Civil Discourse Now will stream live from The Foundry at 236 East 16th Street, Saturday, May 10, from 11 am to 1 pm.
On this week’s Show we shall discuss education with Doug Martin, author of “Hoosier School Heist.” Justin Oakley, host of “Just Let Me Teach” and former candidate for Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction also will join us. We may have one more guest panelist, but again, at this writing, I do not have confirmation.
The system of public education in the United States in the mid-Twentieth Century had flaws, but overall seemed to function well. The driving principle seemed to be that a child, regardless of race or gender or socioeconomic class, should have a level playing field from which to start life. Kids need to learn and advance.
Some of those flaws I mentioned were matters like segregation and funding of schools through property taxes. The problems that emanated from the former included reactions to busing. The problems from the latter included socioeconomic differences as inherent in the provision of resources to schools. In other words, some of the things to which public schools were meant to be blind were very much part of the group of problems public education faced.
Perhaps the group of decisions of the United States Supreme Court, the principal one of which was Murray v. Curlett, 374 U.S. 203, 83 S.Ct. 1560, 10 L.Ed.2d 844 (1963), hit a lot of raw nerves and caused a backlash. Those cases held that public schools could not require students to participate in group prayer or group readings of the bible. Perhaps part of today’s push to allow parents to use vouchers to fund children‘s education at parochial schools is a reaction to those decisions of half-a-century ago.