Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Uneducated

Today’s entry in unbashedly stupid and out-there wingnuttery from an elected official (yes, I know, there is always so much to choose from):

A Republican lawmaker in Utah outlined a proposal last week to abolish compulsory education in the state.

State Sen. Aaron Osmond (R) argued that certain “parents act as if the responsibility to educate, and even care for their child, is primarily the responsibility of the public school system.”

“As a result, our teachers and schools have been forced to become surrogate parents, expected to do everything from behavioral counseling, to providing adequate nutrition, to teaching sex education, as well as ensuring full college and career readiness,” he wrote in a post on the state senate’s blog.

Osmond told the Deseret News that he wants the public to view education as an opportunity rather than a requirement.

“Let’s let them choose it, let’s not force them to do it,” Osmond said.

The only other people I can think of that can make an argument against compulsory education are between the ages of seven and twelve, and their argument boils down to “I don’t wanna!”

Now comes along this ignoramus wrapped in the faux-libertarian mantra of “let the parents decide.”  Well, you know, the parents did decide.  About the same time they decided that knowledge and social interaction was more important than graffiti-inspired theories about parental surrogacy and sex education.

Over a hundred and fifty years ago, this country decided that children needed to go to school and that it was so important the government would fund it at no cost to the parents or child.  The last state to enact a compulsory education law was Mississippi in 1917.  In other words, a state where it was still illegal for just about anyone but a white man to vote had the foresight to teach the next generations.

The problem isn’t that we have compulsory education in this country.  It’s that we don’t have enough of it for some people.

6 barks and woofs on “The Uneducated

  1. If the effects of the resulting lack of education were more immediately felt, I’d say let Utah go right ahead. There are plenty of businesses who’d relocate in a heartbeat once their labor pool dropped below acceptable performance levels. If they want to go back to being a subsistence-farming state, and the change could be enacted immediately, I’d say let’em. It would last about a year before they figured out they’d screwed up.

    The trouble is that proposals like this, once enacted, aren’t felt for a generation – and by the time the effects are fully visible the folks who inflicted the policy on the people are retired or dead and can’t be held to account.

  2. You’re going to be taxed to pay for the public schools so how stupid is it not to use what you’re paying for? And how are these uneducated kids going to support the next generation if they can’t get jobs and put their social security contribution into the pot? Speaking of uneducated . . . some politicians seem to be.

    • Got it all wrong, FC: this will be presented as a “tax relief” measure – since the schools will all be privatized/closed, that entire budget allocation can be safely dispensed with. And like I said – if the effects could be transmitted immediately this would fall flat, but since they won’t be felt for a generation the idiots pushing this will be safely retired or long dead when Utah starts feeling the damage (by which time they’ll be too poor/illiterate to do much about it).

      The Teahad keeps forgetting the “without representation” part of the “no taxation” demand (i.e. the “we’ll pay all the taxes necessary just so long as we have a say in how they’re spent” position) and just demanding the no taxes part.

  3. We already fall below other countries in the quality of our education system. This would increase the gap even more. Of course, what the RW really wants is schools that teach creationism, young-Earth theories, abstinence, etc.

  4. Charlie Pierce nails this: “The idea is so transcendentally loopy that you knew that conservative sex panic had to be driving the train somehow.” Senator Donny’n’Marie’s very first bill was this one: “HB 363 – Requiring Abstinence-Only Sexual Education in Public Schools” He filed this at the behest of the head of the Utah Eagle Forum, Gayle Ruzicka; it passed both the Utah House and Senate (Ruzicka has all of their balls–including the GOP women–in her purse) but was vetoed by the gov in 2012.

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