Hey, We Try

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On this blog alone there are enough “education follies” posts to fill a good-sized book–actual news reports of real follies and outrages perpetrated by what we laughingly call “public education.”

In spite of the mass of information to the contrary, tens of millions of our fellow Americans continue to send their children to public schools to be educated by strangers trained by very Far Left teachers’ unions–and then on to college to finish the job. Why do they do this?

After some fruitless conversation in a chat room yesterday, it was made clear to me again, for the umpteenth hundredth time, that people simply refuse to believe the truth about public education. The truth is plain for all to see: it would take some effort to miss it. Nevertheless, most of America does not see. Decide for yourself whether it’s because they really can’t see or have just chosen, obstinately, not to see.

Yesterday the thing they refused to believe (the people I was chatting with) was that the single biggest lesson taught in public schools is that your age-group peers–other kids–are the most important people in your life. So you must please them, you must conform to their expectations, you must try, no matter what the cost, to be popular. They are much more important than your family. Your family is so un-cool! Boring! But conformity with your “friends” is everything.

That was the case even when I went to school, way back when.

It is still the case now.

Uh, people–could you, like, just take a minute to look at our freakin’ culture? Do you like what you see? Really?

Sing louder.

Keep trying.

God help us.

4 comments on “Hey, We Try

  1. Until you pointed that out, I had never given it much thought, but I agree completely. The primary lesson of the public schools involves social behavior, peer-group allegiance and an obsessive interest in never giving offense or negatively judging anyone else, no matter how bizarre their behavior may be.

    This has fostered an environment where the only sin is judging others, even if the “others” are behaving in a damaging manner. Once this is accomplished, the door is wide open to any and all behaviors, and the consequences of choices made by individuals become a societal problem instead of an individual problem. So tax dollars end up being used to treat these “societal” problems which are, at their root, actions of individuals who possess no sense of responsibility for themselves or for others.

    When I first when to school, at the age of four, I was quite surprised by the behaviors which were tolerated. I had expected that school would be a serious place and that we would learn things which interested me, such as how to read. But the schoolroom environment was far more chaotic than I could ever have imagined and it seemed that there were a lot of distractions from learning and these were accommodated willingly by the teachers. Simply stated, the early school years amounted to day-care with some quasi educational activities thrown in, but the first responsibility of the student was not to learn, but to fit in.

    I certainly could not have worded my impressions that way at the age of four, but my impressions of kindergarten ultimately did prove accurate. The school did manage to work in a bit of reading and math, but the main agenda was socialization. In second grade, the teacher was quite angry that my mother took me out of school on the day of the Easter Pageant, but that day’s opportunity to ride in a small airplane was far more educational than my bit part in the pageant.

    Somehow, the school survived even though I wasn’t there standing on a stage dressed up in a flower costume. The educational value of that plane ride shaped my life, but instead of having me tell the class about it, I was punished for not being present for the pageant; and it wasn’t even my decision, it was my mother’s. She got that one very right.

    1. Conformity has always been one of the chief goals of public education, from its inception. I just can’t understand why so few people see it.

  2. Peer pressure is a huge problem of public education (haven’t the people in the chat room ever heard of bullying?). Another huge problem is White Guilt. Shelby Steele wrote a whole book on the subject. He says Liberals use white guilt to destroy America. He exhorts moving on from the past because there is no longer any oppression of African-Americans – their problem now is one of being individually responsible for their freedom by rejecting Identity Politics. Identity Politics is what public schools teach with a super heavy emphasis on past slavery and the treatment of Native Americans. I sub teach in these schools and know what I am talking about from personal experience.

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