Commentary and Criticism about the National Education Association
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Mary Ellen Flannery's article from September 5, 2017 implies that Thomas Jefferson would be an ardent supporter of today's public school system (at least the title suggests this).
Nothing could be further from the truth.
While Jefferson did support a type of public education, it was on the VERY local level. He was completely against the type of education that we have today - state run and highly bureaucratic.
Jefferson was in favor of a decentralized school system, not one where the state dictates all the rules and the curriculum.
To quote from his Plan for Elementary Schools 1817, ME 17:417:
"It is surely better, then, to place each school at once under the care of those most interested in its conduct."
So what would Jefferson say to Betsy DeVos?
Here is what I think he would say:
"The Federal Government has no place in education. Close down that US Department of Education and let local communities make all of the decisions about their own children."