Thorough Education

This morning I read an article in the June 21st edition of the “New Yorker” magazine titled “Going Home” which dealt with Black families who’ve begun teaching their own children at home. Casey Parks is the writer. The piece caught my attention for several reasons.

One is that I’ve followed the home teaching results of two friends in California over several years and have been impressed by their two teenage kids who have become people that I truly enjoy spending time with. Their 15-year-old daughter startled me recently with her ability to fully plan a family vacation in Europe! Sadly, they wouldn’t let me adopt her as my travel agent! I’d say the kids are being well educated as well as being given a strong values system in the process.

Another is seeing that news outlets have recently been filled with stories about public school education programs that seem to be race based. I’m speaking of Critical Race Theory (CRT) which is a concept that’s been around for over 40 years but is now a major topic of discussion. A lot of parent groups around the country are now confronting school-boards and teachers with their negative feelings about their kids being immersed in CRT. Those parents want CRT radically changed and many are considering home schooling if changes are not made. Historic truth is a wonderful subject to learn about only if it’s used to build a stronger and better future.

Home schooling in general has grown substantially during the past decade for a variety of reasons tied to the quality of public-school education. At all levels, formal education and money are closely linked. To afford home schooling for their kids many parents of very modest financial resources have begun to investigate various socioeconomic ways to have the means.

In the magazine article a woman and mother identified as Kija was asked “if it bothered her to accept that money from the conservative-libertarian Koch family who have spent vast sums of their fortune” advocating for various things including education system development and improvement. She was quoted as saying “It bothers me, yes—but why do they have so much money that they get to fund all of our s**t?”

Her feelings caught my attention because I deeply believe in entrepreneurs, their useful accomplishments and willingness to share those accomplishments and funds for community benefit to all. When I was quite young I noticed that school buildings, libraries and museums often bore the names of entrepreneurs. I thought those are people I can learn from. Though I’ve never met Charles Koch I do admire what is publicly known about the vast sums of money his foundation has contributed to support education in America.

My suggestion to Kija is that she and her children should take some time to learn more about how Mr. Koch has built a net worth over $6-billlion dollars. I hope that Kija wants her kids to learn and earn enough to be wonderfully self-sufficient. I love the idea that they too could arrive at a place in life where they can easily write checks to support educational institutions that help youngsters who might have lives resembling their present difficult situation. I want entrepreneurial thinking to help propel their lifelong journey. They should be glad to take useful and productive life-lessons from people like Charles Koch.

Don’t most of us envision a society where everyone has opportunities to pursue lifelong learning and drive their own success? Those lessons and opportunities are all around us if we pay attention and embrace them. Having produced the stories of over a thousand entrepreneurs for our “Making It!” TV show the experience has told me that race and gender didn’t determine their success. Thorough education, determination and self-learning did.

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