The Superintendent of the Waco Independent School District (WISD) in Waco, Texas was arrested Wednesday night on a misdemeanor marijuana charge. Marcus Nelson, the district’s Superintendent, was driving north on U.S. 190 Wednesday evening when he got pulled over by a trooper from the Department of Public Safety. The trooper was working a routine patrol when he observed that Nelson’s 2007 GMC Yukon was in the left lane and not passing.
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.
By John Keller | United States
Coercive Paternalism can be defined as intervention in cases where people’s choices of the means to achieving their ultimate ends are confused. An argument of this nature, notably by Sarah Conly, rests on four main points: (1) Such a view promotes individuals actual goals. (2) Coercive Paternalism is effective. (3) The benefits are worth the cost. (4) Coercive Paternalism is efficient. Coercive Paternalism offers an ambiguous and unclear argument that ignores many of the complexities of the issues.
The Argument For Paternalism
A Coercive Paternalist would make an argument such as this: (1) People want to live long and healthy lives. (2) Eating processed foods and consuming drugs hinders people from living long and healthy lives. (3) Thus, the government must ban certain foods and drugs to promote the goal of the individual. Assuming the premise to be true, a rather noncontroversial claim, logically the next step is to examine the second step of the argument. Does consuming drugs hinder people from wanting to live long and healthy lives?
Examine, for instance, veteran suicide and veterans who deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Marijuana has been instrumental, if not vital, to veterans dealing with the mental complications involved with going into combat. By denying veterans drugs to promote the ‘individuals’ goals, they are actually exacerbating the mental complications of veterans and creating an environment in which veterans are forced to live shorter, mentally unhealthy lives as they tragically fall victim to the grip of suicide. Is this outcome the promotion of ‘long and healthy lives’? No, and thus Coercive Paternalism is unable to provide the needs of individual citizens.
The Failure of Coercive Paternalism
As it is unable to provide the needs of the individual citizens, it can not be effective. Paternalism itself is the idea in which the government must assume a role similar to that of your parent because the individual is inadequate to take of themselves and make good choices. Are any two individuals the same? Are any two children raised the same? Even siblings are often raised differently as a parent learns more, realizes mistakes, and adjust in real time to the needs of their children. The government, however, can not operate in this way on an individual level. Instead, they institute a policy under the basis of ‘one shoe fits all’. A clear example of this is common core education. With more money in the education system, improvement has been rare to come by. RealClear Education reports, “Between 2013 and 2017, only five jurisdictions logged improvements in 4th-grade math and just three in 8th-grade math.” As no two individuals develop the same, no government program can claim to be for the benefit of every citizen.
The theorized benefits of paternalism, that cannot apply to every citizen due to the nature of individuality, are not worth the cost. From 2013-2017, a total of $375,577,635,000 was spent federally, with an additional $840,757,185,970 spent in the same time frame by the states. In 2013, roughly 62,146,000 children went to school. That means that between 2013-2017, a total of $1,216,334,820,000 was spent on 62,146,000 school age children, or roughly $19,572.21 per student. As a result of paternalism, $1.2 trillion was spent to see only eight jurisdictions see an increase in math skills of America’s youth.
With the cost not being worth the near invisible benefits, Coercive Paternalism fails to also be effective. While it is not effective, it also fails to be efficient. Prohibition has historically failed to be efficient. The Eighth Amendment, passed in 1917 and ratified in 1919, was passed to prohibit the sales, transportation, importation, and exportation of “intoxicating liquors”, also known, more commonly, as alcohol. During the Prohibition Era, drinking remained constant. It is very likely that it not only stayed at the pre-prohibition levels but that drinking increased following the prohibition. When the government stopped sanctioning the legality of the alcohol industry and its services, it was forced to go into an underground state, run by speakeasies throughout the nation. The people reverted to the black market to get the products they desired, proving government regulation of the market to be inefficient. Furthermore, the government prohibition on the use of marijuana proved again to be a failure for the U.S government. Historically speaking, prohibition has always been ineffective.
Coercive Paternalism fails to promote the individual’s actual goals, is not effective, and is not worth the cost. The theory of Coercive Paternalism offers a simple answer to the complexities of society that fails to respect an individuals rights, needs, and the pursuit of happiness.
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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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LeBron James has become the new angelic archetype of what a wealthy person should do with money, at least according to the left. The I Promise School located in Akron, Ohio hopes to be “that groundbreaking school.” The children attending the school will receive free tuition, uniforms, meals, transportation, bicycles, and guaranteed tuition to the University of Akron.