Commentary

Ayn Rand Preschool Action with Barack Obama, Preschool Advocates as Comprachicos, and “Maggie Roark” Standing Alone Against the Daycare Worker of Her Time…

Perhaps the title of President Obama’s education agenda could have been pulled right out of an Ayn Rand novel: Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s Plan for Lifetime Success through Education and perhaps Rand might see the President’s objective for “a Preschool Agenda that Begins at Birth,” as more evidence that the education establishment is made up of “Comprachicos” or individuals and entities who manipulate the minds and attitudes of children in a way that will permanently distort their beliefs or worldview. As Rand wrote in The New Left:

The production of monsters–helpless, twisted monsters whose normal development has been stunted–goes on all around us. But the modern heirs of the comprachicos are smarter and subtler. They do not hide, they practice their trade in the open, the results are invisible. In the past this horrible surgery left traces on a child’s face, not in his mind. Today it leaves traces in his mind, not on his face. In both cases the child is not aware of the mutilation he has suffered. Today’s comprachicos do not use narcotic powders. They take a child before he is fully aware of reality and never let him develop that awareness. Where nature put a normal brain, they put mental retardation. To make you unconscious for life by means of your own brain, nothing could be more ingenious. They are the comprachicos of the mind. They do not place a child into a vase to adjust his body to its contours. They place him into a school to adjust him to society.

See Reason.tv’s Rand-O-Rama here including the bit from The Simpsons where “Maggie Roark” stands alone as an independent thinker against the daycare worker of her time. . .

Lisa Snell is the director of education and child welfare at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.

Snell has frequently testified before the California State Legislature and numerous other state legislatures and government agencies. She has authored policy studies on school finance and weighted student funding, universal preschool, school violence, charter schools, and child advocacy centers.

Snell is a frequent contributor to Reason magazine, School Reform News and Privatization Watch. Her writing has also appeared in Education Week, Edutopia, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, and numerous other publications.

Ms. Snell is also an advisory board member to the National Quality Improvement Center for the Children's Bureau; is on the charter school accreditation team for the American Academy for Liberal Education; and serves as a board member for the California Virtual Academy.

Before joining Reason Foundation, Snell taught public speaking and argumentation courses at California State University, Fullerton. She earned a Master of Arts in communication from California State University, Fullerton.