Thirteen Reasons Why: America’s High Schools Are Creating (Another) Lost Generation

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Thirteen Reasons Why: America’s High Schools Are Creating (Another) Lost Generation

Written by Peter Diekmeyer (CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL)

 

 

 

Netflix’s recent announcement that it would be producing a second season of Thirteen Reasons Why has raised new questions about the disastrous state of the US public school system and its effects on the economy.


“Hey, it’s Hannah Baker,” says the show’s protagonist, played by a stunning Katherine Langford in the opening episode. “Get settled in. Because I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended.”


The Thirteen Reasons’ portrait of how a stifling, bureaucratic system progressively cuts this teenage girl to pieces, eventually driving her to death, provides a dramatized, insightful reflection on (another) emerging lost generation.


The statistics are grim: a third of 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. live at home according to the US Census Bureau. Homeserve USA finds that nearly one in three Americans can’t come up with $500 to fund an emergency. As if that were not enough, according to the US Congressional Budget Office, governments have saddled today’s young with more than $100 trillion worth of pension and healthcare debts.


The harder truth depicted in Thirteen Reasons Why is that today’s high school graduates emerge with few skills, little education and a sanitized view of the world. In short, they are totally unprepared to take on the challenges they face.


Following are Thirteen Reasons Why:


1. Thirteen years in jail


In Thirteen Reasons, Hannah, the bullied protagonist has no way to escape a toxic environment. Her helpless position progressively worsens and eventually drives her to suicide.


Because education is compulsory in the United States, Hannah lives in a de facto prison. She cannot change schools or classes without parental approval and undergoing a humiliating bureaucratic process.


An education system that prioritized learning would put students at the center, leaving them free to choose their schools, classes, teachers and programs.


2. American kids can’t vote


The challenges facing American kids are exacerbated by the fact that they aren’t allowed to vote. They thus have little stake in the system, no sense of responsibility and adopt a de facto poise of helplessness.


3. Students come last


None of the dozen studies reviewed for this article assessed the US public education system based on students’ needs.


Governments prioritize public education based on its effects on national competitiveness. Businesses focus on getting skilled workers (whose training they don’t want to pay for). Teachers’ unions focus on salaries and working conditions.


The upshot is that students’ interests come last.


4. Bloated administrations


America spends more per student than any other country yet ranks 14th in terms of results, behind Russia. Must of this is due to legions of highly-paid administrators that clog the system with rules, regulations and forms, few of which prioritize education.


5. Kids taught to worship government; shun individual responsibility


The young have always been concerned with social causes. It’s thus hardly surprising that teachers would encourage students to prioritize government’s role in healthcare, welfare and environmental regulation.


However today’s public schools offer essentially no counter arguments about individual responsibility.


High school graduates thus emerge as easy prey for politicians who claim that near-unlimited government spending and borrowing are the cure for the nation’s problems. (See the Krugman con).


6. Public schools teach no marketable skills


The greatest indictment of the public school system’s actual performance relates to the fact that students graduate with no marketable skills.


If America’s kids emerged from schools able to read, write, do basic math, type, work as a team and use a half dozen common software packages, they would have something to show for their 13 years in the slammer.


7. Banning Ayn Rand and Huckleberry Finn


Socrates’ motto at the Agora was to “question everything.” However public schools prioritize politically correct doctrine that consciously excludes key ideas and concepts.


Ayn Rand, the most important philosopher of the 20th century, is essentially banned from the public system, as is Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, which Hemingway cited as the root of American literature. History teaching in America, as Niall Ferguson has noted, is sanitized to the point of rendering it almost counterproductive.


8. State-directed curricula: one size fits all


Students vary as do the communities they live in. However a disproportionate amount of teaching is dictated by bureaucrats. This leaves teachers little flexibility to adjust based on students’ needs.


These differ based on whether the school in located in poorer neighborhoods where many students come from single family homes, or in upper middle-class professional communities where traditional family structures are more common.


9. Kids graduate clueless about finances


Public schools teach essentially nothing about managing money, likely the single most important life skill a kid could have. Students graduate thus thinking that borrowing is fine.


This leaves them prey to America’s biggest predatory lenders: big universities, which have managed to saddle youth with $1.2 trillion worth of debts, many of whom have little to show for it.


10. “Hoop jumper” worship: drives out the talented and curious


One of the biggest weaknesses in public and private schools is their collective worship of “hoop jumpers,” - that universal collection of the obsequious sorts that clutter Dean’s lists and other “Top Students” awards.


This wouldn’t be a problem if schools were able to correctly identify top performers. However heavy state-defined curricula force teachers to “teach to the test.”


This leads to the advancement of drone-like students who are able to recite mindless data, massaged concepts and formulas, and more dangerously: with the need to guess and kow-tow to what teachers want them to say.


Worse, in two centuries of public schooling, teachers still fall for that old trap of giving the best marks to kids with nice hand-writing or to math students who get the wrong answer but manage to “show their work.” Students who challenge conventional thinking are smiled at and given a B.


The upshot is the students with drive, curiosity and creativity are quickly driven out.


The number one students - like John Maynard Keynes, the father of modern economics, who taught that the best way to get rich was to spend more than you earn - rocket through the system, and now run the nation’s central banks and university economics departments.


You get the picture.


11. Powerful unions


In a world in which students are stuck in de facto prisons, teachers, who spend more time with them than their parents do, ought to be their biggest backers. They aren’t.


Teachers thus need to accept the lion’s share of the blame for the disastrous state of American schools.


That blame starts with the fact that teachers’ first priority has been to band into powerful unions, which put salaries, benefits and vacation time first and students’ interests last.


12. Millionaire teachers


True, teachers perform one of society’s most useful functions. However during a time of strained public finances students’ needs must come first - not teachers’ salaries.


The teachers’ unions have been hugely successful. Median compensation for US workers is $28,900. Teachers earn $58,000, almost double that amount.


The gap between teachers and those communities they teach in is exacerbated by the fact that gold-plated, state-guaranteed pensions mean that public school teachers generally retire as millionaires.


If teachers were paid at market rates, there would be more money available to fund students’ needs such as smaller class sizes, libraries and computers.


13. Mediocre teachers that can’t be fired


Teachers begin their careers ranked among most socially-committed of any professionals. But as with any human beings, a change takes hold of teachers once they acquire tenure and can no longer be fired.


Office hours and volunteer activities shrink, emails from students and parents are returned slower, if at all. The upshot is that many of the best teachers decline towards mediocrity as their careers advance.


*****


The takeaway for the alternative investors, who wonder how the American public could so easily fall for politicians, economists and central bankers that are running US productivity into the ground, the answer is clear.


America’s public schools may be leaving their graduates incapable of assessing the stakes.

 

Questions or comments about this article? Leave your thoughts HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

Thirteen Reasons Why: America’s High Schools Are Creating (Another) Lost Generation

Written by Peter Diekmeyer (CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL)

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deplorable nation's picture

Going to high school even in liberal California in the 70s we had; Auto Shop, Wood Shop, Drafting Class, Metal Shop, and even an Electronics Shop. At minimum, we would learn how to do minor maintenance (oil changes, tune-ups, etc) and repair on our cars, create and interpret an engineering drawing, learn how to turn a piece of wood on a lathe, learn how to use all the hand tools, make our mothers a nice footstool for the kitchen, learn how to weld (gas, arc, spot), braze, pour molten metal into a sand casting, and build an electric motor that we had to demostrate that "worked" as our final project. My Millennial son-in-law couldn't perform an oil change on his car if his life depended on it, if he had to grab a pair of pliers or a screwdriver they would probably fall out of his hand. But he is the product of the politically correct "everyone gets a trophy"mentality presently in our schools. Bring back the shop classes.

voxpopuli's picture

... looking at the way the "millenial generation" smashes windows and breaks laws and property, and is directed and channeled by some obscure interests, I'm not sure they are really "lost" ... "a generation of loosers" for sure. But "lost", really not ! 

RedBaron616's picture

"Ayn Rand, the most important philosopher of the 20th century. . ."

If a Jewish atheist is not in the public school libraries, that is reason to celebrate. If there is no God, all is permissible . . . . Obviously the writer has an affinity for Rand, but that does little for someone who seemed to believe in good for mankind without a God. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Castro would all strongly agree. Certainly, they believed that they were "good."

FrankDrakman's picture

Oh, please. Rand is the perfect example of 'hitting very large nails not quite squarely on the head'. Her atheism, and sexual politics (e.g. Roark's rape), were not what I'd call "objective truth". However, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Her parable of the "20th Century Motor Company" is more relevant today than when she wrote the book. The disconnection between work and reward, the veneration of the weak and the servitude of the strong, and the engrained helplessness of a million Gullilvers, tied down by a trillion strings: is this not both the perfect description of modern high schools, and a summary of at least some of her major points? 

When you're playing the long game, you're willing to give up things today to get your message into their kids. You could look at the Province of Ontario as an example. A previous minister of Education (and now Premier) Kathleen Wynne is a lesbian. Her Assistant Deputy Minister (the second in command, and de facto head of the ministry) was convicted on child pornography charges (specifically, counselling a woman how to 'groom' her 12-year old daughter for the woman's lover. The woman was actually an undercover cop). Together, they worked on, and have now introduced, a "sex ed" program that normalizes homosexual and lesbian behaviour, and teaches kids as early as Grade 7 (12 years old) the mechanics of fellatio and sodomy. 

Of course, no one can complain about this 'progressive' policy. But, if you believe homosexuality is a learned, not genetic, behaviour, this is a taxpayer-paid recruiting program for homosexuality, and also one that is statistically certain to produce curious children of 12-13 years old, perfect fodder for the pedos like the ADM above. 

It's easy to think conservatives were deranged when they complained about lack of prayer in school; moral indoctrination is not the job of the school system. But it's been replaced by secular prayer to Gods of hedonism and materialism. I don't think it's an improvement.  

nc551's picture

Creepy picture to put up to represent high school kids.

Modern school is just nationalized babysitting.

decentralisedscrutinizer's picture

 

Almost all the world’s economic and political problems revolve around the hegemony of a global corporate cartel, which is headquartered in the US because this is where their military force resides. The only way to regain our sovereignty as a constitutional republic is to severely curtail the privileges of any corporation doing business here. As a free nation, we really have to stop granting corporate charters to just any “suit” that comes along without fulfilling a defined social value in return. The "Divine Right Of Kings” should not apply to fictitious entities just because they are “Too Big To Fail”. We can't take the incorporation of private transnational banks for granted anymore. The government must be held responsible only to the electorate, not fictitious entities, if we are ever to restore sanity, much less prosperity, to the world.

 

 

 

It was a loophole in our Constitution that allowed corporate charters to be so easily obtained it created a swamp of corruption around our capital. It is a swamp that can't be drained at this point because the Constitution  doesn’t provide a drain. This 28th amendment is intended to install that drain so Congress can pull the plug ASAP. As a matter of political practicality we must rely on the Article 5 Convention for which the electorate will need consensus beforehand. Seriously; an Article 5 Constitutional Convention could solve that problem in days. This is what I think it will take to save the world; and nobody gets hurt:

 

 

 

28th Amendment

 

Corporations are not persons in any sense of the word and shall be granted only those rights and privileges that Congress deems necessary for the well-being of the People. Congress shall provide legislation defining the terms and conditions of corporate charters according to their purpose; which shall include, but are not limited to:

 

1, prohibitions against any corporation;

 

a, owning another corporation,

 

b, becoming economically indispensable or monopolistic, or

 

c, otherwise distorting the general economy;

 

2, prohibitions against any form of interference in the affairs of;

 

a, government,

 

b, education, or

 

c, news media, and

 

3, provisions for;

 

a, the auditing of standardized, current, and transparent account books, and

 

b, the establishment of a state and municipal-owned banking system

 

c, civil and criminal penalties to be suffered by corporate executives for violation of the terms of a corporate charter.

 

 

 

The Founders had to fight a bloody Revolutionary War to win our right to incorporate as a nation – the USA. But then, for whatever reason, our Founders granted the greediest businessmen among them unrestricted corporate charters with enough potential capital & power to compete with the individual States, smaller sovereign nations, and eventually to buy out the Federal government itself. Now that these fictitious entities own the USA and command its military infrastructure, by virtue of the Federal Reserve Corporation, and run it by virtue of regulatory capture, MSM propaganda, and Congressional lobbying they’ve set their sights on the creation of an all-inclusive global financial empire. The US Constitution is the “Kingpin” of the whole global Machine.

    

Confucious 222's picture

hEY dICKMEISTER,

So who runs Hymietown???

Caleb Abell's picture

"American kids can’t vote"

They don't have to.  All they have to do is yell at the university administration and the assholes drop to their knees and give them anything they demand ... because how can you say no to spoiled children?

goose3's picture

I'm always amused--and saddened--by analyses such as this one.  He read a dozen studies, and from that he concludes....what?

 

Among his conclusions is that we need  "An education system that prioritized learning would put students at the center, leaving htem free to choose their schools, classes, teachers and programs."  

Yeah, that would work.  Students would choose to take challenging courses over the bunny courses.  I'm sure that would happen.  And when it came time, for those who were so inclined, to start the college odyssey, they would find themselves ill-prepared for a real college curriculum.

When authors like this spout such nonsense, it's hard to take the rest seriously.  I do agree with some of the rest, but sheesh--for God's sake, go talk to teachers, stop assuming because unions are a problem in some places all teachers need to be blamed for them, and find out just what teachers have to do during the day.

My wife is a 5th-grade teacher.  The average person has NO idea what she has to deal with every day--and yet dimwits like Diekmeyer purports to hold forth on what's wrong with the system.

I might conclude--judging by the Socratic critical thinking he demonstrates--that Diekmeyer is a product of the very system he decries.  

*********************

I'm a college professor (waiting for laughter to subside...).  I teach rigorous courses.  You'd want to take my courses, if you are after an education and not a degree.  I'd challenge you, teach you how to think instead of what to think, and demand application of critical thinking skills.  If you didn't have those skills, I'd work to develop them in you.

I'm also a sociologist, but not your father's sociologist.  Or your mother's.  I think the focus on White Privilege is ridiculous, because I can't see how it helps a single student of color I'm teaching.  Marxism is a crock.  I am a member of the NRA, a person who shoots and reloads, and someone who actually follows the Socratic approach of questioning everything (well, many things, because if you'd question everything you'd never get anything done).  BTW, this tends to drive my liberal colleagues nuts--and that's fun.

As my wife is a 5th-grade teacher, and I have decades of experience in higher education, I would report to you that, in my opinion, Diekmeyer has no idea what he is talking about.

peterdiekmeyer's picture

------------

The idea in providing choice, stems from the fact that free market advocates believe that choice works.

They do not necessarily guarantee that those students will choose the courses you want.

But that is precisely the point. Maybe some kids aren't suited for, nor do they want your "challenging" courses.

Nothing wrong with studying carpentry, or shop.

Thanks for your contribution.

goose3's picture

Choice works among those with sufficient intelligence or information to make informed choices.  It does not work among those who are not mature enough yet to balance pros and cons.  Let me guess....you don't have children, do you?  The idea that children should choose what they take means most would take little or no mathematics, for instance.  I'm sure that would prepare them well for the future, don't you think?

It isn't about what career path students might take, and it's rather disingenuous for you to attempt to switch the conversation that way.  They wouldn't necessarily choose the courses *I* want?  Are you serious?  It's about whether children--children!--are capable of making informed choices.  

 

Your arguments are internally inconsistent--you criticize the banning of Ayn Rand, are concerned about the indoctrination of student minds, then tell us that students shoudl choose what they study, all the while telling us that "If America's kids emerged from schools able to read, write, do basic math, type, work as a team and use a half dozen common software packages, they would have something to show for their 13 years in the slammer."

So which is it--are we responsible for what children can and should learn, or should we let them choose what they want to learn?  You can't have it both ways, and yet you seem to want to do exactly that. 

And why aren't these children, whose choice you seem so concerned with, choosing courses that provide them with these skills?  Why aren't they choosing to study harder?  Why aren't they recognizing they'll need these things later in life?   They're making choices all right--choices to NOT study these things.

I'll say it again:  you need to go and learn something about the schools, and teachers, and school environments, which would I'm sure result in you backing away from your absolutes in generalizing to everyone and everything.  I agree with you on some of this, including that we limit what students can learn, that often schools graduate students ill-equipped to deal with the world.  But I can't see that you understand much at all as to why this occurs.

 

 

 

ToSoft4Truth's picture

Can I add one??

 

14.  We let it happen. 

Aireannpure's picture

O.K. all you lib tards. Multi-cultural sacred cow. All the comparisions are from homogenous groups. Can you f'in lib tards say bi-lingual? How about broken family single mommy's, lib-tards? More confusion and a stupid article.

jenniewadeguy's picture

Don't forget Negro students who are cognitively saturated by the ninth grade and learn nothing in their remaining four years.  However, they certainly engage in daily wilding activities that menace and disrupt the learning process for the non-Negros in their classes during those remaining years.

baldknobber's picture

My youngest is in High School and a bit of a free thinking rebel. For finals in one class they were to write a 4 page paper on the biggest threat to the US. He turned in a 40 page manifesto on the over use and abuse of drugs prescribed to children and called for the forcible dismantling of big phram. His teacher failed it because it was not the proper length and because it might encourage violence.He is a smart kid , hardheaded (like his dad) and tough as nails , but when he talks about friends he had in grade school that now just walk around in a fog not thinking or really feeling anything because the are on some prescribed something he gets emotional

peterdiekmeyer's picture

This does not surpise me in the least.

A rules-based system, that weeds out the creative.

Thanks for you contribution.

Sanity Bear's picture

I can barely imagine how freaky it must be for a kid to see 2/3rds of his peers zombified.

CRM114's picture

Speaking as an ex-teacher, he absolutely should have done a 4 page precis of the 40 page work; RTFQ. How long do you think marking takes FCOL?

That said, the violence bit is wrong. There's a big difference between "might encourage" and "advocate".

I would also question the teacher's supervision. S/he should have been well aware, by properly monitoring student progress, that a 40 page epic was in the making, and advised as above.

 

Personally, I would also have read the 40 page work and marked it in my spare time. I have found this to be worth the effort in the past. It encourages the whole student body, not just the individual pupil.

artichoke's picture

You should report this incident with the paper to the teacher's department head.  (English, Social Studies, whatever it is.)  That's not a reasonable grade, given the work submitted.

baldknobber's picture

As I said he is hard/hot headed. He got mad and stayed up all night writing a completely new paper. Crazy thing is another of his teachers heard about it read it and told hin he should find someone to publish it

Ruth116's picture

THE NUMBER 1 BANNED BOOK IS THE BIBLE! Before the 60's it was actually read in school.  Now they read trash.  What do we expect?  Who's fault is it?  The Whiney parents thats who!  They put with it and now they are reaping what they have sowed, just like the so called church in Hitler's day who has been propagandized to robot statice.  You can hardly quote the Bible anywhere today without someone having a cow!  Just like most blog's you quote the Bible and you get called terrible things.  But let me tell you that the Bible is where it's at, open it up and read it you would be surprised what it says about today's problems that are nothing new under the sun.

artichoke's picture

No, the fault is with the Supreme Court.

When I started first grade, we read the Lord's Prayer in school every morning.  Then after a month or two we heard we weren't allowed to do that any more (due to new SCOTUS ruling), and it stopped.  Then a month or two after that, my first grade teacher came into the room in tears and told us JFK had been shot.  What a year.

artichoke's picture

Answers to the True/False quiz in the article:

1. F  not to say that schools are perfect or even good, but adults need to guide kids and set standards for graduation.

2. F  Society is destroyed when kids vote.

3. F  "Student centered" education is a path to mind control.  Since the students don't actually steer, malign influences come in.  Purveyors of those malign influences are pushing "student centered" learning so they'll have that chance.

4.  T

5.  T

6.  F (mostly.)  The schools did their best to teach reading, writing, basic math, typing and requiring teamwork.  If they fail it's mainly the fault of kids who may just have low ability, oh well we can't fix everyone.  But we should bring back things like shop and home ec.

7. T but Ayn Rand is a pretty low bar.

8.  T  This is a radical position.  Not everyone can learn the same things.  Maybe some areas should focus more on preparation for trades, some on academic preparation, and kids should be able to attend the school that's best for them.  Because once kids are 2 years behind due to poor performance, continuing to try to push an academic curriculum into them makes no sense and just wastes more money and more of their time.

9.  T  There should be time to fit such a course into the curriculum.  A bit less of middle school history wouldn't be missed, for example.

10.  F  The talented can rise above the hoop jumpers and learn to give the teachers what they want.  A B doesn't kill anyone.  (Well it would have killed my HS GPA but I still would have been OK.)  If it's not in high school, then in college you start to run into teachers you do well with and those you don't.  It's life.

11.  T (mostly).  Teachers are overpaid when one takes into account that their pensions are safe and people in the private sector don't have safe pensions, yet are required to fund the teachers' pensions.  Also, most teachers esp. in early grades were never great students and don't deserve high pay in our market economy.  However, teachers' unions can stand strong against trends that reduce academic standards; that is happening in our district now.

 

12.  T.  See 11.

13.  T.  See 11.

peterdiekmeyer's picture

Great post. Thanks for your input.

Caleb Abell's picture

"The challenges facing American kids are exacerbated by the fact that they aren’t allowed to vote."

What a great idea!  Let a bunch of empty-headed snowflake children, without any idea about, or experience with, real life, have the right to vote.  I know from watching the brilliant stoodints at Berkeley that this idea will always result in something better.  

After all, as college administrations at universities across the country let their stoodints take control and set policy, everything will be improved.  Now, lets all go out and beat the crap out of anyone on campus who disagrees with us.

keep the bastards honest's picture

agree this is a load of rubbish. all those factors apply to Australia and we are far higher in world list of educational levels by the OECD. Dont think asian countries, iceland  or scandinavian countries which top the edu list allow kids to vote, choose subjects freely from a smorgasbord, move from school to school at own will regardless of where they live and how  they are going to get there and whether schools would take them and how parents solve that for them... stupid. 

Expat's picture

Say, if only 12 year olds could vote! That would change things!

There is no Lost Generation.  As far back as these things were tracked, the US has always ranked extremely low in primary and secondary education.  Is this part of the Trumpian myth of Making America Great Again?  America was NEVER smart.  So I am not sure what this reactionary drivel is aiming for.

One of the major problems with American education are Americans.  In most places I have lived (including a few where I have taught and sent my children to school) outside the US, education and learning are cherished.  Being smart, well-read and well-rounded are valuable things.  In the US, being smart is anti-american. Scientists are insulted and science is mocked.  How much is spent on high school sports programs in places like Texas or Oklahoma versus the budget for science labs or chess clubs?

As for getting the Federal government out of education, that would simply lead to places like Arkansas and South Carolina eliminating things like sex education and evolution from the curriculum.  You can believe whatever you want, but you have no right to teach it in public schools.  Keep your divine internention and biblical morals at home where they can do as little harm as possible.

America overspends on education for poor results.  Teachers salaries are not the main cause since they are basically in line (slightly higher) than OECD equivalents. 

 

Wanna create a Found Generation?  Dump the bullshit of Ayn Rand, smash the Playstation with a hammer, lock up the football, and give your kid a book.  Hint: books are the things with all the words written in them.

chiaroscuro's picture

I disagree that American education has always been of poor quality. However, a time when it was not so is, for the most part, beyond living memory.

Perhaps you have not seen this example of a test administered to eighth graders in Salina, Kansas in 1895:    http://grandfather-economic-report.com/1895-test.htm

American schools once provided a Classical education, which is a model that began in Ancient Greece and Rome. The study of Latin is central to Classical education. Most people will concede that studying Latin offers utility in understanding the roots of English vocabulary. But what’s more valuable still is that the dissection and reanimation of Latin allows a student to apply the understanding of structure and logic they’ve gained from the study of this language to many other languages and intellectual pursuits.

Horace Mann planted the seeds of state controlled education and the decline of Classical education in Massachusetts prior to the Civil War. At least the damage was confined to the state level at the time. As far as I can tell, the Federal government’s control over education first took hold in the South just after the Civil War in a deliberate effort by the government through the Peabody Education Fund to eliminate the values and intellectual traditions that lead to secession. The Peabody Education Fund was headed by Jabez Curry who was known as the “Horace Mann of the South” for his work in pulling private education in the South under state control. Gradually the degradation of education spread north and by the end of WWII Classical education in this country had completely collapsed.

Fortunately, however, Classical education is now experiencing a revival. I’ve come across a particularly intriguing curriculum called Classical Writing which teaches students to write by studying the works of such great Classical minds as Aesop, Homer and Herodotus. http://classicalwriting.com/

The Omnibus series is another gem. It is a Christian-based survey of the Western Cannon of great books from Classical through Modern times which encompasses both literature and history. The Omnibus books are published by Veritas Press which produced this delightful video about the history of American education and Classical Education: https://www.veritaspress.com/about. I can tell you're not interested in a Christian approach, Expat, but other people reading this might be.

Memoria Press offers many great resources as well. Even if people don’t think they can manage to homeschool their children fulltime,  they should consider supplementing their children's education with some of these books or others of their choosing over the summer.

artichoke's picture

If you disaggregate American student performance by race, I believe one finds that US whites and Asians are doing as well as any homogeneous white or Asian country in the world.  Is there any country where the average kids were in the chess club?

But you're right about funding.  My high school had a losing football team, but our chess team could actually have been competitive in the National High School Championship.  We had 3 class A players, and back in the 70's this was pretty good.  I asked the principal for a little money to send us to NY (no airfare require, just hotel and entry fees.)  He turned us down, because he cared so much more about the losing football team.

DontWorry's picture

Ayn Rand the most important philosopherof the 20th century?  Garbage.

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, David K. Lewis, Saul Kripke just to name a few.

Rand was a poor philosopher.  Objectivism is a straighforward application of modus tollens, a flawed epistomology.  Her books a poorly written.  She was a hypocrite - she took social security later in life, making others pay for her benefit.

jaxville's picture

 Objectivism was Ayn Rand's attempt to popularize the teachings of Aristotle. 

Escapeclaws's picture

People need to go outside the education system to learn. They must take education seriously enough to educate themselves. This could include benefitting from others, but finding people to help is always difficult. Today we have the internet which is an incredible resource. In the past your choices were much more constricted. There are, of course, excellent private schools but that is difficult for many to take advantage of.

The important thing is to keep your desire to learn alive and not have it crushed by the system. Love of learning is the key to life. Like all good things, you must flee those who will seek to destroy your confidence in yourself, those negative energies who offer nothing but discouragement, telling you you are not intelligent enough or rich enough. They are like anthrax. They are the number one reason people fail. Those who fail then discourage others.

If you keep your love of learning, you will be well-positioned to benefit from any necessary university education in whatever field becomes your favorite. No need to panic. First things first. Love of learning is love of life.

Jubal Early's picture

The tribe and their feminist kommisars have stripped the millenial girls of their womanhood.  By the time they enter high school they are rudderless ships in search of a storm, and zio-media provides a constant stream of mind warping music videos, movies, cable serials, advertisements and more.  They have been turned into shicksa's wearing yoga pants that display so much that they are practically going bottomless like mideaval white slave whores in the Ottoman empire.  Willingly and with pride.  And then they bitch about harassment and date rape.

Somebody put a fork in America, she's past well done and starting to burn.  And it was the Yankees that did it.

artichoke's picture

Wait, was it the Joooos or was it the Yankees that did this?

Actually it was the communists.  But with that exception, you're right on.

mavenson's picture

Blame and failure justification sells yes sir, not that public school isn't totally fucked; there is no fix, just home school.

LA_Goldbug's picture

"just home school"
How many families today have the luxury not to have both parents working ? How many are capable to teach ?

LA_Goldbug's picture

Oh and lets not forget how well BUSING worked out in making HS a valuable experience !!!! Shuttling kids across city (hours) to reach the Golden Average.

Boxed Merlot's picture

...lets not forget...BUSING...

If you want to see where an extra-ordinary amount of resources are consumed under the heading of "education" take a look at any school district's transportation expenses. It's not just the socioeconomic factors being used to mix students that's such a drain on budgets, but the obscene fuel, equipment, maintenance, personnel, insurance, regulatory, etc. expenses associated with keeping even normal inter-district mobility routes functioning.

Those short buses don't drive themselves ya know.

InnVestuhrr's picture

When I was in high school true stories, just 2 of many:

1. The General Science "teacher", wife of the school principal, was a boozer, and would frequently leave the classroom for long periods to get juiced and would leave me in charge to teach general science to my fellow students, which the students preferred.

2. The Chemistry "teacher" was so profoundly incompetent that everyone, including teachers laughed out loud at his presence and antics. Today we would test him for dementia or alzhymeirs. Anyway, he would "teach" by telling us to sit and read the chemistry book, then he would ask US to solve the problems as he followed using his teacher's edition with the solved problems. I stole his teacher's edition and classes were suspended while he waited forr the replacement he ordered to arrive, which I also stole, so Chemistry "teaching" ended for the semester.

These incompetents and many other similar sinners and sins were protected by the teachers labor union.

I would gather up and hang all the government labor union leaders, force all government worker compensation to same levels as in private sector and convert all defined benefit retirement plans to IRAs.

LA_Goldbug's picture

"6. Public schools teach no marketable skills"

When I was in HS (70's) there was wood shop, metal shop, auto shop ... classes !!!! Marketable skills.

keep the bastards honest's picture

Way back in a small central shool in the aus bush I learned cooking home management and nutrition, and pattern drafting garment construction and needlework plus the usual academic subjects, agriculture was a possible choice. Males did wood and metal work etc real stuff 

Von Berger's picture

comprehensive academy's provide a broad and diverse curriculum for students before attending colleges prior reaching university.
The discipline is quite ridged and the teachers qualifications to a high standard.
I'm talking about a local academy in a provincial city.
Like LA_ I to left college with marketable skills which I obtained by teachers who were articulate and enthusiastic. I don't think we have a better education system/ just different. But most U.K. Schools struggle, if a student leaves being able to read write and add up. It's a result.

NoWayJose's picture

About the only things good in most public schools are:

1. If your kid is very athletic - too much money is spent here.

2. If your kid is very smart and can take AP classes such that they can get into decent colleges with a chance for academic scholarships.

3. If your high school has both good 'mechanical' curriculum AND teachers to prepare you for a trade

For students with average or poor athletic or academic skills who do not want (or have available) a 'trade', it is a waste. Better to hold me school and teach specific skills or hobbies.

LA_Goldbug's picture

In my city there were a few technical high schools.

Norfry's picture

The kids are victims, actually lab rats, experimented on with gmo soybeans and a vast repertoire of aspartame containing foods and other shit, vaccinated til they're walking dead immune systems, and yah the decision was made generations ago to dumb em down ( Charlotte Iserbyt), and then there is the exposure in utero and out of utero to 24/7 bs via the formal mind control/public perception management efforts of the tribe and CIA/mockingbird conjunction, and then there is the separation from nature in the little concrete surrounded school jail just at that momentous moment in human evolution when there is real stuff happening outside, a real live mass extinction going on outside their window around the planet. Should not be missed.

LA_Goldbug's picture

"aspartame containing foods"
Rat food !!! The first time I tried coco with this poison I had a strange sensation and never touched anything that had it afterwards.

VladLenin's picture

My bumper sticker:  

My homeschooler is smarter than you and will enslave your children.  

JMT's picture

these 'poor snowflakes' that journalists always complain how "overscheduled" they are having to juggle schoolwork, extracarricular activities, hobbies like piano or horseback riding and parents having to play chauffeur if their kids aren't old enough to drive , too freaking bad.. these days kids all have the latest iphone, have access to  private tutoring if they fall behind and to prepare for standarized tests, there are more sports offered and more types of AP classes than even 20 years ago.. how exactly are things less than spectacular