The Emancipation of Education

by James A. Boyes, Host

Christian Education Awareness Network (CEANet)

Emancipate: To free from bondage, oppression or restraint; liberate.


American education has been in a state of "reform" since the early 19th century. Prior to the creation of common schools, education was very much a private matter. Parents were responsible for their children's learning, often assisted by private, and Church related institutions. However, with the rise and popularity of "free" (tax-supported) schools, the mission and purpose of education incrementally evolved toward the objectives of the state. Those who had the greatest influence over the content and methods of implementing classroom curricula saw themselves as social architects, re-molding the individual intellect toward particular ideological agendas. What else could one expect from a service which, in effect, is the end product of the legislative process?

Most Americans had no idea that state legislatures (and now Congress), in efforts to enlarge power and influence, would use the institution of public education as an instrument of political will. Even today, although we recognize the characteristics of oppressive cerebral management which besets our country, we fail to identify its source. As a country and people, we've lost the capacity to discern the danger of utilizing state power (compulsory attendance laws, mandated state and federal goals, and coercive taxation) in order to educate ourselves. Such political tools are not the means by which to authentically cultivate the human mind; rather, these are utensils of control, the means by which to manipulate and shape the masses.

Charter Schools and State Vouchers

Contrary to the thinking of many, charter schools and state vouchers offer little promise to resolve this dependency upon government education funding (control). Charter schools must be in compliance with state education laws; their "charters" are legally binding agreements between themselves and the state. When properly understood, state vouchers are a means by which to funnel government subsidies into private learning institutions. In order to remain private, private schools must be privately funded. Hence, state vouchers are nothing more than regulatory conduits, for future strings which accompany accountability to the public (state). The end result: The death of what little remains of American private education.

A Solution to Consider

The solution is fundamental. We must delve to the root of the matter. Our current education foundation is flawed. The philosophy of state education is juxtaposed to the interests of liberty. The state's "new paradigm" or philosophical world view is forced upon children and their parents, in many cases against their will. Eventually, the state's paradigm (political and social agenda) will pervade every element of our culture (places of employment, churches, colleges, and the entertainment/news media).

When this happens (some say it already has), I believe we will witness the collapse of authentic education, sacrificed upon the altar of socially-motivated indoctrination. Sounds sort of Marxian, as well it should. State education is socialized education; something that cannot be improved upon (reformed or restructured). Left unchained by our passivity, apathy and constitutional ignorance (indicants of government education), progress toward a managed society continues with little or no resistance.

In the final analysis, we must start to contemplate the disconnection of oppressive and coercive state power from the process of educating ourselves. We cannot sustain liberty and the cultivation of free intellects through the use of governmental force. Education cannot, and should not be legislated upon a free citizenry.

A Need for Separation of School & State

The restoration of authentic education will not occur until we unleash or emancipate this service from the hands of government (federal, state, and local). Only then will we see an improvement and renewal of a service, supportive of free enterprise and a Constitutional Republic. Again, basic economics informs us that competitive market forces are the most effective, efficient, and least coercive means by which to measure and satisfy the desires of consumers.

The great debate: government indoctrination of the masses vs. free enterprise education. Which of these foundations lends itself to the maintenance of liberty? Which of the two contributes to our inclination toward socialism?

Initiate an Investigative Study

Contemplate the results of separating school and state. Perform your own cost vs. benefit analysis of this proposal to restore and improve education throughout the United States. Here are a few questions you may wish to answer during your study:

-> What are the foreseeable problems associated with free enterprise education contrasted with the unchecked growth of the federal/state education bureaucracy?

-> What innovative approaches to learning are overlooked because they do not mesh with federal/state learning goals?

-> If learning were to be completely privatized, would associated costs rise, fall, or remain the same?

-> In a free enterprise education marketplace, would it take 12 years to bring children to today's current college freshman level of intelligence?

-> How might a private learning market impact those who hold religious beliefs?

-> How might the separation of school and state impact our economy?

-> How might the privatization of education impact America's moral fabric, its level of civil discourse, and cultural appreciation of individual excellence?

-> With racism no longer placed on the front burner by state schools, would a private education marketplace help, hinder or have no impact upon ethnic harmony or peaceful co-existence?

-> Would parental apathy rise, fall or remain the same if parents had to write a check each month for their children(s)' education?

In closing, there is an organization which desires to provide additional materials and information concerning the concept of terminating the powerful bond between state and education. I encourage your review of the Alliance for the Separation of School & State web site to discover more about this issue from former public school teachers, amongst people of a variety of walks.

Alliance for the Separation of School & State:

The debate is open ... press forward and engage yourself in this important study. Who knows?, we might all learn something new.

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