A Reader Notes That Hayek Worried About Immigrants
May 06, 2002, 05:00 AM
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Equal Opportunity Satire On J. Goldberg From The Texas Mercury

From: Robin Corkery

Your excellent piece on the burden that English Learners impose on public education in the United States illumines a problem that is rarely discussed in the mainstream media.  It also forces us to think about the advantage provided to the anti-assimilationists when educators are more or less permanently distracted by obstacles that an irresponsible immigration policy has placed in their path.

One is reminded of Friedrich Hayek`s chapter on education in "The Constitution of Liberty" in which he says:

"It is important to recognize that general education is not solely and perhaps not even mainly, a matter of communicating knowledge.  There is a need for certain common standards of values, and, though too great emphasis on this need may lead to very illiberal consequences, peaceful common existence would be clearly impossible without any such standards.  If in long-settled communities with a predominantly indigenous population, this is not likely to be a serious problem, there are instances, such as the United States during the period of large immigration, where it may well be one. That the United States would not have become such an effective "melting pot" and would probably faced extremely difficult problems if it had not been for a deliberate policy of  "Americanization" through the public school system seems fairly certain."

Considering the old boy wrote this in 1960, he seems fairly prescient. Probably means he deserved the Nobel.

As for the present day, it is impossible to imagine any local Superintendent of Schools even uttering the word "Americanization" for fear of charges of sacrilege from the Holy Office of multiculturalism.

May 06, 2002