The Central Fallacy of Public Schooling

The Foundation for Economic Education published an article in 1999 titled, “The Central Fallacy of Public Schooling.” The author, Daniel Hager, begins with the story of a publication distributed in public schools in the 1940s that justified America's 20% taxation rate at the time. Hager comments, “The article vividly illustrates the overriding intent of public schooling, which has always been indoctrination of the young.”

Of course, indoctrination is not the problem, as all education involves indoctrination. But as Hager ask, “Who will do the indoctrinating?”

Sure public schools are “free” in the sense that you do not have to pay additional tuition, but in public school, “the child is subjected to indoctrination outside parental control. The price of tax-funded schooling is that parents give up their children to become instruments of the state.” Hager says,

Proponents of public schooling argue against the complete privatization of schooling on the grounds that the poor would not be able to afford tuition and that some parents would not provide schooling for their children, leaving them “uneducated.” However, the rampant levels of ignorance, subliteracy, and hostility to learning that characterize tax-funded schools argue that the present system is itself not serving the best interests of students.

Hager then raises an excellent point—“Americans are behaving exactly the way those who govern desire them to behave.”

We must recognize that the state is accomplishing its goals, and we who have gone to public school have been duped into believing in the system’s necessity:

Children who are turned over to the state become molded by the state. Most parents cannot conceive of a totally privatized alternative because they themselves have been indoctrinated by public schooling to believe in its alleged necessity. However, it is fallacious for parents to think that children can escape government schooling without having their traditions and beliefs subverted. “Free” schooling is seductively attractive in the short run, but it has long-term costs. The dismantling of tax-funded schooling will not be accomplished until more and more parents say, "My child does not belong to the state."

Read the entire article here