School Monopoly Culture Wars

psychic-octopus-culture-war

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Neal McCluskey of Cato has long been a champion of one of my nearest and dearest reasons for favoring school choice: it defuses the culture war. When families with diverse beliefs are all (effectively) forced to send their children to the same schools, it creates a lot of unnecessary conflict.

Today, Neal announces that Cato has released a pretty cool web feature – an interactive national map of public school conflicts over religion, sexual ethics, free speech, and other cultural issues. You can search by state, by large districts (Chicago has six ongoing conflicts, New York City seventeen, Milwaukee four) by type of conflict, or by keyword. I randomly typed in the keyword “balloon” and found the case of a teacher who wasn’t allowed to do a class project on treatment of homosexuality, and held a “funeral” for his project, at which he asked his students to write their feelings down on helium balloons.

Don’t click the link if you want to get work done this afternoon. Kudos to Cato!

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4 Responses to School Monopoly Culture Wars

  1. matthewladner says:

    Sure looks like a mess back east.

  2. Duncan Frissell says:

    “(effectively) forced to send their children to the same schools”

    Only those who practice the sin of sloth. The Universal Library is available for a network subscription.

    • Greg Forster says:

      The suggestion that anyone who decides their family is unable to homeschool – including my own family – is guilty of sloth is Pharisaical in the worst sense of that term. But aside from your religious legalism, even if we agreed that all families are able to homeschool, it will still be the case that we are forced to pay for the government monopoly, which (in the absence of universal choice) is effectively the same as trying to force us into government schools.

      I send my own child to the government school in our city because it’s a good school with good people who do a good job. But I don’t accept the monopoly as legitimate.

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