Forums: Index > The Soapbox > Education as a Personal Goal

The supposition here is that the state should set standards for education. The Declaration of Independence indicates that this Union was founded on the unalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Included in these rights is the freedom to decide what one's own goals are, and generally the right to pass on social mores and customs to one's posterity.

There are numerous educational goals including socialization, culturalization, and professionalization. One can pursue an education to satisfy any or all of the three. It is also conceivable that one would choose to pursue no education. It is therefore inappropriate to confiscate the earnings of an individual in order to establish an institution that is not held to be of use to all who contribute.

Privatization allows for the users to determine which establishments meet their educational needs. Moving resources through a redistribution system in order to meet the goals of a national Educational Department is a solution that will satisfy only a small percentage of the population.

I, for one, agree. Currently I'm reading a book on the topic called 'Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling.' It's not the greatest book and it is wanting for better facts to back up certain claims, but it certainly does make you think. The problem with compulsory schooling is that kids who want to be educated are educated pretty much in spite of the system, and the kids who aren't educated develop a distaste for all institutions and not only drop out of high school, but of life in general, a lot of times. To require a body to waste whole days requires a certain amount of proven success, and I don't think the public schooling system has that. Ferguson 00:11, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Bump Ferguson. That's an extremely accurate insight. At the moment I'm a senior in highschool. Not a single person in my class really wants to be here: half of us want to be in college spending our time learning "real stuff" instead of how to terrorize freshmen and which teacher's tests are easy and who will turn you in for wearing a hat and how to exempt semester exams and a whole truckload of utter crap. The other half don't care, haven't ever cared, and never will. And quite frankly I see no point in attempting to fix someone else's life the way I think it should be--that requires a taller glass of ego than the one I drink. Compaqdrew 21:21, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
So, what "real stuff" would you like to learn, and what resources would be needed at your High School to make that possible? Chadlupkes 13:31, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, first of all, you're going to have to go Long Tail. Because of the way public education in this country is done (real-time, person-to-person), teachers really can't specialize effectively. I may want to study, say, MSIL structure for reversing, which is a microsubject of general reverse-engineering, which is a microsubject of x86 assember, which is a microsubject of low-level programming, which is a microsubject of--well, you get the idea. I'm probably one of perhaps three people in the entire school (2200 kids) who would be interested in such a subject. Paying a teacher to teach something as obscure and/or interesting as that, even for a 3-day workshop, would never happen in any public school in America. Furthermore, the library won't have anything on the subject, and neither will my local bookstore. But thanks to the amazing powers of the internet, I can find online tutorials and track down books on Amazon or Bookmooch that deal with the exact subject that I'm looking for, and I can learn more in ten minutes on my own time about Real Stuff than I can in ten hours of P.E. Further, imagine the amount of paperwork that would be required to secure such instruction (and receive credit for it), and multiply it by the amount of students who would be interested in specialized courses (2200/3 students=733 specialized instruction courses, assuming each takes only one)--the overwhelming beurocracy would swallow such a program before it was ever introduced.

This is why I don't think that public education is an effective solution. Governments simply aren't efficient. They are motivated to spend up to their yearly budget, and rules, regulations, and paperwork motivate administrators and teachers to do the least amount of real work possible, so as to fill out less forms afterwards. The same 'protections' that keep people out of trouble also keep them from getting anything done.

So, as I see it, there are two solutions: A) Privatize education, most of which will take place over some type of network complete with category sort, allowing students to be matched up with teachers who can teach what they want (think like eBay, except it's eEducation) B) Convince an administrator to fill out 733 forms, and convince both a principal and a district-level person to sign off on 733 forms, (current policy at my school), convince them to give you credit without monitoring your progress (or else engineer a way to measure progress in 733 classes), and divert significant funds from the school football program to do it.

Not in my lifetime. Compaqdrew 01:56, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

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