I've thought recently that arguments against online education, charter schools, vouchers, privately owned educational management organizations all boil down to support for public education (as traditionally viewed), and not always as real criticism of the other options, nor are the arguments always in favor of making sure kids learn better.
I've begun to wonder if some people are addicted to public education. They just can't stop themselves on matter what the facts. It's not questioned that many of the people of whom I speak are chronic supporters of traditional public education and opponents of any other means of education that might compete or draw students out of traditional classrooms.
It also appears that their behaviors form a sort of primary disorder. In other words, there may have been a time when they started "using' public education as the best means for educating children. However, as times begin to change, they continue to use traditional public education in the same ways they have in the past and cannot let it go. Even if one were to improve educational options around them, they would still favor public education.
Interestingly enough, it also seems as if this addiction is progressive. The more options that come about, the angrier some of these public education proponents become. Have you ever told and addict that he or she had a problem with a drug?
One question is whether or not this addiction is curable. Once people reach a certain point in their addiction, it's almost impossible to get them out. The withdrawal pains are great. What we in business call "switching costs" are too high. So, it becomes easier to simply hold on to the addiction that one has developed rather than let go and attempt some alternative.
I suppose the same could be said about proponents of many things. It is difficult to give up a position once held dearly. However, this area of education that so many currently believe is so important is not an area in which we want people arguing simply on the basis of their addictions. We need rational people who want to design schools and other educational options in ways that are best for the kids, not in ways that preserve addictive behavior.
What do you think?