Friday, April 9, 2010

Principles or progress?

I think school vouchers are a wonderful idea. Parents, on behalf of their children, ought to be able to send their kids to the school of their choice. This simple act introduces competition into public education, and allows children to escape failing schools. There's a catch however, not all children have loving parents, and some of those parents won't do what's best for their children. These kids will be left behind and that's unfortunate.

What's more unfortunate, is that many of us would sacrifice a better educational system because it doesn't aspire to perfection. Because there are children, who we acknowledge will be left behind, the system is unacceptable. Is it rational to sacrifice a better educational system because it isn't perfect? Of course not, no system will ever be perfect and it's a sad reality that the current system fails too many.

When I talk to fellow liberty minded individuals, they often play into the same fallacy. While I advance school vouchers, their ideal is the federal governments complete retreat from education. To them, the federal government has no business involving itself in your child's education and any involvement is a violation of your liberty. You know what, they may be right, but being right is not all it's cracked up to be.

We don't live in an ideal state, we live in the present, imperfections and all. And in my mind the only judge of progress is whether tomorrow is closer to our ideal than today. Don't let rigid adherence to idealistic principles blind you to a better tomorrow.


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