JISHOU, HUNAN — I’ve been very lax in writing anything lately, but I’ll get around to writing something when my muse finally stops by for a visit.
My guest blogger is John Adams, who among other things was a former schoolteacher and the second President of the United States. He supported public education, which politicians of late would rather dismantle in favor of privatization and similar wrong-headed ideas.
In a 1785 letter to John Jebb, Adams wrote this:
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.
A year later, Adams wrote this in a letter to Mathew Robinson, Jr.
But before any great things are accomplished, a memorable change must be made in the system of Education and knowledge must become so general as to raise the lower ranks of Society nearer to the higher. The Education of a nation, instead of being confined to a few schools & Universities, for the instruction of the few, must become the National Care and expence, for the information of the Many – it is odd that the Knowledge of Society which interests every man, should be the last to receive improvements. (Source)
Adams was not alone among the Founding Fathers in recognizing that a well educated public is necessary for a healthy democracy. Sadly, not many of our current political leaders seem too interested in government supporting public schools.