The Masters of Mankind want us to become the “stupid nation,” in the interests of their short-term gain — damn the consequences. ~ Chomsky
Whether public education contributes to the Common Good depends, of course, on what kind of education it is, to whom it is available, and what we take to be the Common Good. There’s no need to tarry on the fact that these are highly contested matters, have been throughout history, and continue to be so today.
One of the great achievements of American democracy has been the introduction of mass public education, from children to advanced research universities. And in some respects that leadership position has been maintained. Unfortunately, not all. Public education is under serious attack, one component of the attack on any rational and humane concept of the Common Good, sometimes in ways that are not only shocking, but also spell disaster for the species.
All of this falls within the general assault on the population in the past generation, the so-called “neoliberal era.” I’ll return to these matters, of great significance and import.
Sometimes the attacks on education and on the Common Good are very closely linked. One current illustration is the “Environmental Literacy Improvement Act” that is being proposed to legislatures by ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-funded lobby that designs legislation to serve the needs of the corporate sector and extreme wealth. This act mandates “balanced” teaching of climate science in K-12 classrooms.”
- Public Education and The Common Good by Noam Chomsky (zcommunications.org)
- Noam Chomsky: Public Education and The Common Good (2013) (womensphilanthropy.typepad.com)
- Noam Chomsky: Public Education and The Common Good (2013) (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Mr Chomsky’s Power Systems (mysoapboxcorner.wordpress.com)
- A Conversation with Noam Chomsky by Noam Chomsky (zcommunications.org)
- Breaking News: New Group to Oppose Corporate Reforms (dianeravitch.net)