It Takes a Collectivist

First they told us that we didn’t build our businesses. Now we learn that our kids aren’t ours.

“We have never invested as much in public education as we should have,” TV talking head Melissa Harris-Perry argues in the latest MSNBC “Lean Forward” propaganda spot, “because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children: Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility, and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments.”

Yeah, better investments. Like Solyndra. Or . . . the K-12 public education system for which, since 1970, the federal government has increased per-pupil spending by roughly 190 percent, only to flatline test scores in math, science and reading.

“When the flood of vitriolic responses to the ad began, my first reaction was relief,” Perry writes on her blog. “I had spent the entire day grading papers and was relieved that since these children were not my responsibility, I could simply mail the students’ papers to their moms and dads to grade!”

Doesn’t Tulane University pay her for grading those papers?

Claiming to “double down” in her defensive blog post, she actually admits that, “Of course, parents can and should raise their children with their own values.”

Of course.

What does Melissa Harris-Perry not get? That children belong, not to the state or the collective, and not really to their parents, but to themselves.

Is that much individual freedom leaning too far forward?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Apr
    12
    8:06
    AM
    Rob

    Children are individuals who are part of a family, whether that be purely in a biological sense or more traditional sense. I won’t debate those points. However, what Ms. Harris-Perry does not get is what part a government should play in the manner with which the citizens are educated. We, as a society, decide to “invest” in the society’s future by allocating funds for the education of our citizens. The amount is not so much important as how we spend these funds. Gather a dozen educators and you may end up with 13 different ways to educate. Unfortunately for many of us who were subjected to these trials and errors, each successive administration, as far back as 1953 (Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare) and getting a kickstart in 1980 when it was made a separate cabinet level department, began experimenting on the different theories and hypotheses of how best to educate children and then codified these theories and hypotheses into federal law. The testing of theories and hypotheses are best left to academia where a bad or unwanted result can be remedied relatively quickly. When Congress gets involved there is little chance a bad result can be agreed upon much less dealt with in a rapid manner.

  2. Apr
    12
    10:08
    AM
    Paulina West

    “So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”

    When you look at such a statement in the light of history, and in light of the fact that Obamacare makes budgetary provisions for visitations to homes by government workers, I believe that this language must be taken seriously as a threat to seize children.

    It is merely a cultural convention that parents have trusted experts to teach children the 3R’s; and that trust is provisional, and not a legal right, and it certainly does not grant custody or parenthood to the state. As the graph shows, the state is getting extraordinarily poor results for the money. Any parent can do better, and most charter schools, when not over regulated by public schools and allowed to function freely, also do far more with far less. It is time to look at the data regarding the failing schools and reject claims of their ability to even teach children, let alone own them.

  3. Apr
    12
    10:23
    AM
    Paulina West

    “For decades social critics in the United States and throughout the Western world have complained that “property” rights too often take precedence over “human” rights, with the result that people are treated unequally and have unequal opportunities.” ~thought of the day, side bar, thisiscommonsense

    And that reminds me, when anyone speaks of “human rights,” and of a primary education as a “human right,” it is very probable that what is being communicated is compulsory and forced participation. In this way, what was portrayed to the public as an agreement that all children deserve the opportunity to go to school, is being transformed to the requirement through force that all attend state schools. If you doubt what I say, look at what is being done to prevent homeschooling in Europe, esp. Germany. (Now there are many political parties who demand children belong to the state, and the Germans of all people ought to know better.)

    “Human rights” are not individual liberties, but their exact opposites.

  4. Apr
    12
    2:37
    PM
    MoreFreedom

    What’s in the head of a teacher that says that we don’t invest enough in education, because we have a notion that kids are parents’ responsibility, but prefers that we think of them as a collective responsibility, then says she can send the children’s tests to their parents for them to grade? While these “children” are 18 or older?

    It shows she thinks young adults are children. It shows she wants government to pay her for parents teaching their children her ideas about political science. In other words, she wants to force parents to teach kids her way, and to pay her for the offense.

    Justice would be me forcing her to work doing what I want, and paying me for the privilege of my supervision.

    But I would settle for freedom, where no one is forcing anyone else to do anything.

  5. Apr
    13
    6:05
    AM
    Drik

    Most of the decisions that are being made on this ar being made by people that have no training or experience in education and are being made without any studies to substantiate that any of the millions of tax dollars are actually going to be used for something effective. Perfect example is Common Core. Instead it is being decided by the well connected, using “common sense”. The same rational that once held that the earth was the center of the solar system.

    And the travesty is that we have the perfect test chambers with the individual states, where programs could be piloted to see if ANY of them are actually effective before foisitng them on the entire country and creating an entrenched constituency that uses inertia to prevent it from ever being undone, sucking down tax dollars forever.

    Common sense would dictate, that since test scores have actually declined in the past 40 years annder the aegis of the Department of Educashun, that the Department of Ed. is having a negative effect and shoudl be prohibited from messing with the kids any more.

  6. Apr
    14
    2:53
    PM
    Jay

    A comment ot two– first, I disagree with this person-Harris-perry.

    but, as to blame the schools for ALL of the problems is also wrong.

    WHERE THE HELL ARE THE PARENTS? i was a sustitute teacher in 2 states–1, in a rural area- students were well mannered; polite and in school to learn. OR ELSE- be it with a regular teacher or a sub. the other, in an urban area, (it didn’t matetr if affluent or not)- many of the parents jsut did not give a dman, and g-d help a teacher who dared yell at their little angel.

    Look at the publicity a few years ago- when (Miami FL area0 police had to handcuff a 7 or so year old. MISSING- the child urinated and defecated on the principal’s desk; bit a few teachers; and was kicking them.

    or, the parent (Chicago) who tried to kill a teacher (girls basketball coach) because he had the daughter and another girl run laps for fighting. AND PEOPLE DEFENDED THE FATHER.

    Or, the teacher who gave an award to a child for the ebst and msot excuses for not doing homework 9 and was in a program for help_)- AND THE MOTHER COMPLAINS THAT SHE DIDN’T KNOW HER DAUGHTER HAD BEEN GIVEN HOMEWORK OR HAD PROBLEMS.

    The lsit can go on. these were some from yahell/AP liberla blather ( my view-only).

    Compare to Asians; and others from the 1920’s through (my era in school) 1960’s– behave or else.

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