It’s no secret that I am not a fan of the public school system. It is a system that rewards mediocrity and, ignores excellence and often discourages it. It is a system designed to cater to the lowest common denominator and to stifle those that would rise above it. In short, the public school system is about control.
It is not about making people smart. It is not about teaching them life skills. It is not about creating successful, happy people. It is about control.
“It is a rare child indeed who can come through his schooling with much left of his curiosity, his independence, or his sense of his own dignity, competence, and worth.”
John Holt, The Underachieving School
For many people it’s hard to believe that there is anything sinister about the school system. It’s difficult to view that nice lady that teaches your kid math and English as being involved is something ugly. But the truth is that she is, though her participation is almost certainly born out of the same well-intentioned yet ignorant beliefs about school that you and most of the population have.
To understand why public schools are so bad, we have to look at why, and by who, they were created in the first place. This article will focus on the American school system, but make no mistake, this all applies equally to Canadian schools, and the public school system of most other western countries. If it looks like a fish, smells like a fish, then it is a fish.
Prior the creation of the public school system, the education of children was designed to make good citizens, and to ensure each student found some particular talents to fully develop.
That purpose lives on today in our colleges and universities, where students self-direct their education, choosing their own course of study based on their own personal talents and interests. Sadly that is not the case in the primary education system in which every imaginable subject is forced down the throats of every child, whether that child has an interest in it or not. Few ever question the rationale behind this policy, it is blindly accepted that every child’s future depends on them learning algebra at the age of twelve, and God forbid they should find it boring because they’ll be put on Ritalin and drugged into submission.