Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Public Education is Patriotic!

Healthy public education is a founding principle of our democracy. Our Founders knew that it was vital to nurturing liberty, the pursuit of happiness and justice for all.

In 1784, Thomas Jefferson put forth the Northwest Ordinance, pertaining to the northwest territories of our young Republic, OH, MI, IN, IL and WI. It set aside the 16th Section of every township for the purpose of public education. The proceeds of the sale of this land at $1 per acre was put toward funding public education. This was the first national education law in the world! Public education is a foundational value of our more perfect union, that the citizens of a Republic, a representative democracy must be educated if they are to be free to govern themselves.

To honor and preserve such a system is a core patriotic value. To tear such a system down is not conservatism in the American way, but rather in the British imperial way, when only the eldest sons of the masses, if they were fortunate, might learn the craft of their fathers and only the Aristocrats, whose yoke we threw off with our Revolution were allowed to be truly educated.

The People couldn't be allowed to become educated under the old, pre-revolutionary British imperial way our they might decide they wanted to, and were capable of, governing themselves. To the aristocracy that was unacceptable, the People were to be Ruled! The shot fired around the world shattered that old system and brought forth the freedom of equal rights, self determination and self governance through the informed consent of the citizenry. An informed consent that requires an educated public.

WeVote Burlington is a local affiliate of the Tea Party, which has a national agenda of tearing down our public institutions of education and replacing them with private, for-profit schools that will not serve te public equally. The Ketterhagens, the Koldeways and Mrs. Miller may think this agenda is worthy of advancement through our community's school board, but their moral compass is misdirected and they’ve got their flag turned upside down.

Furthermore, existing board member Phillip Ketterhagen has scapegoated our fellow citizens who teach, referring to them as cattle who need to be hit in the head with a 2x4. Yes, I understand it’s a metaphor, but metaphorically speaking that makes Ketterhagen the equivalent of a bully, berating and threatening our communal family with physical abuse . . . metaphorically of course!

Our board of education should be a panel to nurture the best interests of our community, our children and our democracy, not a club to be wielded in beating down our family members, friends and neighbors to advance a narrow, radical, self-centered and, in the American way, unconservative political agenda. We mustn’t let our community turn into a dysfunctional family by electing two more tea partiers, Julie Koldeway and Norma Miller to act as enablers for the bully on the board.

We need sound, knowledgeable stewards of the public trust to nurture the health of our schools, both fiscally and educationally. That's why this citizen is voting for Larry Anderson and Jim Bousman for BASD board on April 2nd!


Jack Lohman said...

I fully support free public education through 4 years of college or trade school. But remember this: students don't give campaign cash and bankers do. So nothing -- NOTHING! -- will happen until your trusted politician no longer gets a piece of the action!

Sean Cranley said...

Won't argue with you there. Cash, Ignorance & Gerrymandering, the unholy trinity!