An Appointed School Board for Hawaii Public Schools? Why Stop There?

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BY DANNY DE GRACIA, IIThis year, eight out of every 10 people in my immediate circle of friends and family voted “yes” to an appointed school board on this year’s ballot question.

The reason my peers voted for appointments over election sounds something like this: “An appointed school board will ensure that only the most qualified and competent individuals determine the future course of education in our state, and it will finally enable the people of Hawaii to hold someone accountable. Right now we don’t know who to blame or who to fire and no one is in charge.


An appointed school board will fix that. The greatest limitation of a democracy is that the people are often unqualified to select those best equipped to run the government. Danny, if you want to put kids first, you’ve got to support an appointed school board.”

Well hey, if that justification for an appointed school board really is grounded in truth and holds discerning wisdom, why should we stop there? In fact, why don’t we use that logic to reform and correct our entire malfunctioning city, state and federal government? Allow me a moment to paint a picture of what the “fixed” United States would look like if we applied the logic of an appointed school board to all of our government offices.

Let’s start by looking at the President of the United States. Over and above all the other complicated things he does, his job description includes holding the release authority over 2,468 active nuclear weapons and command over 2,455,837 military personnel stationed at home and in over 150 countries. How can he possibly have the competency to know how to handle all that when he’s been voted into office by uneducated and incompetent Americans who don’t know a thing about the military? And we all know that with the Global War On Terror going so poorly, America needs to know who to fire and who to hold accountable.

What’s our solution? Let’s amend the Constitution so that every person in government is appointed by a panel of technocrats who “know what they’re talking about.”

Let’s give that panel the power to appoint the President, all members of Congress and the Supreme Court, and having done that, the panel will then create sub-panels for all 50 states to do the same in appointing their governors, legislatures and courts.

The end result of appointing “experts” to every office and every position will surely result in a golden age for America where the economy will rebound, the borders will be safe, people will be off drugs, every student will have a 4.0 average and global warming will be ended. And in the event that something goes wrong, we all know that we can always fire the appointed officials and those who appoint them, because after all – the people will always still be in charge, even though they can’t vote anymore … right?

The truth is, everyone would hate that kind of dystopian America because history shows appointed officials aren’t more accountable and easier to fire – they’re close to impossible to get rid of and they aren’t bound by public opinion, so they’ll do whatever their “expert” opinion tells them to do.

Anyone who has read F.A. Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” recognizes that democracies degenerate because when government plans fail, there’s always someone who suggests “Let’s put someone in charge who has a plan that works” and the misguided masses vote to give up their right to vote, thinking that once the system is fixed, they can just throw out “the decider” and take power back for themselves (which never happens). Freedom, once lost, is lost forever. The minute you give technocrats the power to plan, they’ll plan you out of their decision making process. An appointed government doesn’t lead to excellence, it leads to elitism and more failure for all.

At the root of this defective chain of thought is ultimately the assumption that the role of government exists to provide 100% security against failure or loss – be it in education, economics, or everything else that supposedly needs government intervention. But government can’t have a plan for everything – when you trade freedom for security, you lose both.

I urge all of you to realize that the answer to our broken Hawaii and malfunctioning United States of America is not more government deciders but less bureaucracy and more freedom. Hawaii’s schools aren’t broken because we elect our school board; Hawaii’s schools are broken because government runs them.

If you want to put your children first, then put your children first – not government.  We are losing control of far too many things and using our votes to vote against personal choice. You would think that with government getting bigger and the deciders getting more things to decide on that Hawaii and America would be perfect but instead we see everything falling apart.

My friends, it’s time to stop this lunacy. Stop giving government more power. Vote “no” to an appointed school board and hold the line for freedom.