Re: NOW(-ish): Education

Jocelyn Brown (
Wed, 31 Mar 1999 13:36:51 -0600

>> BTW, are you actually in favor of the notion of compulsory education?
>Absolutely. Compulsory education through to the threshold of adulthood is

Do believe that education can be value-free? IE, can a student be taught in any kind of school system without have that system's values and beliefs imparted on him? Our public school system certainly teaches values: it teaches children to shut and behave, do what they are told, learn what they are told learn, and accept no responsibility for their actions. Private religious schools also teach their set of values, which in many ways are very similar to those of public schools. By mandating education, you force parents to PAY, yes PAY to send their children to schools which will do everything they can to instill offensive values in their children. Period.

Let me restate this whole concept of paying again. My husband and I own a two-story house in Katy, Texas in a middle to upper-middle class neighborhood. Two months ago I wrote checks totalling around $2,500.00 to the Katy Independent School District. That money DIRECTLY funds public education. It does not go to welfare programs. It does not go into "blatant pork overspending on military hammers". It goes to education. Did I mention that I don't even have any children? Yet every year I pay this. And that money doesn't even take into account the portions of the obscene federal tax rate that we pay every year that go to the public education system.

>In terms of academic regidity, compare to Japan, which in cases has higher
>average standardized test scores, but in Japan, every student throughout
>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
>that individualizes this curriculum,

Any curriculum which forces anything upon a child is wrong. A child is a person, and is worthy of making his own decisions. If we don't allow him to do that, he never will. It used to be that twelve year olds served as officers in the military. Do you think any American 12 year old is capable of doing that right now? I suppose there may be a few exceptional children, but they would be capable despite the system, not because of it.

>Developmentally, these kids are the same age which is the closest thing we
>for all citizen-students of the United States to group them.
>Think about being in, say, fourth grade. Fifth graders are different, as
>third graders. Normally (not to say anything is normal) your friends and
>are in your classes, and you grow and mature with your age group.

I am going to give a couple examples of why this is bad, and I will be as brief as I can be. For the most part I will be paraphrasing an excellent book called "The Sudbury Valley School Experience".

If the only children in a class are all the same age and at the same developmental level, how the hell are the going to help each other out? What peers can they look to for advice and guidence. Does their teacher really remember what it's like to be a seven-year old? No. But that nine-year old does. Can a seven-year old look at another seven-year old and say "look how much I've grown since then"? No. But he could with a five-year old. Age mixing occurs in every single other facet of life, making school a completely artificial situation which is incapable of prepare children for every day life. At SVS, the contacts children tend to make resemble a bell curve, which most of a child's friends being in his immediate age group with a few younger and a few older. This very much mimics natural life circumstance.

Another arguement against age-separation is the formation of cliques. Cliques form because children need a way of establishing a pecking order, so to speak. If everyone is the same age and at the same level, they will turn to other things to set up this order, things such as appearance. Jealousy and showing off abound. With age mixing, this doesn't happen. Pecking orders naturally form around age and experience.

>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
>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.

Are you actually advocating tax dollars to pay for school as a substitute for child care for parents who had children and couldn't afford to stay home with them? And I think I've beaten the horse of free public education to a sufficiently dead state.

>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,
>gross inefficiency is much more prevalent in other sectors of the
>than education, which returns marvelous returns of value for costs.

I hardly consider paying for the indoctrination of children to be a marvelous value.

>Paying for education is part of the social contract.

Ah, the social contract. A total myth. And one I never signed.

Jocelyn Brown

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