Americans Think the Public Schools are for Socialization

Barb Wire

Columnist Georgi Boorman at makes some great points in a post — in fact, part of the mystery of why too many Americans tolerate less than the best when it comes to their local public schools is answered in her article. Here are a few excerpts from Boorman’s piece:

We’ve romanticized public school and bought it on impulse, at retail price, because it makes us feel good.

Watching friends grow up out of the public school system, I’ve become increasingly convinced that “school” is primarily a social staple in our society, not an educational one. It is a tool of socialization primarily wielded by progressives, and an experience millions of parents believe is crucial to a normal, healthy upbringing.

Novelist and essayist Grant Allen used to say, “Don’t let school interfere with your education.” Yet, from a cultural perspective, this is exactly what our country has been doing.

Here is Boorman’s first subheading and first paragraph under it:

Does Education Equal Schooling?

In essence, education = school; or, more specifically, the Western concept of school. To further my point, the word “education” doesn’t summon memories of your mom reading Little House on the Prairie aloud to you and your siblings, or dad showing you how to balance a checkbook (unless, of course, you were homeschooled).

Again, for the second heading:

They Can’t Read, But They Can Socialize

The pro-schoolers (or anti-choicers, depending on your view) like to perpetuate the myth that without our public school system, we would have an illiterate population. Schooling would only be for the elite, and education would become the great and permanent divide between a bourgeoisie and an industrial proletariat that cannot aspire to better circumstances. This is the staple argument of the Left.

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And for the third…

The Glory of ‘Collective Experience’

Essentially, the Left has a tacit buy-in from the mainstream population that school is a critical experience for our young people. I have never once heard any parent—or student, for that matter—say they go to school, or like school, because they are hauling home useful knowledge by the cartload. I’m sure such people exist, but they are the distinct minority.

For those who have been reading articles about the condition of the nation’s public schools since the publication of the “A Nation at Risk” report in 1983, Georgi Boorman’s insightful article is worth your time. Click here to read it.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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