It seems to me, one of the places that capitalist based societies have allowed themselves to get off track, is in education. The profound ignorance of the Wall Street Protesters is only the most recent and glaring example, the outcomes as measured by standardized metrics, has declined so much that the metrics themselves have been lowered, to keep down with the academic results of US schools. Coincidental with this, we see that the role of school has undergone a profound change in the last few decades, leading to the decline we see in outcomes. Culminating in the Protests against capitalism, the very system that has enabled the protesters to live in such opulence, by historical and World standards. Threatening that very state of universal opulence and replacing it with a state of perpetual poverty.
We have to ask ourselves, what is the role of a school? Is it a jobs program? Is it a means to fundamentally change society? Perhaps it is a way to create social justice. I, and those of us who’s minds are not clouded by politically correct thinking, believe that the only valid role of a school is to teach children to, read, write, do arithmetic, history, and interpersonal discourse (rhetoric).
Now that schools in the US have been perverted into a new role, one that is counter to teaching these fundamental things, and are now simply a jobs program that doubles as a way to fundamentally change the old societal myths into new social justice. We see that children leaving them cannot read, write, add or subtract. They have no concept of history, or capitalism’s role in it, except for anti capitalist indoctrination. None of them have heard of Hayek, Schumpeter or Mises but all have read Marx, Mao and Che. They have not read any Horatio Alger but have all read My Two Mommies.
How many Protesters have any idea of the tens, perhaps hundreds, of millions of people killed, in the name of socialism, since it’s inception? But in most World schools it is not a topic that is covered. Pol Pot’s ordering that political prisoners be executed by suffocation, because of the cost of bullets, is not widely known among graduates of most schools. Those that do know, and still support it, are evil incarnate. Because moving any society in a direction, that causes an angelic little seventeen year old girl, being so polluted with hate that she willingly puts bags over people’s heads, is uniformly evil.
So now we have schools that have eschewed their original mandate for a new one. The results have been quick and decisive. New graduates are absolutely incapable of engaging in the market system. They have been taught none of the Bourgeois virtues like, reading, writing, and history, let alone promptness, reliability, ability to work with others, ability to maintain a level of concentration and self motivation. These Bourgeois values are an anathema, in the modern US government run school, and most schools World wide.
There is a theory of human behavior, it is called, looking for bright spots. It has been used to modify the profound hunger that pervades Vietnam since the socialist victory. Looking for bright spots means looking for examples where something works well among the chaos around it that doesn‘t. In the case of the US (and World) school system(s), the bright spots, are private schools and home schooled children. These are the bright spots that researchers look for when trying to modify a dysfunctional system.
In the US, society has made the decision that teaching the children is a goal that is so profound, it should be taken on by society as a whole. The funding has been this way since colonial times. Elementary schooling being funded by taxation of a variety of means. So if we keep the original funding mechanism pretty much unaltered, and change the direction of the revenues, from dysfunctional schools to the bright spots. We then husband them from bright spots into full fledged LED lighting. Shine a good education on every child and we will find that far more of them are stars than we ever thought possible in the darkness.
This can be done through the voucher system. A system where children are given vouchers that would pay for whatever school the parents thought effective. Public schools, if the parents want, or private schools if that is their choice. As is the case with an ecosystem, those that fail would be punished and those that succeed would be rewarded, so that success becomes widespread. As one of the International Capitalist Party‘s sayings goes, Reward that which you want more of and punish that which you want less of. That is the way nature has worked for a billion years, quite effectively I might add. Wouldn’t a functional system, (nature), be the best example to follow, discarding the dysfunctional one?
Depends on the goal.