Conservatives and progressives are at it again. They are attacking each other big time over whether Critical Race Theory should be taught in secondary schools and colleges and universities. The fundraising appeals are flying, as each side exhorts people to send in their donations to support whichever side is sending out the fundraising appeal.
The controversy is no different in principle from one that entails, say, whether students should wear uniforms in public (i.e., government) schools. Or whether colleges and universities should be permitted to praise Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in courses about the Civil War.
In other words, the positions taken by both conservatives and progressives aren’t about freedom. They are about reform. They aim to reform the statist educational system so that it suits their particular perspective or ideology.
What’s the freedom response to all this statist silliness? Get government out of education entirely! Separate school and state at the state and local level. No more public (i.e., government) schools. No more licensing of private schools. No more elected school boards. No more school districts. No more compulsory-attendance laws. No more school taxes. In other words, a total free market in education.
By the same token, no more state-supported colleges and universities. No more education grants. No more grants to build college and university buildings and facilities. No more state financial aid to students. No more taxes to fund colleges and universities. A total separation of colleges and universities at both the federal and state government levels. Colleges and universities would be voluntarily funded through donations and tuitions.
A separation of education and the state would depoliticize the CRT controversy. All the hype would disappear. At the secondary level, parents would be free to have their children educated any way they choose. Some would choose educational vehicles that emphasize CRT. Others would choose the opposite. Some would ignore the controversy entirely. Parents would be free to choose their own educational plan for their children.
It would be the same at the college and university level. Colleges and universities would be free to teach whatever they wanted. By the same token, students would be free to choose which college or university to attend.
Our American ancestors clearly understand the separation principle when it came to religion. If the state, local, or federal governments were involved in religion, the controversies would be endless, boring, and tedious, just as they are with education. The breathless fundraising letters being sent out by conservatives and progressives with respect to religious differences would be no different from those that involve CRT and other controversial issues in education.
Our ancestors were wise to separate church and state. Notice that you don’t see the hyped-up fundraising appeals by conservatives and progressives when it comes to religious differences or controversies within churches. Instead, if people decide that a particular church or religion isn’t for them, they simply switch. No political fights ensue. That’s because the separation of church and state depoliticizes the religious differences and church controversies.
That’s what we need in education — a separation of school and state at the federal, state, and local levels, just as our ancestors separated church and state. Not only would students benefit tremendously by having educational liberty free them from government indoctrination, regimentation, and conformity, the political fights within education would dissipate.