The Conscience of a Conservative

By Barry Goldwater | Go to book overview

Chapter Nine
Some Notes On Education

I AGREE WITH lobbyists for federal school aid that education is one of the great problems of our day. I am afraid, however, that their views and mine regarding the nature of the problem are many miles apart. They tend to see the problem in quantitative terms -- not enough schools, not enough teachers, not enough equipment. I think it has to do with quality: How good are the schools we have? Their solution is to spend more money. Mine is to raise standards. Their recourse is to the federal government. Mine is to the local public school board, the private school, the individual citizen -- as far away from the federal government as one can possibly go. And I suspect that if we knew which of these two views on education will eventually prevail, we would know also whether Western civilization is due to survive, or will pass away.

To put this somewhat differently, I believe that our ability to cope with the great crises that lie ahead will be enhanced in direct ratio as we recapture the lost art of learning, and will dimin-

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