Fuck it. I went ahead and just watched it and I have to say its author demonstrates a very shallow understanding of how public education actually works in this country. Instead of making a compelling case against public education, he just spouts off the same old lines about conformity generally favored by libertarian minded comedians like George Carlin or Doug Standholpe. (Of course, without being funny or thoughtful). I mean, he talks about a lack of accountability as if every school district isn't run by elected officials; as if parents can't put their children in different districts or use the courts to sue over the quality of education provided in theirs. And it's not as if students who want a deeper understanding of a certain subject, like Hitler, can't go to a public library and read up on the subject. He does have a point about the teacher's union. (The aforementioned Michelle Rhee's been pissing a lot of folks off by talking about getting rid of tenure.) But that's a problem with the way our particular system is organized and not a problem with the concept of public education.
And again, the conformity he complains about isn't the necessary result of public dollars. First of all, some degree of conformity is required for any school to function--public or private. (If you disagree with that then you've probably never ran a classroom.) But like I just tried to tell you, you can have variety in public education. I just mentioned magnet schools and charter schools where educators experiment with different ways of organizing schools. Another solution might be to use public money to allow low income students to attend private schools (vouchers). (The problem with that, of course, is that most private schools also offer religious instruction.) In any case, you can use public dollars to provide a variety of educational programs. So let me say it one more time, public money and a variety are not mutually exclusive.
And finally, he never really offers a solution to the fundamental problem that public school addresses. Kids who grew up in households like mine probably would have never got an education were it not for public money flowing into public schools. And while competition can and does lower costs, it's not reasonable to assume that they would lower costs to such an extent that private schools could provide free or practically free education, as public schools do. Nor is it reasonable to assume that the tax burden public education imposes on low income families is equal to the cost of private education. After all, a good amount of folks pay no federal or state income taxes and still can't afford private education. I know that was true with my family for the better part of my childhood. And while I think it's great that your parents could afford to have one of them stay home and educate you, most can't do that. And a lot of parents aren't equipped to do it in the first place. (Most of the people I went to school with had parents that didn't speak English.)
Again, in order for low income families to have access to education, public money and collective action is required. You can't get around that.
Anyway, I really want to know why you think my argument doesn't add up. My basic point is that failures in our public education system don't discredit the whole concept of public education. I didn't see anything in that clip that really countered that point. Again, it offers a really shallow understanding of government. Hell, it sounds like something I might have written in high school. (And I'm not a victim, fam.)
And finally, I think you need better sources than some stupid videos on youtube. Why don't you try:http://www.reason.com/http://www.culture11.com/homehttp://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/
All the cats that run these sites are pretty libertarian minded and small c conservative. But unlike whoever did that video, they're some thoughtful folks.