Re: NOW(-ish): Education

Ross A. Finlayson (
Tue, 30 Mar 1999 18:41:32 -0500

Jocelyn Brown wrote:

> >The United States has one of the best and most forward thinking public
> education
> >systems in the world and of all time. All citizens have access to
> education, in
> >fact it is mandated for school age children barring alternative home or
> other
> >schooling.
> The United States educational system is completely backwards in how it looks
> at things. Our current system was developed to produce masses of people who
> had the necessary skills to work the factory jobs that came as a result of
> the industrial revolution. They demand that everybody learn the exact same
> subjects at the exact same time, at the exact same pace, and in the exact
> same way. They deny students any sense of self-direction and
> self-responsibility. They force children to learn to be spoon-fed what
> somebody else thinks they need to know to get through life. It's no wonder
> so many adults don't know what they want to do; they are still waiting for
> somebody to tell them.
> BTW, are you actually in favor of the notion of compulsory education?

Absolutely. Compulsory education through to the threshold of adulthood is mandatory.

In terms of academic regidity, compare to Japan, which in cases has higher average standardized test scores, but in Japan, every student throughout the country receives the same lesson on the same day of the year for their age group. There is almost zero curriculum flexibility.

Good curriculums should be and probably are available to all subject matters in elementary and secondary schools, it's the sacred devotion of ardent teachers that individualizes this curriculum,

> >I had the opportunity to work for the local school district in high school
> as a
> >computer assistant for a couple hours after school, I worked for the
> special
> >services department that provides track based learning to both
> developmentally
> >disabled and accelerated students. They are wonderful people.
> I have no doubt that many wonderful people are involved in the educational
> field. That doesn't change my point one single bit.
> >I was subjected to a rigorous public education, and am the better for it.
> You are the first person I have heard say that. I have heard many, many more
> say otherwise. I am certainly in favor of a child's right to choose that
> style of education if he wishes.

I went to an excellent public high school, few match it, public or private.

> >Learning is a lifelong process. Learning isn't just about school, it's
> also about
> >socialization skills and the myriad other things that make life a rich
> tapestry.
> How can a school system which segragates children by age and ability level
> prepare him for the real world where none of that takes place? How can a
> system which denies a child any power to make his own decisions teach him
> self-responsibility?

Developmentally, these kids are the same age which is the closest thing we have for all citizen-students of the United States to group them.

Think about being in, say, fourth grade. Fifth graders are different, as are third graders. Normally (not to say anything is normal) your friends and peers are in your classes, and you grow and mature with your age group.

> >The educational system serves everyone, and as it is said, not all the
> people are
> >pleased all the time. That said, free public education is the backbone of
> >America.
> Unless I hallucinated my last property tax bill, public education is far
> from
> free.

> Jocelyn Brown
> Version: 3.1
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> ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------

If you ever go to class at a public school, you'll notice it's free, and significantly less expensive than child care for all children of two working parent or alternate to nuclear family unit families. Some extra-curricular activities have associated fees, but that is kind of different, an extension of the social structure of the school.

Part of our taxes goes to blatant pork overspending on military hammers and coffemakers, this has gotten somewhat better over the past ten years maybe, but gross inefficiency is much more prevalent in other sectors of the government than education, which returns marvelous returns of value for costs.

Paying for education is part of the social contract.

I pay taxes and live in the District of Columbia without representation, that is to say, unconstitutional taxation without representation, which reminds me to recommend Thoreau.

Ross F.

Ross Andrew Finlayson
"C is the speed of light."