Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Interesting interview on education

I read an interesting interview with Timothy Dolan, who has the title of “Archbishop” in New York. By all accounts, he was a very successful administrator and leader in Milwaukee and has in front of him a huge challenge with New York City. He is an advocate for educational choice, which could seem self-serving because the voucher system often makes Roman Catholic schools more attractive, but it strikes me that he is sincere in his desire to see kids get better educations and that often means that kids don’t get trapped in failed public schools. In his comments, he made this remark about Milwaukee’s voucher system and parental rights in education.

The archbishop says that "philosophically," as much as practically, the Milwaukee diocese celebrated the voucher program. "The Catholic Church has always been an ardent advocate for parental rights in education," he points out. "The experiment is now about 15 years old, and it is applauded by all sides . . . except," he notes in a more somber tone, "there [are] some who would attack it, particularly those associated with the public-school teachers lobby, which is very strong in Wisconsin. They still apparently believe that the government should have a monopoly on education."

Parental rights and educational choice. Hmmm. One of the apparent glaring inconsistencies with liberals is that they will fight to the death when it comes in ensuring “choice” for abortion but conversely will fight to the death to prevent “choice” when it comes to education. They are all about “reproductive rights” but recoil at the idea of “parental rights”. Why it is only apparently an inconsistency is that it fits quite nicely and consistently with their worldview that parents are simply the least qualified people to make decision on behalf of their children. Far better to let the state, the unions, the educational establishment tell you what is right for your kids to which your proper response is a smile and acquiescence to their superior expertise and worldview.

I especially appreciated this comment from Mr. Dolan:

'The child is not a mere creature of the state. Parents have the primary responsibility to see how and where their children are educated."

That really captures such a vital philosophy, children are more than potential units of production and they certainly are not the property of the state (the same state that blesses the murder of many of their peers before they were born). I am starting to see the beginning of a backlash as parents realize that they are not being good parents by abdicating the vast majority of the responsibility for the education of their children to the state and leftist ideologues in the teachers unions.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

"The child is not a mere creature of the state. Parents have the primary responsibility to see how and where their children are educated."

Excellent quote, I agree, but Archbishop Dolan was also quoting from the Supreme Court decision in 1925, Pierce v. Society of Sisters. The decision was foundational to a more liberal interpretation of due process. You might find the wiki page interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierce_v._Society_of_Sisters