Public Health And Education

I realize this is a provacative video on the conservative side, or even 'extremist' to those who believe in public institutions, but it does bring up valid points some of which I've heard parents and teachers begin to question.

It's a video starring Will Ferrell and Alec Baldwin look alikes.

There are definitely points to be made in favor of both sides of the debate.


A couple of things they bring up that may be up for debate some (American) readers can probably shed light upon:

-The Department of Education in the United States contributes 10% of its budget to schools. Yet, it controls the direction of what's being taught in those schools.
-One of the panelists asserted since its arrival on the seen, test scores have been in steady decline. Indeed, we've often heard and read about the fall of quality education. I have no citation for it.


Points I agree on:

-We tend to scoff of vocational education and apprenticeship programs. When I was in high school, councilors would coil in horror if you wanted to go to mechanic or electrician school. Today, plumbers make more money than someone in with a university degree working in a bank. In Europe, they're far better at indentifying vocational candidates and offering them jobs. They seem to be more pragmatic as to who should go to university. Here, we consider it a "right" to go to school and even demand society pay for it.

-In Canada, professor salaries can go up to $200 000 per year despite low tuitions. The balance of payments to cover the salary (excluding the actual cost of tuition) comes from, I reckon, taxpayers.

-The irony of public education - particularly for liberals (or any person free of ideology for that matter) who rightly rail against the loss of independent free thinking - is that it's actually a propaganda tool since it dictates and coerces the curriculum being taught. Sheep, sheep, sheep!

Schools should be treated as self-sustaining organisms where the needs and objectives of each is determined by educators and parents. No bureaucrat removed from the intricate equation of this reality should dictate otherwise. For example, a private school near my house with an excellent reputation was revoked its permit because it had the audacity to market itself as bilingual. It took parents, mostly French-Canadians, to leave their work to go and fight this nonsense. It was eventually rectified in the school's favor. The point being, why face the unnecessary stress? Why is the government intervening in what parents want for their children? How was the stare "improving" our education by playing politics?

Another example is when the government forced an "ethics"course on private schools built on strong religious identities. Again, it's a simple case of if parents send their children to this school then it's their business. The state should not be telling a Jesuit school to cease teaching religion. It's paternalistic, wrong and even immoral. If parents pay for it, it's none of our business.

The weight of the ministry on schools is unbearable and the results speak for themselves. It's not the teachers fault. They know what needs to be done but can't do it since it's against the law.

The best type of education system is one in which every school is free to control its destiny. Parents would then have the choice to pick which they like best. The crappy ones would go out of business and the best ones would stand alone.

The problem with this model is what to do with those who can't afford such schools - unless the market caters to it specifically. My suggestion is public education must remain so long as the government's input is limited. There's no reason to be able to give school's latitude even if they're publicly funded.

Furthermore, we can surely come up with innovative ways to get under privileged people a shot at education if they truly need it and have the interest in it. No? Better them than a bunch of sheep who merely worked the system against their will.

We just have to manage human resources better.

Question: What or when was (if ever) the last true innovative idea copied everywhere in education to come out of Canada?


Finally, Peter Theil is mentioned. Theil is definitely a character. I read about his bubble theory a while back and thought to comment about but let it go so I'll do it here. We do cling on to the ideal of public education - and here in Canada public health.

That's fine.

The problem is whenever people want to make meaningful and necessary changes, they are dubbed 'extremists' for merely bringing up the discussion.

The state of public education and health, in my opinion, is mediocre. Why not work to improve it? We can only do so if we actual begin to talk about it.

By the way, building a super hospital, while the current system is in turmoil is NOT a solution. It's sweeping things under a rug and quite frankly, Quebec's track record on grandiose projects is abysmal. Forgive my cynicism.

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