Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Letter to the Editor About Schooling

Last week my letter that I wrote to the editor was posted in my local newspaper. It's really tough to get in what you want to say in 300 words. I felt really constricted and frustrated writing it. I wish I had about a 3000 word limit to work with.

Death means Renewal

This letter is in response to the article about the Spooner School Citizen Action Group. What I got from the article is that we need to spend more money on a dieing school system. The students need bigger and better buildings, more teachers, smaller classroom sizes and better curriculums. But like always these prescriptions fail to do what they set out to do, and that is to “awaken” young minds. That’s what education is supposed to do. But the system has the opposite affect; it deadens the instinctual wonder and curiosity of children.

Very little of the information (except basic reading, writing and arithmetic) that students are forced to learn in their 12 to 16 years of schooling is ever retained and used throughout their lifetimes. Students know this. The most famous question when I was in school was: When am I ever going to use this information? It’s simply a waste of their time.

What our current educational model accomplishes with almost 100% efficiency is that first, it keeps children out the job market for the most part until they are 18 yrs. old, and if you go to college it can be 25 yrs old. If children were able to enter the job market at the age of 14 you would have a lot of jobless people running around instead of a consumer class spending their parent’s money. The jobs just aren’t there for this age group like they were in our highly agrarian society that existed 100 to 150 years ago. It should be noted the more urbanized and industrialized this society has become the more years of schooling has been required.

Second, graduates have little survival value outside the confines of our economy. They are forced to either get a job or starve.

Our current educational model meets the needs of our economy but doesn’t meet, and never was meant to, meet the needs of human beings; therefore it can’t and never will work. (I always have to laugh when administrators say it’s all about the students but yet they never ask the students what they want to learn.) No amount of taxpayer money spent on new buildings, educators and curriculums will ever fix this. Let the system die. With all death comes renewal!

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