Public Education – A View From Outside The Matrix

Posted by Jason | Posted in Education, Government | Posted on 30-11-2009

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If you have not read my previous post, Thanksgiving, Statism and Life Outside the Matrix, you may want to do so first. This will be my first post where I will challenge the assumption of public education, which is what provides us our programming to live within the Matrix.

As I said in my previous post, both sides of the Matrix structure argue about how to best improve public education. One argues for more money. The other argues for more localized control. Neither side questions the existence of government controlled education, the results over the long term, or whether we’d be better off with no government education.

To start, why do statists claim we need a public school system? They claim that all children need an education, and only government can make sure all children regardless of race, class, and gender receive an education. That sounds reasonable, but are the children, especially the poor really getting educated? According to The Daily Beast, 7,200 students drop out every day. In some cities (usually ran by socialists), it’s even worse. In Detroit, only 25% of students graduate. According to CNN, the nationwide dropout rate is 16% or over 6 million students.

Every single school day, more than 7,200 kids, on average, drop out of high school—1.3 million each year. In many American cities, including Miami, Denver, Los Angeles, New York and Minneapolis, most public school students don’t graduate. In Detroit, the unhappy poster child for American industrial decline, a study from last year showed that a mere quarter of students earn high school diplomas.

via America’s Dropout Crisis – Page 1 – The Daily Beast.

Nearly 6.2 million students in the United States between the ages of 16 and 24 in 2007 dropped out of high school, fueling what a report released Tuesday called “a persistent high school dropout crisis.”

The total represents 16 percent of all people in the United States in that age range in 2007. Most of the dropouts were Latino or black, according to a report by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Alternative Schools Network in Chicago, Illinois.

via ‘High school dropout crisis’ continues in U.S., study says – CNN.com.

As you can see, the groups most affected by the dropout rate are the groups that socialists claim to champion. Students are dropping out left and right, which does not provide them many options for the future. Then again, why worry? We have a “safety net”. You know if you don’t go to school, you can at least live off the government dole. On top of that, you can partake in criminal activity and receive tax free income. “Cash only please for all drug and stolen good purchases”.

“Yeah, OK Prof, but literacy was horrendous.” Well, let’s take a look at the “improving” literacy. As we all know, slaves were systematically prevented from learning to read and becoming educated, so we can’t really count their literacy under slavery. We can look at how quickly they became literate after slavery ended.

Although the black literacy rate soared from 20% in 1850 to nearly 80% in 1890, blacks were still having a difficult time finding work.

via ljonespage4content.

Wow, that’s damn impressive. Black literacy reached 80% in 1890. Well, what is it now? Hmmm, under our socialized, secular government ignorance programs, it stands at about 60%.

Six decades later, at the end of the twentieth century, the National Adult Literacy Survey and the National Assessment of Educational Progress say 40 percent of blacks and 17 percent of whites can’t read at all. Put another way, black illiteracy doubled, white illiteracy quadrupled.

via Intellectual Espionage – John Taylor Gatto.

White literacy was near 100% at the beginning of the 20th century, and as you can see, it is now at about where the formers slaves were in 1890. According to John Quincy Adams, only 4/10ths of 1 percent of New Englanders were illiterate. Also, I think everyone would agree the books that were read back then were much more challenging.  Isn’t progress wonderful?

How about math and science scores? Well, according to international testing, American children are not what they used to be. The bad news is the longer they are in school, the worse they get.

At science and math, American students trail those in other advanced democracies. The longer students are in school, the worse things get. Among fourth graders, U.S. students rank high on the International Test of Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Despite this head start, by eighth grade, American adolescents have slipped to the midpoint on the TIMSS; by age 17, their scores trail all but those in a few developing countries

via Hoover Institution – Hoover Digest – The Decline and Fall of American Education.

So as you can see, the public schools in our country have failed as all government planned goods and services do. The debate then goes straight to “how do we make them better?” This is the debate that rages inside the statist Matrix. Both sides argue back and forth about how to improve it. The cheerleaders hooray their side and boo the other side, and it’s completely incomprehensible to them that maybe the government should not be forcing people into government schools. All coercive monopolies are bad, and government is a coercive monopoly. If you do not believe so, try to “choose” to keep your children out of government approved schooling. See how long before you go to jail.

What is the solution? Well, let’s start off by agreeing that we should not stick a gun to people’s heads and tell them they are either going to send their children to government schools, or else they will go to jail. Can we agree that is the moral thing to do? I’m sure some will argue that some parents just are too stupid to make sure their kids get educated, so government must stick a gun to your head. The argument goes that because a small group isn’t responsible with their children, the government should stick a gun to everyone’s head and force their kids into public schools. Pro-government school people argue it’s child abuse to not let your child get an education, but then have no problem with the abuse government schools are inflicting on our children at increasing rates as the statistics above show. Let’s not even get into the lunch programs they inflict on children.

Next, let’s let people choose how they want their kids to be educated. If you do not want to send your child to a government school, there is no reason you should have to pay for government schools plus a private school. Do you think this has something to do with why poorer students are worse off? Their parents cannot afford to pay for public and private schools, so they suck it up and send them off the the ignorance factories. You should be able to keep your money. At the very least, you should be able to take your tax dollars to the school of your choice.

Then the government should allow the free market to deliver education options. They should not set standards, because their standards are pretty much useless. They deliver horrible results. Private schools will have to deliver to the parent’s liking, or they will automatically be punished with lost tuition. Government, on the other hand, has no accountability. If you don’t like the results, you still pay for it. If you try not to pay for it, well you know what happens.

Why is it so hard to imagine a world without public schools? It’s hard to imagine because it’s part of your programming. You were brought up in public schooling and taught that you must have public schools. It’s like most of society in the early 1800s, who couldn’t comprehend how former slaves and former slave masters could live in the same society if slavery was abolished.  Instead of admitting it was immoral, abolishing the institution, and letting free men figure their own way out of it, the government legalized slavery every step of the way. They couldn’t see outside the Matrix in which they were living. If the government had not enforced slavery through fugitive slave laws, it’s hard to believe slavery would have lasted long at all. It would have cost plantation owners too much money to chase slaves down when they escaped. They were only able to do so, because government (really the tax payer) ate the cost of chasing them down and returning them. It would have actually been cheaper for plantation owners to hire the slaves or any other workers had they not forced the cost of fugitive slave laws on the society as a whole. What I am saying here is just because you can’t imagine something other than government schools, because you have been programmed to only see it that way, doesn’t mean it’s not possible and better.  When men are free to make choices in their best interest, society progresses more quickly. It is not happenstance that the least regulated areas in our life are all the fast growing and evolving areas, and there is no reason education cannot be the same.

It’s very easy to see how education if unleashed from government shackles could quickly skyrocket in the success it delivers. It’s not hard to envision bountiful options to meet the needs of all children. Does your child excel in math? How about a school that focuses on math, engineering, and computers? Has your child always loved being the center or attention? How about a school that focuses on the arts? Does your child love to fix things and find out how they work? How about a tech school? Do you want your child to focus on reading, writing, and math? How about an elementary school that focuses exclusively on fundamentals? Does your child have special needs? How about a school that specializes in teaching kids with the same needs as your child? Does your child have many interests? How about a school that brings in great teachers from around the country via video conferencing? Better yet, if your child goes to any of the other schools mentioned, how about those schools bringing in the best teachers in their focused area via video? How about sending your child to a school whose competitive advantage is small class sizes? How about a retired NASA scientist being able to teach students without a teaching degree? How about parents, who know their kids best, deciding what school is best for their child. It is not hard to imagine options and schools opening all over the place.

Why would so many schools open? Because there are greedy profiteers out there, and guess what. They have to deliver a quality service in the private sector. According to the 2007 census, the average cost per student in public schools was $9,000. Do you think for one second there wouldn’t be businesses competing for that $9,000 per pupil and driving the cost down? It happens in every other sector of our economy. Well, it does until the government gets jealous and decides to jump into the game.

While I’m sure the diehard statists can never imagine education without Uncle Sam forcing us into a one size fits none system, I hope some of you question your assumptions about our supposed need for public schools. Hopefully, when you hear politicians debating more funding for education, higher national standards, or any other top down school program, you will question it more deeply. You will ask why they would do that in the first place. How does that open up choices? Does not having choices provide better results? Who benefits from this?

Take the Red pill, and ask yourself, “If I could disregard all laws related to education, what would I choose for my child or for myself when I was a child? Would I send them to government schools, or would I send them to schools who must prove themselves in order to get my money?”

PS. Please ignore all spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. I learned those in public school.

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Comments (4)

A lot of what you said already happens in private schools now — if you excel in math or science, the private schools around here will push you up a grade. They do it to challenge the student because they’ve found when those children get bored, they get into trouble. If that same child was in a public school, he’d be labeled a troublemaker and the school would tell the parents to put their kid on Ritalin.

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Agreed! I never said it was something totally new. It’s proven already, but for some reason people still think public schools are a must. If we got rid of public schools, there would be a lot more options, and those options would better serve society in general. Government always pushes one size fits all. We are all different, which is why some kids turn out OK in public school, but a large number do not.

Of course, having an educated population may not be the best thing if you want to rule over people.

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Two Weeks to Transformation:
A Roadmap

by John Jensen Ph.D.

If you’ll stay with me for a few paragraphs, I want to lay out a roadmap for transforming your classroom in a couple weeks. Along the way, you’ll note many familiar elements yet details that at first may be off-putting. Maybe you’ve been burnt by classroom interventions that over-controlled and ended up wearing out both you and your students. So I first want to discuss the kinds of details we need and why.
What’s the difference between a Model T Ford and a 2009 Mercedes Benz? A Second World War V2 rocket and one carrying a Mars lander? The Wright brothers first successful plane and a modern Stealth jet? Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephone and the modern cell phone?
Each pair have in common travel in a particular environment. A common basic concept binds each pair yet the difference between old and new lies in this. In the new version, more details are integrated to serve the purpose of the whole. Details come “on line” to make the concept work better–different materials, the mechanics and physics of their operation, and the energy applied. As each ingredient is improved, its integration into the whole produces better results. Inventors constantly push the edge of design for better results: “If we try it this way, could we extend its range?’ In each pair, we should note, the more advanced does not replace the more primitive. The Model T can stand in the parking space next to the Mercedes, and a driver can say, “Today, I’ll take the Model T” and be satisfied with 25 m.p.h. so as not to stress it.
With education we’re somewhat in that position. We can (and often do) choose to go with the 25 m.p.h. vehicle and the Alexander Graham Bell telephone. In all of human history, from plain to jungle, some have taught others. We innately know how. Although we add printing and writing so we can go farther, we can still choose the model employed in the jungle for thousands of years. We can revert.
If we want to improve education, we do it essentially the same way as with automobiles, planes, rockets, and phones. We bring details on line to serve the purpose. Realizing many years ago that this could be extraordinarily easy was the start of my Silver Bullet approach to learning. It presumes that certain conditions (instructions, directions, arrangements, etc.) completely under a teacher’s control can dramatically spur students’ motivation and mastery. Many readers of Ednews.org have accepted my offer of a free ebook copy of my method, and I‘ve often sent along a brief orientation to it also. Here, I’d like to expand on it and narrate a kind of roadmap to the book.
In it, you’ll note strategies divided into steps 1-2-3 etc., but these are not intended to confine a teacher. Usually the principle is clear and teachers may want to apply it their own way to save time or integrate it into their existing instruction. Having steps spelled out gives them an option to engage students and present ideas in their own way and then conclude with activities that increase long term learning. There’s typically much that could be said about why to employ the methods, but my focus instead is intensively on how–how teachers can obtain particular results if they want to.
The easiest way to get a sense for the approach is probably by reading Chapter 9. It describes my pilot program that transformed fractious, hostile fourth graders into an ideal class in six weeks with the watershed occurring about midway. While each of the 54 sections in the book serves a need, some are as foundational as a rocket’s tensile strength and the fuel propelling it. The numbers in parentheses designate sections in the book.
The first nine sections applied together generate a quick start, getting learning and good feelings underway. You may need nothing else, fulfilling one reader’s comment that we need to “do a lot of a few things” instead of “a lot of things not enough.” These are the few to do a lot.
(1-2) Students must first understand and organize new material. This is familiar ground but often done incompletely. The later steps become possible only after the material is organized. (3) Hard copy is an unfamiliar increment for many, having an efficient summary of key points in one’s own handwriting or duplicated in a form students can keep. Developing the hard copy consolidates their understanding, winning half the battle. The remaining aim then is installing in mind what they already possess in writing. Too many teachers are satisfied just to get it in writing. As students expand their understanding, the same process applies to the new increment–get it formed so you at least “have it” and then assimilate it permanently. (4) Referring to this summary as a learning feat presents it to students as something they will perform. (5) Partner practice–telling the hard copy back and forth–roots their learning in peer relationships, and is a safe setting in which to practice expressing it until they are sure they maintain it (6). A major motive comes into play as they perform it daily (7), standing up in a game-like format. They also draw on the brain’s natural retentive powers with a few minutes daily of mental movie (8). The most powerful means of improving their behavior toward each other is appreciation time (9), telling others how they generated good feelings. These nine methods can be instituted on day one. Used steadily, they ensure learning and good feelings, and can change your class in two weeks.
An array of other ways to help students, however, are ready to install as needed. Improving communications is done by providing students criteria for conducting a discussion, and then having them rate themselves on their use of the specific skills (10-11). Developing their ability to listen and give total attention to each other can be done in pairs (12-13), and a variety of topics, conflict resolution skills, and group structures can stimulate whole class discussions (14-16). The use of ratings is valuable for many purposes–students scoring themselves or others on specific measures in the direction a teacher wishes to channel development (17), and the formal division of the class into captain-led organization groups can serve many purposes (18).
Several sections (19-28) help facilitate students’ self-awareness, management of feelings, changing unproductive thought processes, gaining greater use of their own latent traits, incorporating life wisdom, and gaining class order and cooperation. For classes that have been allowed to disintegrate into disorder, a judicious use of consequences (28) may need to be employed from the start to enable the other methods to work.
Student learning can be deepened, more readily absorbed, and more permanently retained (29-36). Peg list (29) explains how to “peg” ideas as they arrive in sequence so they can be quickly reinforced, and the practice element (30) explains how to tell the degree to which a learning method deepens learning by how directly it calls on a prior impression in the mind. A way to involve parents regularly and valuably yet briefly is by a designated listener agreement (31) with them. Some ways to help even kindergarteners master knowledge are noted (32), but my belief is that nearly all the methods work K-12 if scaled back to students’ frame of reference and taken in sequence. Memory hooks (33) contain suggestions of a familiar type. A way for students to plot their degree of concentration (34) stimulates them to get better at it. Walk Away (35) and Time Capsule (36) methods are ways to achieve perfect mastery of difficult material, such as in math and foreign languages, by using qualities of the brain efficiently.
Using maps (37), understanding degrees of precision (38), and saving the basics (39) address specific learning needs, while learning everything (40) is proposed and explained as a major purpose of education. Students can stimulate each other and save learning time by dividing subjects (41) and focusing on progress (42).
Scoring is distinguished from grading (43-50). I explain why the former encourages students more (it’s how they personally view their own effort), and how scoring by points-of-knowledge and time-explaining are objective measures of actual learning that make sense to students. Various configurations of scoreboards are offered, and suggestions for how to score language, math, reading, and writing.
Demonstrating learning occupies the last four sections (51-54). I apply the title of Academic Mastery Report (51) to a way to synthesize on one page all the scores a student masters in all subjects to present a more refined picture of his/her actual learning than do customary means. Curriculum performance (52) is the big brother of impromptu performance (8), a design for students to show off their learning in public in front of an audience. In checkpoint morning (53) they spend a half-day in a series of learning tasks and partner collaboration to master specific knowledge they choose for themselves. Team competitions (54) may be comprehensive involving several schools at once or confined to a few days in a single classroom.
A description of my pilot program and suggestions for implementation end the text, followed by ten appendices containing discussion topics, scoreboard designs, communication skills check sheet, progress ladder, and team competition worksheet.
Since math is a concern in so many localities, I’ll summarize a few points about it in terms of the sections above. Math lends itself well to my methods because of the specificity of its details and its cumulative nature, new sections building on prior understanding. What‘s correct or incorrect is typically clear concerning formulas, steps, sequences, and relationships. With math you can form very specific learning feats (4). A solid math task at any grade level is to master every term in the glossary of the textbook, usually 200-300 items, plotting each student’s progress visibly on a scoreboard reserved for this (47 and appendix 6).
An all-senses recording of summary, word-by-word explanations of math processes with hand-written hard copy (3) is, I believe, an overlooked, valuable increment. Asking “What are you doing?“ of students working long division can return a word salad of vague procedures. Any material that becomes easier as it becomes clearer should be put into a form that makes it extremely clear. Writing down their understanding adds precision and ownership. Explaining their understanding to a partner (5) can be especially helpful in math because in facing a peer we are congenitally driven to want to make sense, so we tax the limit of our understanding to do that. Presenting their understanding to another extricates them from stressful isolation and engages the linear, orderly part of their mind to resolve vagueness. Their needs for attention rise and are satisfied as they stand up to present answers successfully to questions they’ve practiced (7) and are applauded for them. Keeping visible track of their progress on a public scoreboard (47-48) increases their ownership of the results of their effort.
Two weeks to transformation.

John Jensen is a licensed clinical psychologist and author of The Silver Bullet Easy Learning System: How to Change Classrooms Fast and Energize Students for Success (Xlibris, 2008). He will email a free ebook copy of it to anyone requesting it, and welcomes comments sent to him directly at jjensen@gci.net.

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