These two racially charged stories of government involvement in the public school system make a another good argument for getting government out of the public schools. It’s unfortunate that what brings these stories to the public’s awareness in the racial element, because the underlying problem of forced political education is obscured.
Arizona governor signs bill banning ethnic studies (rawstory.com)
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill targeting a school district’s ethnic studies program, hours after a report by United Nations human rights experts condemned the measure.
State schools chief Tom Horne, who has pushed the bill for years, said he believes the Tucson school district’s Mexican-American studies program teaches Latino students that they are oppressed by white people.
Michigan Grade School Ends Black-Only Lunch Group (npr.org)
“Lunch Bunch is no longer,” district spokeswoman Liz Margolis said in an e-mail to AnnArbor.com. “It will be discussed among staff and some parents and be reworked. It has a valuable goal of assisting children who are not performing well on the MEAP, and this effort will continue.”
Dicken Principal Mike Madison drew criticism from parents following his decision last week to take members of the African-American Lunch Bunch on a field trip to hear a black rocket scientist at the University of Michigan speak. Only black students were invited on the trip.
If there were respect for opposing views, there would be open competition among public schools and the force of government would not be used to teach community standards on racial issues.
The issue isn’t about how Arizona or Michigan chooses to teach students on issues of race; the problem is ignoring that parents can not choose how their children are taught. The choice for parents is to either pay for private schools or move to another school district.
It does not matter to me if you are for or against how either of these states handles race in schools. If it were left up to me, I would not have the subject taught at all–not use the force of government to see that my view was forced upon everyone.
If there were private competition of public schools, there would still be schools that teach racial issues like the ones in Arizona or Michigan, but it would also open the doors for schools focused on reading, writing, and arithmetic instead.
A free market for schools would allow parents to make the decision for themselves, there would be an open market for schools teaching parents version of political correctness–and, more importantly, a market for schools NOT teaching political correctness.