The Right to Education? (Pt. 1)

Education is an issue that has always been plagued by controversy. Sometimes the issues involve curriculum and what is permissible to teach to children. Other times the controversy has involved issues like home schooling and parent involvement. In this series of blog posts, I will be examining one issue that is quite common in the discussion of education: the right to an education. There is no doubt that the educational system in this country needs reform. But what basic direction should that reform take? Ron Sider says that educational reform must take the following steps:

  1. It must demand equity,
  2. It must allow families to choose,
  3. It must respect freedom and pluralism,
  4. It must promote the common good.

According to Sider “access to quality education is morally right and is in the long-term interest of everyone.” He says that “making each child’s access to quality education dependent on his or her family’s economic status condemns the poor to inferior education is in blatant defiance of biblical norms.”

In the next few posts I will examine two different authors who would agree with Sider’s view on the right to an education. I will compare Michael Walzer’s Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality to Wayne Grudem’s Politics According to the Bible. Both authors identify the threat, which is how we understand the cause of whatever is wrong , as the inability to access quality education. Both authors also present a very similar solution to the threat as well. However, the variable that the two authors differ on is their perception of authority. Before we see how this is so, I would like to mention a couple of things about the authors which will help us understand their reasoning. So next time we will take a look at who these two authors are.

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