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Freedom, liberty and mandated "community service"
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thomas Sowell brings us face-to-face with the banality of evil. It sounds wonderful, but it is nothing more than another encroachment on freedom and liberty.
One of the most innocent-sounding examples of the left's many impositions of its vision on others is the widespread requirement by schools and by college admissions committees that students do "community service."

There are high schools across the country from which you cannot graduate, and colleges where your application for admission will not be accepted, unless you have engaged in activities arbitrarily defined as "community service."
The requirements, of course, aren't academic in nature as they do nothing to prepare you for academic advancement. They're political in nature - the "vision" that a particular group has conjured up as defining "good citizenship" and imposing it, through the requirements Sowell notes, on a population with no means of resisting it.

And, unfortunately, by and large those who could - parents - have accepted the claptrap about what is in fact compulsory service being a 'good thing' for their child.

My guess is they'd have an entirely different view if the "community service" involved a draft and the military.

Sowell also asks some questions I'd love to see someone answer:
The most fundamental question is: What in the world qualifies teachers and members of college admissions committees to define what is good for society as a whole, or even for the students on whom they impose their arbitrary notions?

What expertise do they have that justifies overriding other people's freedom? What do their arbitrary impositions show, except that fools rush in where angels fear to tread?

What lessons do students get from this, except submission to arbitrary power?
Anyone?
 
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Much as I find the thing distatseful, it must at least be said that the student does gain a broader experience base to draw from. I would view that as an intangable benefit.

Kids are more shut in these days then they used to be. When I was growing up, it wasn’t uncommon for me to spend the entire day unsupervised away from the house, having my own adventures, meeting and interacting with people, etc. Today that never happens, anymore until the kid is near on college age. Such service thereby would be something unique... one of their first forrays into the world. Someone with at least that small amount of life experience is far easier to teach than someone with no such cultural exposure.

I don’t like the force involved, nor do I care for the kinds of ’service’ they’re forced into. But there is at least a grain of logic to the thing. I know... pavement list, road to hell, but there it is.

That said, they could benefit as much from military service, and as you suggest, there’s an attitude disparity between those two kinds of service, and one I suspect they’d rather not address.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
There’s an old New Yorker cartoon showing a worried-looking taxpayer sitting across a desk from an IRS tax auditor, and the auditor is saying, "You know, Mr. Jones, it helps if you stop thinking of it as your money."

Under the auspices of today’s "liberals," the punch-line could be extended to: "It helps if you stop thinking of it as your life."
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
"Much as I find the thing distatseful, it must at least be said that the student does gain a broader experience base to draw from."

Yes, that is nice. But that comes from volunteering to do it, not being forced to do it.

Notice the difference, for instance, in rates of deaths in combat when the population at whole could be sent to war, and now when only volunteers who are highly trained do the fighting. Sure we want more people taking up the slack to try to keep those doing multiple tours from being overburdened, but do we want 10,000 deaths in Iraq instead of 4,000? How come we have lost so few men in fighting in Afghanistan in 7+ years of fighting vs. the Soviets who lost 30,000+ in nearly the same period? Volunteers do the fighting now, against the male population as a whole.

That being said, if people wish to volunteer for soup kitchens, to read to blind people, or assist in old age homes, I say: all the world to them. They should be congratulated, and perhaps have some additional support from the government. But the fact that these labors are being volunteered, and not forcibly extracted, is why those who do them do them with love and care. If you shanghai someone to do a job and offer them some pay they may do it, and do it well, but they won’t do it with heart. Volunteers will, because their heart is in it.
 
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
Tom Sowell:
What lessons do students get from this, except submission to arbitrary power?
The other lesson is that in exchange for some perfunctory "community service" they are justified in getting all they can from the giant lactating breasts of government. So, you see, it’s a "fair trade" all around.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
What lessons do students get from this, except submission to arbitrary power?

That is the lesson.

Be a good little prole and let your betters tell you how to live your life because they’re smarter than you.
 
Written By: Veeshir
URL: http://
Ok what’s wrong with demanding "community service", at elast on college applications? You all are l/Libertarians, it’s the right of the college to accept or reject on the basis of their criteria? If you don’t like those criteria, don’t apply.

High Schools, public ones, are a different matter.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I have no issue with private colleges imposing a community service requirement as part of admission.


You don’t like it, don’t apply to that school.

Public colleges (like City and State run universities) are a different matter...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"Much as I find the thing distatseful, it must at least be said that the student does gain a broader experience base to draw from."
Look, Eric: you’re talking about breeding sociopaths. Get this through your head. When you arbitrarily yank young minds into something by force, what you’re teaching them is that their lives don’t matter. It’s one short ethical step from that to "nothing matters".

You couldn’t be more destructive unless you just lined them all up and shot them in the head.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"My guess is they’d have an entirely different view if the "community service" involved a draft and the military. "

While I do agree with the overall sentiment, that forced "volunteering" is a terrible idea, I do have to take issue with this idea.

There is a world of difference between being forced to waste a bunch of time on community service and being forced to put your life at significant risk with other people trying to kill you. This makes voluntary enlistment in the military significantly more admirable... but it also makes forced conscription into it significantly more dangerous.
 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
Look, Eric: you’re talking about breeding sociopaths. Get this through your head. When you arbitrarily yank young minds into something by force, what you’re teaching them is that their lives don’t matter. It’s one short ethical step from that to "nothing matters".
Oh yeah I can see that logic...."You must complete 40 hours of community service" Student: "Oh NO! Nothing matters, I have to sweep the streets! I might as well just go on out and murder the orphans and Nuns I saw this morning." Yeah, I’m seeing it...that explains the uptick in mass murder and general mayhem amongst ’Mehrika’s ’Utes.

Come on Beck, if you’re going to make an argument, just don’t "phone it in." OH man, how could I forget, "...just shoot them in the head." Sure thing Beck, 40 hours CS might as well put the .40 CAl. S&W round right thru their noggins...

And STILL I am amazed that An-Cap’ism isn’t sweeping the land...I can’t understand why this is so.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Tito touches on something that I think is missed in these debates; the same reasons that Libertarians don’t think the government can simply centralize the market effectively applies to community service, too. Community service is in a market. A very different market, but a market nonetheless, manifesting as the need to pay people to do what they won’t volunteer to do, which is why nonprofits still need money. (Similar to the holes in pure open-source software, like business software, that arise from nobody being willing to volunteer to write a good Point of Sale system in their spare time.)

The government will most assuredly waste this resource. The students will be fully aware that their efforts are wasted. Whatever good lessons this is supposed to teach, they will not be taught.

All the good reasons to do this are lies. The drawbacks are still there. Why do this?
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
Yes, that is nice. But that comes from volunteering to do it, not being forced to do it.
...and
Look, Eric: you’re talking about breeding sociopaths.
Well, again, that comes down to the type of service they’re being ’encouraged’ to involve themselves with, which I go on in my original comment to address, saying in part:
I don’t like the force involved, nor do I care for the kinds of ’service’ they’re forced into.


Read that last one again, so you hear me loud and clear.

I don’t like the force involved, nor do I care for the kinds of ’service’ they’re forced into.


I’m simply taking the thing apart logically to answer Bruce’s/Sowell’s last question directly. I ignore the other two because I firgured while the answers were bloody obvious, they’d get addressd by other commenters, in spades.





 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
There is a world of difference between being forced to waste a bunch of time on community service and being forced to put your life at significant risk with other people trying to kill you. This makes voluntary enlistment in the military significantly more admirable... but it also makes forced conscription into it significantly more dangerous.
A complete non-sequitur. We haven’t had military conscription in over 30 years.

For the record, a draft is bad. Forcing students to "volunteer" for community service is also bad. We did away with the former years ago...and now some want to implement the latter.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Student A: Does his compulsory service by standing around a soup kitchen staring at his shoes, while his buddies who show up shove beans on someone’s plate. Gets his checkmark.

Student B: Gets up 5am to do a paper route. Works after school in a retail store to help make ends meet. Mows lanws/babysits, in the mean time studies his butt off taking AP courses.


Student B doesn’t have time to do community service, so no check mark, no admission. Doesn’t get into college.

The Liberal Dream - punish those who strive. Only those who sacrifice to others are "worthy".
 
Written By: Director Mitch
URL: www.windowmanager.blogspot.com
These universities are only using their marketplace power. The same should be returned in kind by avoiding the places if you don’t like it. Universities have been known to require foreign languages and like to see participation in diverse activities for admission too. Is this an encroachment on freedom as well?
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
And send your kids to another high school too. There are far worse problems at high schools - and better reasons to leave them - than forced community service. Anyone pay attention to what isn’t being taught anymore?
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
As a parent with two kids in a high school that requires 25 hours of community service to graduate I can give you some perspective on how it is seen by the students and the "recipients" of the students doing community service.

The kids think the requirement is a joke and are ingenious at working the system to get just about anything to qualify for community service.

I have had recipients of the community service tell me that the kids are worthless when forced to do any sort of work. They cause more work than they do.

There ARE a good number of kids who volunteer for stuff regardless of the community service requirement. They do it because they want to and are VERY appreciated by the people they help. It is usually because the parents encourage their kids to help others. The high school requirement is meaningless for those kids.

I think this is one of those "feel good" ideas concocted at the school board level.
 
Written By: jjmurphy
URL: http://www.allthatisnecessary.com
Jim;

Well, of course!
As I said on another mostly unrelated topic earlier today:
This is the kind of nonsense that occurs when government gets involved in every aspect of life. The first victim of government is truth, and the knife gets weilded by those simply trying to survive in the shadow of that government. Now of course this is a fairly extreme example. But consider the lies that need be told surrounding, say, Healthcare. Or anything else the government has it’s hands in…
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
The answer is clear, we need to create a libertarian based volunteer organization who will do things like teach people how to get a job, and how o write a resume’ and will have regular public readings of Ayn Rand, and Milton Friedman.
 
Written By: kyleN
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
I don’t think a community service requirement is a bad idea. The schools I attended did not define what constituted "community service", it was up to the student to define and complete a project to help their community. It is a good way to get kids to consider how they as an individual can contribute to their community. This seems like an important lesson. No one terms this "volunteering"

Why shouldn’t a school make such a requirement?
 
Written By: PhillR
URL: http://
40 hours CS might as well put the .40 CAl. S&W round right thru their noggins...
(Insert pithy analogy about straws, camels and backs here.)

This garbage isn’t happening in a vacuum. The interested reader is referred to the history of the US since the, "Civil War," which the centralists essentially won.
Why shouldn’t a school make such a requirement?
Pay the piper, you get to call the tune. If it’s a public school, then everyone gets to call it. Notice how easily this issue packs-up if it’s a private school? Contrast this with the daily tug-of-war with "public" property. q.v. creationism is schools.
 
Written By: Titus Quinn
URL: http://
There is a world of difference between being forced to waste a bunch of time on community service and being forced to put your life at significant risk with other people trying to kill you.
Then assume a peacetime draft and tell me the difference.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
For the record, a draft is bad. Forcing students to "volunteer" for community service is also bad. We did away with the former years ago...and now some want to implement the latter.
We also did away with the latter before we did away with the former. Only this time we would be putting the burden on all races instead of just one.

Go pick cotton or be punished.

Go pick up trash or be punished.

Anybody else not see the similarities between forced labor aka slavery and forced community service?

Hey maybe if your folks have enough money they can buy you freedom from community service.
 
Written By: mac
URL: http://
Students are forced to study math, e.g. and stay in math classes they don’t like because they are forced by truancy laws and/or threat of no diploma.

What is the difference between being forced to perform a "volunteer in the community" assignment and being forced to perform a math assignment?
 
Written By: Adriane
URL: http://
What is the difference between being forced to perform a "volunteer in the community" assignment and being forced to perform a math assignment?
WTF?

Damn Adriane, if you need that explained, put the mouse down and step away from the computer.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Then assume a peacetime draft and tell me the difference.
That’s an interesting question, Bruce, and not to diminish the importance of it, but two thoughts intrude.

1: Given the world situation, it seems to me a peacetime raft is an impossibility. After all, we still are operating with a war having been declared against us, along with the remainder of the west.

2: Obama’s civilian corps, or whatever he’s calling it.. (posse comatadas be damned) would seem to put an interesting twist on your question.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Given the world situation, it seems to me a peacetime raft is an impossibility.
It is specified as an assumption - so what’s the difference?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
What is the difference between being forced to perform a "volunteer in the community" assignment and being forced to perform a math assignment?
Uh, here’s a wild guess - volunteers aren’t "forced"?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
McQ -

If students are being forced to volunteer certain hour to charitable works, they are by definition, not volunteers.

If they are forced to attend crappy schools under penalty of truancy arrests, they are by definition not attending school voluntarily.

Why is one form of forced behavior - going unwillingly to a crappy school - any different from being forced into a certain behavior - volunteering one’s time to charitable work - in order to graduate from said school?

Being forced to go to a crappy school is, e.g., different from being forced to serve in the military during wartime, is different from being forced to choose which of your children dies first in the gas chamber, is different from being forced to choose to deny your religion or political beliefs due to torture.

But for me being forced to go to school and being forced to learn a set curricula at said school have about the same "libertarian weight".

In school, e.g., there are "life lessons" about how to pay income taxes. Is this wrong because the taxes in the scenario aren’t a flat tax. There are life lessons about how to get married and compromise with your spouse. Is this wrong because marriage scenarios are heterosexual? (or at lest they all were when I went to school...)

Right now, in our society, there exists such a thing as the NonProfit sector. And if you and a group of like minded individuals want to get together and form such a group and get something done, you will be doing something very similar to what the group that you (as a student today) were forced to volunteer for, does.

Yes, you (a student today) can game the system. Or you (a student today) can apply yourself to getting out of the experience everything you can, just as you can with other class/activity that you really have no innate interest in, but have to take/do so that you can graduate.

I have never in 20+ years of being an engineer had to use a Bessel function to determine a waveform, but I had to know how to graduate. In talking with older, mentoring engineers, I graduating knowing that unless I was going into a specialized field, like heart valve design, I would never need to know how to use a Bessel function to determine a wave form. But I never once thought to bitch and moan about the uselessness of it all. I applied myself the best I could - I stink at math - and the practice of applying myself has stood me in good stead, even if solving Bessel functions hasn’t.
 
Written By: Adriane
URL: http://
Adriane makes a good point. We are all coerced from time to time into doing things because somebody else thinks that it’s "for the greater good". We force children to sit in math and history and English classes and do hours of homework because we think (hope?) that enough "right" knowledge will seep through their thick skulls to make them productive, law-abiding citizens when they are older (has anybody ever actually had to find the roots of a quadratic equation as part of their job or for any other reason???). Forcing the little darlings to go through the motions of "community service" isn’t much different; it’s the same basic goal - making "good citizens" - just a different method of going about it based on a certain definition of "good citizen". Back in the day, children were made to learn to read so they could read the Bible so they would become productive, God-fearing, "good" citizens. In other societies, they were made to learn to fish or farm or hunt or fight.

All of these things, when you boil it down, are work: the person is being coerced by the state to do labor without being paid or in any other way compensated for it (indeed, his parents are forced to pay for it; even people who have no children in the school system at all are made to pay for it). What, then, is the difference between spending hours learning multiplication tables and spending hours picking up trash in a public park?

Don’t misunderstand: I do not support compulsory community service as I think that it is a waste of time and money because it will NOT achieve the goal of imparting some sort of morality to the kids. Robert Heinlein addressed the underlying fallacy of "making" good citizens in his novel Starship Troopers: you can no more impart the inner morality that makes a "good" citizen than you can restore a blind man’s sight. You cannot even force people to behave in a moral fashion; you can only punish them after their failure to behave in a "moral" fashion and hope to scare other miscreants into at least pretending to be "good" (consider "Ted Hendricks": despite being told every Sunday that he must NEVER strike his commanding officer, he did it anyway and was punished for the crime; that he clearly didn’t understand not only WHY what he’d done was wrong but even that he’d done wrong in the first place makes the point pretty clearly). Forcing people to do community service will have about the same effect as making them read the Bible or the Koran or the UCMJ any other work that includes guidelines for "good" behavior and will cost more from the public treasury.

At any rate, it’s somewhat academic as there is already a de facto requirement for public service in place. I don’t know about everybody else, but I recall filling out college entrance applications and having to list all the extracuricular junk I had done in high school, most of which I did solely to beef up my transcript in the interests of getting admitted to more prestigious universities and getting scholarships. Entrance administrators just looooove "community service" because it allegedly shows that an applicant actually has a life and interests outside of schoolbooks and TV. Whether this really has any predictive value about his performance as a college student is open to question, but the fact remains that admissions officers and scholarship committees want to see that sort of thing.
 
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
Adriane is right. If the students and parents have no way to opt out without punishment, then it is coercion. Students are required to attend math class whether they want to or not—this is no different. Once you have accepted that it’s the government’s place to dictate that aspect of their education, you have ceded curricular authority to the government, period.

If you think they need to know math and you don’t think they need to perform community service, you’re just arguing about the details of the curriculum, and not the principle of compulsory schooling in the first place.

By the way, students don’t even get to pick which math class they take, until advanced levels. But they do get to pick where they perform community service. Many just get government school recognition for service they were already performing anyway for other reasons (church, scouts, felt like it, etc.). While that doesn’t make it moral, it does emphasize Adriane’s point.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://atlasblogged.com
If students are being forced to volunteer certain hour to charitable works, they are by definition, not volunteers.

If they are forced to attend crappy schools under penalty of truancy arrests, they are by definition not attending school voluntarily.
I’m all for them being given a choice in schools.

That would be entirely consistent with my postion they shouldn’t be forced to do "community service" wouldn’t it?

So - do you agree they should have a choice among schools and the option not to have to go to "crappy schools?"
Being forced to go to a crappy school is, e.g., different from being forced to serve in the military during wartime, is different from being forced to choose which of your children dies first in the gas chamber, is different from being forced to choose to deny your religion or political beliefs due to torture.
Actually it’s not that different at all - in either case, the force of government is used to make you do something you may not choose to do if given an option (that would be the "freedom to choose" aka, liberty). What happens or doesn’t happen while being forced to do something involuntarily is beside the point.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I need to think some more about this. I’m just not seeing how learning to read, write, and think are the equivalent of cleaning a street or cutting grass.

McQ - does school ’choice’ extend to choosing to not go to school at all?
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Adriane is right. If the students and parents have no way to opt out without punishment, then it is coercion. Students are required to attend math class whether they want to or not—this is no different. Once you have accepted that it’s the government’s place to dictate that aspect of their education, you have ceded curricular authority to the government, period.

If you think they need to know math and you don’t think they need to perform community service, you’re just arguing about the details of the curriculum, and not the principle of compulsory schooling in the first place.

By the way, students don’t even get to pick which math class they take, until advanced levels. But they do get to pick where they perform community service. Many just get government school recognition for service they were already performing anyway for other reasons (church, scouts, felt like it, etc.). While that doesn’t make it moral, it does emphasize Adriane’s point.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://atlasblogged.com
Isn’t community service a form of involuntary servitude used as punishment for committing crimes, when punishment of prison is determined to be disproportional?
 
Written By: heywha
URL: http://
Well, if the government wasn’t requiring my kids to study math, I’d still require it.

I wouldn’t require them to do community service, however.

That said, I don’t think the government should be forcing anyone to study math.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
What, then, is the difference between spending hours learning multiplication tables and spending hours picking up trash in a public park?
Assuming that the learning brings tangible benefits, the kid is the direct recipient while communities/society are secondary/tertiary recipients. Of course when government schools are primarily used as an employer for teachers and administrators the benefit structure breaks down, but that’s a result of government running schools, not the requirement that kids attend school. With forced labor, the recipient of the labor is the direct recipient. I’m not thrilled about the coercion, but there is a slight difference.
 
Written By: huh
URL: http://
McQ - does school ’choice’ extend to choosing to not go to school at all?
As far as I’m concerned it does.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
meagin - I’m just not seeing how learning to read, write, and think are the equivalent of cleaning a street or cutting grass.

I suggest that either you’ve been a long time out of school, or else you enjoyed it rather more than some of your peers who would have preferred some light manual labor to the druggery of a classroom and being forced to memorize bits of information that meant absolutely nothing to them! Our school systems recognize this to some extent by offering harder, advanced classes in academic subjects while at the same time offering vocational courses like shop. In my old high school, there was even "Earth Science" which had the students spend some of their "class time" weeding and mulching and policing the school grounds.

Mark Twain: Work is what a body is required to do. Play is what a body is NOT required to do. Whether its mowing grass or memorizing Henry V’s St. Crispin Day speech, it’s work that kids are forced to do.

huh - Assuming that the learning brings tangible benefits, the kid is the direct recipient while communities/society are secondary/tertiary recipients.

To lefties who support this nonsense, the student IS the direct recipient of tangible benefits when he performs community service: he learns about different people and cultures, that he should feel guilty if his family doesn’t live in poverty, and how gosh-darned important it is to make sure that the government takes care of everybody. "It Takes a Village" is more than the title of a book: it’s the way libs look at society. They, of course, are at the top, directing the village and making sure that it is run "right", i.e. just how they think it ought to be.

Playing devil’s advocate, I would also like you or somebody else to tell me what tangible benefit a student gets from (for example) learning to factor a polynomial or memorizing the order of the presidents or being able to diagram a sentence (assuming children are still taught these things at all, that is).
 
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
To lefties who support this nonsense, the student IS the direct recipient of tangible benefits when he performs community service
People who believe that are either delusional or frauds.
Playing devil’s advocate, I would also like you or somebody else to tell me what tangible benefit a student gets from (for example) learning to factor a polynomial or memorizing the order of the presidents or being able to diagram a sentence (assuming children are still taught these things at all, that is).
Memorization techniques can be useful for later learning. Factoring polynomials can be a useful procedure in math-heavy fields (engineering, physics, data analysis, signal analysis, etc). Also, several of the classes (circuit analysis, signal & systems, solid-state devices, etc) that were required for my engineering degree would have been mostly empty of content if the math was avoided.

I used to gripe about having to learn stuff like Fourier & Laplace transforms since I didn’t think I was going to need it. However, five years after I graduated (and without needing any algebra, trig, or calculus in that five years) I end up working a data acquisition project need to understand Laplace and FFTs. I didn’t fully recall everything I study in my signals class but I had enough familiarity that I could grab a book and quickly refresh what I had forgotten. I would hate to try and learn all that from scratch now.

As far as diagramming sentences, no idea what thats useful for and I’m not sure I would be in favor of anything that would need it.
 
Written By: huh
URL: http://
huh - Please don’t misunderstand: I’m not scoffing at you or the idea that kids need as much education as we can pound into their little brains. If it was up to me, schools would be evaluated in part by their suicide rate: if kids aren’t killing themselves because they can’t take the academic pressure, then teachers aren’t doing a good job!

However, your answer to my devil’s advocate question isn’t entirely adequate. Yes, you learned about a difficult and somewhat obscure subject in college, and that knowledge served you well in your job. How many other things were you made to learn in K - college that you’ve NEVER had to use? If memorization skills are useful (I agree that they are), then we would be just as well-served having kids memorize pages from the phone book as Shakespeare or multiplication tables, no? I would also argue that people can learn to memorize the things they need to know from everyday experience: addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, etc. No need force them to sit in classrooms at taxpayer expense, right?

The problem with education is that there is only a hazy consensus among MOST people that it’s "good", but I think that this exists only because we’ve all been through public schools and therefore consider the experience "normal" and hence "required". Because we don’t have a solid, logical reason for WHY kids should go to school much less a solid, logical theory about what they should learn while they are there, all sorts of weird theories and ideas can seep into the system. If we can force children to learn multiplication tables because we merely think it a good idea, then why not make them do community service, which other people think is a good idea? This is why, I think, conservatives are losing the debate about education: what children ought to learn and why are matters of opinion. Until we can come up with a solid argument about why school should be about academics, then libs will continue to inject their hippie ideas into the education system with the goal NOT of making educated people with critical thinking skills but rather of indoctrinating people into the loopy belief system known as liberalism.
 
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
I had to do 40 hours of community services at a private but secular college preparatory high school. There was nothing political about it. Some students did do political things, like volunteering with Save the Bay (this was in RI). My brother worked with a veterinarian. I cleaned test tubes in the biology lab for a year and ran the sound system at my conservative evangelical church for the remainder of my hours. You could probably pick up trash in the streets, as long as some adult monitored the hours and was willing to sign a sheet verifying that you did it. Maybe you could make it a political thing, but it need not be and isn’t in many cases. That doesn’t make it constitutional, though. Isn’t there an amendment that outlaws slavery?
 
Written By: Jeremy Pierce
URL: http://parableman.net

 
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