We have previously touched on the federal government’s intrusion into the educational system. There are all kinds of ways we could see serious improvement if they released their grip on what is rightfully a matter for state or local control.
Of course, that is no guarantee those other jurisdictions won’t go awry. Too often they do. An example is a recent effort by New York State to overregulate schooling, although it is far from the only one. Although the state has always held it has the authority to govern schooling, public or otherwise, it has recently tried to up the ante.
Using a policy known as substantial equivalency, the state wants to ensure that students receive equivalent educations, regardless of the institution. In a general way, that seems fair. To the extent the state has the authority, indeed perhaps the obligation, it should see that children receive competent teaching. And, there should be some sort of basic subjects common to all.
That is if a state has that authority to begin with. Those leaning toward more libertarian values may rightfully question compulsory schooling laws. Alternative methods of education are increasing for a reason. Despite oversized egos and budgets, public education has been failing miserably. As a result, parents and educators have been turning to charter schools, private schools and homeschooling.While sharing basic curricula seems reasonable, any insistence on virtual clones seems absurd. After all, diversity in both content and methodology would seem not only appreciated but desired. Especially in the field of education. Click To Tweet
Unconstitutional Attacks on Education
While the idea of sharing some basic curricula seems reasonable, any insistence on virtual clones seems absurd. In fact, counterintuitive. After all, diversity in both content and methodology would seem not only appreciated but desired. Especially in the field of education.
That hasn’t stopped New York, who has just rewritten some regulations after the Albany County Supreme Court struck them down. They may still be in trouble. The following article provides a list of reasons why.
Education and Free Speech
“A vast literature explores the freedom of speech of grade-school students against their teachers and schools, but curiously, there is very little recognition of the free speech rights of parents and schools against the states. These rights now need attention.”
Substantial Equivalence in Education
“Thirty states dictate the content of teaching in one way or another. The New York version of such regulation is very detailed…
“The substantial equivalence requirement, especially when coupled with the enumeration of subjects, amounts to compelled speech and content discrimination. The regulations force private schools to teach the subjects the state favors, and penalize the private schools that, on account of their different priorities, teach a different combination of subjects.”
A Compelling Government Interest in Education?
“In response, one might protest that there is a long history of requiring basics to be taught in private schools; that this is necessary to ensure an educated citizenry; and that states therefore have a pressing government interest in such regulation. In legal terms, New York has a ‘compelling government interest’ that justifies its content and viewpoint discrimination. But on inspection, such arguments fall apart.
“Undoubtedly, education comes within the scope of each state’s plenary legislative power. This is not to say, however, that this state interest is so ‘compelling’ as to justify the state in abridging the freedom of speech.”