I was reading another education blog and came across a contributor who quoted Jefferson. The quote resonated with me, so I thought I’d re-post it here for others to think about.
To give you some context, the contributor was using the quote in response to a recent study by the American Enterprise Institute/Heritage Foundation that stated that teacher’s are overpaid and over compensated once you add up salary and benefits in comparison with a teacher’s education level. The contributor points out the main flaw in the study is its blatant disregard for non-cognitive abilities such as motivating students, classroom management, and supporting students and rather focuses on only cognitive abilities such as test scores. No matter the political insinuations here, it is the quote that rings the most true to me:
“I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised, for the preservation of freedom and happiness… Preach, my dear Sir, a crusade against ignorance; establish & improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils and that the tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance” -Thomas Jefferson
Eerily prophetic isn’t it?