Advanced Worldview Analysis - Lesson 24

A Possible Solution

Discussion of the pros and cons of setting up a voucher system to fund the education system.

Ronald Nash
Advanced Worldview Analysis
Lesson 24
Watching Now
A Possible Solution

Philosophy of Education and the Christian Worldview
Part 2

I.  A Possible Solution - Establish a Voucher System


II.  Objections Considered

A.  School choice will hurt minorities and the poor.

B.  The voucher system will produce school segregation.

C.  The voucher system would destroy the public school system.

D.  The voucher system would encourage the creation of fraudulent schools.

E.  The voucher system would violate the separation of church and state.

F.  The voucher system would permit disinterested and uninformed parents to make poor choices.

G.  The voucher system would eventually allow liberal sentiment to control religious schools, for liberal control follows liberal money.

  • Discussion of the content of a worldview and the criteria used to evaluate worldviews.

  • Discussion of liberalism and conservatism, and statism and anti-statism.

  • Political systems fall along a continuum between the extremes of anarchism and totalitarianism.

  • People favoring statism support extensive government involvement in education and social programs.

  • From a biblical point of view, statism is evil.

  • Discussion of justice on an individual and corporate level.

  • An economy based on capitalism has much less government involvement than an economy based on socialism.

  • Interventionism is a capitalistic economic system in which government gets involved to allow free exchange within a framework of laws.

  • Discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of capitalism.

  • Two basic concepts of economics are limited resources and the choices we make that reflect our values.

  • Marxism is an economic system based on the idea of a class struggle with the goal of a classless society.

  • Article from The Free Market

  • The Bible and Socialism, Moral Defense of Capitalism

  • We are responsible to be a good steward of the wealth God gives us to manage.

  • Some of the root causes of poverty are government, social and religious systems.

  • Liberation theology is an ideology promoted by people trained in Marxism. True liberation theology delivers people from tyranny, poverty and sin.

  • Christians ought to care about poverty and oppression. People who hold differing economic and social theories propose very different approaches and solutions to these problems.

  • Discussion of the differences between evangelical liberals and conservatives.

  • Guest Lecturer, Alejandro Moreno-Morrison discussing the inflation of rights.

  • Guest Lecturer, Alejandro Moreno-Morrison discusses legal positivism.

  • A balanced approach toward environmentalism is needed because it can be a serious threat to individual liberty.

  • Discussion of how people work in a capitalistic system to address environmental concerns.

  • The public school system in the United States has fostered functional illiteracy, cultural illiteracy, and moral/spiritual illiteracy.

  • Discussion of the pros and cons of setting up a voucher system to fund the education system.

In this class, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of advanced worldview analysis, starting with an introduction to the concept of a worldview and its importance. You will explore the various components that make up a worldview, including epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and anthropology. The course delves into analyzing different worldviews such as theism, deism, naturalism, nihilism, and existentialism. Finally, you will learn about the role of the church and individual believers in engaging with culture and responding to worldview challenges, as well as strategies for effective communication of your own worldview.

Dr. Ronald Nash
Advanced Worldview Analysis
A Possible Solution


[00:00:03] What can be done. In the book, The Closing of the American Heart. I mention a number of important steps that would have to be taken before there's any hope. I don't think there is any hope for him. I really don't. But if we could do them, here's a short list. Number one, end the coercive policies that force teachers to join unions like the NEA. Stop allowing people to coerce them into having their salaries robbed in order to add money to the NEA bank account. Second, end the fraud known as teacher certification. That has as its major purpose extending the power of the teachers colleges and prolonging the careers of the education professors. Three. Abolish teachers colleges and shift the two or three professional education courses that might be needed to other academic departments. If you got to have a course called Teaching English, let English Ph.Ds teach it. Well, that makes sense. Have I said anything more sensible in my entire life than that last sentence? I don't know. Number four, establish real testing of what teachers know. You don't know what it does to me to have one of these people say, But she's not certified. I want to shout Glory. That means she must be good if she's not state certified. Other measures are also discussed on one hand, including magnet schools and charter schools. And I'm not going to talk about them today because they both relate again to public schools. My book, as you know, argues for a solution for America's crisis. And that solution is a voucher system. A voucher system. Now, here's how a voucher system works. A voucher system is a way of delivering every American child from bad, unsafe, incompetent schools by turning their parents into consumers of education just as they are consumers of food and clothing.


[00:02:25] We trust parents to go shopping for food and clothing. Why don't we trust parents to go shopping for the best school for their kids? The goal is to make schools more productive at lower cost through competition. It's introducing a market system. It's introducing capitalism instead of socialism into. School education, family choice and education allows all children to participate on a level playing field. All students could receive tuition vouchers that they could then redeem at any qualified school under the present way of funding government schools. Federal, state and local governments all get a big pot of money and they decide where that money is going to go. And under the present system, it usually ends up for the final distribution in the hands of the school board, whether it's the school board of Orange County, the school board of Seminole County, or the school board of some local suburb such as Oviedo. And of course, these people lobby for more and more money. And then the money is allocated to the principles to the people running the various schools. And as we've seen, 25% ends up going to pay teacher salaries and the rest and the other 75%. Who knows where it goes. But under a voucher system and let's consider the kind of voucher system that would be statewide, the future systems that presently exist are limited to particular cities, in particular Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and that very enlightened city on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio. But under a voucher system, the money to pay for the education of kids would go to the families first, not to the bureaucrats. And then the families would decide where they want to spend the money for their voucher. And incidentally, in a very important sense. You're going to reduce the total cost of education.


[00:04:46] You really are. You're going to be able to get far more bang for the buck. That just came to me right now. That's a good expression. Under a voucher system, the money for education would be distributed in a different way than it is now. Instead of education funds being sent to a government school district and then to the public school. The money would be sent directly to the families of schoolchildren in the form of a piece of paper or voucher. The parent would then choose the school that her child would attend and pays for that education with the voucher. That introduces competition. Now, what happens when there's competition in the restaurant business? Those restaurants that don't meet the competition go out of business. Those that do begin to offer a better product at a lower price. You can't get any education worse. Well, yes, you can. You can get worse education than we've got. And that's down the road. One of the most important arguments in support of school choice is the undeniable effect of competition and the discipline that the market has on the quality of schools. One reason why America's public schools are such a disaster is because they do not have to worry about competition, good or bad. Any particular public school is assured of the same number of students and the same amount of funding. Indeed, there are times this is true when the most money goes to the worst schools. Did you know that there is a real danger in improving a public school? Because the bureaucrats will say, Well, you've done such a better job, we've got to give more money to the better schools. And in the meantime, the illiteracy rates just keep going up. Now. As you know.


[00:06:39] I am. A completely objective, unbiased individual. And so I'm going to present to you the major arguments against a voucher system, the major arguments against school choice. Now, as I'm pausing here to take a drink, I want you to think about this question. Would Nash give us some argument against a voucher system for which he has no answer? Yeah, but I've got all the objections here. There are no objections that I've heard of that aren't on my list. Here. This is argument number one. Let me tell you, I was debating a state representative in Virginia. This was at. Which state University in Virginia. George Mason It might have been. So this guy who was representing public schools was a Democrat. That's a big surprise. And he was Roman Catholic. Now, this was a little contradiction because Roman Catholics, they're supposed to be supporters of parochial schools. But this guy knew where the votes were coming from. And so he served a district that was served a lot of. Minority people and poor people. And during this debate. And I was especially well controlled that day. I think he had made his pitch and it was now time for me. And I'd never done this before. I looked at him and I wagged my finger at him and I said what I wanted to say was Mr. Democrat. But I called him by his name. I said, Sir, when did you become an enemy of poor people? No one had ever called a Democrat an enemy of poor people. I said, The evidence is in, sir. The worst educational predicament for poor kids. Handicapped minority kids in Virginia is the public school system. Why don't you, as an honorable man, at least get on the floor of your House of Representatives or whatever you're called? And why don't you vote for a trial period of a voucher system? And I'll tell you what, you pick the absolute worst schools in Virginia to use here.


[00:09:37] And we'll just say that voucher money will go to the kids in these worst school districts in Virginia. And after three or four years, let's let the scientists determine whether. The education of these voucher kids is better or worse. They don't want that. They're afraid of testing. See they don't want that they'd firearm they'd retire him something. He'd be gone. He knew that his privilege and his salary and his power depended upon satisfying. The welfare state is in Virginia. Okay, now, here's the first objection. School choice will hurt minorities and the poor. Oh, boy. Now, the truth is this. It is the poor who suffer the most from the public school system. The poor get both biased and poorly taught classes. The rich can pay public school taxes and still manage to pay private school tuition. Others can move to the suburbs. Where your best public schools are sometimes, but the poor can't move. They're stuck in those neighborhoods. They're stuck with those buildings, those unsafe buildings. They're stuck with the drug dealers and the thugs. They can't move. The local public school, especially in the inner cities, is both an educational and a moral disaster. But poor parents have no choice but to send their children there, often at the price of an inadequate education for their children. Now, let's take the two cities that I've already mentioned Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Cleveland, Ohio, where there are voucher systems in effect. But there's a limit to how many they can handle. Do you know who the biggest supporters of those voucher systems are? The black family and the Hispanic families of Milwaukee and Cleveland. These black mothers will picket in order to keep this privilege for their children. And the religious schools of Cleveland and Milwaukee are not allowed to participate.


[00:11:46] Maybe in Cleveland they are, but in Milwaukee they're not. I guess there are a number of Roman Catholic schools in Cleveland to which black families can send their kids with school vouchers. The issue of family choice has begun to move to center stage for an increasing number of African-American families in such localities as Cleveland and Milwaukee, where school choice has become a reality. The strongest advocates of school choice are black parents. I hear that there is a large number of black pastors in South Carolina who are beginning to revolt against the public schools of South Carolina, and they're beginning to found private Christian schools of their own. That's the kind of revolution we need to see. If we could somehow break the stranglehold of liberalism on the minds and the hearts of black leaders so that they would understand that in this case, smaller is better, private is better than state, freedom is better than coercion. And these kids will begin to get a real education. Vouchers will give parents incentives to pay more attention to the education of their children. They will give school administrators incentives to pay more attention to the concerns of parents. Okay. So that claim that school choice will hurt minorities and the poor is a lie. It is just the reverse. The truth is just the reverse. Secondly, school choice will produce a return to school segregation. Oh, man, there's something really evil about people who will tout lines like this. Since existing civil rights laws continue to prohibit attempts to reinstitute segregation, the only way the fears behind this second objection might be realized is through what is sometimes called white flight. That is the wholesale departure by white students from certain public schools. The liberal opponents of vouchers want us to believe that this would leave only poor and minority students behind in the public schools.


[00:14:00] The charge ignores the fact that most white students have already left urban public schools for the simple reason that their parents moved outside the inner city. The simple fact is that school choice would encourage racial diversity. School choice would actually increase integration because it would give minority children in the largely segregated government schools of the inner city the financial ability to pay the tuition at better private schools. All of a sudden an African-American shows up at the school where my daughter teaches, which is an integrated school. And she'd have a piece of paper in her hand and she'd say, Thank God Almighty. My kids are delivered. From the rotten public schools. Will you accept my trial? Thirdly, school choice will impoverish public schools. Now, why is this supposed to happen? Because private schools would skim off the best students while leaving the worst students behind in the public schools. We are supposed to believe that this will destroy the financial support for many government schools. Now, what these people don't understand is this. If we could have, let's say, in the state of Florida, a genuine, bona fide voucher system. The whole character of education in Florida would change. It would change. And a whole army of educational entrepreneurs would start schools all over the state of Florida. Some of them would be called to go into the inner city. And they'd say, Here's this closed down all public school. We can buy it for a song, let's fix it up and we'll turn this into, Oh, dear. A Baptist school. Okay, well, when there's competition, first Pres can start a Presbyterian school right next to it. These would be exciting times. I might try to live another ten years. To see that happen would not impoverish public schools.


[00:16:14] What would happen is the bad schools, whether they are private or not, would go out of business. We're keeping bad schools in business just because the bureaucrats want them there. School choice will destroy America's public school system. Oh, my God. Grant that to be true. School choice would destroy America's public school system. It's hard to understand why so many Americans seem more concerned about the allegedly negative effect school choice would have on our government schools than about the powerfully positive effect it would have on our kids. The consequences of school choice for government schools will depend on how willing those schools are to offer a good education. Here's another objection. Vouchers will encourage the creation of fraudulent schools. And, you know, most of those fraudulent schools will be run by television. Preacher. That's what. Now, let me deal with this. Listen, these arguments work every time in a state. Somebody gets a voucher system moving, they pull out these same lies and they're the same suspects. Round up the usual suspects, the NEA, the Democrats. Opponents of school choice often claim that a voucher system will encourage the formation of schools without cause requirements or academic standards. Sounds like the public school sounds like the Teachers college of no course requirements. I will ignore the irony of public school supporters who are suddenly concerned about academic standards. As though this were not bad enough. We will supposedly see the creation of unregulated and dangerous schools established by cultic extremists. It is important to remember how difficult it is to organize fraudulent schools. You've really got to be an expert to get through the laws. For one thing, there are plenty of existing laws against fraud and child abuse. If somebody tried this, they'd go to jail.


[00:18:20] Moreover, according to Charles Rollins, president of the California Association of Private School Organizations, starting a new school, finding a site complying with Zang noticed it. You got to find a site. You got to comply with zoning regulations. You got building health and safety regulations. You got to raise money and you got to hire a staff. This is serious stuff and it's tough to do. Properly written legislation should forbid the redemption of vouchers by schools that give false or misleading information about themselves. We're getting about to the end. Vouchers violate the constitutional separation of church and state. This is another lie. Point number one, the separation of church and state is nowhere in the Constitution. I think I talk about that later in the book. You heard about the G.I. Bill of Rights. That was a voucher system. A lot of veterans, especially from World War Two, took their GI Bill of Rights vouchers and they went to religious colleges. Oh, sure. How did they do that? The answer is this The money went straight to the individual people. It didn't go to the schools. That's how you get away from this alleged violation of the separation of church and state. You give the voucher to the parents and you give them the freedom to pick whatever school they want, and then they turn the voucher over as a way of paying for that school. What about this claim? Disinterested and uninformed parents will make bad choices. Oh, dear. Yeah. In the worst choice they could make is to leave their children in the government school. That would be the worst choice they can make now. It does seem highly likely that some parents will choose bad schools under a voucher system. Of course, given the miserable conditions at the kinds of government schools the children of such parents will probably attend.


[00:20:25] It is hard to see how the children could be worse off. Keep in mind that we're talking about children who spend 12 or more years in pool and end up being functionally, culturally and morally illiterate. You can't get much worse than that. Now, while some bad choices might be made, most parents, I think this will instill a new kind of responsibility and accountability upon a lot of parents who've been totally negligent of their children. Now, while some bad choices will be made, most parents will begin to think carefully about where their children will go to school. I don't have a racist bone in my body. Think about an inner city single mother who's got six kids, all from a different father. Which is in itself a product of the welfare system. She knows that she has no future. She has no future herself. Her children are her future. And let's assume that whatever this lady's problems are, these are children that she does love. Maybe she doesn't know how to love them as well as she should. But all of a sudden, somebody explains to her, maybe it's a black pastor and he says, Marie, do you know that piece of paper is a ticket out of the ghetto for your children? Oh, Pastor, really? Your kids have got a future. Not only can they get the education that they need from the grade schools, they will be able to go to college. Who knows what discipline that might introduce into some lives. Now, there is one argument against the voucher system that we need to worry about. These other arguments are lies. They're phony arguments. But here's one that even I must admit is a threat. The argument goes like this As we have seen through this whole course, liberals hate and fear everything connected with the idea of family choice.


[00:22:46] The reason for this liberal paranoia is the belief that genuine competition and education would weaken and might even end liberalism's power over America's government school monopoly over America's children and therefore, over America's future. However, a lot of conservatives think that liberals have a fallback position. And that fallback position is this. Once voucher systems are established in various localities across the nation, private and public schools will suddenly end up in the same boat. All liberals have to do is massage the typically complacent media and the usually pliable political power structure. And in no time at all, the argument goes. The same people who ruined America's public schools will be able to hijack the voucher programs and in the process gain new control over all the private schools operating under the new rules. That's scary. Now, I'll tell you how scary that is. A lot of people that I know personally and respect have been hit with that argument. And they've said up there it goes, We've got to give up the voucher system. They're absolutely right. Liberals will hijack the whole voucher system and before you know it, they the Liberals, will be exercising government control over private religious schools. You will no longer be able to have a Christian flag. In a school where voucher kids go, you will no longer be able to teach the Bible. Now, that would take a while, but I'll give you the names of some people who've given up on the voucher system. RC Sprawl. RC Sprawl. JR. RC Sprawl. The third. RC If you're listening, we love your brother. But a lot of people have given up private colleges in the United States. We can get Charles McKenzie in here. Charles McKenzie Private colleges in the U.S. have already seen how far a power hungry state will go in extending its control over schools that take public funds.


[00:25:05] And they've even redefined what a public school fund is if your students use pencils that might have been purchased somewhere up and down the line by government money. Then Ted Kennedy would say the state's got to come in and take control of this school because of the $0.02 the state contributed to purchase that pencil. It would be tragic if measures undertaken to lessen governmental control over education were to result in greater governmental control over religiously oriented private schools. As dangerous as this possibility is, we must not lose sight of the fact that the kind of voucher system described in this book is an indispensable step in improving American education. The danger is there. But I'll tell you what, I finally decided, and I'm totally sympathetic to the argument that I've heard from R.C. Junior and lots of other people. Unless we do establish a voucher system, there's no hope for the inner city kids. I've gone to meetings where real enemies of the voucher system exist. I was once asked, I'm going to give you the name. It's called the Foundation for Economic Education. They asked me to fly up to New York State and speak to the whole board. Now, these are libertarians. There are some anarchists in this group. They were suspicious of Ronald Reagan and they thought he was a little too liberal for them. So, you know what my public address was to the I defended the voucher system. Ooh, wow, man. If there had been a rope handy, they'd lynched me. They'd lynched me. I have never been invited back. I think they made me walk home from the state of New York. Well, I'm sorry, guys. If you're too blinded to see that unless we take some extreme steps here, we're basically washing our hands of all of the inner city poor.


[00:27:21] Now, my grandchildren will never step foot in a public school. They will never. I'm a graduate of a public school. But long enough ago that it didn't hurt me. My children went to public schools. They went to a state university, the same one I've been talking about. But they didn't major in education there. I'll tell you that. They took content. People with money can send their kids to private schools. Other parents can choose to homeschool their children. And you know what? With this homeschooling business, I don't say much in this book about home schooling. And the reason I don't and I'm going to be honest with you, is at the time I wrote it, I didn't know a whole lot about homeschooling. Let me tell you about two homeschooled kids that I met when I was speaking down at James Kennedy's church in Fort Lauderdale. They came down there and listened to David Noble and me speak. The girl, as I understand it, was 14 years old, and she had already graduated from high school, homeschooled, and she had aced all of the college entrance exam. And what are you going to do when you're a high school graduate and you're 14 years old? I'm sorry. I lost track of that family. And she had a younger brother who was a year younger than her. I wish I could run into those kids again. Maybe I'll meet them in Colorado at some ministry. Man, you talk about being ahead of the curve. That's what happens to homeschool kids. But the inner city kids. Who's going to care about them? Who's going to help them? Let me say goodbye to our vast audience over the Internet. We appreciate the great attention that you've given these lectures and the comments made by the students, and we hope that you'll continue to read and get grounded in these matters.


[00:29:30] And maybe our paths will cross someday. Thank you for listening to this lecture. Brought to you by biblical training, dawg. Your prayers and financial support enable us to provide a biblical and theological education that all people around the world can access. Blessings. As you continue to study and live out your faith and as you grow in your relationship with the Lord.