Speaking of Independence Day – What Our Founding Fathers Said About Public Education

In light of all the privatization movements, charter school growth, and voucher allowances, it might be interesting to see what was said about public education by those we consider our founding fathers.

I mean, it is July 4th isn’t it? (tomorrow at least).

“The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.”— John Adams in a letter to 1785

“I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.” –Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820.

“Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to, convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787.

“And say, finally, whether peace is best preserved by giving energy to the government or information to the people. This last is the most certain and the most legitimate engine of government. Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them. And it requires no very high degree of education to convince them of this. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787.

“Learned institutions ought to be favorite objects with every free people. They throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty and dangerous encroachments on the public liberty.” – James Madison , Letter to W. T. Barry, August 4, 1822

“The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth. Without this foundation, every other means, in my opinion, must fail.” – George Washington, 1st President

 

2 thoughts on “Speaking of Independence Day – What Our Founding Fathers Said About Public Education

  1. Pingback: Willie Wonka, the “NorthCackalacky Magister expertus”, Shakespeare’s School Calendar, Arcade Fire, and our Founding Fathers – Week in Review for July 3rd – 10th | caffeinated rage

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