Why are school board elections nonpartisan? Why don’t we apply political goals to schools as often as we can? Because… they don’t apply.
There is a popular example of why socialism doesn’t work in society where a professor will average out test scores and then hand that same score out to everybody. By the end, everybody gives up on trying because the high scorers are punished unjustly and the low scorers are rewarded overcompensatorily. This story is available across the Internet so I won’t bother posting it in full here.
Here’s an issue with this: civilization isn’t just test grades and wealth redistribution. School is a safe sandbox (not a garden) to learn and nurture oneself in. Therefore we give more chances in school, unlike our society of no chances. School is a place to perfect perfection, not to demonstrate perfection like society is.
If you still think this is defensive liberal propaganda, why don’t we try a free-market, laissez-faire school system?
Here are the rules that apply for the socialist and laissez-faire demonstration:
- The teacher controls what happens to the grades (score distribution)
- There will be tests with fair grading at the beginning
- No cheating takes place during testing
- The teacher sets the rules
- If the students fail to perform well, the dean will fire the teacher. (In the case of the socialist example, pretend the teacher gave massive curves to everybody at the end, because that’s what happened with FDR’s New Deal: an interventionalist Keynesian policy.
Several students emerge at the top of the exams scores and the rest of the students don’t do so well. The elite students start to hoard all of the prime study materials to themselves and threatens to fail themselves in the professor’s class (getting him fired) unless he ditches the retest policy, doesn’t give curves, and lets the well-testers provide exclusive tutoring to the other students. Sure enough, the elite students don’t tutor anything and instead continue to hog study materials, get great test scores, and aren’t invalidated by the curves given by the professor. Also, most of the students will fail the class and cannot even retake the test, meaning they bomb the entire course. And by the way, all of those who fail automatically get their score dropped to a zero. At this point, the Dean honors the well-doing students because of their façade presented and doesn’t care anymore about the failing students.
This model sure is a counter for the stupid “socialism” experiment in school.
But why do neither of these models work?
- School policy is modified too drastically.
- Students have too much bargaining power. Nobody has this kind of power in real life unless they are the elite.
- Grades are way too subjective and don’t reflect money accurately due to its restrictions and issuance.
- It’s imperfect, yet a school system offers more opportunities to succeed as fairly as possible.
Now please stop applying politics to school.