Public Education, Parents, Special Needs, Choices
One thing almost everybody agrees on, is that our education system is performing far below from what you would expect of world’s most advanced society, and its standards are continuously declining. There exists a very wide variety of views on this issue. They range all the way from the challenge to very existence and legitimacy of public education system, to complete abolition of a parallel private school system. To understand this issue, thoroughly, we have to look at the origins of public education systems, their purposes, and their ultimate effects on the growth and evolution of human knowledge, personal skills and society as a whole.
God has rewarded us with a mind, intelligence, judgment, skills, ability to learn and a body. Although we all have so much common, every single one of us is still unique and different. We come into this world as an individual, and we survive and thrive as an individual. Being a social animal, we like to identify ourselves with different community based, ethnic based, language based, geographical, religious and national identities, but most of us are so proud of ourselves, and are never ready to fully give up our individual identities. Our individual interests and needs have made us to organize into neighborhoods, communities, cities, districts, countries and nations.
These organizational structures were originally meant to serve individual interests, as they originated from individuals not that the individuals originated from them. At least, people are always told that these organizational structures are for their own good, and people are better off being the part of those. All of these organizational structures have a hierarchy of power and authority. This is dubbed unavoidable for the existence, survival and growth of organizational structure. The basic reasons provided for the justification of this hierarchy are like safety, security, discipline, enforcement of rules and regulations, uniformity and justice.
There have always been a wide range of bases for the claim of authority on these organizational structure. Those range from power, wealth and money, divine, color and birth to the elected status. As a matter of fact we see a continuous evolution in the right to rule aspect of our lives, too. Finally, most of the civilized and developed world seem to have come to an agreement that only people who have the right to authority and power over the other people are the ones elected by people themselves. Election and voting is now considered as the consent to subjugation to the authority of elected.
The right to have authority, on the bases of majority vote, is based on the idea that only a person has the right to decide who can have authority over him or herself. But, if in any given election you belong to the minority, then, you must give up your right in the favor of majority, because, this is the only way to have single authority, and multiple authorities are not in the favor of any of these organizational structures. Hopefully the people elected by majority will serve the purpose of everyone in that given society.
Unfortunately, what we have seen, so far, is quite contrary to these expectations. The people who gain authority, through popular vote or by any other means, soon start serving everything, except the individuals, who actually gave rise to that organizational structure, and whose interests were supposed to be the top priority. These elected officials become the advocates of things like national interests and security, special interest, big money, wealthy class, party loyalty, and powerful and influential corporations and their lobbies. The individual gets disappeared in the big mess. Looks like nobody cares about him or he is at the bottom of priorities.
People in power start devising instruments to bring everyone uniformly under their control. The notions of national identity and better future are raised. They start asking how can we maintain, preserve and improve our national identity. This in other words means, how can we convert everyone into an identical type psychologically, physically, linguistically, culturally, and even in looks and religion. Certain things and qualities become cultural norms, and any variation from those is considered weird. If you deviate too much from this median, you may even be declared sick or crazy.
The governments that we created, have education, especially public education as their main instrument to create that uniformity. Mass, organized education, actually, has its basses in religion. It was religions which started to obligate their followers to get religious education. The purpose of that mandate was to create a permanent and guaranteed following and differentiate the followers from “others”. It was also instrumental in creating permanent barriers between the followers of different religions. Every religion, in its education, thought to its followers, how their religion and beliefs were superior to the others, how they are chosen ones while others are not, and how they will get salvation while others will burn in hell for ever.
In early ages, states were always under the influence of religion. So, religion used state’s authority to make sure that everyone thinks, talks and behaves same, in accordance with the will of God, whatever the will of God meant in that particular religion. Later when state and religion got gradually separated, especially in West, the states adopted the same practice of creating uniformity, although, now it revolved around patriotism and national pride. It still teaches, in every country that you, your nation and your country are superior to everyone else in the world, and others are just a piece of shit.
Now, when people expect that education and especially public education produce great human beings and the most competitive individuals, it is like expecting that monkeys will give birth to tigers. Reality is that the monkey will always give birth to monkey, and tiger can only be reproduced by tigers. Unfortunately, our education system is not even properly serving a later adopted function which is to produce cheap labor for big businesses in massive numbers. This is probably what is causing the concern, now. Raising extra-ordinary human being has never been a real objective of any government run education system, it just want to produce ideologues, religious fanatics, patriots and cheap labor.