(This testimony was delivered April 3 by Concord resident Irena Goddard to the senate committee considering CACR18)
Honorable members of the Committee,
As you can tell from my accent, I was not born in the United States. I was born in Communist Czechoslovakia. I went to school in a little town of Ostrava. Ostrava is located in the northeasten part of Czechoslovakia, very close to the Polish and German borders. We would address all of our teachers by "Soudruska Ucitelka" (which translates into "Comrade Teacher"). Differentiation and creativity of any kind was discouraged. Economic classlessness and receiving based on “need” was preached. The curriculum that I was taught in the Czechoslovakian elementary school was centrally controlled from Moscow.
The Soviet Union wanted to ensure that every child in Russia, Ukraine, Poland,Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and other satellite counties was getting equal and adequate education. This communist flavor education was dictated from Moscow, and since there was little local control, everyone had to adhere to the powerful bureaucrats in power. We know now the terror that was applied to those to were brave enough to question the Communist Party and we all know why the Communist Soviet Union fell – because the central planners, the bureaucrats in power could not “plan” everything. Central planning and central funding and thus “redistribution of wealth” does not work.
The only proven economic political system that works is Capitalistic-democracy. THAT is the reason I ask you to oppose this “seemingly noble” but “extremely dangerous” amendment!
If you think that we are long off from communism or we are doing this for the children or you are thinking that the State needs to fund education somehow. I have this to say back to you:
1) Gaining central state control of the schools is one of the 45 Planks in the Communist Platform that was issued in 1958. Other goals on that platform included: central standardization and control of the curriculum and getting state control of teachers' associations.
2) If you are thinking that this amendment is needed because it is “for the children”. I answer back to you: Parents have the biggest stake, interest and motivation in their children's education. Parents need to have direct voice in schools. If current local control continues, then the “children will continue to benefit”. If you are going to support this amendment, then you are removing parent and local community control and you are hurting the children.Make no mistake: 50% central funding will take away 100% local parental and community control.
3) If you are thinking that “we need to fund education somehow”, then I answer back. There is no mandate to change how schools are funded. Bringing in centrally distributed money will only enlarge the “education machine” just like we had in Czechoslovakia, meaning everything BUT student performance.
I believe by supporting this amendment, that you will be putting into place the infrastructure that will slowly start controlling all aspects of education by one bureaucratic source. Carefully consider how other elected or non-elected officials 5, 10, 20 years from now, can use this amendment (who may or may not be of different political mindset than yourselves).
I know you intend only the best things, I know that you may think that I am making preposterous comparisons. I askyou: Have you ever lived in a Communist state? Well, I have. And I can see a mile away what you may not recognize right under your nose.