Students plan to walk out of schools to protest gun violence. They say they won’t return until lawmakers do something to address school shootings.
The students should walk out and never return. Being sitting ducks for gun violence is one reason, but it is far from the only one.
1. Students Are Left Defenseless
It’s not just crazy gunmen students are left defenseless against. Some schools put cops in the school, which sounds like a good idea. But if they aren’t stopping school shootings, they are generally handcuffing non-resistant elementary school students. Other “resource officers” assault the students, or taze them while the Principal holds them down.
The administrations can’t address the real issues because they are too busy interrogating five-year-olds until they pee their pants. Every day in the news you see another report of a teacher doing something crazy, assaulting, or sexually abusing students.
2. Taught Obedience, Not Skills
Teens should be rising up and tearing schools apart brick by brick like the Berlin Wall. Their rights have been seized by the state. They are forced to attend with no choice whether to associate with their peers and teachers.
They are told when to eat and must ask permission to use the bathroom. They have no say in what they will learn. And schools even take property and due process rights away from their captive students, forcing them to submit to random searches and seizures.
The Daily Bell article Five Ways Schools Destroy Children’s Freedom (and what to do about it) cover this pretty well.
The book Teen 2.0: Saving Our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence delves in depth into the history and injustice of compulsory schooling.
It was designed so that the state and corporations could work together to train an obedient workforce, with the public footing the bill.
The point was not open minds and a desire to learn. The aim of the education was setting students up for whatever mediocre to low paying jobs the industrialists wanted them to fill.
It was bad in 1900, and it is no better today. The economy is changing and public schools are not keeping up. So even if you think it is okay for schools to train students to become office drones, they aren’t training them for the type of jobs that will even exist in ten years.
Students would be better off exploring the real world and getting job experience through internships and apprenticeships. At least then they would learn a real-world skill, and attitudes which lead to career and business success.
But even more important they wouldn’t be forced into mindless obedience and molded by people with ulterior motives.
They would learn the responsibilities and many benefits–including mental health–of freedom.
3. Poor Quality Education
The book Teen 2.0 also talks about the competence of teens. Turns out a competent 40-year-old was likely a competent 17-year-old. And incompetent teenagers are not improved by public schooling, according to the stats.
The students who want to learn will learn. It’s 2018, any information you could think of is available on the internet. Youtube videos are likely a better teacher of calculus and history than most public schools.
According to a 2015 PISA test, U.S. students rank 38th in math and 24th in science among the 71 countries studied. Overall in math, the U.S. ranked below the 71 country average by 20 out of 1000 possible points. China has the U.S. beat in science. But the U.S. is on par with Russia.
According to the 2010 documentary The Cartel, an employer had two requirements for hiring a security guard. They had to have a high school diploma and pass an 8th-grade level test. He had to interview 1,300 applicants with a high school diploma before he filled 130 positions with people who could pass the 8th-grade test.
The PISA results indicate that scores are only slipping further since then.
Meanwhile, students and graduates are woefully ignorant of basic American history. Watch the following video if you want to lose all faith in American education.
4. Valuable Time is Wasted
Leonardo da Vinci was born out of wedlock and was therefore not accepted at formal schooling institutions in his early life. He spent his formative years wandering forests, looking at bugs, studying waterfalls, and drawing anything that interested him in intense detail.
His fanatic attention to detail made him a great artist. But the countless hours of observation also gave him a strong foundation of scientific knowledge. His independently developed skills did eventually get him into an art school. When he was assigned to paint an angel, he studied birds to make the most lifelike wings possible. This obsession with birds led to his scientific and mechanical research into flying machines.
Da Vinci’s story is representative of Robert Greene’s theme in his book Mastery. The greats like Da Vinci, Einstein, Darwin, and many others followed their passions. These passions at first glance had nothing to do with their later success. But a closer look reveals the connections that were only made possible because they were able to pursue what truly sparked their creative imagination.
Imagine what da Vinci, and the world, would have missed out on if he had been forced into a desk and smacked with a ruler everytime his attention drifted to the butterfly on the wall.
What if students directed their own education with the steady guidance or their parents, tutors, experts, field trips, professionals, and exploratory programs?
It sounds scary to give kids that kind of freedom, but it isn’t. If your kids like to draw, let them draw. You can’t tell where their passions will lead, and what connections will occur. But you can be sure if you rob them of their passion, you will also rob them of their potential for greatness.
Attending K-12 180 days per year for an average of 6 hours per day means a student spends 14,040 hours of their youth in public school. That is a staggering 18.5% of waking hours young people spend in a compulsory government institution. And that is not counting homework, extracurriculars, or detention.
And what do most people have to show for it? Do you remember how to perform chemistry equations to calculate joules? Even if you did, is that a useful skill for more than a very specific segment of the population?
Maybe the students in the video above don’t know American history because it was taught in a terribly boring way. Perhaps they would take more ownership over the particulars of their education if they were given free reign to choose what literature, history, and countless other subjects to study. It is hard to imagine them being worse off.
I dream of what I could accomplish with 14,000 hours. I cringe thinking of all the valuable things I could have learned during that time if my education wasn’t dictated by bureaucrats and a tradition of factory schooling.
You know what I didn’t learn in school? The basics of finance and money management. I was never taught marketing. I didn’t get an inkling of soil Ph, crop rotation, or permaculture. I definitely didn’t learn how to identify wild medicinal plants or which anti-viral compounds are be found in garlic. They don’t teach how to be an informed consumer, decipher the ingredients in your shampoo, or wire your own solar panel array.
Most people in IT and computer sciences have no formal training and are self-taught. And these are some of the most in-demand jobs these days.
Public education robs students of the chance to spend countless hours on their own interests. Education, intelligence, and the mastery do not depend on a formula. And public education does not form a proper foundation of knowledge from which to build.
5. Waste of Money that can be Better Spent
Despite average to low performance, the U.S. still spends more than any other country on education per student.
Not including higher education, America spends an average of $11,841 per student. It would be better to literally hand that money straight to students with the caveat that they spend it on education.
Imagine how many interesting classes they could enroll themselves in, museums they could visit, workshops and lectures they could attend, or overseas educational trips. That could buy countless books. It would pay for internet access for any student whose family could not afford it.
That is a lot of money. It could pay for an amazing tutor, one hour a day, five days a week, for three quarters of the year, and still leave $2,000 left over for other supplies and educational expenditures.
There is enough money to fund every student in America who wants to learn. It doesn’t have to come from tax dollars. In fact, if property taxes, which pay for 45% of school costs, were slashed along with the public schools, it would mean more money in the pocket of parents. Not just homeowners would benefit, but rents would also plummet as overhead dropped.
States account for another 45% of education spending, and could likewise refund the money to parents and students, or provide generous tax credits and write-offs to anyone with kids. Same goes for the federal government which provides 10% of the funding.
But most importantly, the public would no longer be lulled into thinking the government was educating kids. Instead of wasting money on poor education, interested parties could direct the cash to better uses.
Currently, companies rely on the government to train future workers. As we have discussed, the government does a terrible job. But companies still need well trained and educated workers. So they would offer work education programs, internships, and apprenticeships.
They would end up paying many of the costs of education that taxpayers currently cover. And they would be training people for in-demand jobs while scouting the best prospects.
6. Parents Not Schools Determine Success of Children
Public schools have much less to do with education than parents.
Babies who hear more words in their first years of life are more likely to go on to future success.
One indicator of success is the number of words a baby hears from parents and caregivers in the first three years of life. Children with higher IQs, better test scores, and more self-confidence were found to have heard about 30 million more words in their first three years compared to children who did not perform as well in these areas.
These studies sparked the 30 million words initiative. This private organization provides tools and information for parents and communities to give their children the foundation they need for later success. These types of programs are where money, energy, and outreach should be flowing.
The 30 million words initiative also shows that there are organizations willing to provide free resources to anyone who needs them.
Education needs a makeover, and if you expect significant changes to come from government you are going to be let down.
7. Self-Directed, Co-op, Neighborhood Education is Easy and Cheap
You know what would give kids a true education? If they organized themselves into co-ops to learn from each other, parents, and professionals. For too long teenagers have been babied and told they are not full-fledged human beings.
But if society would just remove the shackles, we would see just how capable young people are of accomplishing amazing things.
Have you ever seen the teens and children on the investing show Shark Tank who start successful businesses? But laws mean the youths can’t even hold the companies in their own names.
In response to six teens declaring their candidacy for Kansas governor, lawmakers are attempting to pass age restrictions.
Some of the students sitting in detention are actually amazing mechanics and could wire your house. Some of the students failing their math exams would rather be honing their cosmetic and hairdressing skills working at the local salon. And some of the students falling asleep in class were up all night coding the next billion dollar app.
Teen 2.0 has hundreds of stories, and studies to back up the anecdotes, of teens and children not just handling, but thriving on responsibility. The data is crystal clear, when youths are given freedom and personal responsibility, they rise to the occasion.
When they are restricted and babied, they exhibit behavior that people have erroneously come to see as that of a “typical” teenager. But that angst is actually the lashing out of an oppressed and frustrated capable human being.
Imagine a system where neighborhoods band together to teach their children. When students ages are mixed, they are better able to rise with the help of their peers. Adults teach the teens, and teens teach the kids. The teens learn more in the process of teaching. The kids find themselves absorbing more from adults who don’t talk down to them and limit education based on age.
When education is a fun, engaging, social, and free environment, students do better.
It is insanity to keep trying the same failing education practices. And it is an immense disservice to the students to keep them under the thumb of society to be indoctrinated and robbed of their potential in public schools.
Don’t Let Fear Keep Teens Oppressed
In case anyone is wondering, the title is not simply for shock value. I truly believe youth would be better educated in America after the abolition of public schools. Right now the fear of letting go of control keeps teenagers massively oppressed and robs them of their potential.
For a two-thousand word article, I think I have packaged the arguments and information pretty well. But obviously, volumes and volumes could be studied and written on this subject.
These ideas are revolutionary, and that is exactly what we need, a revolution in education. The students who want to walk out of school in protest have the right idea but are looking for the solutions in the wrong place. How amazing would it be to see them rise up and demand true control over their own education?
To parents: free your teens!
To teens: revolt! But do it in a way that proves your capabilities. Be the adults in the room, because the adults surely aren’t. Like all great civil rights movements, stay steadfast, peaceful, and armed with information, and you will win.
You don’t have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.
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