Parents deserve control over child's education
Douglas Miller
February 3, 2008
http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080203/OPINION03/802030313
 
As a government school teacher and, more importantly, a parent, I not only agree with Dr. Patrick Johnston's ideas on education, but I applaud them.

Every government school teacher worth the paper their teaching license is printed on knows that the number one factor in a student's achievement is the parent(s). Johnston proposes giving parents much more say and control over their children's education by giving them more choice.

 

With state and federal government policies of time-wasting, over-emphasis on testing, standards that lead to deficiencies instead of proficiencies, high-stakes tests that some studies suggest are more harmful than helpful, continued poor ranking of U.S. students in math and science compared to their foreign counter-parts, it is at least accurate to say the state-run education systems have no honest claim to knowing what is better for a child than do the parents.

Anti-choice, government-only education advocates loudly and profusely claim otherwise, but voters should notice they almost always argue from emotion, unsubstantiated claims or "professional" opinions, and sometimes from "reports" that are not scientifically verifiable. It is my personal observation, during 16 years as an educator, the only people against giving parents completely free choice in their children's education are those with significant financial interests in putting children only into government-run schools.

Does it sound as if I am arguing against my own job? First, I am a parent. My wife and I know what is best for our children more than any "professional" who does not know or care about my children as much as I do. Secondly, I am not arguing against my job. I am arguing for it. I actually believe in the free-market system and am not afraid of competition.

Many in the government education system are afraid of a totally free, competitive environment in education. I say, bring it on! Only let parents choose without the present system of government bribes and coercion. Remove the unreasonable hindrances the state puts in front of private and home educators and let's compete on even ground.

 

Douglas Miller
Roseville