I have said for a long time: "The worst thing we do to our children is send them to public school." That is more true now than when I said it years ago. Public school education is governed by the government (pun intended) and at the whim of the various directing bodies which tell the teachers what they are allowed to teach and what books they are allowed to present to the student. The learning process has joined the 1984-style governing actions of the American Police State.
We are pretty much aware that there is an abundance of knowledge available to teach children and even adults. After all, it is mostly adults attending University classes. There is far too much knowledge available to begin to teach all of it even in the "normal" 16 years we are expected to attend formal schooling. By the time we have finished schooling we are each expected to be an "expert" in some segment of the knowledge pool.
In order to reach a reasonable level of awareness of the world around us and our role in that world, we need a well-balanced education that gives us a basis for the continuing education that extends throughout our lives. Children are not getting that balanced education at present and the educational processes throughout the world appear to be increasingly ethnocentral and restricted, representing a polarization of cultures and a rewriting of history to suit the various governmental agencies in charge of educating the children of our world.
Polarizing one culture from another brings a level of de-humanizing of any opposing culture, leading invariably to separation, antipathy, violence, and war. Just what we need, as if we don't have enough already. Given an education containing a cultural bias that is strong enough, the adult cannot make "educated" decisions involving world affairs. Just what the government needs; citizens that are stupid and will believe what the government says is true. Such as, for example, the Iraqi government has weapons of mass destruction and is planning to use them on the United States and other countries that are not strong enough to take care of themselves and that it is all the fault of one man, Sadam Hussien. Well, did the American public believe that sufficiently to allow the war in Iraq to begin? The answer is certainly. Not all the public but enough. There are many examples of such polarity creating false causes for war, violence, and more.
The school environment is totally unrealistic and supports levels of separation that begin the de-humanizing of other humans and the violence becomes possible. Gangs are the common character of public schools. These are divided into the jocks, the geeks, the popular, the academic, the nerds, and more. There are no classes on the value of each human, the value of community involvement, the value of other cultures, the value of kindness and so on. The strict emphasis is on teaching the government line and rewarding the children representing the school in sports: Rah, Rah, go Tigers.
Once this harm has been done to our children and the gang levels have pushed each child into a niche, the elitist move into higher schooling to become the, so-called, leaders of the communities while the lesser lights look for jobs and continue their educations "on-the-job" and usually closer to home. And that's an imteresting point. Most of the "elite" move to higher degrees and another community. Few of the "elite" stay home. Most of the "lesser lights" stay home and are the real leaders of the community. The child that is poor in math and not a good reader will be the one making $65 dollars an hour fixing your Beamer or Caddie. The child that couldn't become popular and didn't have the money to get to a university will become the factory foreman running the production of the very goods you will use in your expensive home. Some will fall by the wayside and be lost, homeless, miserable and not usually still in the community they grew up in. These will have migrated to a larger or different community to dive into drugs, alcohol, or just plain poverty. The actual community will be mostly made up of the "average" guy/gal from the local schools. The "hotshots" and the "notshots" will be gone.
What do these "average" humans bring to the community? A warped vision of the world around them and a fostering of continued warping of our educational system. The United States of America was built on an educational system that was pretty loose and involved people leading our growth with as little as no education (such as my grandfather) to those with far too much education. In nearly all cases, the education was provided by the community and did not require government restrictions. The community was the arbiter and actually allowed a more varied educational experience, a more practical educational experience than our government directed education. Very few of those leaders of our growth learned their ABC's in gigantic centers of babysitting that we now call "schools."
Thanks to a basic law of governing, we are less safe with more laws than ever before. The basic law involved is: "A government either governs by consent or by law." When a government is run by consent and cooperation, there is little need for law. When a government rules by law, there is more and more need for police, law enforcement, and laws. This also applies to education. The more government regulates the educational process, the more need for policing the education and enforcement of the education given our children. There is only one way this can end; in a 1984-style governing of the citizens by an increasingly dictatorial government.
What do I suggest? It's simple: Legislate don't Educate. The government should not be in charge of education. The government is in charge of governing. The act of governing involves creating laws that keep the citizens safe and allow the reasonable function of the country. With that in mind, we need "sunset" coverage on all our laws. All laws should require renewal every 5 to 8 years or the law ceases to have validity. In the educational area, we need to shut down all the babysitting "schools" and require parents to educate their own children. Simply set up a testing for all children at ages 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 to ensure education in general subjects (the three 'r' of classic education, reading, 'riting, and 'rithmatic). If a child flunks the test, the parents are given 6 months to bring the child up to the test level. If the child flunks again, the parents will pay for tuition of the child by outside educational contractors. If the parents cannot pay, they can do community service to the equivalent level of the taxpayers burden. Problem solved and each child has an education the parents can be proud of and the community will benefit in every way. The money saved the taxpayers can be used to support and supply health care for all.
Let's get our children out of government education and indoctrination (brain-washing, really) and into the home environment where children belong. Yes, some will use it as an excuse for religious education but that will happen no matter there is public school or not. With children back in the home and away from the gang environment schools foster, we can regain our position in the world as a progressive, educated society. One we no longer have.