100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

January 28, 1984 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-01-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I

OPINION

'Page 4

Saturday, January 28, 1984

The Michigan Daily

-

1
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCIV-No. 98

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Reagan's (di
HERE ARE SOME old faces
..smiling at Ronald Reagan from
new places these days, and their move
to new offices is a beautiful example
of business as usual in 'the White
House.
Reagan lovers surely are welcoming
Ed Meese to his new position as Attor-
ney General, replacing William Fren-
ch Smith (who left to help with
Reagan's reelection effort) as they
have welcomed Secretary of the In-
terior William Clark as James Watt's
successor. The new cabinet members
come to their offices not as well-
qualified advisors, but as Reagan
cronies who will be less controversial
than Smith and Watt.
Smith had a profound ignorance of.
the tradition of his office - an
ignorance that Meese shares. Smith
distinguished himself in his ability to
ignore judicial precedent to the point of
lawlessness. Under his leadership, the
Attorney General's office sought tax
breaks for racist schools, it weakened
sex discrimination laws applying to
colleges, and he ignored fanatacist
plans to increase censorship, use more
lie detector tests, and place limitations
on the Freedom of Information Act.
He developed "looking, the other way"
into an art.
Meese supported many of the im-
proprieties that Smith ignored. He has
been a leader in efforts to alter civil

S)appointments
rights policies and eliminate legal ser-
vices for the poor. Meese's appoin-
tment will not change the, distorted
viewpoint of the Attorney General's of-
fice. In fact, the exuberance with
which that viewpoint is imposed may
very well increase. Meese and Smith
are from the same ideological family,
a family that often preaches sexist,
racist, and arrogant policy. When you
view things from the same country
club, it's hard to not see eye to eye.
Reagan's cosmetic cabinet changes
do little more than help to erase the
memory of past mistakes. With Clark
heading the Department of the In-
terior, the controversy is gone -
proving Reagan has good timing. The
president wants the travesties of Watt
to be forgotten and his own environ-
mental insensitivity to go
unrecognized. Watt was unqualified to
protect the environment; Clark is no
more able. What does a former
National Security Advisor know about
the environment? Pitifully little.
Reagan has not appointed people
sensitive to the responsibilities
bestowed upon them. Instead he em-
ploys flunkies who pander to his beck
and call. Watt and Smith lacked the
background and propriety to fulfill
their functions responsibly. Clark and
Meese will probably preserve the
ignorance and insensitivity charac-
terized by their predecessors.

In the escalating debate over
how to improve our public
education system, the time may
have arrived when it no longer is
appropriate to speak of reform -
of tinkering with curriculum,
budgets, and administration. The
time has arrived, perhaps, to
speak in radical language.
The fact is, all the arguments
over this or that approach to
education take as their basic
assumption the notion that we all
agree on what education is, or
should be. Our schools are built
on ideas that go back to the an-
cient Greeks, the Enlightenment,
and the 19th and 20th century
reformers. This heritage, one
might think, has bequeathed us
an educational wisdom tested by
the ages.
BUT INSTEAD of the certainty
of wisdom, we find the confusion
of ignorance. We do not know
what education really is, and
consequently we cannot agree on
how to improve it. Recognition of
this basic fact may be the first
step toward leading our children
out of the educational maze so
many find themselves in.
It may help, for purposes of
perspective, to look at what
other cultures think of education.
The most basic clues are
probably in the words they use to
describe the process. For instan-
ce, the Latin roots of the English
word "educate" mean simply "to
lead out." The word conjures up
images of wise and older
teachers leading youngsters by
the hand through the difficult
passages of life.
In German and Russian, the
common root for the word
education means to shape a child
the way a sculptor shapes clay. In
Chinese and Japanese, the word
suggests two ideas: instruction,
plus allowing a child to grow
naturally. In the Arabic
language, the word means to im-
part learning to children.m
DOES OUR system of
education do any'of these things?
As for leading children through
life, most American teachers

Expanding our
educational
boundaries

By Franz Schurmann

have enough trouble finding their
own way, especially outside the
school or home. And as for
molding children to become
replicas of their elders, the idea
runs up against the modern fact
that no new generation wants to
assume the shape of its parent
generation. Nor, indeed, can it
afford to.
Instruction clearly remains one
key task of all education. And
allowing children to develop with
natural potential should also
remain a prime goal.
But as we know from declining
test scores and massive dropout
rates, public education is doing
poorly in both these critical
areas. That leaves only the
custodial function - "free" day
care - as the residue.
Obviously, education is not and
cannot be a single thing; it must
be a mix of subject matters, ap-
proaches and experiences.
IT ALSO may have t& be a mix
of schools.
Most schools attempt to offer
children an integrated curriculm,
a full meal of knowledge food all
children are thought to need to
function adequately as adults.
But in a world of constantly
changing technologies,
populations, ideas, and values, it

may be that no single school can
be expected to provide an
adequate and integrated diet.
Instead, perhaps our "basic"
school approach should be to
provide just that: basics - math,
science, and English. If public
education did no more than train
children in these skills, it would
have done an important job.
THAT IS only part of what
youngsters must learn. They also
must acquire special and
customized knowledge that will
help them develop their natural
and individual potential. We live
in an economy of work and jobs
diversified as never before in
human history. The earlier
youngsters learn the special
skills appropriate to their time,
the better their chances when
moving into adulthood.
And they must learn now to
cultivate their physical health.
The Greeks and Romans stressed
physical education: "A. healthy
mind in a healthy body." This
remains valid.
Such a triple-sided educational
approach is feasible today. We
stillihave a fine structure of
public education. It should be
slimmed down and accept a par-
tial rather than total role in the
education of children. Its main

function should be imparting the
basics.
PUBLIC EDUCATION could
carry out this task in a shortened
school day ending at noon.
We also have thousands of
private and specialized schools.
All cost extra money. But they
give youngsters the kind of
customized education the regular
schools find difficult to do.
And we have a vast juvenile
sports system both inside and
outside the public schools - for
martial arts, dance, exercise,
swimming, etc.
Public schools plus suitable
private schools should remain the
core of education in the basics,
taking approximately half of the
school day. The other half could
then be allotted to specialized
education and physical
education, which should be man-
dated by law. These functions
could be provided by a mix of
public and private enterprises
that already exist, such as
special classes in music, com-
puters, languages, etc., plus a
program of physical training.
The demand for such services
also would generate an even
wider spread.
How can all this be paid for?
One idea that has much appeal is
vouchers. If the public
educational system were to be
slimmed down, the money saved
and new tax money could go for
vouchers that parents can use
like food stamps to purchase the
kind of education they want for
-their children.
Children would have to go to
public (or suitable private)
schools for education in the
basics. But the parents could then
use their vouchers to acquire
educational opportdnities for the
second half of the entire portfolio
throughout the vast range of
schools that offer specialized in-
struction.

Schurmann is a professor of
history and sociology at the
Univerity of California
Berkeley. He wrote this article
for the Pacific News Service.

4

Voter incentive

f
//
G

,
. '
4. ,
ii' 4
'
t
..
pt N.
r,
'
,-i
,

i

Si nclair

,O N A TYPICAL evening in Ann
Arbor, the majority of students
worry about homework, Charley's, or
Saturday's party. Next November's
elections are as far from their minds
as Ronald Reagan's Bonzo movies.
But members of several campus
groups have their minds on those
elections, and on non-voting students.
The Public Interest Research Group
in -Michigan, the Michigan Student
Assembly, and other groups have
'launched a 10-day campaign to
register at least 750 students. The win-
:ners in this effort will be the students
who stop at the booths in the fishbowl
and MLB to sign up.
There are a million arguments
against registering to vote and voting
- you don't know who is running, none

of the candidates is worth your vote,
you haven't got the time. But if you
don't vote, who will vote for the can-
didate in favor of increasing the
availability of financial aid and money
for the University; who will vote for
the candidate favoring a repeal of the
Solomon Amendment; and who will
vote for the candidate favoring a lower
drinking age?
Still, if you are not convinced by any
of the patriotic or political rationales
for registering, some local restaurants
have other incentives. Ten restaurants
are offering discounts or free items for
newly-registered voters.
So now students have another reason
to register to vote: they can cut their
food bills.

I

TNT NckEPUf*LE SNKf'I
cJRt'C.

"_
.r
4
_

fI
/1

.,

L - -

s

4/
C,]VD1
.'S~. -- '
!--'

Al
NV-

$EfbRE
4 ,1-

f-

,

ti.s

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

__ _. _

Keeping the whole world in line

To the Daily:
The article, "'U' to stiffen
student conduct policy," (Daily,
January 19) on the proposed
student code of non-academic
conduct brought, or should have
brought, this controversial
proposal to the attention of the
radical student body.
I, however, see no controversy
in this proposal. It is the right
thing and just thing to do in this
country. It will and must prevent
the country from entering a
period of outspokenness and
dissent such as that radical
period of unrest known as the
190s. Tn nn other eountrv has

sometimes great people do com-
mit wrongs just as inferior
people. I also suggest a code of
conduct for University professors
and administrators, for they are
the ones who instill liberal-
communist - left - wing - radical
ideas in the minds of young
students. (I thank God for giving
me the power to disregard and
chastise any thought or belief
that I, and the rest of my fellow
Moral Majority members, know
BLOOM COUNTY

is wrong.) Finally, I propose a
general code of conduct for all
University employees and all
inhabitants of University proper-
ty (e.g. diag squirrels). For
although important officials may
not always be disciplined for
their actions, if order is to take
hold firmly, forever, discipline
must begin at the lowest levels.
In closing, I remind readers
that if it were not for such in-
dividualistic and free nations,

such as the Soviet Union, there
would. not be the unrest that
exists in the world today.
Perhaps someday, maybe in 2084,
the people of the world, with the
help of conduct codes like the
proposed ones, will be able to live
with peace, conformity, and the
apathy for freedom that the
inhabitants of the United States
today approach as time flies by.
- Tom Vandini
January 27
by Berke Breathed

A1760N.mAfNTARrr7 MRXI5 (

L50 AU. WE A5K 15 A UrU

_ 111'/ 0I _ _ .. i!A/Va l

F,

A M-4--, /A JAL 'VI(AITh

I

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan