Monday, March 27, 2006

What the Schools are For

A remarkable consensus has formed recently among business leaders, elected officials and scholars that we must strengthen U.S. science and engineering education if we hope to strengthen our work force and maintain our innovative edge in an increasingly competitive world economy.
-Alan Leshner, Science education: Protecting science, religion

Of course pleasing these folk is the real aim of government education, but I'd never thought it had come to the point where such a goal could be so bluntly acknowledged without fear of protest!

Having begun on such arguable grounds, the author proceeds to thrash certain anti-Darwinians, who I admit sometimes deserve a thrashing, and to trivialize genuine religious differences. He then appeals to the ersatz religion of nationalist sentiment:

In a time that calls for unity and common purpose, the Oklahoma measure divides and distracts us. America is facing unprecedented challenges -- protecting national security, developing new energy sources, improving our economy and defending against diseases such as Avian flu.

In a free society, the school system is made for the citizenry, not the citizenry for the schools. The absence of a concern for liberty in this article tells much about the sad decline of liberal education.

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