I WERE MAYOR, I WOULD..."
ESSAY CONTEST PROMOTES EDUCATIONAL CLASSISM
By Frederick Meekins
March 14, 2001
I were mayor, I would...." That is the question posed by an
essay contest for Maryland fourth graders sponsored by the Maryland
Municipal League, the Maryland State Department of Education, the
Maryland Center for Education, and the Local Government Insurance
of the contest will receive a plaque and a $250.00 savings bond
to be presented at a Bowie Baysox baseball game in April. Each student
participating in the essay contest will receive a ticket to attend
the presentation and to enjoy the ensuing game.
would find this an innovative way to promote interest in civics
and the use of communication skills by elementary students. The
catch is, however, not all Maryland fourth graders are able to participate.
You see, to be eligible one must be enrolled in a public school.
a stipulation could have been added for two possible reasons.
is possible that private and homeschoolers were excluded from the
contest on the grounds that standardized tests tend to prove that
students matriculated in these forms of instruction are academically
superior to pupils surrendered to the statist alternative. After
all, it wouldn't be seemly having these bright young minds trounce
their scholastic counterparts at a propaganda rally designed to
lavish praise upon the public system.
part of this exclusion of private and homeschool students stems
from "honest" jealously of the stellar academic achievements
of this brand of student, this academic discrimination also belies
a disturbing ideological current festering in the hearts and minds
of certain proponents of public education.
it is nearly impossible to beat private and homeschoolers on the
field of pure academic quality alone, some formulating public policy
now believe the best way to counter the competition is to surreptitiously
undermine it by penalizing and disenfranchising families who fail
to settle for the second-rate product. The rules of the "If
I were mayor, I would..." contest are merely the tip of the
most aspiring totalitarians throughout history, those in the educational
system also use their own shortcomings as an excuse to foster their
schemes upon those onto whom have been projected the deleterious
compensate for the declining reputation of America's system of public
education and the decreasing value of a high school diploma, various
states --- with the endorsement of business, industry, and higher
academia --- have developed so-called "Certificates of Mastery".
purpose of these certificates is to verify that students have actually
acquired a predetermined body of knowledge and not just punched
a scholastic time clock.
an assessment could prove useful in measuring achievement in subjects
such as Math, English, and History. However, problems arise regarding
the ancillary matters educrats think it is their prerogative to
gauge and pry into.
conjunction with so-called "School-To-Work Programs",
these Certificates of Mastery will also measure the flexibility
of how well students bend to the requirements and whims of government
measurements will do so by assessing how well students work in groups
and to what extent they "appreciate" diversity, which
usually means touting the leftist line on matters of race, gender
and sexual preference.
who did not share in these perspectives with the prevailing humanistic
culture as well as on other issues such as evolution, the efficacy
of socialism, and the role of religion in modern life have traditionally
had the option of meeting the academic needs of their offspring
in a manner consistent with their values through means other than
the government schools.
such an alternative may no longer be as viable since private schools
that won't teach to the perspectives enshrined as dogma and holy
writ by the curricula commissars in the various departments and
boards of education will feel increasing pressure to cave in on
matters regarding core belief.
with diplomas rather than certificates of mastery might not qualify
for admission to many institutions of higher education or be hired
for occupations requiring skills beyond a minimal level.
something is not done, parents may end up having to decide between
imbuing their children with a sense of Christian morality or the
background necessary for career advancement. And while good parents
must always make the character of their children the utmost priority,
historically Americans have not normally been required to make such
agonizing Faustian choices.
has been forgotten in these educational debates is just who it is
that ultimately provides for public education. It may come as a
surprise, but it is not the government. The system is provided for
by each and every taxpayer regardless of whether or not one has
fed their offspring to the pedagogical leviathan.
such, neither the state nor the private sector should play a role
in constructing arbitrary barriers based largely on ideology designed
to protect an inherently inferior product. It would not have been
appropriate to construct a system hampering the proliferation of
CD's in favor of Eight Tracks. The same should hold true for education.
since the same amount of money flows into the tax system regardless
of where a child is enrolled, the children of taxpayers enrolled
elsewhere other than the public schools should be allowed to enjoy
enrichment programs sponsored with public money but not conducted
as an intrinsic component of a particular school's curriculum.
MacDonald's, I can use the restroom regardless of whether or not
I order a complete meal. Along the same lines, it would not hurt
for Maryland fourth graders from private schools to participate
in the "If I were mayor, I would...." essay contest. Their
parents, after all, are footing the bill for the competition.
their current state of moral and academic decay, I wouldn't send
my dog to a public school. But being that the public schools would
not exist without my tax dollars, any children I might one day have
should not be made to feel less valued than the average dog by being
told that their knowledge and achievements are illegitimate since
these skills did not arise origin under Big Brother's diabolical
by Frederick B. Meekins