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Public Education

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Jeff posted on Tue, Apr 26 2011 4:27 PM

I was wondering if anyone could reccomend some good books about the history of education and how American public schools emerged. Was it really true that most people couldn't afford schooling and so the governments "had to" create the public school system, etc?

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Sheldon Richman throws out a few author names in this interview:

Also, Lew Rockwell interviews John Taylor Gatto here. Gatto's books are listed at the bottom.

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Free The Schools and Education for All by Harry Browne.

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This book should help.

 Coulson sets out to compare the school systems of civilizations both ancient and modern, seeking to determine which systems achieved the aims of parents and the public at large and which did not. His historical study ranges from classical Athens and ancient Rome, through the Islamic world of the Middle Ages, to nineteenth-century England and contemporary America.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lteLWtfdbeM&feature=related
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Don't miss Nock's work on the issue: http://mises.org/books/education-nock.pdf

This isn't exactly about public education, but interesting nonetheless (recommended to me by Henry Hazlitt): http://mises.org/books/education_spencer.pdf

The Voluntaryist Reader: http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/ Libertarian forums that actually work: http://voluntaryism.freeforums.org/index.php
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http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=209

This reminded me of something Rothbard wrote about public education in America. It had a lot to do with the perceived dangers of Catholicism and the Irish.

EDIT: here's that article

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard28.html

Tumblr The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
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Joe replied on Tue, Apr 26 2011 8:17 PM

I believe Rothbard and Block both mention in various lectures and writings that public education came about as a religious attack against Catholics.  The protestants did not like the Catholic immigrants teaching their children in their own private schools, and to simply ban catholic schools would have been a bridge too far, so in making everybody pay for public school, you would at least force the Catholics to have to pay twice if they wanted to send their children to Catholic school.  

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I can't believe nobody mentioned The Underground History of American Education in this thread.

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http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/index.htm 

The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto

“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Sherlock Holmes
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Cortes replied on Tue, Jan 29 2013 10:39 AM

Not really answering anybody's question here, but I wanted to comment on the 'education' section from the raikoth critiques of libertarianism FAQ (http://raikoth.net/libertarian.html#education):

 

Compared to private schools, public schools actually do better once confounders like race, class, and income have been adjusted out of the analysis.
(Yes, without such adjustment private schools do better - but considering that private schools cater towards wealthy students - who usually do better in school - and often have selective admission policies in which they only take students who are already pretty smart - whereas public schools have to take everyone including dumb kids, kids with learning disabilities, and kids from broken families in ghettos - such unadjusted data is meaningless. It's the equivalent of noting that the doctor who specializes in acne has fewer patients die than the doctor who specializes in cancer: it's not that she's a better doctor, just that she only takes cases who are pretty healthy already.)

 

Notwithstanding the strange logic of this argument ('once I make the stats look as rosy as possible for public schools, I can discount them for private schools, but public schools are still better due to the stats!'), I'm not sure how this argument explains how private schools wouldn't or couldn't take poorer students once the structural barriers set by the monopoly of public schooling are removed. The public school system is not independent of economics.

 

 

 

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cab21 replied on Fri, Feb 1 2013 4:27 PM

http://www.arc.org/content/view/100/217/ one article wiht a timeline

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H.G West's Education and the State is good.

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http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/private-education-as-a-way-to-the-future/

 

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/changing-our-educational-paradigm/

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And more:

http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Private_school

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