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Why I boycott the PDX school board elections

School Board elections will be held May 17th.
Here in Portland we will be voting on Multnomah Education Service District, PCC and PDX School Board. I'll vote in the first two races but will boycott the PDX School Board election. The reason I won't participate is I don't support compulsory, government run schools for children.

I think voting for the head of these fundamentally flawed institutions is akin to voting for the warden at Auschwitz. It doesn't really matter who runs the institution because the institution has its own societal goals which it must fulfill. The school's unstated goals are to turn out a huge bunch of brain dead workerbees plus a smaller percentage of managerial talent who will go on to college. In college the "brighter" and "elite" children will be further indoctrinated into the benefits of the system and the foolisheness of resistence.

Schooling is but one way to educate young human children. For 6 million years humans educated their young without "schools". Schools in the current fashion came into being in the late 1800's. Their goal was not about the intellectual development of the students but the furtherance of capitalism and centralized control.

For more information on this subject I would recommend some research on the origins of public schooling. John Taylor Gatto has written a few excellent books as have others. www.Johntaylorgatto.com
Read 'On Liberty' 11.May.2005 12:03

managerial talent

JS Mill's "On Liberty" gives a pretty good breakdown of why state-controlled education is a bad idea.

maybe... 11.May.2005 13:08


"I think voting for the head of these fundamentally flawed institutions is akin to voting for the warden at Auschwitz."

A bit extreme don't you think? Though I agree much of the various school systems with this country, public or private, leave much to be desired. But, how did they get that way. Schools have, indeed, become glorified daycare due to the death of a thousand cuts.
Yes, "[f]or 6 million years humans educated their young without 'schools'." But I don't think that those folks would have built the computer we seem to using to communicate to each other. There you are, the dilema is apparent. The schools we have are largely due to lack of participation by the parental units in their offsprings' educational experience, because they are working their butts off to make payments on the new spring designer clothes, that seem to be more important in the schools than actual curricula. What would it be like if we in the U.S. had the 9 extra weeks of vacation enjoyed by most of Europe?

I'm still voting - and you should, too.
Why? If you wonder how these right wing christo-facists managed to overrun our society with their toxic diatribes, it by taking one seemingly insignicant elected office after another. It is the very thing we, who presume to think for ourselves, need to do to gather some assemblence of sanity.

Extreme? 11.May.2005 14:47

Brian the Green

There are lots of reasons why the system fails so many children. The first thing to remember is that is was NEVER designed for the benefit of children. That is secondary. The goal is state control of the children to ensure they don't learn anything subversive (like independent thought and sticking up for yourself when you are getting screwed).

I happen to volunteer in the schools and have a child who attends. There aren't enough alternatives to know what might work better. That is one of the problems with state-mandated schooling - the virtual monopoly on child rearing and education.

I support education for all and do lots of volunteer work with kids. What I am starting to oppose is Gov't Run, Compulosry SCHOOLS. This is a factory model for raising children and it doesn't work, hasn't worked and can't be made to work despite 1000's of reforms. It is a flawed institution. It is one of the flames heating our proverbial Frog Soup.

this is really stupid 11.May.2005 15:57


The military is plannig on invading our schools. This election could change that. Please stop exaggerating the problem of compulsory education.

Schools have no choice but to follow government 11.May.2005 15:58


Because of lack of money, schools have to get their funding from the government. That means children will be brought up thinking that homosexuality is wrong, that abortion should be outlawed, that there was no such thing as evolution, that if you disagree with America that you are a terrorist, that sex should only happen in marriage, and that war is good. You don't understand, this is where these republican voters are coming from. Their minds are shut down to only one political view. This is how it works, if a school wants funding it gets it from the government, the government then forces the school to teach what the government wants it to teach. If schools could get community funding, then there would not be as many crazy right wing assholes as their is today. When someone is given freedom of opinion, then they believe in what is right. The government should not force students to follow something they do not believe is right.

History 11.May.2005 16:26

Brian the Green


Prior to wide spread adoption of gov't run compulsory schooling America had a highly successful model built primarly on small independent rural schools which usually had just one room and one teacher for all the grades. These independent schools taught people how to think critically, to read and to write. Parents were in charge and could opt for schooling or no schooling. The school administrator's main interest and goal was intellectual development along with basic skills in reading, writing and arithmatic.

Under our present school system, the main goal is to produce compliant workers who will enter the job market at the bottom of the economic scale. With just enough smarts to ask "Do you want Fries?" but not smart enough to know that the system and his crappy job are not the way humans should be living and are not in his best interest.

It is the system of Gov't run, compulsory SCHOOLING that is wrong and should be rejected in totallity.

There might just be enough money for those community schools if the state and federal gov't didn't tax us and then spend the equivilant of $6,500 per student.

i agree this is stupid 11.May.2005 21:45


Arguments advocating a return to 19th Century programs always astonish me. True, our education system grinds out mindless workers. How is this different from before? With waxing and waning, there is more critical thought of society every year than there is the year before. In those great one room schools, where only whites and boys were allowed, every body came out thinking that the status quo was great. So, yeah, let's go back to that.

Jewish 12.May.2005 08:42

Not blind to history...

Brian, you really have no idea what happened in Nazi Germany, do you? To compare American schools to Nazi Germany imprisonment camps is like comparing Bush to Einstein. Your other comments i couldn't agree more with, however...

The simple reform 13.May.2005 13:11

Brian the Green

The reform I seek is the separation of schools and state. Parents should be in charge of their young, not state beauracrats. This system is unfixable. It has been operating for over 100 years now, with reform after reform and yet the institution does not begin to fulfill the emotional, intellectual or spiritual development of our children. Over 50% of minority students drop out. I don't know how it could be much worse but most citizens, being products of this system can't imagine life without it despite the fact it is an unsafe place for a huge number of youth.