Thursday, my inbox took a long time to refresh. Somebody sent me a video along with some background information. The story comes from Michigan, where Debbie Squires is the Associate Director of the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association. Apart from the ten-dollar title, Squires is another blooming edu-crat who believes that the educational establishment knows what is best for your children. In fact, by listening closely to what she has to say, you discover that she also thinks that she and other professional educators know what is best for you. This smarmy, arrogant testimony before the Michigan House Committee on Education evinces a deeply rooted contempt for parents, tax-payers, and also for children.
Here’s the video:
This is simply astonishing. What we have here is an admission that they believe they know better than you, know your children better than you, and should have absolute control over education, without respect to dissent, political or social minorities, or any other input. She has said here that if you don’t like the curricula or policies of schools, your only recourse is to go to the polls and vote. That is your public education establishment telling you that they don’t need to be responsive to parents directly, but only indirectly through the electoral process. I have a suggestion for the people of Michigan, and for anybody else who encounters this attitude among such people: Vote for elected officials who will fire the edu-crats.
In my own life, raising my own daughter, I have run into such people. The only proper response is really to remove your children from harm’s way, which means to get them out of the clutches of people who see you as an obstacle. Education doesn’t belong to these professional nit-wits, and I am tired of the smarter-than-thou position they most frequently adopt as they preach from the bully pulpit parents and taxpayers have provided about their superiority in knowing how best to educate our children. If they’re so damned good at it, why are our kids doing so poorly when measured against the rest of the industrialized world? The attitude Ms. Nanny State expresses is far too common among those who say they are professional educators.
My wife and I were our daughter’s first teachers. She learned how to count, and how to read, and how to spell, and do mathematics from us. She arrived on her first day in public school more prepared and more focused on learning than her peers, because her mother and I knew the secret to education without having the benefit of even a higher education at that point in time in our lives. We didn’t need an edu-crat to tell us. We didn’t need a social worker to guide us. We simply did as we had thought would be prudent in preparing our daughter to step forward. This idea that “professional educators know best” has become a racket, and unfortunately, I think it has gained ground as too many parent have surrendered their sovereignty and their authority over the question of the content of the education their children will be delivered. All too often, it is based on lowest common denominators of class progress, meaning that the best and brightest are held back by the least prepared or least able.
After three generations of telling parents they don’t know best, and shouldn’t be involved, the education establishment has managed to push enough parents away from the process of educating their children that they can now claim: “Well, parents aren’t involved anyway.” It’s true. Most parents deliver their children to the gaping maw of the public school system with the uncritical, unthinking indifference that is required for people like Ms. Squires to subsist in the system. She’s not accustomed to having her authority challenged, but I will assert that if parents were so-inclined, they can educate their own children to a higher proficiency and to better result than any combination of teachers in the public school ever will. After all, if I’m a decent parent, I don’t need the state or its edu-crats dictating the education of my child. I know the needs of my child, and if I don’t, it calls into question the legitimacy of my claim to my competence as a parent. Maybe that’s the point in all of this.
Note: Thanks to ‘Jake’ for the video, and also to ‘Tom’ who just indicated to me this story may have gotten first coverage on the Blaze, here.