Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Time to disestablish America's secular church

"We can affirm that education is a common good deserving taxpayer support," The Heritage Foundation's Jennifer Marshall writes.
But we should question the notion of government as sole provider of schooling, a relic of the common school agenda. Public education should describe a goal (an educated citizenry), not prescribe a means (a government monopoly school system dominated by unions).

Parents, who have the most vested in their children's success, should have real decision-making authority to manage their education. They deserve more than lip service about their significance. Rather than having to conform to the one-size-fits-all factory model of education, parents should have the freedom to direct the funding for their children's education, customizing it to student needs from a variety of options.

Promising alternatives already have sprouted up in the cracks of the current system - charter schools, private school choice through vouchers and tax credits, homeschooling, online learning, and hybrid forms of these.

Given room to flourish, the possibilities are endless. Intentionally or not, [Waiting for 'Superman' filmmaker Davis] Guggenheim has exposed the myth of the common school.

Ultimately, the only solution that will satisfy the American spirit is to disestablish the myth and recover a vision for education worthy of a free people.

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