Re: the right to pursue excellence

Deborah Bartle (
Wed, 30 Apr 1997 22:14:47 -0700

Kyle Griffin wrote:
> John Taylor Gatto, and a whole tradition of educators, will argue that
> the public schools are not only dangerous/damaging to children, but also
> constructed not to educate, but to engineer obedient citizens. However,
> this extreme viewpoint is not very likely to be accepted by anyone not
> already familiar with anti-schooling literature.
I hope he's writing more books!

> Ayn Rand would argue that you have no duty to public education, even
> without taking into account that any duty you assume is actually damaging
> your kids. However, her moral theory is not liked by very many people,
> and is contrary the moral position of most of the people in this country.

Hmm...I could buy it considering I am one who firmly understands that no
school is better than public school, IMO.

> A friend of mine argues that schools are prisons, except that in prisons
> they don't make you read books written by the wardens.

Told that one to my boys. Can't wait till that one comes back via
neighborhood kids parents. <Giggles> So sad it's so true.

> To whatever extent we have a duty to promote the education of the public,
> this is only a part of a more general duty to make the world a better
> place to live in. It is my contention that if we wish to make the world
> a better place to live in, we need adults who have learned to think for
> themselves, who have learned to decide for themselves what is important
> in life, and who disagree with the notion that authority is necessarily
> right, or to be obeyed. The public schools, as they exist now, do
> violence to each of these attitudes in each of their students. As such,
> it is a greater duty to society to take children out of the schools, and
> permit them to learn these important ideas, than to leave them in the
> schools, and have them lose these values along with all the other
> students.

Very 'nicely' said. Thanks Kyle.