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Thursday, May 6, 2010

More on Education

Well, my last post didn't seem to be very controversial; so little dialogue and discussion! You must be waiting with baited breath to see what I say next. Or maybe it's just not a big deal outside my little world.
OK. Onward.
So, I was talking about independent schools in BC and the controversy over government funding.
Every year, schools are ranked according to their scores on standardized testing (after a number of mysterious adjustments that have to do with numbers of boys and girls and other factors), and results published in the newspaper. Scores of parents look for the highest scoring schools and start plotting to send their children to those hallowed halls of learning, so that they can be smart, too. Others take a quick peek and roll their eyes violently at the predictability of it all. How could it be? The top performers are all independent schools - specifically, prep schools!
Everyone loves to hate those exclusive "private" schools. They're the first thing that comes up in the debate about government funding. Members of the BC Teachers' Federation (some of them) start to froth at the mouth when they think about all those wealthy families sending their darling cherubs to schools that can cherry pick the brainiest and send the mediocre ones packing. No special needs students. Nothing but the best.
If all that public money was put back into public education, it would solve many problems. Those wealthy families, one opinion piece opined, can afford to pay the full ride; take away their funding!
But the real thorn in their flesh, the true cause of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth isn't really the small number of prep schools that receive funding. It's the religious schools! Gasp!
Here's where it gets really ugly.
According to a vocal number of British Columbians, public money has no place in the religious arena. Therefore, yank the funding away from all those schools that teach that there is one way to God. Better still, anything connected to faith. That would include Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Christians, and even worse, those Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints who still teach that polygamy is cool.
In a tolerant, multi-cultural society like Canada, the worst sin is to say that your own God is the only one. And then get government money to help you teach kids.
What do you think now?
Next time I'll tell you about the really really bad part of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I shudder at the proposed suppression of knowledge - remeniscent of the dark ages! In my opinion the study of comparative theology should be part of every basic education. I suspect Christians are probably the only ones that would not feel threatened by allowing their children to learn what other faiths are based on/entail. Now that would be truly inclusive/"tolerant"!

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