What would public schools look like if libertarian satirist P.J. O’Rourke overhauled them?
“I wouldn’t care to have that problem landed in my lap,” O’Rourke, author of The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way (And It Wasn’t My Fault) (And I’ll Never Do It Again), said. “I would just stay out of it, for Pete’s sake. Are we saying in our national education policy that there are parts and pieces of America where people are just too dumb to figure out what their kids are doing in school? Compulsory schooling is enough of my violation of my libertarian creed to start with.”
O’Rourke then took a step back, relating his own experiences going to school in a more cohesive community less dumbed-down by technology.
“Let’s stipulate that compulsory schooling is probably a good idea in a modern society,” O’Rourke said. “It seemed to work fine when it was left entirely to communities to figure this out. I don’t notice prior generations of Americans being big idiots. After all, it wasn’t the children of modern suburban moms that invented the computer or the silicon chip or transistor or the automobile or the telegraph and the telephone so on.”
The best way to help fix the school system? Stop meddling, said O’Rourke, who also took a dig at modern-day, treacly programming meant to lift up kids’ self-esteem.
“Leave it alone and let people in the community figure out what is best for their community best for their kids. And you know — core curriculum — you got to learn to read, got to learn to count,” O’Rourke said. “How can you not have a core curriculum? What is it going to be, all sensitivity? Or for that matter, is it going to be all computer programs? So that nobody knows how to tie your shoes but everybody knows how to program a computer?”
Catch the rest of TheDC’s featured segments from the exclusive interview with O’Rourke this week, and be sure to check out previous parts of the interview.
The problem with public schools? ‘Your damn kids,’ according to PJ O’Rourke [VIDEO]