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    The Will to Create

    Entries in Public schools (4)

    Friday
    Feb172012

    We can't afford another ignorant generation

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/02/17/the-dumbest-generation

    This dissapoints me. It must be a combination of public schools, which are getting worse, progressive universities, which are getting worse, and baby boomers parents, who can't get any worse.

    Saturday
    Sep032011

    Deteriorating public  schools

    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/why-more-money-hasnt-and-wont-fix-the-nations-public-school-buildings/

    Andrew Coulson rightly proposes that free market solutions to education are sorely needed. Read this and remember it when Obama gives his speech requesting more money to fix public schools. Lack of money has never been the problem with public education -- the problem is mismanagement and lack of consequences for poor performance. Reasonable people know this, but the problem continues to fester.

    Speaking of deferred maintenance, let's not defer doing something about the public school system because it makes problems more difficult to fix later on -- throwing more money down a black hole will not work. We can start by eliminating the Department of Education. We've known for quite a while that education in America is a serious problem -- government has failed, so it's time to turn it over to the private sector. There are solutions, but they won't be found in Washington -- locally all around America, the private sector will innovatively find local solutions to local educational concerns. The answer is not a five-point plans implemented from central command, but a free environment in which solutions can arise to meet the problems through a dynamic process of innovation and fundamental problem-solving with everyone concerned interactively involved, including "evil" American companies who will be hiring students once they graduate.

    Monday
    Sep062010

    This is what passes for journalism at the Washington Post

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/05/AR2010090501565_5.html

    Most of the journalists in media have lost their ability to report objectively and bravely, constrained as they are by political correctness, partisanship and a desire to see the world as they want it to be rather than how it is. Our problems with racism and cultural divisions engendered by rampant statism, groupthink and special interest politics, and the failure of public schools in inner cities, are covered up in favor of social rationalizations and excuses for a system which teaches kids little else but all the wrong lessons.

    Tuesday
    Jun022009

    In the spirit of libertarianism -- education

    Public education is a huge problem in this country and it's creating a wide clas division that's getting wider. It's time to seriously consider private solutions. Our public schools are sending out kids from high school who are not properly prepared for the world of work, so, many of them wind up needing government assistance. One reason is that we've lost sight of the importance of making things, of building things. There used to be shop classes in high school which gave kids with a bent toward making things and fixing things an avenue to become prepared for the world, to get them interested in learning. Math and science are important, as is language and arts and history, but if we had diversity in public schools, there would likely be schools which specialized in helping kids, who have an interest in building and fixing things, learn how math and science and language and history and art all combine to create a well-rounded builder and fixer.

    The fact is that many of these kids are more suited to building and fixing than they are to becoming accountants, social workers, healthcare workers or politicians. Plus, building and fixing are important endeavors which require skill, focus and knowledge. We need plumbers, electricians, welders, mechanics, HVAC repair people, etc. -- so it makes sense to prepare kids for these jobs. The public wouldn't mind supporting an educational system which provided a practical benefit and a well-rounded education so that more kids have a better start after high school and are learning things more closely related to the real world experience most will gravitate toward. A broad, liberal education is great, but so is learning practical things -- besides, now, many kids are learning nothing.

    There's an attitude that building and fixing are below the white collar jobs or the health profession jobs, but they're just as important and respectable, especially when you need something fixed or built. Even if kids want to advance beyond these types of jobs later on, at least they have skills to work their way through college to become a professor or brain surgeon.

    The point is that the world is full of people with different interests and aptitudes, and the building and fixing trades are important to society -- and they are a good way to ensure making a good living. If we begin to privatize schools we'll likely see diverse routes to education being offered, thus preparing kids for the world and work in much more practical ways.

    With an innovative approach to preparing kids for the world outside school, we'll all be better off. I don't know how many times I've been frustrated attempting to find builders and fixers who act professionally and know what they are doing. I've worked in these type trades and I know what it takes to be good at what you do. It would be very helpful to start training kids early with skilled teachers, so that they learn not only the basics of building and fixing, but have a foundation to deal with the public and to advance into ownership, supervision or more complex areas of their chosen trade. They would learn how other areas of interest can benefit them in their work, like mathematics and science, grammar, the discipline of art.

    This is just to make a point that we should be seriously considering private education options and allow the private sector to come up with innovative ways to include the poor. We need to get over the 80s' fear that corporate and business funding would be harmful to students, that they would brainwash the kids and turn them into little worker-bees and commercialized robots. With unemployment rising and the welfare state cracking, it would be good to see an inclusion of practical skills education. The diversity of educational offerings could cover a wide range of interests.