May 22, 2019

Princeton Community TV Gives Education a Chance To Be Free

To the Editor:

I have a question. Is it every American’s birthright to vote?

According to Socrates (translated from Greek) “Only those who had thought about issues rationally and deeply should be let near a vote.” In the mind of one of history’s greatest teachers and thinkers, mob rule threatens democratic society. Socrates knew that it would be easy for people seeking office to appeal to the mob’s desires and give easy answers to complex problems. Does any of this sound familiar?

In our system of government, every citizen is entitled to vote, and education is the only weapon we have against demagoguery. However, in the state of New Jersey, education is one of the most segregated institutions. Affluence, aka District Factor Groups, determine knowledge. Inside each school district, curriculum, teachers’ knowledge, and lesson plans are held captive.

Princeton Community TV gives education a chance to be free. On my show, I have the capacity to share knowledge from teachers everywhere. As an example, the moment a video about space exploration that features national experts on missions to Mars is aired, children everywhere get access to the knowledge that is otherwise confined to Princeton. I am proud to say one of my shows on space exploration featured retired NASA Chief Scientist Dr. Ellen Stofan and SETI director Dr. Seth Shosktak. If it were not for Princeton Community TV, children would not understand that there is no simple answer to complex problems like “Can man live on Mars?” To be knowledgeable, they must think about complex and conflicting ideas.

In January 2017, we saw the effects of unequal education, where knowledge is held captive amongst the affluent. Please allow Princeton Community TV and myself to continue to make it possible for future generations to think about issues rationally and deeply before they step into a voting booth.

Aggie Sung
Producer, Princeton Community TV