Public Schools in America

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Public Schools in America To respond to the statement made by Kozol regarding the nature of public school in America, one must consider the question of what exactly education is for in this country; what is it's purpose. I believe that education is used to produce what Kozol refers to as "good citizens:" "defeated, unprovocative" people that will fill the necessary jobs, pay the necessary taxes, and perform all the other duties put forth by the government such as voting and jury duty. This is why the situation in America's public schools has not changed since the time Kozol wrote The Night Is Dark..., and why things will probably not change without a revolution within the public school system. For my part, I do not think that schools are the places for children to learn morals and ethics. I believe that those are things someone must learn on their own. The method of authority, described by Charles Peirce in his writings, has no place in the formation of anyone's beliefs. Beliefs are totally subjective--that is, there are no "right," or "wrong" beliefs to hold. Therefore, why should the teaching of morals and ethics, which fall into the category of beliefs, be condoned. According to Kozol, "the first act of an ethical child... might well be to start the demolition of a manifestly anti-ethical structure like a public school," and "no institution goes about the conscious task of subsidizing it's own demolition." If public schools are inherently unethical, why would we want them teaching America's children ethics? The answer, of course, is that we would not want them to. If, for arguments sake, the schools were ethical, then teaching ethics to children would not result in "it's own demolition," just a change in how it teaches. Obviously, though, to change the way the public schools teach, the people in power, who currently run the schools, must be removed. They are the ones who will not "subsidize" their own demolition. One of the problems with America's public school system, as well as democracy, is human nature. Once someone is in a position of power, they generally do not want to leave, even if their act of staying is detrimental to the organization they are involved in. The problem of the "lack of morals and ethics" in this country is a large one, however, and is continually growing. It is understandable that some, or maybe a majority of the people, look at the state of the country, and think that reform of the public schools is the answer.
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