Budget & Tax , Education

Trent England | March 7, 2017

This is real public education

Trent England

Two Oklahoma students have won the right to travel to Washington, D.C. for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The winners from the state’s regional spelling bees would seem to represent some of the very best of education in Oklahoma. If we want an educated public in the future, these are two success stories, right?

Not so fast. Somehow, when the phrase “public education” gets thrown around, students like these are usually left out. One winner, 8th grader Rohan Rajeev, attends a private Christian school. The other, Edith Fuller—at 5 years old, she is the youngest regional winner in Oklahoma history—is home schooled. These two students and their families are not only excluded from some people’s definition of “public education,” they are discriminated against in Oklahoma law.

Tax dollars are collected to educate these students. Government departments are erected to educate these students. And when they succeed, we all benefit. And, of course, the politicians will claim some of the credit for their success and collect even more in taxes. But today in Oklahoma, public education is not really about creating an educated public. The mission of public education is not to create an educated public, but to perpetuate a particular system.

Defenders of the public education status quo are like a film critic who insists that what matters is not the plot, not the acting, but that the movie is on VHS tape. For more on this topic, we talked about it this morning on The Trent England Show.

Trent England David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow

Trent England

David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow

Trent England is the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he previously served as executive vice president. He is also the founder and executive director of Save Our States, which educates Americans about the importance of the Electoral College. England is a producer of the feature-length documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.” He has appeared three times on Fox & Friends and is a frequent guest on media programs from coast to coast. He is the author of Why We Must Defend the Electoral College and a contributor to The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Hillsdale College's Imprimis speech digest, and other publications. Trent formerly hosted morning drive-time radio in Oklahoma City and has filled for various radio hosts including Ben Shapiro. A former legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, he holds a law degree from The George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in government from Claremont McKenna College.

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