the
MAILBAG

Dear Albright Reporter,

I truly enjoyed the Spring issue of The Albright Reporter. It was especially fun to read about Bill Marlow, who was my absolute favorite professor, and about Joan Devlin Coley, who lived down the hall from me.

One request - can you give the e-mail address of the alum you highlight so that we can contact them?

Thanks for your good work.

– Dottie Schults Boos ’64

Editorís Note: Thanks for the suggestion. In the future, we will ask the subjects of our stories for their permission to include an e-mail address for contact purposes.

Dear Albright Reporter,

When I saw the article, “The Changing Face of American Education,” in the spring 2001 issue of The Albright Reporter, my first reaction was: why bother?

But, for what it’s worth: government schooling and education are two entirely different things. Americans become educated despite, rather than because of, public schools.

Milton Friedman, the Nobel-prize-winning scholar and perhaps America’s greatest economist, once observed that the public erroneously believes the U.S. Post Office to be the largest example of socialism in America. No, Friedman pointed out; rather, it is the public school system.

As such, the public school system presents to its forced attendees the doctrines that are popular at the moment – political correctness, if you will. In my day, during World War II, the Germans were “Krauts,” Japanese were “Japs;” both were portrayed as nothing but despicable animals, in the schools and in the press. Even in my grade-school art class, we were expected to vilify the “enemies” in our posters. It was thus presumed acceptable to firebomb Dresden and A-bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, because after all, the thousands of innocent people to be killed were, somehow, our enemies.

In public schools, the American flag was venerated, the King James Version of the Bible was read to the class every morning and anyone who would not participate had to leave the room. Students, faculty and staff alike persecuted those who refused to conform.

I suggest you read John Taylor Gatto’s just-published magnum opus, The Underground History of American Education. Gatto is the 30-year veteran of the New York City public schools who was awarded the New York State Teacher of the Year title. In his acceptance, he said that government (i.e. public) schooling is destroying children and must be abolished.

Teachers, politicians and concerned parents everywhere have been withdrawing their kids for many years from the government’s schools. Political hypocrites like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton all have sent their own kids to private school – while urging billions of taxpayers’ money for government schools at the same time.
Moreover, witness the more than 1.5 million children who are “homeschooled.” The homeschooled kids have simply run away with their accomplishments when compared to other youngsters, so now it is the “socialization” of the public schools that is often used to justify their existence.

If, after reading Gatto’s work, you wish to try something else, might I suggest Sheldon Richman’s Separating School and State, published by the Future of Freedom Foundation? Or, perhaps, any of the fine essays by Joe Sobran on the subject of government schools.

After that, you might try Grace Llewellyn’s innovative work, now in its second edition, The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School, Get a Life and a Real Education. (As a public school kid, I only wish that, in the adult world of my time, there would have been someone with the courage, wisdom and insight of Grace Llewellyn for my generation, urging us to quit. I would have been racing for the door!)

The essence of all of these is that, quite simply, public schooling cannot be fixed, anymore than slavery could have been fixed, the Mafia have been fixed, or Apartheid could have been fixed. From a human standpoint, the institution itself is fundamentally flawed.

It is a system that rests on force. Kids are forced to attend and taxpayers are forced to foot the bill. People who do not have kids or who have never used the system are nonetheless forced to pay, because of alleged “neighborhood” effects.

I believe the government school system is now, finally, where international communism was in the mid-eighties: ready to collapse of its own internal flaws and contradictions. It’s just a matter of time.

Yours in liberty,
Bob Bowers ’56


Dear Albright Reporter,

Thank you for your unified efforts, re: articles to the alumni, and keeping us updated on the news of other Albrightians. You folks have given Centre Mills Antique Floors some coverage for which we are grateful.

We continue to believe the curriculum committee could concentrate more on alternative energy: fuel cells, geothermal, wind solar, etc. and then keep the alumni informed of curriculum changes.

May you have a happy fourth of July weekend celebration!

Thank you sincerely,
from Centre Mills,
John L. Longenecker ’68, Owner