Posts Tagged ‘forced schooling’

James is knocking it out of the park again!

My dad hit me when I got bad grades. Particularly when I was young and got a bad grade in “Conduct”. Happiness was an “A”. Even better: an “A+”. Sadness was an “F”. It was almost like a joke. Like the only way to get an “F” is if you tried to screw up almost as much as you tried to get an “A”.

But  in twelve years of basic schooling I can’t’ remember anyone asking where the “E” was. It goes A, B, C, D (which was really horrible to get a D. It means you were trying somewhat (so as to avoid the “F”) but you were just plain stupid and got a D. Not even a C.) and then, the magic “F”. Which was more than just a letter but a one-letter acronym. None of the other letters stood for anything. They were just letters. They could’ve been replaced by numbers (Claudia tells me in Argentina they were graded by numbers from one to ten. No letters). It’s not like “A” stood for Amazing. Or “B” Boring. “C” Crazy. “D” Dumb. You could’ve just replaced them by 1, 2, 3, 4. Or a “1+”. But F was irreplaceable.

(the mirror image of the tattoo says “Never a Failure, Always a Lesson”)

“F” stood for “Failure”.  [Note: except when I was really little. There was “O” for outstanding. “S” for Satisfactory. And “N” for needs improvement. I got an N for conduct and it’s the first time I remember my dad hitting me after the teacher told him I was always calling her old, which she was and there is no shame of that but I only realize that now that I am as old as she was.]

So why no “E”. I think teachers got together 5000 years ago. Maybe 10,000 years ago and came up with the horrifying conclusion: Some students might think “E” stood for Effort. As in, “at least I didn’t get an ‘F’. I got an ‘E’ which means I put in an effort.” And doesn’t that go along all too easily with the lie teachers say, “I’m not going to judge you on your grade, I’m going to judge you on the effort you put into this class.”

Did they ever really judge you on that? And if they did, do you really think they would want you to get an “E” on a test and then have to put up with your arguing at the end of a semester when you would say, “See! I put in the effort! I got an “E” on everything and you said that would be how you would judge me.”

“This is awful”, said a teacher at that first convention of the union of the national teachers club. “We have to take the ‘E’ out of the alphabet.”

“But,” said Mr. Maroon. “We spend years teaching them that song: A, B, C, D, E, F, G… to the tune of twinkle twinkle little star. And now we have to tell them there is no E?”

“There is an E! Just not in grades. Why is this such a difficult thing to understand? If we put an ‘E’ in there then our schools will NEVER get funding. All our schools depend on our students, smart or stupid, doing well on those standardized tests where they fill in the multiple choice circles and cyborgs read them and grade them and the better they do, the more funding we get. If we put an ‘E’ into the system the students might clog up the pipes with Effort instead of Amazing. They might even think “E” is for Exceed because at least it beats Failure! WE CANNOT HAVE AN ‘E’!”

I doubt that conversation really happened. They really backed themselves into a corner. They thought by using letters instead of numbers that would fool kids into some state of confusion where they really didn’t know how they did. Like, “is a B good or bad?” But everyone knows where they stand when it comes to 1 through 10.

But now they were stuck with the “E”. Until they decided to strike it from the alphabet. But only some of the time. Except for that one time an entire novel was written without using the letter “e”. That guy knew what he was doing. The insidious removal of the most common letter in the English language.

Because that’s what English is about. It’s not “Anglo”. It’s not quite “Saxon”. It’s not “Latin”. But its a weird mixture of all three, concocted like a test tube baby in some scientist’s laboratory when the aliens landed and impregnated our ancient Mothers with the sperm from their dying planets (since they came from a Federation of planets surrounding a supernova, or perhaps supernovae (there’s that “E” again) ).  So we can keep on experimenting and investing and twisting and testing. Now “google” is a verb, a noun, a business, the beginnings of an artificially intelligent singularity, a map, an email, a social network, and a photo album with the flowers as bookmarks. We don’t need those anymore thanks to Google. No memories are special enough to mark them with a flower, thanks to the newest word in the dictionary.

Ugh, trying to unravel the Rubik’s Cube-like scam of lower education is a full-time job. Once you get a side with all one color you realize you’ve hopelessly prevented yourself from getting the other side to be one color.

I have not read much about home schooling or unschooling so I am no expert. But I’ve thought about it. And this is how I would do it if my kids were to let me unschool them.

A) First, (and again, this is without reading about it at all so I, at best, uneducated on the topic). I prefer the word “unschooling” to “home schooling”. I assume home schooling means I replace the teacher, buy them science textbooks, math, Canterbury Tales, etc. I don’t want to do that. That sounds boring to me and I assume to them as well. Unschooling sounds more like it – i.e. just completely no education at all.

B) Only one requirement: read one book a week. It doesn’t matter what book. I will pay them 10 cents a page. WHAT!? How can you pay your kids to learn? Well, I want my kids to get used to being paid for doing things they enjoy. Later in life (just a few years really) they will have to do it anyway. Why not get used to being paid for something they enjoy right now? This way they will know easily to avoid getting paid for things they don’t enjoy. (this is hopefully a way to avoid them going into a life of prostitution).

Then we talk about it. Then we visit the bookstore and they get to browse other books and see what they like. I get a synesthesia of experience when I go into a bookstore, some sections have bright colors and draw me to them (fiction, current affairs, philosophy, art, comics, history) and some I can just feel the drab greyness (interior decorating, crafts, children). They would browse until something pulls at them. Then they would buy it and read it.

C) Every day: I’d set out drawing and painting materials. They’d also be encouraged to keep a diary. I want the creative neurons going. I can’t force them to do this. But maybe they would want to.

D) At least an hour of sports a day.

(sports are good for kids)

E) I’d set up playdates for after school so they can get socialization. Or playdates with other kids that are being unschooled or home schooled (there are more than you think out there). My kids think that all home-schooled kids are “weird” because they aren’t social. But I ask them, “when do you talk to your friends anyway?” And they say, “after school”. So that argument is out the window.

F) The rest of the time they can do whatever they want: eat, read, watch TV, sleep, blow stuff up, do nothing but stare at the wall, walk around the block, go to the movies. Whatever. In fact, I hope they do a lot of nothing. People get addicted to doing “something”. What’s so great about “something”. I like to do nothing. Even when people do nothing they try to label it: like “meditation”. Ugh, what a boring thing: meditation. Try, “I just did nothing. I even thought about nothing in particular.”

When you are capable of actually doing nothing (not so easy after decades of “something addiction”), there’s a deep well that springs up, and fills every corner of you, crowding at the anxieties, the fears, the pressures put on you from government jobs colleagues bosses friends family. The nothing replaces all the vomit they try to kiss into your mouth.

By doing all the above they have more opportunity to discover their passions, more play time, more creative time, just as much social time.

The standard criticism: kids should learn how to deal with kids they don’t like and doing things they don’t like. People say this to me all the time, ranging from Harvard graduates to my own kids. “Kids should do things they don’t like!” Really?

My answer: Why? It doesn’t seem like adults are any good at that so how did experiencing it as a kid help them?

What makes me an expert on unschooling? Absolutely nothing. And that’s the point. I just don’t want them to do any of the 100 bad memories I (and just about everyone else) has about standardized schooling. Why should they have to go through with it?

And I’m going to grade them every week. I’ll give them a big piece of paper with the letter “E” on it. And we can talk about what it means. Maybe every week it will mean something different. That sounds like fun.


by Gary North
Tea Party Economist

President Obama has signed an executive order. He has set up a new bureaucracy. This bureaucracy plans to make inner-city education so good that whites will move back.

You remain skeptical? O, ye of little faith!

This executive order has this goal: to give black children top-flight public education, which means non-flight education. Blacks who have been able to get out of inner-city school districts have been fleeing for several decades. This is what the President is trying to stop.

There is a problem with his plan: public education. It has been declining visibly for approximately 100 years, give or take a decade. The decline has sped up over the last 50 years.

For blacks, the decline has been a disaster. The inner-city schools have been deliberately dumbed down as policy. Thomas Sowell has written on several occasions about the all-black high school in Washington, D.C.: Dunbar High School. From 1870 to 1955, it provided education as good as any white district’s program. (It was surely better than mine, 1955-59.) It taught Latin. It taught advanced courses in science. Its students went to college. Ralph Bunche was one of its graduates. It was deliberately dumbed down half a century ago as a matter of district policy.

President Obama intends to smarten up the inner-city schools. How will he do this? With a new bureaucracy.

His executive order is a litany on the failure of tax-funded education in America. It’s hard to fault him on this. The problem is this: the federal government has been laying down the law to school districts for 40 years. The schools have gotten worse. Dr. Charles Sykes’ book has it right: Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves, But Can’t Read, Write, or Add.

Candidate Ronald Reagan vowed to shut down the Department of Education. Its budget went up every year he was in office.

Obama’s executive order is nothing short of messianic. It proposes to achieve the following.

(1) The Initiative will help to restore the United States to its role as the global leader in education; strengthen the Nation by improving educational outcomes for African Americans of all ages; and help ensure that African Americans receive a complete and competitive education that prepares them for college, a satisfying career, and productive citizenship. . . .

(4) In working to fulfill its mission and objectives, the Initiative shall, consistent with applicable law:

(i) identify evidence-based best practices that can provide African American students a rigorous and well-rounded education in safe and healthy environments, as well as access to support services, which will prepare them for college, a career, and civic participation;

(ii) develop a national network of individuals, organizations, and communities to share and implement best practices related to the education of African Americans, including those identified as most at risk;

(iii) help ensure that Federal programs and initiatives administered by the Department and other agencies are serving and meeting the educational needs of African Americans, including by encouraging agencies to incorporate best practices into appropriate discretionary programs where permitted by law;

(iv) work closely with the Executive Office of the President on key Administration priorities related to the education of African Americans;

(v) increase the participation of the African American community, including institutions that serve that community, in the Department’s programs and in education-related programs at other agencies;

(vi) advise the officials of the Department and other agencies on issues related to the educational attainment of African Americans;

(vii) advise the Secretary on the development, implementation, and coordination of educational programs and initiatives at the Department and other agencies that are designed to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for African Americans of all ages; and

(viii) encourage and develop partnerships with public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit stakeholders to improve African Americans’ readiness for school, college, and career, as well as their college persistence and completion. . . .

And how will his executive order achieve all this? By providing lots of jobs in Washington!

(c) Interagency Working Group.

(1) There is established the Federal Interagency Working Group on Educational Excellence for African Americans (Working Group), which shall be convened and chaired by the Initiative’s Executive Director and that shall support the efforts of the Initiative described in subsection (b) of this section.

(2) The Working Group shall consist of senior officials from the Department, the White House Domestic Policy Council, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and such additional agencies and offices as the President may subsequently designate. Senior officials shall be designated by the heads of their respective agencies and offices.

(3) The Initiative’s Executive Director may establish subgroups of the Working Group to focus on different aspects of the educational system (such as early childhood education, K-12 education, higher education (including HBCUs and PBIs), career and technical education, adult education, or correctional education and reengagement) or educational challenges facing particular populations of African Americans (such as young men, disconnected or out-of-school youth, individuals with disabilities, children identified as gifted and talented, single-parent households, or adults already in the workforce).

(d) Administration. The Department shall provide funding and administrative support for the Initiative and the Working Group, to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations. To the extent permitted by law, other agencies and offices represented on the Working Group may detail personnel to the Initiative, to assist the Department in meeting the objectives of this order.

I can see the progress! I can see the SAT scores rising! I can see hope restored in inner cities!

And all this from a man who never spent a day in an American tax-funded school.

Only in America!

Continue Reading the executive order on

July 31, 2012

Gary North [send him mail] is the author of Mises on Money. Visit He is also the author of a free 31-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible.

Copyright © 2012 Gary North

I saw this article over at a short time back. I got sidetracked and didn’t post it. I found it again when I followed Strangers and Aliens today. Great post!

Darkness Falls







by Anthony Wile
The Daily Bell

Introduction: Brett Veinotte has worked in private education for the last 10 years, in a variety of activities. As host of the School Sucks Podcast, every week Brett shares his discoveries about American schooling with thousands of listeners. He is also now the vice president of a tutoring and educational consulting company in New Hampshire. Brett worked as an Outdoor Education Leader at a boarding school lin Vermont in 2000, then taught at the Great Expectations school in Manchester, Vermont from 2004 to 2006, where he designed new curricula for all classes he taught, including American History, World History, Media Ethics, Film History and a variety of mathematics courses. While teaching at Great Expectations, he completed masters level coursework in educational leadership, and the secondary education certification program at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. After…

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Here’s a post over at Forbes by Jessica Hagy (she blogs at Indexed) describing Nine Dangerous Things You Were Taught In School. This is only the tip of the proverbial ice burg sinking students in the icy waters of statist-run government ‘education’. I’ve written much about what I observe daily in the propaganda center/re-education camp paying me to ‘teach’ young minds. Hat tip to Ms. Hagy for her excellent thoughts and graphics! Find the full article below… And check out her blog.

Nine Dangerous Things You Were Taught In School
Be aware of the insidious and unspoken lessons you learned as a child. To thrive in the world outside the classroom, you’re going to have to unlearn them.

Dangerous things you were taught in school:

1. The people in charge have all the answers.
That’s why they are so wealthy and happy and healthy and powerful—ask any teacher.


2. Learning ends when you leave the classroom.
Your fort building, trail forging, frog catching, friend making, game playing, and drawing won’t earn you any extra credit. Just watch TV.

3 . The best and brightest follow the rules.
You will be rewarded for your subordination, just not as much as your superiors, who, of course, have their own rules.

. What the books say is always true.
Now go read your creationism chapter. There will be a test.



5. There is a very clear, single path to success.
It’s called college. Everyone can join the top 1% if they do well enough in school and ignore the basic math problem inherent in that idea.


6. Behaving yourself is as important as getting good marks.
Whistle-blowing, questioning the status quo, and thinking your own thoughts are no-nos. Be quiet and get back on the assembly line.


7. Standardized tests measure your value.
By value, I’m talking about future earning potential, not anything else that might have other kinds of value.

8. Days off are always more fun than sitting in the classroom.
You are trained from a young age to base your life around dribbles of allocated vacation. Be grateful for them.

9. The purpose of your education is your future career.
And so you will be taught to be a good worker. You have to teach yourself how to be something more.

On my daily stroll through the LRC I found another great article by Fred Reed. Keeping it real is what Fred does best. Enjoy!

A Taste of Realism


May 1, 2012

I wonder what purpose the public schools serve, other than to warehouse children while their parents work or watch television. They certainly don’t teach much, as survey after survey shows. Is there any particular reason for having them? Apart from their baby-sitting function, I mean.

Schooling, sez me, should be adapted to the needs and capacities of those being schooled. For unintelligent children, the study of anything beyond minimal reading is a waste of time, since they will learn little or nothing more. For the intelligent, a public schooling is equivalent to tying an anchor to a student swimmer. The schools are an impediment to learning, a torture of the bright, and a form of negligent homicide against a country that needs trained minds in a competitive world.

Let us start with the truly stupid. Millions of children graduate—“graduate”—from high school—“high school”—unable to read. Why inflict twelve years of misery on them? It is not reasonable to blame them for being witless, but neither does it make sense to pretend that they are not. For them school is custodial, nothing more. Since there is little they can do in a technological society, they will remain in custody all their lives. This happens, and must happen, however we disguise it.

For those of reasonably average acuity, it little profits to go beyond learning to read, which they can do quite well, and to use a calculator. Upon their leaving high school, question them and you find that they know almost nothing. They could learn more, average not being stupid, but modest intelligence implies no interest in study. This is true only of academic subjects such as history, literature, and physics. They will study things that seem practical to them. Far better to teach the modestly acute such things as will allow them to earn a living, be they typing, carpentry, or diesel repair. Society depends on such people. But why inflict upon them the geography of Southeast Asia, the plays of Shakespeare, or the history of the nineteenth century? Demonstrably they remember none of it.

Some who favor the public schools assert that an informed public is necessary to a functioning democracy. True, and beyond doubt. But we do not have an informed public, never have had one, and never will. Nor, really, do we have a functioning democracy.

Any survey will reveal that most people have no grasp of geography, history, law, government, finance, international relations, or politics. And most people have neither the intelligence nor the interest to learn these things. If schools were not the disasters they are, they still couldn’t produce a public able to govern a nation.

But it is for the intelligent that the public schools—“schools”—are most baneful. It is hideous for the bright, especially bright boys, to sit year after year in an inescapable miasma of appalling dronedom while some low-voltage mental drab wanders on about banalities that would depress a garden slug. The public schools are worse than no schools for the quick. A sharp kid often arrives at school already reading. Very quickly he (or, most assuredly, she) reads four years ahead of grade. These children teach themselves. They read indiscriminately, without judgement—at first anyway—and pick up ideas, facts, and vocabulary. They also begin to think.

In school, bored to desperation, they invent subterfuges so as not to lapse into screaming insanity. In my day the tops of desks opened to reveal a space for storing crayons and such. The bright would keep the top open enough so that they could read their astronomy books while the teacher—“teacher”—talked about some family of cute beavers, and how Little Baby Beaver….

I ask you: How much did you learn in school, and how much have you learned on your own? Asking myself the same question, I come up with typing, and two years of algebra.

The bright should go to school, but it is well to distinguish between a school and a penitentiary. They need schools at their level, taught by teachers at their level. It is not hard to get intelligent children to learn things, and indeed today a whole system of day-care centers only partly succeeds in keeping them from doing it. They like learning things, if only you keep those wretched beavers out of the classroom. When I was in grade school in the early Fifties, bright kids read, shrew-like, four times their body weight in books every fifteen minutes—or close, anyway. In third grade or so, they had microscopes (Gilbert for hoi polloi, but mine was a fifteen-dollar upscale model from Edmund Scientific) and knew about rotifers and Canada balsam and well slides and planaria. These young, out of human decency, for the benefit of the country, should not be subjected to public education—“education.” Where do we think high-bypass turbofans come from? Are they invented by heart-warming morons?

To a remarkable extent, dumb-ass public schools are simply not necessary. I asked my (Mexican) wife Violeta how she learned to read. It was through a Head Start program, I learned, called “mi padre.” Her father, himself largely self-taught, sat her down with a book and said, see these little squiggles? They are called “letters,” and they make sounds, and you can put them together….. Vi contemplated the idea. Yes, it made sense. Actually, she decided, it was no end of fun, give me that book…Bingo.

The absorptive capacity of smart kids is large if you just stay out of their way. A bright boy of eleven can quickly master a collegiate text of physiology, for example. This is less astonishing than perhaps it sounds. The human body consists of comprehensible parts that do comprehensible things. If he is interested, which is the key, he will learn them, while apparently being unable to learn state capitals, which don’t interest him.

What is the point of pretending to teach the unteachable while, to all appearances, trying not to teach the easily teachable? The answer of course is that we have achieved communism, the rule of the proletariat, and the proletariat doesn’t want to strain itself, or to admit that there are things it can’t do.

In schooling, perhaps “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” isn’t a bad idea. If a child has a substantial IQ, expect him to use it for the good of society, and give him schools to let him do it. If a child needs a vocation so as to live, give him the training he needs. But don’t subject either to enstupidated, unbearably tedious, pointless, one-size-fits-nobody pseudo-schools to hide the inescapable fact that we are not all equal.

Fred Reed is author of Nekkid in Austin: Drop Your Inner Child Down a Well, A Brass Pole in Bangkok: A Thing I Aspire to Bem, Curmudgeing Through Paradise: Reports from a Fractal Dung Beetle, Au Phuc Dup and Nowhere to Go: The Only Really True Book About Viet Nam, and A Grand Adventure: Wisdom’s Price-Along with Bits and Pieces about Mexico. Visit his blog.

Copyright © 2012 Fred Reed

They chanted and walked out of Frederick Douglass Academy in Detroit. What nerve! They’re demanding an education in a government-run compulsory school. The suspension may work to their benefit. I can only hope that their days away from the prison-like institution helps them figuring out that “educating” is NOT what goes on in public schools – with or without government licensed teachers.

Here’s the article: (Hat tip to Karen De Coster)

About 50 students from a high school in Detroit have been suspended after staging a walk-out to protest deteriorating conditions in the school. Public schools in the area have lost about 100,000 students during the past decade due to poor management.

­Pupils from the boys’ school Frederick Douglass Academy abandoned their classrooms over teacher shortages and a lack of resources on Friday.

They gathered outside the building amid cries of “We want… education! When do we want it? Now!”

Parents reportedly organized the march after the consistent absence of a number of teachers and the dismissal of the principal. Students had allegedly been out of lessons for weeks due to a shortage of staff.

Parent and pupils alike were taken aback when Frederick Douglass was no longer listed as an application school in the district, meaning that current students had to re-apply to attend the next academic year.

“We’ve been wronged and disrespected and lied to and cheated,” said senior Tevin Hill to local newspaper, the Detroit Free Press.

“They didn’t listen to us when we complained to the administration. They didn’t listen to the parents when they complained to the administration, so I guess this is the only way to get things solved,” he stressed.

Parents have also accused teachers of abusing sick leave; one math teacher reported to have been off for more than 69 days in a row. As a result, students are now months behind with the syllabus.

Detroit Public Schools spokesperson maintained that the district council remained dedicated to keep the school open and addressed the topic of negligent teachers saying “teachers who abuse sick time will be reprimanded.”

Hundreds of student staged a walk-out earlier in March at nearby Denby High over administrative changes at the school.

Detroit’s schooling system has suffered greatly over the past couple of years, with many public institutions having to close through a lack of funds and staffing. Arne Duncan, US secretary of education, had previously labeled Detroit as “ground zero” in the struggle for school reforms.

Official government figures put unemployment in Detroit at below 30 per cent, but local authorities dispute this, claiming that it is in fact closer to 50 per cent.



The quest to turn base metals into gold has been my dream. With the right elixir and large cauldron, I’d be very wealthy indeed! Just think of all the potential gold you may have wasted by tossing those beer cans in the garbage. Another dream of mine (more of a request actually) is to turn Moose, my dog, into a unicorn. He told me he’d like that, especially the one-horn thing.  He says it’d make a great squirrel-skewer.

Just as chemistry has many alchemists to thank for knowledge gained on the road to easy gold, we in the government school business send props to our Utopian-dreaming fathers of publik skools. Like the elusive pot of gold, government schools created a dystopia: An imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and fearful lives. But, we continue the search for the impossible by putting our faith and kids in the black cauldron of coercive government schools. If only we could discover the ancient formula buried in the floorboards of a dust covered laboratory. Many tricks and new methods are flooding government schools. None work.


What foolish charlatans! Failing American schools are no mystery to anyone: Especially those tossed in the roiling pot of public collectivism.  Students spend their school days graded by age, bored senseless, fed State propaganda, and made to endure useless tests and worksheets. I tell them, “This is NOT the real world.” When’s the last time you saw adults have to ask permission to go to the bathroom or walk in a straight line down a hallway? Oh yeah, in a prison, right? The few that do open their eyes to their predicament, I target for my Education Vigilante Apprenticeship Program. They’re invited to really explore individual freedom, out-side-the-cauldron stuff (self-ownership, liberty, freedom, etc.).

Thinning the herd is a methodical process. I use a one-on-one strategy. I’m seeing progress in the awakening of liberty in a few. However, the infatuation with government dependence is multi-generational and sickening really. Students aren’t taught history. The whole language reading programs ensure functional illiteracy. How could they know to call Bull$&^!  Deep down they know schooling is not right.

By the way, a huge hat tip to all those parents who realized the dumbing process of schooling and yanked their children from the State alchemy laboratory. Un-school, home school, de-school or anything but government school.  There’s an estimated 2 million American home schoolers who pulled the plug on schooling. Progressives and other statist types hate this growing trend. They brag on government schools, not for their ability to educate, but for the social education forced upon the captives in the cinder block cells. In my state, a score of 800 will meet standards on the high-stakes standardized tests. What parents are not told is that if their child scores 800 on all five sections of the test, they really only answered 50 percent of the questions correctly.  Wow Johnny, you passed the math portion!  It’s the only time he’ll get an ice cream party and a movie for making a F on a math test.

Don’t take my comments here to mean that I’m bashing students who pass the CRCT and other stupid torture tests.  I promote the Bartleby Project. I find it hard to believe the green environmentalists haven’t occupied the Department of Education to stop all the sacrificial tree killings to produce this wasted paper! I’m sure this might be a cause of global warming.

If only we could get all those wayward non-schooling folks back in the crucible, the collective would be complete. We could reach our mountain top and live in Utopia, insulated from stupid.

No amount of money stolen from tax payers or ancient secret formulas can turn the schooled into scholars. Science won’t allow it! Sadly, that’s never stopped the State from trying.


Has the American public education system failed?

To answer this question honestly, we must look at its original goals and objectives.

Our intellectual elites brought a feral species to America’s shores.

This is not the feral species I refer to.

The goal of introducing this foreign species, compulsory Prussian schooling, was to disrupt the American spirit of freedom, individualism, and self-reliance.  It worked.  As John Talyor Gatto writes,

“The structure of American schooling, 20th century style, began in 1806 when Napoleon’s amateur soldiers beat the professional soldiers of Prussia at the battle of Jena. When your business is selling soldiers, losing a battle like that is serious. Almost immediately afterwards a German philosopher named Fichte delivered his famous “Address to the German Nation” which became one of the most influential documents in modern history. In effect he told the Prussian people that the party was over, that the nation would have to shape up through a new Utopian institution of forced schooling in which everyone would learn to take orders.

So the world got compulsion schooling at the end of a state bayonet for the first time in human history; modern forced schooling started in Prussia in 1819 with a clear vision of what centralized schools could deliver:

1. Obedient soldiers to the army;
2. Obedient workers to the mines;
3. Well subordinated civil servants to government;
4. Well subordinated clerks to industry;
5. Citizens who thought alike about major issues.

Institutional forced schooling was a foreign, feral species at America’s founding.  Since the beginnings of our experiment we call America, up until the mid-nineteenth century, government institutional schooling didn’t exist.  It was a non-native species introduced in our society from a foreign land.  Like other introduced species, it has disrupted our entire educational ecosystem.  It has successfully contributed to the extinction of an indigenous species called self-education.  In our domesticated society, we call institutional schooling education.  However, the goal of introducing this feral organism was not to educate, but to control.

Modern schooling, at all levels, pridefully struts as true education.  Discovering truth and debunking the myth of forced schooling is discouraged by all who have a financial stake in the lie.  I love how Linda Schrock Taylor puts it, “The circle of Money-Reinforcing-Ignorance continues with it’s ever-widening diameter of destruction.”  The stone of government education was tossed into the pond of America and created a tsunami of useful idiots dependent on the waves of government largess.

I guess I’ve become desensitized to the dependence on the government teat taught in schools.  Then I remember my raising.  Images of my self-taught, determined, moral parents come to mind.  Were they perfect parents?  Not hardly.  But they taught life lessons.  I say taught, but what really took place was I caught the lessons.  I spent time with them.  It’s what families used to do.

Today’s fast paced life needs to be simplified.  Kids don’t have much time to catch lessons from home or through interactions with others outside their specific age group.  Teachers prevent it.  We keep our mini-prisoners locked up in fortified walls all day and send hours of work home to occupy any free time Dick and Jane might have left to actually learn things from non-State-approved teachers.  It’s deliberate.  The introduction of this feral species, forced schooling, is the destroyer of families and any hope of true learning.

Yesterday, I was asked by a fellow teacher to watch her class for a moment while she attended to something down the hall.  I like these opportunities to cover for teachers.  She had a lot of “gifted” kids waiting for her to return.  Why not stir them up a bit.  I asked what they were doing.  Apparently, they were getting ready to play a game for a Social Studies enrichment class.  In our school, this is a time devoted to enrichment before the “real” classes start each day.  I asked if her S.S. enrichment class was fun.  They thought it was because they played games.  “Are her regular classes fun?”  They responded in unison, “NO!”  “Why,” I asked.  The reasons given were because we do boring stuff and she gives tons of homework.  I told them that I don’t believe in homework and don’t assign it.  “You liar,” was what they wanted to say but restrained the impulse.  They are “gifted” after all.  I briefly explored the concept of schools using “their” time at home.  Everyone agreed it was a stupid arrangement.  “Why not do “homework” during the school hours allowing you guys to learn what you want at home since you can’t learn what you want at school?  Just a thought.”  The discussion ended with Mrs. T’s return.

This is just one illustration of the destruction caused by the invasive species called forced schooling.  The teacher just mentioned is a great person and fun to be around.  But she has to jump through the federally mandated hoops of teachology to keep her job.

Assembly line schooling and education are not compatible.  Real education takes place voluntarily.  Forcing kids to “learn” is called schooling.  We learn only when we want to learn.  My advice to parents wanting the best education for their children is to return the lost species of self-taught, self-educated, interest-led learning.  This is the only hope of bringing balance back to your child’s learning environment.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school. It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. ” – Albert Einstein

So, you want a revolution?  It might look like this: The Independent Project.

It’s only a matter of time.  Students are waking up.  They’re smart enough to see the scam of schooling.  They know that they are on the receiving end of brute force designed to inflict IDD, (Intelligence Deficit Disorder).  The elite educrat pimps in the District of Criminals don’t fear The Independent Project.  That kind of uprising can be squashed by a jack-boot on the throat of the school district that allowed such outside-the-box thinking.  Get in line or we’ll stop the flow of stolen money to your district.

I’m not naive.  I know the golden rule.  Whoever controls the gold (or fiat paper we call money) will rule.

John Taylor Gatto suggests in his book, Weapons of Mass Instruction, one way to cripple our educrat rulers: The Bartleby Project.

Publicize the idea.  Share it with friends and family.  This movement of civil disobedience can not take root with central planning or a figure leading the way.  It must be student lead.  It’s an independent thinking revolution.  Individual students can take their education into their own hands by peacefully saying, I prefer not to take your tests,then peacefully refuse to submit to the brutal process.  Teachers and administrators are chained to the institution and can’t help.  I, as well as most of my teaching cohorts, wholly support driving a wooden pencil through the heart of the blood-sucking standardized tests.  The bloody pencil must be in the hands of the students.

Just say NO to standardized tests!

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it. – Upton Sinclair

In my line of work, I’m in contact with many parasitic, pencil pushing State worshipers.  They condemn stealing, yet can’t understand that depositing our paychecks is legalized theft.  We are paid from stolen property taken at the point of a government gun from individual producers.  Once forcibly removed from its rightful owners, the property ends up in the treasure chest of the gang of robbers and murderers. Who among us teachers can wrap our minds around this blood money?

We attempt to justify our theft.  But I’m providing a service to the public.  Really!?  What value is provided?  Is there any educating taking place in institutional forced schooling?  None that I’ve noticed.  I do witness the viral spread of propaganda, coercion, and control.  We bow at the altar of NCLB and teach the bubble test.  We sell our student’s souls to jump through the feds hoops.

President Bush signing the bipartisan No Child...

Smoke and mirrors!

It’s difficult to accept my role as a public school teacher.  Dr. Timothy D. Slekar wrote an article over at Huffington Post titled, “Public Schools Are Not Negotiable.”  From his title, you might guess how he feels about the State and public education.  While Dr. Slekar and I share the same drive to kill abusive, inaccurate standardized testing, our warm-fuzzy ends there.

I am an advocate of laissez-faire style education while Dr. Slekar, Head of the Division of Education, Human Development and Social Sciences at Penn State Altoona, champions public schooling.  He says, “My ultimate goal as an advocate for public schools is to make sure that the institution (American public education) survives the ruthless attack by market-based reformers that only have an interest in taking advantage of the money that remains locked up in the public system of education. Make no mistake about my position. Market-based reforms being pushed by a crowd of people unfamiliar with teaching and learning are trying to destroy the American public school system. And if they succeed democracy will soon follow. If public education is dismantled our last barrier to free thought will be gone. This is a horrible prospect. Therefore, a group of committed advocates has decided that “opting out” of state testing is a way to save public schools.”

Having taught in American public education since 1986, I am very familiar with what is called “teaching” and “learning”.  Experiencing the institution first hand only increases my hopes and dreams of its eventual demise.

My job, like all the other future teachers trained by Dr. Slekar, depends on not understanding the damage done in schooling.  Working the crowd with fearful emotion, he states, “If public education is dismantled our last barrier to free thought will be gone.”  My survey of school victims tells another story.  Free thought is far removed from public education.  The collective box doesn’t respond well to free thinkers.

I’m only one person.  I take a bite out of the proverbial elephant of collectivism daily.  My goal is to sabotage one child’s journey through tyranny each day.  In a free society, one has choices.  Parents may choose the best way to educated their children.  If you believe this, there’s no room under Slekar’s tent for you.  “When they advocate a “choice” movement and market-based reforms to take the place of a system of public education, my tolerance evaporates. When it comes to schooling in America, if you do not see a thriving, community-based public school system situated within diverse settings then “we can’t get along,” “there is no room in the tent,” and “you are not included.”  Breaking the government monopoly on “education” will be very difficult.  Especially when teacher training colleges employ folks like Dr. Slekar.  I could be wrong, but he seems to think that the American public school system is the best thing since indoor plumbing.

Enough with the Orwellian newspeak Dr. Slekar.  Please stop confusing the herd by using the term “education” when you really mean schooling.  The market-based, meddlesome, ignorant outsiders are waking up.  The American bewildered herd won’t fit under your publicly funded tent.  Better move your tent to high ground – maybe on top of your ivory tower.

Uncle Sugar’s lasso isn’t long enough.  The stampede is coming in a flurry of hooves and dust.  Yee-haw to self-ownership and self-education!

“You going under there?”

“No Sir!”, I managed as I felt a bit of vomit in my throat.

I was working with my daddy in his plumbing business.  I was twelve.  I’d been on many calls with him, but none like this one.  He got a call to come over and “fix a toilet.”  That was the only info we had to work with.  The house belonged to an older man in our little country town.  His son attended the same school (there was only one) and would later become basketball phenom and end up playing for big bucks in the NBA.

West's silhouette serves as the current NBA logo.

Anywho, we walked into the house and was lead through a big room with two refrigerators, one with a logging chain and padlock wrapped around it.  My daddy being the curious type asked about the appliance arrangement.  Our client informed us that the “secure” fridge was locked to keep the young-ens out of his beer.  Things get weirder.

The bathroom, the target for most of our service calls, was hiding behind a real wooden door.  Holl0w-core doors were futuristic and unavailable during the building of this old house.  He swung the door open without warning, with an air of pride in his DIY skills.  I struggled unsuccessfully to mask my shock, yet, was amazed at the gentleman’s crude resourcefulness.

English: Do it yourself

The problem glared at us immediately.  A porcelain thrown with it’s contents level to the rim.  The nature of this situation was nothing new for my daddy.  He’d become a master plumber after leaving the Navy in the late 50’s.  Other peoples shit had become his bread and butter.

English: A pat of butter, served on a leaf, wi...

“How long has it been stopped up?”

“Couple of months now,” he told Daddy.

Our client’s do-what-ya-had-do “fix” for his clogged toilet was quite simple.  Knock a hole in the floor in front of his reading room throne to eliminate the topped-off waste that refused it’s proper exit route.  It’s gotta go somewhere.  The jagged hole was just wide enough to comfortably hover and do your business.  True story.  I’m not creative enough to come up with this stuff.

Then I heard it.  It was undetectable to the untrained ear, but unmistakable to me.  I’d been trained by the best.  I knew a quick exit was at hand.  Somehow, Daddy managed to evacuate the dwelling and find a tree to grab.  Peeling bark from the poor plant, he was free to release the turmoil he’d just experienced.

The Tree Hugger Project, Installation in Wilko...

After gathering his professional wits, we made our way to the downhill side of the ship-lap sided structure.  He straddled the river of fecal matter trickling from the foundation and somehow managed to open the crawlspace door.  I heard that distinctive sound again.   This time coming from me.  We squatted and “admired” the glory hole of our client’s nifty DIY project.

The memory of these four words, “You going under there?”, haunt me to this day.  Needless to say, we lost a client on that hot summer day.  Hearing these words, “I can’t help you, sir,” was, perhaps, the proudest I’ve ever been of my daddy!

In a discussion with my middle schoolers yesterday, I asked if they knew who Steve Jobs was.  Some did, some didn’t.  I then asked, “How many college degrees do you think he earned?”  One student guessed 14.  They were shocked to learn he never completed college.  How could he have been so smart and successful without going to what all public school students are indoctrinated to believe is essential to successful adult life?  I explained that Jobs saw college as a waste of time and a drain on the pocketbook of his working class parents.  Then I really blew their closed minds.

“My daddy dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and became a successful business man.”  They asked for whom he worked.  Not in those exact words.  “For himself,” I answer.  They didn’t understand.  “So, what did he do?”  I told them he was a plumber.  Eeeuh was the sound a few made.  One girl couldn’t wrap her mind around how that job could lead to a prosperous life.  I asked if she had all sorts of fecal matter and sewage backed up in her bath tub, could she fix the problem?  “Nooooo!  I wouldn’t touch that stuff.”  Not many folks will.  That’s the secret of my daddy’s success.  Find a need and provide value.


Push the Button (The Chemical Brothers album)

I don’t fault students for their lofty “push-button-easy” attitudes. Endless streams of State propaganda pamphlets bombard young minds as the black helicopters hover over school buildings that share a striking resemblance to prisons.  By the time they reach me in middle school, the damage to mind and spirit is obvious.  Insert Pink Floyd lyrics here: “We don’t need no thoughts controlled.”  There are no “real” options for our future generation if you believe the State.  Go to college or fail!

The typical educrat argument I’ve encountered most often is that Steve Jobs was an outlier.  How about Richard Branson of Virgin fame.  He was a fluke.  Many of our Founding Fathers didn’t attend high school, much less university.  That was a different time.  Swayed by the State paradigm,  implies that we, in the institutional schools, believe that the students herded into our holding pens are basically stupid and need experts to guide “right” choices.  They’re our future for crying out loud.  Public “education” is their only hope.

Hum, why don’t we ask some of the herd what they think of forced schooling?  Their responses aren’t shocking if you’ve ever spent much time in these hallowed institutions.  Click here to watch “Love Letter To Albuquerque Public Schools”  (Hat tip to my thespian daughter for the link).

After ten years of spending $25 billion each year on failing government schools, you think those “Love Letters” from public school students would show a little more appreciation to the bureaucratic boondoggle called No Child Left Behind.  Have no fear, Race To The Top is the newest educrat solution.

I hear that old familiar rumbling sound in my gut again.  Gotta go!