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The Future of Education is Now
Originally published in Alliance e-Notes, Vol. 1, No. 1, January 25, 2007
The future is ours for the taking.
Today we have the power to take back our children.
Today we have the option of choosing freedom from state-controlled schooling.
Today we have the choice to raise our children as our own and not as intellectual and social wards of the state.
Today, right now, we have the resources, the talent, and the liberty to create affordable and excellent education options to meet the needs of our children.
We need only act.
For some it will be an act of confirmation - a choice that’s been germinating deep within and has finally broken the surface.
For many - pastors and teachers and leaders, philanthropists and parents, it will be an act of conscience and material commitment, of creativity and reinvention.
For all, it will be an act of fierce and dedicated independence, an act that makes the clear statement that we no longer accept the state’s claim to our children’s minds and spirits.
For over 160 years, most Americans have turned their children over to state schools to be educated and fitted for life. Instead of excellence in education, we were given the only things the state ever had to offer - mediocrity, social decay, and exploitation. When they promised to do better, we gave them the benefit of the doubt. When they assured us they were doing their best, we overlooked their failings. When they insisted that this reform, this time, would make the difference, we gave them another chance.
We’ve extended leniency, even indemnity, as the schools that promised better educated, more socially healthy, children have turned into institutions of academic and social dysfunction patrolled by psychologists, counselors, police officers and social workers, and controlled by special interests of every stripe.
We’ve accepted the use of our children as guinea pigs for academic, social and even physical experiments. We’ve held our peace as unions and representatives of myriad causes have lobbied legislators and won access to our children. We’ve looked the other way as courts have ruled that parents give up their rights at the schoolhouse door.
But we never quite lost the suspicion that there’s something inconsistent about the idea of freedom coexisting with government schooling.
The threats to this exciting move toward independence are many - most born of our long dependence on state schooling and the resulting sense of entitlement and helplessness. Our vision has become narrow and limited. Our will to direct our own lives has become weak. But there are bright signs of hope.
More parents than ever are choosing private and home education for their children. The homeschool movement is spurring new and innovative ways of providing for education, as well as renewing a hunger for excellence. Modern technology is opening doors of opportunity for a greater array of people.
But we still have a long way to go.
There are two great needs at this point in the movement toward freedom in education:
The good news is that both awareness and motivation are growing.
The Alliance has long educated people regarding point number one - the dangers of state-controlled schooling. It remains the foundation of our message, for the very reason that it is foundational.
The new phase of the Alliance concentrates on point number two - the private effort to establish independent education options for all parents.
But we also recognize that parents need the support of others. Churches, religious and civic organizations, and philanthropic interests channel a tremendous amount of energy and money into trying to fix a system that cannot and does not want to be fixed. Those energies and resources could help change the face of education and the future of America if they were freed from the misguided idea that school is a legitimate function of the state.
The Alliance is calling on and aiding everyone dedicated to excellence in education to free themselves from the intellectual and emotional chains of government schooling and to throw their energies into creating new and better options and opportunities that serve and strengthen rather than control and debase children, families and society.
We invite you to join us on this exciting journey into a brighter, more hopeful and freer future.
Carpe diem. Seize the day. The door still stands open - but how much longer? Now is the time to act. Today is the day to reclaim our children, our families, our communities and our liberty.
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