Prime Minister Gordon Brown came out swinging in favor of parents being given the power to decide who leads schools in order to improve standards of education. Under his proposal, parents would be solicited to vote on whether the current leadership of a school is in competent hands as well as voting on whether the school should be placed under control of a university or private company. He wants to “empower dissatisfied parents” to make changes they desire in the education of their children.
About thirty years ago, the state of California empowered the electorate to decide on whether they wanted a certain level of property taxation. The result has been an economic disaster for the state of California. Brown’s idea sounds wonderful at first glance, but it ignores reality. Examine the current Tea Party assault on local school districts. In the state of California, extremists took control of local school boards and pushed extremists into control of the state board which oversees textbooks. The result is that teachers of history teach what parents seek, not history.
Whenever control of education is given to parents, the majority of decent hard working parents allow extremist groups to gain power. This is one unfortunate result of empowering parents with education decisions.