We have a system. That’s it. That’s what’s wrong with the education system.
We have the most dynamic economy in the world. We have the most creative and innovative minds in world. We don’t punish failure. We embrace it. One of our enduring national heroes failed a thousand times before he found a filament to make the light bulb work. And yet in one area, we abandon everything that makes us American.
Our schools today are the antithesis of everything American. Top down control. Punishment for failure. Tightly regimented. Little room for creativity. No experimentation. No freedom.
To what end have we established this “system”?
To protect the teachers. To comfort the parents. To inflate the egos of politicians and indulge the controlling urges of bureaucrats at a 100 echelons.
NOT to help the students. These students don’t need standardized testing. They don’t need 12 years of math. They don’t need history lessons telling them the founding principles of the country, the grand experiment, are fairness and respect for authority.
They need only three things.
1. Something to do.
2. Something to love.
3. Something to look forward to.
The best a kid can hope for from a public school today is maybe one out of three.
The entire encyclopedia of human knowledge is available for free online. Every tidbit and factoid and irrelevant date. And yet we spend more than $10,000 per child to fill their heads with meaningless and trivial facts, in some states it’s $20,000.
$240,000 and these kids don’t come out at the other end with enough useful knowledge to command $8/hour making pizza.
The problem is that we have a system. It’s not OUR system that’s problem. It’s the EXISTENCE of a system.
A couple of years ago some nonprofit dropped off a crate of tablets in an African village. The group had hoped that within a few months the kids might be able to turn the things on and open some of the pre-programmed apps. Instead, within a week they had dozens of apps running a day. Within a few months, they had jailbreaked the tablets and installed their own apps.
Back in America, what does our $10,000 a year get us? Most kids are still working out of dusty old textbooks. In many districts, kids share textbooks, and aren’t even allowed to take the books home.
When was the intercontinental railroad built?
What is the Pythagorean theorem?
What is the difference between meiosis and mitosis?
I’ll tell you when the intercontinental railroad built. WHO THE HELL CARES. THAT’S WHEN!
George Washington was a land surveyor at 17. What does it take today?
A high school diploma.
A bachelors degree.
A state surveyors license.
Great system we have. 12 years studying the nuclei of single celled organisms should set you up nicely for a rewarding career in land surveying.
Get rid of the system.
You know what it takes to work in a hair salon?
A two year degree in cosmetology and a license to practice.
Great system we have. That two years of high school French should come in handy during cosmetology school.
Get rid of the system.