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SepCon '96 - Rolling Back the "Teacher-State"
By Marshall Fritz
Originally published in The Education Liberator, Vol. 2, No. 8, October 1996
My guess is that everyone reading this newsletter wants to avoid living in a police state. I'll further guess that, except for a few opponents who subscribe to keep an eye on us Separationists, virtually everyone also wants to avoid living in a welfare-state. (Even those who believe in the welfare state don't want their children to become its clients, eh?)
So when Joe Sobran told me he'll speak on "The Monstrosity of the Teacher-State," it sent tingles up my spine and put curdles in my blood.
I asked if he'd heard the term "teacher-state" before, or had it just come to him. The latter. I felt the excitement of being at the beginning of a word, a label, a new insight!
Why is this story worth telling? Because at SepCon'96 you get to be the first to hear Joe Sobran talk about something new. Same for dozens of other speakers. We've made sure there is plenty of question and answer time, and meal and break time, so you can join the joy of new idea formation with your questions and suggestions.
The Big Debate
This year's debate attempts to go deeper into the issue of "National Standards" by challenging the concept that any government has the authority to insist on the content of any citizen's mind. Christopher Cross, early designer of national standards when he was at the DOE, will face off against the formidable Charles Rice of Notre Dame Law School. Don't miss it!
Alexis de Tocqueville Award
Last year E.G. West received the first "Tocqey," an award we expect to bestow each year to a person who's made a major contribution to the movement to restore the duty and right of families for the education of their children. While British ex-pat E.G. West has become a giant in uncovering the history and economics of the teacher-state (I love that word), an American attorney has led the legal charge to defeat some of the egregious abuses of that teacher-state. All who know modern edu-legal history know of whom I write: William Bentley Ball, our 1996 recipient of the "Alexis de Tocqueville Award for the Advancement of Educational Freedom."
During the selection process, I was amazed at the breadth and intensity of the respect this man has gained during his career. When one person noted that Mr. Ball has been a major proponent of tax-funded vouchers, a position at odds with my own, I said, "All the better that he should be our recipient. This will help all of us keep the voucher debate in perspective as a fuss, perhaps a very important fuss, over tactics. We can remain friends."
There is much more I'd love to tell you about the excitement I'm having in preparing for SepCon'96, but more important is for you to look at your calendar and decide how you can get to Arlington, Va., Nov. 24-26, for the Sunday-Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Please note the two fliers enclosed -one for you, one for a friend. Also, see the "mini-conference" Sunday afternoon, Nov. 24. Who do you know in driving distance that you can "treat?"
Alliance for the Separation of School & State. Permission is granted to freely distribute this article as long as this copyright notice is included in its entirety.
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