Once again, it’s easy to see the value of our good conservatives’ market-based arguments and solutions in contradistinction to the progressive left’s big nanny-state government and its non-market-based ideologies, which are failing the needs and desires of the market — i.e., the people. And this time it really is about the kids and schooling them.
The students at public schools aren’t getting grades that are as good as those at independent schools. If that isn’t enough, how about this: there are huge waiting lists to get into private schools; and public school enrollment has fallen 11.3% in 14 yrs in BC, while private schools are up 22%. Presumably if there were more private schools, the stats would be better — or to put it another way, worse for public schools and their ideological sycophants.
That is according to the latest statistics, as discussed at the liberal-friendly Vancouver Sun this week:
Waiting for education in Metro Vancouver
Despite the often heard claim that parents prefer public education, British Columbians are increasingly choosing to send their children to independent schools. Unfortunately for many parents who want their children to attend independent schools, thousands of children end up on waiting lists each year.
Simple enrolment statistics illustrate the fact that parents in B.C. are increasingly choosing independent schools. Since peaking in 1997-98, public school enrolment has fallen from almost 616,000 students to 546,000, a decline of 11.3 per cent. At the same time, independent school enrolment has increased by 22.4 per cent. As of 2011-12, the most recent year for which statistics are available, a little more than one-in-ten of all primary and secondary students in the province attended an independent school. [...]
– Vancouver Sun op/ed by Jason Clemens, executive-vice president of the Fraser Institute and author of Wait Times for Independent Schools in the Lower Mainland, available at www.fraserinstitute.org.
And once again, the progressives of the Left (the socialists in the NDP and the Liberals, and not a few “Conservatives”), will fail to address the problem of a shortage of independent schools honestly — in fact they’ll argue that the solution is to further restrict the tried and true market-based solutions, which people want and which would actually fix the problem. (Seriously — they want to restrict the growth of private schools, or anything else driven by the free market: “We reject the brutal and snarling, snapping and predatory world of the marketplace.” — BC Teachers Federation president Susan Lambert to members of her union this summer). And instead they’ll once again argue that the answer is to pump still more taxpayer cash at the existing problem (because, see, government fixes everything!).
To progressives, the reason any state-owned entity isn’t working is because it isn’t big enough yet, and the government still isn’t throwing enough taxpayer cash at it yet, and the simple solution is to make it bigger, more government controlled, more bureaucratic, hire more workers, fund it still more (or to use their specious terminology, “invest” more) , and generally meddle more until their ideology works. Note that this has never actually worked in real life.
As a matter of fact, if I understand socialism and communism correctly, the reason that even private, citizen-owned means of production like GM and Chrysler fail is that they aren’t state-owned, or at least controlled to the point where they might as well be.
I’ve been saying for years that it’s obvious the public schools in British Columbia, which are ostensibly run by the state but are, as is so often the case, actually run by massive militant left-wing public-sector unions which are actually political parties known in this case as the teachers’ union, are failing on many levels.
This is what failure looks like: Many kids graduate from public schools like zombie, state-reliant liberal-leftists, just as they are taught to be. They embrace the concept of government-run anything, and government social programs or entitlement programs. They love big government as a general matter. They expect government solutions to every problem. They believe not just in equal opportunity, as we all do, but in equal outcomes as well. They are generally so liberal-left, they don’t even know how liberal-leftist they are.
On the flip-side, they have also learned a disdain for, or even an abject hatred of almost anything remotely conservative, like those things we used to take for granted in this country, and which built our country: traditional families, capitalism, self-reliance rather than government reliance, a preference for small government, a disdain for government meddling and social engineering, and a traditional society ensconced by God-loving, Judeo-Christian values.
They have a learned suspicion or distrust or even an outright hatred — not of big government, as they should — but of capitalism and the free market place and even of regular businesses and corporations, large or small; and in fact anything that isn’t government-owned or government-controlled is suspect.
For example, many in this country assume that the socialism-reliant, state-owned CBC is a politically and culturally neutral media, rather than the objective truth, which is that they’re firmly left-wing or even far left-wing culturally, politically, economically, and in every which way; while the other networks like CTV and Global and Sun TV are “right-wing” (though they don’t even understand “right-wing” or conservatism) simply by virtue of the fact that they aren’t state-owned.
And why would you expect anything else? The schools are themselves state-owned, taxpayer-funded institutions, run by a far-left militant teachers’ union. Together they are totally reliant on the maintenance of an overtly non-market, socialist model — including big government — and preferably a government consisting of one socialist provincial political party which in this case is owned by and funded by them and other huge public-sector unions — the NDP. The huge union funds the party that wins elections and forms government, and then their government “bargains” with them and rewards them and pays them, and together they run the schools, and decide what they will teach, and mold the outcomes that they desire.
Parents are catching onto the progressives’ lie. In droves. And that makes the future look brighter. What BC needs is a political party to vote for, which boldly, openly, embraces the values the people are clearly seeking.