We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I like Leon Botstein as a person (I have heard him discuss music on the radio many times), but I have never agreed with his political instincts. He has an essay about education which I find appalling: Are We Still Making Citizens?
Who is "we," pardner? While attacking straw men, bringing race into a non-racial discussion, and demonizing "individualism", he seems to be arguing for a top-down, one-size-fits-all, centrally-organized system of primary and secondary education in the USA. He suggests that it be oriented ideologically, and claims it would be "for the common good." He is a Bismarckian with that Prussian control attitude towards the masses.
Thus it's a little dissonant to read his views, coming as they are from the president of hippy-dippy, free-spirit, granola-ridden and hugely expensive, and private, Bard College. But maybe it's not odd.
The project of public education is fundamental to the notion of public goods in America. The restoration of public education seems a precondition for making the public sphere operate properly. Education must be about something more than personal happiness and benefit, economically defined; it has to map out the idea that there is more to the public good than the belief that through some free-market-style calculus of aggregate self-interests, the greatest good for the greatest number will emerge. In other words, public education is about educating the future citizen to consider a common ground in politics that can and will secure a more rewarding notion of personal security and tranquility for all.
I'd bet home schooling drives him nuts. As usual with Liberals, "I know how to deliver your pursuit of happiness and I would like to shove it up your butt." I hate hearing the elites and the experts pontificate about what "we" should do. I'd rather hear myself pontificate about freedom and free choices in life. Even the freedom to apply to the somewhat offbeat Bard College if you want to.
Re: "I hate hearing the elites and the experts..."
I hate seeing the word "elite" used as a noun. (Yes, I know it's in the dictionary). It seems in conflict with the U.S. Declaration of Independence (All men are created equal). I don't mind people using the word "elite" as an adjective to describe American military personnel (example: "elite unit of soldiers").
My mother used to say, "Everybody puts his pants on one leg at time." Of course, I tried to prove her wrong when I was seven years old. I damn near broke my left ankle when I tried to jump into a pair of jeans.
DEC (Jungle Trader)
One of the most effective things the left has accomplished is so destroying the meaning of the word "fascism " as to make it impossible to call them what they really are.
Many Americans believe that we do not have a "top-down, one-size-fits-all, centrally-organized system of primary and secondary education" but we do. Here's how it works:
The teacher's unions, primarily the National Education Association hold an annual meeting during which they decide what the curriculum should include. They then go back to their respective states and work to implement what they've decided. This is done through state and local boards of education - with whom they have a great deal of influence due to the $$ they contribute to their election campaigns. If you examine state "standards" and local implementation of them, you will find extraordinary uniformity across the country. This has been going on for decades, to the detriment of students as the union members are generally leftists with a specific agenda. They are assisted by the publishers of textbooks who spread the nonsense pushed by the teachers' unions.