July 13, 2010

How Dreams of Equality Are Destroying American Schools

The New York Times reported last month that increasingly, "educators and other professionals who work with children are asking a question that might surprise their parents." They are wondering whether it's healthy for children to have just one best friend.

"I think it is kids' preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults---teachers and counselors---we try to encourage them not to do that," said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis. "We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends."

At a time when public schooling in the United States is in an absolutely dire state, education professionals are evidently pushing for even greater egalitarianism among kids. Rather than act on their natural inclination to select merely a single or a handful of friends, they ought to socialize more, these do-gooder profess, to understand that they're part of "society", not individuals. Some of them have now come to oppose standardized testing because poor results might hurt the feelings of underperforming students while others are fighting against vouchers and charter schools, alleging that they privilege some children at the cost of an even greater divide in American society.

Meanwhile, private schools are showing that students can do better, and they do it at a lower price tag. But the conservative elements preventing the American education system from moving forward---particularly the teachers' unions and their representatives in Washington---still insist that it is their job to foster equality, whatever the costs.

The solution? Free children from government schools and allow competition to improve education throughout the country.

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