Education alliance criticizes attitude of U.S. Education Secretary Toward Non-Government Schools
July 9, 2001
Fresno, Calif. ? Marshall Fritz, President of the Alliance for the Separation of School & State, criticized U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige for comments he made June 30, 2001, at National Education Association (NEA) convention in Los Angeles. Fritz characterized Paige's remarks as "partisan, biased, and self-serving" by favoring government schools at the expense of all others.
What disturbed Fritz and members of his Alliance was the tone of the Secretary's speech: "He kept saying, 'we must respond' to the challenge of private and home schools, and that his goal is to help public schools to prevail." Fritz mused, "Clearly he does not think of himself as the secretary of all education. Maybe he wants to be the 'Secretary of Government-Imposed Tax-Financed Education.'"
In his remarks to the NEA, the Secretary admitted that the public school system is failing. He expressed the fear that if reforms are not forthcoming, families will continue to leave the public school system in droves. Fritz says, "We should applaud those parents who leave schools that undermine their beliefs just as we applauded people who escaped Marxism in spite of the Berlin Wall."
Paige's goal is to win back public confidence in public schooling before it is too late. "I have news for Secretary Paige," said Fritz. "It's already too late. Several national polls show 25 percent of the population is ready to end tax financing and compulsory attendance right now, and an additional 25 percent are ready once sure that private scholarships will allow the poor to go to better schools than today."
The Alliance believes that reforms of the government school system are futile because "politics and education don't mix." Over 12,000 supporters have signed a proclamation stating, "I favor ending government involvement in education."
The Alliance was founded in 1994 by parents, grandparents, and educators for the purpose of informing people how education can be improved by removing politics from education, that is, ending state, local, and federal involvement in schooling. A list of all who have signed the proclamation can be found at https://HonestEdu.org.
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