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.