Thanks to Ann Marie Banfield, Grok contributor at large, for posting this link on Facebook. It is a letter to the editor, in the Hollis -Brookline Journal, that needs no further exposition on my part:
School’s function is education
Friday, April 15, 2011
To the Editor:
I recently came across a draft of the SAU 41mission statement. It read like a United Nations charter for global childhood education. There were references to a global society, to a world community, to environmental initiatives, and to philanthropic activity. The students apparently will become stewards of the environment and will appreciate diversity and complexity.
Although training good global citizens is, of course, an admirable goal, I would be more impressed if there had been more emphasis on academics. Call me old-fashioned, but I still believe that a school’s primary function is the education of its students, not the development of global citizens.
I would suggest that students first learn to be good American citizens, and the first lesson should be why they are so blest to live in this country. In a world full of war, poverty, and starvation, only a relative handful of nations enjoy freedom and prosperity. The United States has enjoyed more freedom and prosperity than any other nation in the history of the world. Millions of people have come to our nation to live a better life, and no other nation has attracted anywhere near the immigrants that we have. Students should understand the reasons why.
Our success derives from our adherence to the Constitution and to capitalism. The prosperous nations around the world are those who have adopted capitalism. The Constitution is unique among world documents in that it guarantees our citizens individual freedoms and liberties. I know that this may not sit well with people more interested in developing global students, but students need to first be stewards of the Constitution and of capitalism. Only then will their special role in the world be clear: to continue to be a shining beacon of hope and encouragement for people living in less fortunate nations.
ALFRED F. CHASE JR.
H/T Ann Marie Banfield