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Lesson Plans

Re: Vouchers

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
henry taylor (taylorh)
Sun, 25 Jul 1999 15:13:24 -0700

>However, everyone has the collective obligation to
>see that our nation's children are educated

And who gets to define "educated"?
And who gets to decide that "one (read public education) size fits all"

And who gets to say:

"Kid, the option is ice cream or nothing. If you or your parents want you to
have yogurt then pay for it! Oh, and by the way, I need you guys to chip in
for my kid's ice cream while you're at it--because its only fair. RIGHT
kid?, You betcha it's right kid. Oh yeah- and, if you can't afford to pay
for that yogurt all by yer lonesome, you're gonna be eatin' ice cream until
you're 16 years old because that's the law kid. Besides, we asked. Just now,
pretty much everyone agrees that ice cream is good for you and I gotta tell
ya the jury's still out on yoghurt. ya know? There are some folks that say
it'll rot you mind and end life as we know it on this continent! You betcha!
Think about that. And kid, don't think badly of us, we're only doing what we
currenly believe to be best for you.

"One last thing kid. If ya DON'T come in outta the cold. If ya do elect
another option. Other folks might wonder why. They might ultimately choose
abandon the system that we experts have decided is the best one for
everyone. (And trust me, we know wjhat we are about here.) That'll undermine
the system kid, and one day, because of you it will all come crashing down
and no one will be able to be educated safely any more. And it will ALL be
because of you kid. CAN YOU LIVE WITH THAT?"

Of course everything I just wrote is complete and utter nonsense. Things
aren't really like that. No one says that stuff. Honest. Don't Panic! All
that nonsense is nothing but words. Its a simple example of rhetoric and
memes. It's a model of one tiny part of how we. as a culture come to make
decisions. In Japan they say that "the nail that stands up will get nailed
down" another way of saying "Don't make waves." I just modeled "wave
dampening" rhetorical device in overly simplistic and hyperbolic terms.

But all the important life-shaping decisions are made off campus in the
cultural rhetoric of the dialectic. These are just a few of the tools
deployed in the process. You use 'em I use 'em--whether we know it or not
whether we intend it or not. Argument and persuasion are fascinating
processes most often having little to do with anything else.

Karla's right I have an obligation along with the rest of the collective to
see that our nation's children are educated. I'm working on it. My 2 cents
might not be worth much. But then I didn't expect that they would be. <VBG>


(If you want to send your kids to a private school ask about it. If you are
needy, the school might waive the tuition like one of mine did. Worth the
effort of asking at the very least. So, who needs vouchers anyway?)