly. That personal morality should outweigh law. But, it’s not like society wants a generation of thinkers; they want a generation of workers. John D. Rockefeller said it himself, “I don’t want a nation of thinkers. I want a nation of workers.”

The public school system, in enforcing this policy, is largely focused on monetary gain. A school’s funding from the state is based on attendance, or student enrollment, also known as membership. An article from KPBS by Joanne Faryon reports on the cost of students missing school, using San Diego County as an example.

“The attendance-based funding formula puts a bounty on the heads of students, forcing schools to meticulously track their absences – placing dollar amounts next to their names. Number 114 is one of 358 students on a list of the chronically absent at Lincoln High. A student is considered chronically absent if he or she misses 10 percent or more of the 180-day school year.” Joanne writes, soon following up with, “On average, a student with perfect attendance is worth about $5,230 to a school district in San Diego County. Every day missed reduces that amount by about $29. It may not sound like much, but the multiplier effect can be financially staggering for some schools.”

According to the article, a total of 473 students total were chronically absent in Ramona Unified School district, which contains approximately 5,700 students.

School attendance should always be voluntary. It should be a parent’s decision to enroll their children in a school, and their responsibility to have them attend class. Schools claim to prepare kids for the real world, yet this is one of the ways they fail to do so.

In the real world, there will be no truancy interventionists to drag them back to work. It is not the role of the government to tell someone what will be a good choice for them. If a young person is happy to spend their time working, that should be their choice. Many people who spend their young lives studying still end up lonely, unhappy and worn out.

Who should decide if the path of public education is the right one? It’s not the government, but the individual. The opportunity to succeed, to fail, and anything in between, while learning from successes and failures, is the undeniable right of every individual.

Mandatory public education is, by definition, an infringement on individual liberty. This is not to mention other issues like imbecilic curricula or the state’s agenda seeping into the classroom. As stated previously, 473 out of 5,700 students in a San Diego school district were chronically absent, which is over eight percent of all students. Not all of them, of course, were at work. Students are still going to be missing from class, regardless of truancy laws and the people who enforce them.

Looking at comparative international test scores, fraudulent standardized testing, and the morality of the public sector, it is clear that mandatory public schooling is a joke. Perhaps it’s time for a change.

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Government Education Spending Hurts More Than It Helps

By Isaiah Minter | United States

Public school teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona have spent the last month striking for higher wages and better health care. Truthfully, I wouldn’t have much of an issue with this if the students weren’t caught in the crossfire. But they are. While the students are deprived of vital schooling days, they are certainly not deprived of attention: to teachers and progressive politicians alike, the students are political ammunition designed to sway Republican politicians.

I loathe this routine of exploiting groups to achieve desired political outcomes, for it absolutely does more harm than good. However well-intentioned political actions may be, they often harm groups otherwise not involved with the issue at hand.

Nevertheless, whatever one’s opinion on the teacher strikes, it must be made clear that we do not need to deprive our children of schooling to achieve the desired goal. Teachers, like the children they educate, are both victims of the same disease: the bureaucracy of American education. Thus, to deliver a ‘living wage’ to teachers as progressives so often call it, we must do away with the band-aid approach of increased education spending and instead target the institution.

Indeed, most of the dollars in school spending hikes seldom ever reach the classroom. Dating back to 1950, public school administrative positions increased at seven times the rate of the student population and double that of teachers. This trend may explain why, despite an immense increase in public school spending over the last five decades, American education pails in comparison to the developed world.

Similarly, teacher wages fell roughly 2 percent over the same span that per-student spending rose by nearly 30 percent. Perhaps the starkest figure lies in the wide disparity between taxpayer spending on teachers and teacher salaries: Oklahoma taxpayers spend over $120,000 per teacher, and yet the average Oklahoma teacher salary is around $45,000 based on 2016 numbers.

The evidence suggests that the issue is not a lack of resources, but a lack of proper resource allocation. In flooding the system with administrators and non-education positions, we have allowed the ruthless imposition of regulations that siphon money into the bureaucracy and away from the schools that need it. For all the talk on greed in the private sector, people seldom ever concern themselves with it when it surfaces in the public sector.

Teachers’ unions and bureaucracy have American education in a chokehold, and if we are serious about supporting our teachers while delivering a quality education to our children, we need to remove the federal government from the issue altogether. There is no Constitutional authority for the federal government to be involved in education, and our abandonment of the 10th Amendment on this issue has plagued our schooling system for the last five decades. As a clear example:

The American Action Forum (AAF) found that the Department of Education currently imposes 85 million hours of paperwork, and more than 465 federal education forms, including 120 in postsecondary education, at a cost of more than $2.7 billion annually.

By removing the federal government from the issue, we would decentralize and deregulate the education system. This approach of turning education over to the states and promoting school choice through voucher systems would, in turn, promote parental responsibility in the schooling of their child.

The outlined approach contrasts heavily with our current system where we have, in effect, replaced the parent with the state employee and the local community with the federal government. Hardly then should it come as a surprise that education has deteriorated to the extent it has. Washington does not pay any price for being wrong.

It is not the Washington politician who suffers when school administrators saturate their pockets from school spending hikes, nor when teachers go on strike as a result. Instead, our students and teachers pay the price.

It always amazes me how government can be responsible for the disastrous results of a system – education in this case – but we nonetheless demand that this same institution fix the very issue it is responsible for. As this approach seldom proves effective, it is time for an approach of less government power and more market freedom.

For a more elaborate examination of the American education system, I strongly recommend Inside American Education by Thoms Sowell.

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Child Protective Services Is Abducting Homeschooled Children

By Ryan Love | United States

The relationship between parent and child is a sacred and time held one. It is a foundation pillar of society. It is the right and proper duty of the parent to assure that their children learn the moral, ethical, and educational building blocks of society, and how to employ them to be good and proper members of said society.

Recently, however, there have been case by case examples of the state eroding this sacred pillar. As was the case in Buffalo, New York when a single mother had her children ripped away from her by Child Protective Services for deciding to home-school her children.

This relays to us a very serious problem, particularly for conservatives and libertarians: the state’s power over the individual’s body is simply too great. The fact that the government can, without proper and reasonable suspicion of malice or wrongdoing, take the children out of the arms of a carrying parent is an egregious miscarriage of justice.

The fact that the state can initiate force without any sort of consent by the governed is a dangerous and horrifying prospect, one that has been made increasingly apparent in recent times. This is not the first account of wrongdoing either. All across the country, CPS officials have been flagged for behaving in reprehensible ways. Be it abuse, wrongly removing someone’s children, or placing kids into abusive foster homes, there is little moral basis for the government to take children away from their parents.

For the single Mother in Buffalo, she had her lifeblood, her beloved children ripped away from her simply because she refused to believe that state-sponsored schools were good for her family. She followed every bit of excessive bureaucratic red tape to the letter, and yet, it was all to no avail.

Why is the government granted this right in the first place? Of course, this is not to say that there are not instances in which child abuse does occur. But rather, that there may be better alternatives in addressing the needs of children especially when the interests of the child are at stake. For instance, could not other familial members work to help the kids? Or could CPS be reserved for more serious and heinous allegations, removing their power to take children from parents because they decide to home-school altogether?

What is worst of all is that CPS seems to operate with no rhyme or reason. On the one hand, they are destroying families lackadaisically, on the other they aren’t investigating truly abusive homes to the degree that they need to be. Without the true competition of the market, can we be surprised that CPS and the government at large is failing us? I would say not.

Ultimately, when we look to our society we can see a lot of good. Western Civilization has provided millions-if not billions- with a great and unprecedented quality of life. At the same time, there are many ways in which we can improve. One of them may be reconsidering the power of the State, and how it impacts the lives of families.

The Government is Ruining the Future of Every Student

By Jackson Parker | USA

With the rate of jobs growth increasing around the country, people scramble to equip themselves and their kin to find a job that can support them and their families. The most stressed option to prepare for future employment is, of course, college education. While a degree can provide students with appropriate skills and opportunities for succeeding in the real world, the sword has two sides. The opposing edge ends up becoming the vast amount student debt accumulated with going to school. This debt gained from going to college has skyrocketed since 1980 and caused the millennial generation to be burdened with intense debts rivaling the cost of a mortgage.

With this sharp increase in the prices associated with schooling, many questions come to mind for people who are on the fence about attending college.

  • Why are prices so much higher than when my parents were in college?
  • Why am I being pressured into paying this much money?
  • Who made these prices higher?

These questions are valid and great concerns among today’s current youth and need to be addressed and fixed accordingly. The problems with the current university system and the prices associated come from Big Brother himself. The government has wrenched its hands into the world of postsecondary education in the name of “fairness” and “equality” and has caused a travesty to the current generation of students attempting to afford college.

The federal government has provided a “low-interest student loan service” that has been the main cause of the increased cost of tuition across the nation. This federal service was implemented in order to guarantee low-interest rates and prevent loan discrimination because of bad credit among other things. These federal loans were implemented with positive intentions to help the lower class but, after many years, have proven to hurt them the most.

The problem with these loans is seen when you compare them to traditional loans for a house or other valuable item. When you apply for a loan, the bank or other lending services will evaluate you for their own risk/reward in the deal. The company will check your previous purchases, current qualifications, and adjust your interest rate accordingly to make sure they aren’t taking an economic risk without incentive for them.

The government’s student loans do not follow this plan; they give out as much money as needed, at a set interest rate, to any qualified applicant. Most people would champion this as a positive thing, helping poor or otherwise unfortunate people who need help going to college. This plan overlooks the biggest problem that the government has created. Without incorporating their risk into the lending, the government loses money to defaulting loans without proper interest to make the risk worth it. Since government lending agencies do not discriminate against obvious risks by raising their interest rates, they are saying “everyone is equally opportune for college education.” While this egalitarian statement seems to be for the best, it simply isn’t true, individuals have varying levels of uncertainty to their successes.

While more and more people enter postsecondary education, the value of a college degree inflates while the cost associated with this pursuit skyrockets. All the while, the taxpayer shoulders the risk for these student’s education without knowing anything other than the fact that they are attending college. As majors and past credit history are completely disregarded in the current system, the student debt soars over one trillion dollars and the number of defaulters push over seven million. Many people believe the narrative spread by organizations, such as the NY Times, that college is required for a successful life and you should attend without proper qualifications on the government’s “free” money. But this claim that you must attend college is false, many professions require no college degree whatsoever. Some of them are even in a few of the upper tax brackets and provide for a whole family unassisted.

Many people have observed the inflation that has happened inside of the United States, increasing the price of goods. While inflation has happened within the country, the rate of tuition cost increases outdo the numbers inflation contributes. The CPI (Consumer Price Index), the value tracking inflation, has increased 120% over the past 30 years, while college tuition cost has soared 260% in the same time.

The government has been handing out loans to fill the colleges with as many people as possible. These state-run colleges like UT and NYU are run by the government and still require funding. Instead of the government causing an uproar by increasing the property tax on a state level, their solution was a seemingly righteous endeavor that was masked in the shade of “egalitarianism.” By supplying every student who wishes to attend college and strapping them with student loans, these state-run colleges can gain revenue through tuition and other onsite services while keeping out of the local government’s tax plan. However, that does not mean the society isn’t paying for these students to attend school, the money goes straight to the federal budget deficit.

While the government struggles to afford the trillions of growing costs of sending whoever wishes to attend college, they choose to ignore the possible solutions. Other than completely eliminating the lending service to prevent losing further amounts of money, there are other ways we can mitigate the impact of these debts. Evidence has shown that certain majors, especially in arts and humanities, are far more likely to default on their student loan debt. By increasing the incentive for the government to give loans to majors with historically higher default rates, the government can soften the blow of each defaulter. The system will remain a “fair” method to provide loans as intended, but correlated to majors based on independent research in order to mitigate the national student loan debt. For example, business majors typically have the least amount of risk associated with them and therefore should be held at a lower interest rate.

The government needs to put a plan into action soon in order to combat the downward spiral of the increase of student loan debt and cost of tuition across America. By doing nothing, the taxpayers are accepting defeat and masochistically increasing their own debt in the name of “fairness for all.” The student loan debt crisis can be solved with various simple actions all with one goal in common, preventing the government from acting like a seemingly benevolent god. The government has exercised too much power far too many areas of the country, including the education and futures of its own citizens as well as taking control away from the private institutions who are willing to give loans to worthy candidates. By making the government function like a business instead of a charity, or by completely removing it from the equation and letting private industry take care of the people, the massive inflation of the cost of student loans will meet or possibly stoop below the rate of inflation. With this in mind, as a taxpayer and as an American, we all must band together in order to ensure a bright future for our posterity and avoid the malicious cost associated with seemingly righteous governments.