Ok..so now you are saying that our schools are the educators of values and manners?<br><br>I guess I am. I never meant to imply that they should be the sole providers of such values, so I'm sorry if you misinterpreted my point. Do you honestly think that that a kid is going to spend 6-8 hours in school just to learn to perform mathematics, to read, and to write? A growing mind is learning constantly-- about everything (not just the three R's), and it is only natural that they should turn to the only adults in their world for example. To suggest that teachers don't have a certain responsibility in this regard is to diminish the status of the profession. Do so if you like, but my head is out of the sand. <br><br>I think we (and perhaps it should begin with the government) should begin to better value the role of educators in today's society. In a perfect world, there would be no such thing as a scenario where a child is without a parent due to financial concerns. But as long as we continue to worship money the way we do (and I'm not implicating you here), that's not gonna happen. <br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>But as long as we continue to worship money the way...<p><hr></blockquote><p>"The freest government cannot long endure when the tendency of the law is to create a rapid accumulation of property in the hands of a few, and to render the masses poor and dependent." <br>— Daniel Webster, 1782-1852<br><br><br>Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.<br>-- Aaron Levenstein
"In the old days, you'd finish a day's work and announce, 'I'm done.' Nobody ever does that now. There's never enough time." -- Elliott Masie
Good ol' Dan webster. He certainly knows where the devil's located <br><br>Unfortunately one of the side-effects of a meritocratic society is that the only general measure of worth that we have is precisely the accumulation of material goods. And because there is probably little or no sense of obligation in those who've managed to accumulate the most, the evils that Webster conceives are almost inevitable. That's probably not true for the most spectacularly successful. Bill Gates does give money away, although not quite as fast as he makes more <br><br>The democratic spirit contributes to the problem because one easy but powerfully persuasive way to misunderstand democracy is the old Family Feud approach to value/truth: whatever is said and done by the greatest number wins you all the goodies. The combination of meritocracy and misunderstood democracy brings us to the brink of the abyss: a society where the norm of behavior is pandering and pimping. Have you ever tried to explain the term "vulgar" to someone? Try to do it without sounding like an elitist pig.<br><br>Perceptive as he is, Alexis de Tocqueville predicted that one of the problems America (and now the whole world?) would face is precisely the assertion of principles in the face of the power of the many.<br><br>Parenthetically, I think schools, certainly elementary schools, do teach "values" whether or not it's part of the official curriculum. You can't begin to handle 28 or 30 kids in a single room without imposing "values." But values that come from a government agency strike me as being maybe as dangerous as no values at all. And that's not because it's a government agency so much as because such agencies must contend with masses of people rather than individuals. There's an inevitable rigidity in "values" when they're expressed to a group that's just not there when individual talks to individual. The result, when it works, is docility rather than values. In any case, ultimately schools can't do the job: the poor kid two doors up from me is in school only for 7 hours a day for 180 days per year.<br><br>Second parenthesis. I don't think it's fair to blame the parents who need to work two jobs in order to get by. I'll grant you that often two incomes lead to wasted money--I mean, the guys two doors up really don't really need a stereo that's powerful enough to crack windows three blocks away. But those are the measures of success that we have, and it would be a particularly strong person who could ignore what everyone else says is valuable in order to do what's "right." In some sense, in fact, the stereo and the TV and the car and the air conditioner--all the things that people often point to as evidence that the poor are not really poor--are almost incidental by-products of living in our society. I mean, how could you live in America and not have some of those things? Often, though, the two, sometimes three salaries are absolutely essential for survival.<br><br>All that said, I want to emphasize that I can't imagine any system other than meritocratic democracy as being tolerable. I have a friend who is not that distantly related to the Hapsburgs, and even a distant, distant prospect of someone like her defining social value makes me sick to the stomach.<br><br>And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear
_________________________ MACTECHubi dolor ibi digitus
"The freest government cannot long endure when the tendency of the law is to create a rapid accumulation of property in the hands of a few, and to render the masses poor and dependent."<br>— Daniel Webster, 1782-1852<br><br>You're not going to hear that quote on Fox News!<br><br>
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