Education: September 2008 Archives

Jonathan Aitken, an alumnus of Eton, sees the best aspects of the education he received reflected in the methods of Geneva School, a new classical Christian school in Orlando, Fla.

Like many an Etonian I chafed under what seemed to be the excessive burden of studying Latin for five years. However, in later life I have come to acknowledge at least some truth in Lord Macaulay's dictum "No man can write a decent English sentence until he has first learned to construe a Latin one." I have also come to respect the valedictory words of my Headmaster, Sir Robert Birley, to the leavers' class of 1956, "I hope you will come to realize that the main purpose of your education at Eton has been to enable you to know when the fellow opposite you is talking rot."...

But perhaps the most central principle of Geneva is the ancient imperative of classical education that students must be given the intellectual training that will enable them to think for themselves.

"Most American education consists of teaching how to pass knowledge-based exams," says Geneva's headmaster, the Rev. Robert Ingram. "We are different here. Of course we do not neglect knowledge but we go deeper than substance. We strive to give our students the tools with which they can succeed at reasoning, analysis, argument, and presentation. We want to give them the ability to ask questions such as 'What is this author saying and is it true? How do I know it is true? How can I defend the truth in a rhetorical battle to persuade others by presenting arguments that are winsome, attractive, and convincing?'" Headmaster Ingram also gives priority to the teaching of Christian values and aesthetics, saying: "We help our students to discover what is morally good, aesthetically beautiful, and Biblically philosophically true."

From Sen. John McCain's acceptance speech in St. Paul tonight:

Education is the civil rights issue of this century. Equal access to public education has been gained. But what is the value of access to a failing school? We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice, remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work.

When a public school fails to meet its obligations to students, parents deserve a choice in the education of their children. And I intend to give it to them. Some may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private one. Many will choose a charter school. But they will have that choice and their children will have that opportunity.

Senator Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucracies. I want schools to answer to parents and students. And when I'm President, they will.

(Crossposted at Choice Remarks.)

McCain's remarks, quoted above, brought the delegates to their feet with loud cheers several times.

School choice received many prime-time mentions from the podium of the Republican National Convention this week.

GOPAC Chairman Michael Steele:

Some just talk about change, but John McCain believes the resiliency of the American people is the real source of the change America needs; and that means putting country first.

So, do you want to put your country first? Then let's change the way we educate our kids.

Let's empower those whose minds are shackled by a poor education with real choices in where they go to school....

John McCain knows we must empower working families and stand with them against the erosion of our constitutional rights, the corruption of our school systems, the weakening of our families and the taking of human life - born and unborn.

Mitt Romney:

Opportunity expands when there is excellence and choice in education, when taxes are lowered, when every citizen has affordable, portable health insurance, and when constitutional freedoms are preserved.

Rudy Giuliani:

And as we look to the future never let us forget that - when we are at our best - we are the party that expands Freedom. We began as a party dedicated to freeing people from slavery ... And we are still the party that is willing to fight for freedom at home and around the world. We are the party that wants to expand individual freedom and economic freedom ... because we believe that the secret of America's success is not central government, it is self-government. We are the party that believes in giving workers the right to work. The party that believes parents should choose where their children go to school.

From the 2008 Republican platform about Washington, D. C.:

Washington should be made a model city. Two major Republican initiatives -- a first-time D.C. homebuyers credit and a landmark school choice initiative -- have pointed the way toward a civic resurgence, and a third piece of GOP legislation now guarantees young D.C. residents significant assistance in affording higher education.

From the education section of the platform.

Parents should be able to decide the learning environment that is best for their child. We support choice in education for all families, especially those with children trapped in dangerous and failing schools, whether through charter schools, vouchers or tax credits for attending faith-based or other nonpublic schools, or the option of home schooling.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Education category from September 2008.

Education: August 2008 is the previous archive.

Education: December 2008 is the next archive.

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