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Forum, April 5: Parents, not the state, are the primary educators

Published: 4/4/2021 10:00:15 PM
Modified: 4/4/2021 10:00:14 PM
Parents, not the state, are the primary educators

I often think, when considering the gravity and circumstances of a particular issue or decision, the truth that makes the most sense often requires the least amount of convincing. The more one has to argue for a position, the more likely it may not be based on common sense.

This gets us to the idea of civic goods. Education is good for the child and society. That is why the state has a vested interest in education. But the state does not retain the power to control education. I would suggest that is unnatural. Education begins in the home and should respect the autonomy of the home.

There is a principle that operates on the idea that no larger body should assume what a lower body can rightfully and naturally do for itself. Once a higher body intervenes where it should not, a disruption is created that stunts authentic human development and prevents people from maturing intellectually or even making their own creative imprint in the story we all share as members of the human family.

I want to say how grateful I am to know educators working for the good of people and society. I believe in their intentions and I have worked for more than a decade with faithful educators in all types of settings: home school, public school and private school.

The “education freedom accounts” being considered in the New Hampshire Legislature are not about one system as opposed to another (“NH Senate approves voucher bill,” March 19). Children should be given an opportunity to receive an adequate education in conformity with the first school, that is the school of the home. Parents are primary educators, and we should all scoff at any idea that suggests otherwise. Parents are the best source of accountability in education. The state is not.

All forms of education should be valued and supported to promote the good of all. 


Goshen, N.H.

The writer is headmaster at Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee.

More on the ‘white male shooter’ myth

Syndicated columnist Megan McArdle “buries the lede,” i.e., obscures the real story, when, three-quarters into her op-ed, she paraphrases Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox’s research showing that media coverage tends to focus on white victims and shooters, and incidents are mostly covered by white media (“Numbers undercut white male shooter myth,” March 31).

After her lengthy discussion of the “myth of the white male shooter,” she calls it “a harmful racial stereotype” and concludes that “we certainly won’t make much progress on mass shootings if we wrongly convince ourselves that (they are) mostly the peculiar pathology of a single privileged class.”

The real story is the cause of the myth.

J. Brian Charles of The Trace, a website that focuses on gun violence, spoke to this issue clearly on NPR’s All Things Considered recently. He pointed out that of the 36 mass shootings in Chicago through September 2020, 31 were in majority-Black neighborhoods. When asked by reporter Audie Cornish, “Is there something to be said for isolating and focusing on shootings ... where it was unusual and to victims who are not — air quotes — ‘typical targets,’ ” he was clear: “I don’t think they should be treated differently because if you’re the victim of one of these crimes, it doesn’t really matter, right? I think that we have a responsibility to try to get as much information about why our neighbors, our family members, people in other communities ... are being subjected to high levels of violence.”



Capitalists are out of control

Starting in 1956, my total costs for a four-year education at MIT were $10,000. My father got me a summer job as a draftsman where I earned half this cost.

Dartmouth College’s one-year total cost per student is $78,010. A temporary summer job paying half that cost would have to earn $39,005.

A wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts will power 400,000 New England homes. The electrical generators are made in China. Solar cells are purchased from China. As an electrical engineer, I know we could manufacture these, along with electric motors for appliances, plus smartphones and computers.

The title of a 2020 book, Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America, also applies to people who export jobs to China and make fortunes but don’t care what harm it does to U.S. citizens. Allowing this to happen, author Kurt Andersen says, are liberal “useful idiots,” among whom he includes himself.

My solution is to claw back the money and make the products here, even if it costs more. We need a viable economy. If we don’t do this, we destroy our economy and have an understated inflation rate. Our children could live in another 1930s Depression. In the early 1900s laws were passed stopping out-of-control capitalists who exploited other people.



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