Thursday, August 30, 2007

Texas Pledge Dispute

Governments have a nasty habit of diverting people's attention from real issues to side problems. For example, the Cato Institute reports that an atheist couple wants the word "God" out of the revised Texas state pledge, which is now being recited daily by students (civil religion, anyone?) in many Texas public schools.

If people truly wanted to reduce school conflicts, the solution isn't to enforce more government controls upon educational efforts. Rather, the government must exit education once for all.

Neal McCluskey has written an excellent policy analysis called "Why We Fight" explaining this position.
Throughout American history, public schooling
has produced political disputes, animosity, and
sometimes even bloodshed between diverse people.
Such clashes are inevitable in government-run
schooling because all Americans are required to
support the public schools, but only those with
the most political power control them. Political—
and sometimes even physical—conflict has thus
been an inescapable public schooling reality.

To end the fighting caused by state-run schooling,
we should transform our system from one in
which government establishes and controls
schools, to one in which individual parents are
empowered to select schools that share their moral
values and educational goals for their children.