Slate Writer Thinks You Could Be A Bad Person If You Live in a City or Drive a Car
Not really. It is actually worse. Allison Benedikt, a writer at the liberal fan-zine Slate says you are a bad person if you send your kid to a private school.
In Benedikt’s collectivist mind, we all share an obligation to place our kids into government schools. By doing so, we would improve the quality of the student body and harness the energy of parents who are active in their kids’ education. If we are all in the system, we all have a stake in its outcome.
On a very rudimentary, superficial level—and Benedikt confesses she isn’t an “education policy wonk”—it makes a certain amount of sense. After minimal consideration, however, it is also totally insane.
If we all gave up our cars, wouldn’t we all then have a “stake” in a really good public transit system? Am I a bad person because I drive my own car and so am not a “stakeholder” in my city’s bus system?
The goal of transportation is to get from Point A to Point B in the most efficient, cost-effective way. Sometimes that is a bus. Usually it’s a car. Benedikt confuses that the end goal should be a good system. The end goal, however, is a good outcome.
I live in a city with a challenged public school system. In the high school, there is a good gifted program. Outside that program, however, a teacher may not show up to teach a class. 85% of the kids are on the federal subsidized school lunch program. The school has an on-site day care center….for the students’ babies!
There are reasons beyond class instruction why I don’t want my daughter going to school there. I like living in the city, however, so I send her to private school.
I could easily take Benedikt’s advice, but I would move an hour or so outside the city. The public schools there are great. I’d have a “stake” in the public schools there, but I would no longer have a “stake” in the city.
Is that result really better? The ability to go to private or parochial schools has allowed many middle and upper-middle income families to stay in cities, providing a critical tax base for city services. (Residents of St. Louis should appreciate what happens when you lose a tax base.)
The precious thing about the left is that they never understand the consequences of their feel-good proposals. So, okay, Allison, I’ll take up your challenge. But, I have to call the moving company first.