This column from Thomas Sowell, titled The Great Escape, reminded me of Jimmy Buffett’s classic Margaritaville, where the singer of the song comes to the progressive realization that all his troubles is his fault.
That’s an empowering realization. Consider this passage from Sowell:
Education is usually discussed in terms of the money spent on it, the teaching methods used, class sizes or the way the whole system is organized. Students are discussed largely as passive recipients of good or bad education.
But education is not something that can be given to anybody. It is something that students either acquire or fail to acquire. Personal responsibility may be ignored or downplayed in this “non-judgmental” age, but it remains a major factor nevertheless.
After many students go through a dozen years in the public schools, at a total cost of $100,000 or more per student– and emerge semi-literate and with little understanding of the society in which they live, much less the larger world and its history– most discussions of what is wrong leave out the fact that many such students may have chosen to use school as a place to fool around, act up, organize gangs or even peddle drugs.
My guess is very few students understand that they are getting something that cost that much. I didn’t. Perhaps a seat in a classroom should be treated as something that is earned by students rather than given to them.