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Posted By: Kevin R Kosar on August 7, 2001
It is tempting to respond to the many extraordinarily questionable assertions Goodman makes.
But, I'll let it and her insults pass and speak to the point I was advancing, which she missed entirely.
Goodman writes:

"Saltman does not attack private institutions or religious schools. Rather, Saltman shows how the trends of corporatization and privatization mean a widespread inability to think in terms of a public good. "

So- private institutions are o.k. and are not inherent threats to democracy,
But the process of making public institutions into privately operated organizations
does threaten democracy?

First- Let's ask this: what if an institution is private, then later in time, it becomes public, then
someone proposes to return it to private operation. Do we damn them for their privatization
or do we say we are returning it to its proper ownership? Goodman seem to totemize
the public schools, tretaing them as if they are eternal and that any attempt to privatize any
of their governance is heretical.

Second- There seems to be a contradiction here, and that's what my initial posting noted.
There's a certain perverse word-play happening- we slap labels on reality, declaring
that this a 'private' institution and that is a 'public institution' in very crude manner.
Those that are 'public' are good, are best suited for achieving social equality, and so forth.
Those that are 'private' are inherently suspect, they are rapacious, self-seeking and are
inherently classist and discriminatory toward the poor, non-white, etc. etc.

Come now-
we all recognize that the day to day operations of public schools are largely controlled
by those who staff them, who are nearly without fail, a member of a union. A union is a private
organization, it is not elected, not accountable to the public, and it's essential objective is
to advance its members' interests, which may or may not coincide with those of the children and

Yet, the Left usually asserts that public schools are nonetheless ipso facto less a threat to democracy
and public mindedness than a school, say, run by Edison or some non-profit? Sorry, but that just
doesn't wash. Reality is more complex than that. Such generalizations mask more than they reveal.




Kevin R. Kosar
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 Sounds Like Old Saws... by Kevin R Kosar on July 31, 2001
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