Common Core Isn’t The Problem

Complaining about common core, school choice, standardized testing, or any other common government education concern misses the main problem which we ought to be focused on, that is that the government is providing education in the first place. The problem with a program like common core education is not that it’s an overly centralized/standardized government education program, it’s that it’s a government education program. The surest way for an authoritarian state to maintain its grip on its power is for it to control the education of the people. Remove common core, and you have only removed one of the 10,000 government flies in the soup of education. School choice? Same problem.

Choosing which state run Prussian factory model school your child goes to doesn’t substantially improve their education in any way, and it does even less to loosen the grip of the state. The problem is not what is being taught, or in which district it’s being taught. The problem is that the state is the one doing the teaching, and this must not be. It is not a legitimate function of any state to educate, no matter what they teach, how they teach, or how they acquire the funds to do the teaching. In America it just so happens that they choose the most asinine things to teach, in the most asinine ways, and acquire the necessary funds to do so in the most immoral way possible. It’s certainly fair to complain about that, but not at the expense of the larger problem.

The issue with universal compulsory education is not, and never has been the content. The first universal compulsory education program ever implemented in America was run by Calvinist puritans. It doesn’t matter what content you’re teaching, when you use force to ensure that it is taught, it is immoral. Jackbooted thuggery doesn’t cease to be Jackbooted thuggery when you use that thuggery to teach Christianity any more than it does when you use it to teach the tenets of Islam. If government schools taught eight hours per day of bible lessons, it would still be wrong.

Great ideas do not need the arm of the state to ensure that they are heard and implemented. There is no greater communal good that trumps the right of any individual man, and that remains true in the realm of education. Common Core as a curriculum is intellectually bankrupt, but Common Core isn’t the problem, state run education is the problem. Cut the state off from the education game, remove their monopoly on teaching, and you will have a better education market, making for a better overall education for anyone looking for it.

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