Make Education Local Again

Yes, another Trump inspired post. I won’t apologise, he’s the most exciting thing to happen to politics in years. Openly questioning immigration policy and even suggesting that Muslim immigration be halted? More recently in a speech stating:

“The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down, and will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs.”

and

“We will no longer surrender this country, or its people, to the false song of globalism”

What’s not to like?

Something less noticeable though were his comments on education which are of interest to me. I’ve been working in education for ten years this year; in different contexts in both the private and public sector. He’s against common core which I am totally hostile to based on what I’ve read and seen of it. But then, I’m instinctively against any national curriculum because like Trump I think that “education has to be local.”

When education is discussed, it is generally discussed with multiple assumptions in place. The biggest assumption and the one that will immediately ensure the discussion leads nowhere is to assume the current way education is structured is generally good. It isn’t. The way most public and private schools are structured is archaic and fails to meet student needs.

The only way you could hold that the current highly centralised and uniform system is good is if you value the power it provides over children above their education. That’s exactly why the left wants to maintain this and even do away with the private system. What ever they tell you otherwise is a lie or at best, a belief based in naivete.

Simply making education local would solve many problems. Teachers would be directly accountable to parents and would have more autonomy and freedom to adapt curriculum to suit the community. Decisions would also be made by people who are not only accountable for them but who would know what is needed and be able to directly see the results.

This doesn’t, as some may guess, assume anything about what “education” is either. If parents demand Marxist drivel they will get it and there will still be no shortage of teachers willing to teach it. This just means that not everyone will be forced through the same grinder and it will quickly become obvious what achieves better results. Some might call this “diversity”.

Again, I don’t see how anyone could possibly be against this unless they believe the primary function of a school system is to exert control. Or perhaps more cynically, if they want to avoid being accountable for their performance. This isn’t even a concept that applies only to education but education is a good place to make public services local again.

It wouldn’t be perfect but it never is. What’s happening now isn’t working though so it’s worth a shot and hopefully, for the USA at least, we’ll see it put into practice.

On a final note, I want to stress that I don’t take politicians seriously and hold to David Hume’s maxim that “every man must be supposed a knave”. I won’t be the least surprised if Trump ends up a disappointment but as I’ve written previously, he deserves a shot above any of the other options.

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