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The School Survival Forums are permanently retired. If you need help with quitting school, unsupportive parents or anything else, there is a list of resources on the Help Page.

If you want to write about your experiences in school, you can write on our blog.

To everyone who joined these forums at some point, and got discouraged by the negativity and left after a while (or even got literally scared off): I'm sorry.

I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

I can handle quite a lot of negativity and even abuse now, but that isn't the point. I want to help people. I want to help the people who need it the most, and I want to help people like the 1996 version of me.

I'm still figuring out the best way to do that, but as it is now, these forums are doing more harm than good, and I can't keep running them.

Thank you to the few people who have tried to understand my point of view so far. I really, really appreciate you guys. You are beautiful people.

Everyone else: If after everything I've said so far, you still don't understand my motivations, I think it's unlikely that you will. We're just too different. Maybe someday in the future it might make sense, but until then, there's no point in arguing about it. I don't have the time or the energy for arguing anymore. I will focus my time and energy on people who support me, and those who need help.

-SoulRiser

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Abolish school? Actually, that's not the problem...
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youvebeenthunderstruck Offline
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Post: #1
Abolish school? Actually, that's not the problem...

SoulRiser said something which I think is very true, and I think we may have been looking at the situation incorrectly the entire time.

We say that school is bad because we don't have a choice in the matter, that it's law, etc. This is true, but there are alternate forms of "school" that you can legally, um, do. Homeschooling, unschooling, all that jazz.

The problem lies not in the fact that we're all uniformly forced to attend school, but that our parents can force us to go to school because they are the ones who can legally force us. So what we should be trying to do is in fact make it so that we can choose our own education free from parental, and not governmental, forcible persuasion.

Now, the argument that faces this is "shouldn't parents have the right to decide what their kids' education should be?" And I don't think they do. Children are not property of their parents.
01-13-2008 12:52 PM
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Specter Offline
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If Kids can choose between (Home schooling /School),THEY WILL ALL CHOOSE Home schooling

therefore the End of Private/public schools and School teachers will apply for Bartender job.

Jesus backwards sounds like 'sausage'. =D
01-13-2008 12:58 PM
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youvebeenthunderstruck Offline
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You can still be a teacher. 'Teacher' is not limited to public high school.
01-13-2008 01:00 PM
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I think the public school system's long history of brainwashing has a lot to do with it. Adults who have kids now, where once children in school, brainwashed and told by their parents they should be in school and do all the work, and the parents of today pass that brainwashing down to their children, because that's all they know. It's an endless cycle.
01-13-2008 01:09 PM
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Yeah, but we're not examining how it came to happen, we're examining how to get rid of it.
01-13-2008 01:16 PM
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youvebeenthunderstruck Wrote:Yeah, but we're not examining how it came to happen, we're examining how to get rid of it.

Well, that is the million dollar question after all!
01-13-2008 01:20 PM
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I know, I'm just tired of the speculation, it doesn't get anybody anywhere...
01-13-2008 01:26 PM
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I think the problem is that everyone says school should just not be required and it should cease to be.

I think a focus on reformation is a better choice.

Let's do the time warp again!
01-13-2008 02:02 PM
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What's the problem in saying it shouldn't be required? It shouldn't.
01-13-2008 02:05 PM
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akdonn Offline
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Thunder:

I think your inquiry is well intentioned. I keep thinking I'm missing something.

At what age (or grade) should a dependent child be able to tell their parents, or the government, they no longer want school? Probably not elementary (Grades K-6), right? How about middle school (7-9)? Should kids when they are 12 years old (7th grade or so) be able to tell their parents they are *required* to continue supporting them, but the kids are going to just hang around the house and eat all day, instead of going to school?

There is a dis-connect for me here, and I don't understand how a guy like you (who is obviously very intelligent) could propose that parents should have to watch their kids go from meeting some kind of expectation of learning to simply being parasites. Why would any parent in their right mind give up that prerogative? Homeschool, or whatever other options, mean the parent has to trust the kid is doing something productive, and given the fact they haven't been successful in the institution most kids go through, that can be a stretch...

Okay, High School (10-12) most kids are beginning to seek employment and anticipating the time they must be self-supporting. If that is the age range when school should be optional, then shouldn't kids who don't want to do what their parents want them to do (attend school) have the decency to move out and pay their own way? Plenty of kids at this time "drop-out" and find jobs menial jobs--I know quite a few of these kids, because they have returned to our alternative school, and they are busting their asses trying to get a diploma! On the other hand, there may be young adults who are able to put something together that will keep them above the poverty line.

I've never been a parent. I've never had a dependent in my home. When my dad kicked me out of the house at age 17 (11th grade) I went and found my own way, paying for education while working full-time jobs through a Master's degree. I came from a long list of losers who did not value any kind of education and lived marginalized lives--my own siblings are today in that category, with kids and grandkids following their sorry examples. On the other hand, I feel I have done pretty much everything I have wanted to do in my life so far, and I live a very comfortable existence. But I just hate to see young persons who obviously are intelligent and talented hop on some bandwagon and head down the wrong road thinking they are "entitled" to certain things that may never happen because they didn't first get the basic education that was made available to them for FREE. In fact, I think modern society is expecting kids to grow up too fast by being plunged into the economy too early.

What am I missing here, Thunder? Perhaps you can explain this "entitlement" better.


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01-14-2008 01:18 AM
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youvebeenthunderstruck Wrote:Yeah, but we're not examining how it came to happen, we're examining how to get rid of it.

The roots and history are always essential in creating change.

Step into my twisted reality

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01-14-2008 02:11 AM
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youvebeenthunderstruck Wrote:What's the problem in saying it shouldn't be required? It shouldn't.

At what level though? Should a 7 year old child be able to say "The teacher made me color with red and I wanted to color with blue, I quit this shit". Think back on yourself, do you have the same attitude you had 2 years ago? We mature over time, and that maturity is important and relevant to our judgement. Kids need a place to be during the day until they reach a level where they can be responsible and take care of themselves. The only thing I currently have a problem with is the idea of adolescence, that later age teenagers aren't adults, because they essentially are. But even most 12 year olds, I'd say aren't quite mature enough to take care of themselves. The change I would make to the drop out age, I would say 16 on your own terms and 14 with your parents' permission. You may disagree, but the fact is, we do not have anything close to a perfect anarchist utopia, and we need the system to realistically work with to make better lives for ourselves. I detest the government as much as anyone else, but it's going nowhere anytime soon.

Once we reach the middle and later stages of being teens, we will mature and start to have very different ideas than our parents. But we can't act like children aren't reliant on them. They are not their parents' property but they are their responsibility. Most parents have the best intentions for their kids, and as you get older and more mature, you will find it easier to understand your parents and to negotiate with them rather than act like you are at war with them. And sometimes even that doesn't happen, but then at that point in time, the teen can find their own way and live without their parents help.

I know it's not fair, but parents need some level of control. The problem we are facing is that it is the same level of control from your first day alive to age 18. Ideally, the control of parents should gradually decrease with every day the child gets older. But only very gradually. And for those who are somewhat mature but maybe not enough, the 10 - 12 age group, we can fight for alternative schools to better fit their needs and learning styles.

The only way for any of this to really happen is for our generation to provide this to our children. Don't bother with right now, it will be gone soon. If we want an education system with less restraints and more freedom, we will have to build it ourselves, not for us, but for the ones who come after us.

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01-14-2008 02:27 AM
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We don't need to have set "ages" or "grades" where parents are suddenly required to listen to and take their children seriously. They should be doing this all the time! Children are people too, and regardless of age, if they really, really cannot stand being in a place, they should have every right to tell their parents about it, and their parents (if they care about their childrens' well-being), should listen to them and try to figure out some sort of solution to the problem.

If it's just a simple case of red and blue crayon, that's no reason to quit school. That's a reason to either talk to the teacher or just use whichever damn colour you want. If they are actually being tormented every day they attend school, something should be done about the situation. This has nothing to do with moving out of the house or being able to take care of yourself. Most 10-year-olds probably can't do that. So what? Does that mean that nothing they say matters? That they should just have to put up with it if people are treating them like shit and they want to cry every day when they get home? NO!

If a kid is feeling shit about school and hates going there, the parent should at the VERY LEAST acknowledge that there is a problem and show some sort of sympathy even if there is no possible way to take them out of school. Not respond with the typical "everyone has to go, so you'll just have to deal with it". That's just another way of saying "oh well, I don't give a shit".[/rant]


And now, I will actually read all the other posts in this thread Razz

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01-14-2008 03:34 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Quote:The only way for any of this to really happen is for our generation to provide this to our children. Don't bother with right now, it will be gone soon. If we want an education system with less restraints and more freedom, we will have to build it ourselves, not for us, but for the ones who come after us.

Very true, that.

Now for some background info on me.

I went to school the entire time from Grade 1 all the way to 12. My parents knew kids were bullying me, they knew I hated it there, they knew all that... but they still made me go (most of the time). The fundamental difference was - they listened to me (most of the time). When I had a problem with something, I could tell them about it, and they'd take me seriously. They wouldn't bitch at me and tell me to stop whining and just go like everyone else has to because it's a part of life and I just have to deal with it... no. They listened to me (well, most of the time). They cared. That's the main difference I'm talking about.

The problem isn't really school - the problem is crappy parents who think kids are just some annoyance that they have to "put up with" (and yes, these people probably should never have been parents in the first place). If there were more decent parents in the world, school wouldn't be so bad. They would be rioting or just taking their kids out of the place and homeschooling them or going to alternative schools, or even starting better schools themselves.

After Grade 8 (worst year of my life), my parents realized that the public school situation was just doing more harm than good, so they were considering homeschooling me, until they found out a new private school was going to start the next year (how convenient). So I got to go there instead. Sure, it was more expensive. But it probably saved my sanity, even though it developed its own share of problems later on, which, by the way, I could complain to my parents about and they still listened to me.

Sure, nobody is perfect, everyone has their flaws, but compared to some of the other parental examples I keep hearing about, I'd have to say I'm pretty lucky. And really, really disappointed that this is considered "lucky" when it really should be standard parent practice.

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01-14-2008 03:49 AM
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SoulRiser:

This is great to know. The issue is not *school* but is *parents.* So, the way we fix this problem is to advocate getting out of school?

As a teacher, I have learned quickly that parents can be my ally or my enemy. When teaching 6th grade in a rural community here in Alaska I had parents who came to parent-teacher conferences prepared for an adversarial relationship and intent on putting me on the hot seat with my boss. Their kids could do no wrong, and my expectations were too severe.

And the problem of bully behavior; I certainly had my share of that! The problem is the worst bully in the school was the son of an employee of the school who thought she ran the school. He was bulletproof--until one of the kids he was bullying got a mallet in woodshop class and took after him! And, when three other kids in my class kept him from giving the precious bully a major concussion, the School Principal came to our class and told them all they should have instead found an adult to solve the problem. If they had done that, major damage would have occurred.

I had bully problems when I was a kid but after I kicked some ass they went away. Of course that is not a solution for everyone, but a lot of schools have implemented "mediator" programs so certain kids are trained and identified as peer consultants for problems like this.


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01-14-2008 04:08 AM
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The problem is the already warped parents, whom believe that school is really a help. They don't realize it's a harm to their child, and it's actually illegal in some contexts. In this sense, the parents in turn try to warp their children into their same belief. When I told my Dad that I totally forgot why I go to school, he fucking snapped. He put up the military schedule shit for me and everything and expects me to follow it like a dog or something. Now a little information on my current situation.

One word: Defax. In America, their's this group of child "supporters" that have the authority to take you/your child out of your home and stick you in an orphanage and send your parents to jail. One of their reasons for doing this is homeschool. If Defax doesn't have it their way, they're coming for you. Recently, a friend, Otter-boi, has essentially gotten into a homeschool program sponsored in Washington. They send him a book and he does 30 pages in it a day. He claims he does a lot of the pages in under a minute, because most of it, he says, is tuition for exercises that come up in the book. So he gets it done pretty quick. The thing is, his homeschool isn't how Defax wants it, so he asks everyone to call it an out of state homeschool, which technically it is.

In Georgia, Defax are fucking Nazis. These guys are really strict about how things are about your child in the state. These guys, even if it's the slightest bruise you didn't have the day before, bam, child abuse. They're taking your ass out of your home, and throwing your parents, who likely had nothing to do with the small, minuscule bruise that wasn't their the day before. Or, how about how thin you are? If you're too thin at a certain age, boom, child deprivation. The same from before applies.

This is why I cannot easily get homeschooled. Otter-boi is really fucking lucky.
01-14-2008 04:21 AM
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Quote:This is great to know. The issue is not *school* but is *parents.* So, the way we fix this problem is to advocate getting out of school?

School is only an issue because so many parents make it an issue...

SoulRiser Wrote:If there were more decent parents in the world, school wouldn't be so bad. They would be rioting or just taking their kids out of the place and homeschooling them or going to alternative schools, or even starting better schools themselves.

... because school is still an issue. If it wasn't, then more kids would just be happy to get away from their crappy parents by going to school. Laugh

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01-14-2008 04:36 AM
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SoulRiser Wrote:We don't need to have set "ages" or "grades" where parents are suddenly required to listen to and take their children seriously. They should be doing this all the time! Children are people too, and regardless of age, if they really, really cannot stand being in a place, they should have every right to tell their parents about it, and their parents (if they care about their childrens' well-being), should listen to them and try to figure out some sort of solution to the problem.

If it's just a simple case of red and blue crayon, that's no reason to quit school. That's a reason to either talk to the teacher or just use whichever damn colour you want. If they are actually being tormented every day they attend school, something should be done about the situation. This has nothing to do with moving out of the house or being able to take care of yourself. Most 10-year-olds probably can't do that. So what? Does that mean that nothing they say matters? That they should just have to put up with it if people are treating them like shit and they want to cry every day when they get home? NO!

If a kid is feeling shit about school and hates going there, the parent should at the VERY LEAST acknowledge that there is a problem and show some sort of sympathy even if there is no possible way to take them out of school. Not respond with the typical "everyone has to go, so you'll just have to deal with it". That's just another way of saying "oh well, I don't give a shit".[/rant]


And now, I will actually read all the other posts in this thread Razz

If it was my child, I'd acknowledge the problem. Though I don't plan on having children and if I did, I would have them unschooling anyway, but in that situation, I'd listen like a good parent would.

I'm not saying that younger kids should be ignored, I'm saying that an 8 year old and a 16 year old think differently and you have to make your best effort to understand things at their level, and you should try to give them what they want in a realistic way.

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01-14-2008 07:48 AM
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Wow. I'll have to catch up on this thread, I just woke up.
01-14-2008 08:09 AM
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akdonn:

Quote:I think your inquiry is well intentioned. I keep thinking I'm missing something.
You are. Now I'll say why I think this, with more quotes.
Quote:Homeschool, or whatever other options, mean the parent has to trust the kid is doing something productive, and given the fact they haven't been successful in the institution most kids go through, that can be a stretch...
Haven't been successful in the brainwashing facility? Failing in a brainwashing facility usually means being independent. So you're saying that parents want their children to be sheep? It's what you've written.
Quote:But I just hate to see young persons who obviously are intelligent and talented hop on some bandwagon and head down the wrong road thinking they are "entitled" to certain things that may never happen because they didn't first get the basic education that was made available to them for FREE.
Maybe things are different in the US, or Alaska, but here in Australia education isn't free. School costs money. The average price for a public highschool is about $400 a year(I'm somewhat guessing based on what my mum payed). This is before costs such as excursions, and books and for the school I attended, internet credit. Yes, they didn't give us free internet. We had to pay to use their internet. Primary public schools (prep to grade 6) cost about 200$ a year before books and such. It's not anywhere near free. Also, don't forget all of that taxpayers money that goes into public schools.

Also, the education they give us isn't even half rate. They say we remember 20% of what we learn in school. It's 5th rate. 1/5. One 5th. Lets put this into a job perspective type thing. The average person pays 35% income tax. So they spend about 1/3 of their time paying the government, and get payed for 2/3s of their time. Now at school, you pay 4/5ths tax and get 1/5th payed for your time. How is that efficient? Now, why do we only remember one 5th? Because we are interested in it at all. I'll prove my point. I enjoy reading. No, I LOVE reading. I don't use a bookmark. I don't need to because I can remember the page numbers, and if I do forget, I can find my way back to the page. The last book I read I remembered the pages numbers twice (I finished it in 5 sessions). The one I read before that I remembered the chapter number (I always made sure I finished at the end of a chapter) EVERY TIME. I didn't fail to remember it ONCE. (Ok I probably did forget some, but considering I read about 9 books in the series, with about 50 chapters each, and each chapter taking me about 20 minutes to read...)
Quote:This is great to know. The issue is not *school* but is *parents.* So, the way we fix this problem is to advocate getting out of school?
Hrm is it...I agree with what...Hrm I thought I saw someone say this. Anyway, they both are. Schools is a problem maintained by problem parents. The parents were once brainwashed by school and one those things they were brainwashed into believing is that school is helpful. Now about 99%* of parents think school is the best thing ever. *Australia has a population of about 24 million. There are 5000 homeschoolers in Australia last I heard. 99% is very likely to be extremely accurate. Yes, I did make it up.

About bullies. You see, if school didn't exist, suddenly they'd disappear. Kids would no longer be forced to hang around bullies and be in the same room as them, 6 hours a day 5 days a week. Think about it...Lets say some random person starts bugging you on the street. You ask them to stop. They don't. You threaten to have them arrested and they still don't stop. You now have about 4 choices. Ignore them, call the cops, beat them up, or the one alot of people opt for, WALK AWAY. THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE IN A SCHOOL. Try to leave the classroom? OMG DETENTION. Call the teacher? You get in trouble for interrupting class. Beat them up? OH WAIT THEY"RE BIGGER THEN YOU. Ignore them? OH YEH lets let them steal you're pencil, or draw on you, or hit you, or insult you...the list goes on.

Now I must go to bed, as it's 5am here.
01-15-2008 04:06 AM
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liq3

I respect your arguments but I don't agree with them. In fact, when it comes to "brainwashing" I think people who say you can do better without an education are trying to brainwash you more than the people who provide a public education institution for you to go to. Hey, it isn't perfect. It doesn't meet every need of every kid. And, I am surprised to see that in Australia parents have to pay extra for sending their kids to public school. That makes sense to me since I've never had kids myself and I think a lot of parents who do have kids should not have had them!

I guess I could go point-by-point through your posting and detail my counter position but I don't think I'm going to change your mind until you are older and your aversion to school becomes nothing to the many challenges you will face in life--with or without an education. Wait until you have to deal with having to have a job, and pay bills, and personal relationships. Life can suck a lot more than school if you don't handle it right!


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01-15-2008 04:33 AM
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amizon Offline
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akdonn Wrote:Life can suck a lot more than school if you don't handle it right!


True. But life sucks based mostly on your decisions. School is school no matter what you do. I had a lot of other things to say but my computer froze in the middle of my post. The gist was school is important to our future, but our current mental and physical wellbeing is NOT more important than our future--we can't even get to our future at all sometimes due to health issues brought on by school. And yes, school isn't going to work for everyone, as you said. But school is also (unfortunately) very important to our future. So for the ones that school doesn't work for, they just get screwed over and left in the dust because school is what it is and people are too stubborn to consider changing it so it works better and for more people? It'd be one thing if school was a private thing, then it wouldn't be expected to be perfect for everyone, it would be a business, not a public service. Think if there was gov't healthcare in the U.S. and we treated people like we do in gov't school. A person goes to a doctor's office and has some disease that they don't have the capabilities to diagnose and treat. But whatever it is is debilitating and there are no other alternatives. Is that person just screwed over? No. That person may never see a cure, but there will be work toward one from that point on. But in school? The person that is not currently served by the system is screwed and no one gives a damn, or blames it on the person for having different needs. Even your school says "The courses are personally designed to meet the specific needs of the individual student." Most places don't have schools that do that, they just have the "one-size-fits-all" bs.

And to address the original topic here lol... All I have to say is if kids could choose to stop going to school after, say eighth grade, then school violence (like Columbine) would likely cease to exist.

katie///amizon
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it petrifies the will
these are the isolate, slow faults
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01-15-2008 10:24 AM
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akdonn Offline
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amizon

I think the reason we do not have universal health care in this country is because most Americans do not want the government deciding health care issues. The reason we do have public education is most parents just want their kids to be somewhere else when they are at work. Since schools are run by publicly elected school boards, they are an institution mean to serve a broad range of people at the best price while supplying jobs for the parents of many of the kids. They are expensive, self-regulating enterprises that resist meaningful change and move like a clay fart.

Having said that, I can tell you dealing with Social Security and Medicare are major problems for most people because the government is run by people who are, well government workers. They don't get paid as much as private sector workers to do the same job, but they have security and they used to get good pensions. Now that is all changing and the retirement benefits of government jobs is far below what it should be and everyone is having to manage "retirement accounts" with the prospect of no retirement at all because the kids can't make it and end up moving back home.

Our school exists because we provide a flexible program for kids who have parents who don't care or the kids left home and realized they need a diploma. Most can do the work if given a chance with adequate assistance.


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01-15-2008 11:02 AM
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youvebeenthunderstruck Offline
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But if they don't like doing the work, they CAN'T do it, and they learn to hate it.
01-15-2008 11:05 AM
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akdonn Offline
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I forgot. We have a generation of kids who want to "like" and be "liked." Seems like a shallow reason for denying yourself the opportunity to compete with others who may not be nearly as smart but know how to use the system for their own good.

Our economy depends on people who don't do the work. We must have winners and losers. We do not share the resources. Instead, we have a system that rewards the strong and punishes the weak. Failing in school is an option because the economy cannot absorb all the people being born and expecting to be fed. The ones who are hungry are an incentive for those of us who have been over-achievers most of our lives.

Our economy needs prisons, too. They are places where we put people who do not follow the rules established by the strong.

For me, school was liberating. Very few of my ancestors got out of grade school and as I have said before my immediate family is the definition of "dysfunctional." Some of my relatives go to family reunions to pick up chicks! I got away from my family, and school was my refuge. I challenged the teachers and they have tried to step on me. I went to their classes in "developmental psychology" and "adolescent behavior" and "educational research." In almost every class I was the one who caused the instructor to feel challenged, and many classmates were threatened by my mockery of many things they held dear "for the children's sake."

So, while you all are looking at the educational system as a kind of punishment for being young, I see it as a bunch of resources devoted to learning. I try to help my students question what is worth learning and what is not worth bothering with. When they learn the difference, and challenge to bad teachers who are only in education for security, then they may be advocates for meaningful change in the future.


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01-15-2008 11:20 AM
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Faust Offline
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akdonn Wrote:I respect your arguments but I don't agree with them. In fact, when it comes to "brainwashing" I think people who say you can do better without an education are trying to brainwash you more than the people who provide a public education institution for you to go to.

I do not believe that anyone here is trying to convince you that you do not need an education. Quite the contrary. They are trying to say that school can damage a child's innate drive to learn and that education is a crucial part of any person's life. I cannot say that I disagree. What schools are doing is forcing children to learn things that do bore them and waste their time on the presupposition that the children would not be learning anything were it not for their coercion. But this is fallacious. It is the schools themselves that "dumbed down" these children, in a meager attempt at self-justification. There was no education problem in America until people were told that they could not be trusted with their own intelligence.

Quote:Hey, it isn't perfect. It doesn't meet every need of every kid.
This is education we are talking about, which you have just said that you consider of utmost importance. How can you then go on to concede that school does not meet childrens' needs? What about those children who it simply leaves behind? I believe that many of the intelligent people on this forum are in that group. School does not teach children who are already driven; it gets in their way with its pointless testing, grades, and scrutiny.

Quote:I guess I could go point-by-point through your posting and detail my counter position but I don't think I'm going to change your mind until you are older and your aversion to school becomes nothing to the many challenges you will face in life--with or without an education. Wait until you have to deal with having to have a job, and pay bills, and personal relationships. Life can suck a lot more than school if you don't handle it right!

Until you are older? How about you detail your counter position now. We're listening. But saying that school is terrible, but not as terrible as some other things, is a cop-out in my opinion.

Please, enlighten us.

Quote:I forgot. We have a generation of kids who want to "like" and be "liked." Seems like a shallow reason for denying yourself the opportunity to compete with others who may not be nearly as smart but know how to use the system for their own good.
But is the system worthy of being followed? What is the cost of letting this system remain? That is the matter at hand here. Competing in a broken system merely propagates it.

Quote:Our economy depends on people who don't do the work. We must have winners and losers. We do not share the resources. Instead, we have a system that rewards the strong and punishes the weak. Failing in school is an option because the economy cannot absorb all the people being born and expecting to be fed. The ones who are hungry are an incentive for those of us who have been over-achievers most of our lives.
Please, define "strong" and "weak" for me. You are saying that some people must be sacrificed so others can prosper, which is a concept that sickens me. You immediately condemn those who fail in school to a life of hunger, but you have not yet stated exactly how school is beneficial to any of those who contend in it. The real weaklings are those who merely follow the system without question, regardless of what letters are scribbled on their Report Cards.

Quote:Our economy needs prisons, too. They are places where we put people who do not follow the rules established by the strong.
Have you ever read the first part of The Republic? Sure, the laws may be put in place by "The Strong", but that does not justify them by any means.

Quote:For me, school was liberating. Very few of my ancestors got out of grade school and as I have said before my immediate family is the definition of "dysfunctional." Some of my relatives go to family reunions to pick up chicks! I got away from my family, and school was my refuge. I challenged the teachers and they have tried to step on me. I went to their classes in "developmental psychology" and "adolescent behavior" and "educational research." In almost every class I was the one who caused the instructor to feel challenged, and many classmates were threatened by my mockery of many things they held dear "for the children's sake."
You are saying that being forced to go to school and then being hostile towards it "liberated" you? Had you not been forced to go to school, you'd surely have found refuge somewhere else.

Quote:So, while you all are looking at the educational system as a kind of punishment for being young, I see it as a bunch of resources devoted to learning. I try to help my students question what is worth learning and what is not worth bothering with. When they learn the difference, and challenge to bad teachers who are only in education for security, then they may be advocates for meaningful change in the future.
I see it as a bunch of wasted resources. Because those who would like to be learning of their own accord are being told to waste their time in a pointless game against other unwilling players. Tell us how school helps children learn better than they would if they were simply following their interests undisturbed.

The good die young, therefore I shall live forever.
01-15-2008 11:31 AM
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amizon Offline
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akdonn Wrote:amizon

I think the reason we do not have universal health care in this country is because most Americans do not want the government deciding health care issues. The reason we do have public education is most parents just want their kids to be somewhere else when they are at work. Since schools are run by publicly elected school boards, they are an institution mean to serve a broad range of people at the best price while supplying jobs for the parents of many of the kids. They are expensive, self-regulating enterprises that resist meaningful change and move like a clay fart.

Having said that, I can tell you dealing with Social Security and Medicare are major problems for most people because the government is run by people who are, well government workers. They don't get paid as much as private sector workers to do the same job, but they have security and they used to get good pensions. Now that is all changing and the retirement benefits of government jobs is far below what it should be and everyone is having to manage "retirement accounts" with the prospect of no retirement at all because the kids can't make it and end up moving back home.

Our school exists because we provide a flexible program for kids who have parents who don't care or the kids left home and realized they need a diploma. Most can do the work if given a chance with adequate assistance.

I'm not saying we should have universal health care, I'm just illustrating my point that people in the health care industry work to solve other people's needs, but in school the condemn those who have different needs. Actually I think this is because school is public. I think it should be privatized personally. But, it is a typical liberal viewpoint that all people have the right to education. (The world ALL there would mean ALL, not just the mainstream.) Some agree, some don't, but if we as a nation are going to operate under that premise, well, we need to OPERATE UNDER THAT PREMISE and NOT just say it's good enough as it is, serving as many people as it currently can, because it's NOT good enough. My whole point (and the point, I think, of most that discuss problems and publish articles about the problems with school) is that it is not about "the way things are", it is NOT about the status quo, it's about the way things SHOULD be, and it's idealistic, but idealists are the ones who create change. Obviously a lot of these ideals do not mesh with the status quo, but that is clearly the point and one which you seem to be missing entirely in every post of yours I have seen.

katie///amizon
its snaky acids kiss
it petrifies the will
these are the isolate, slow faults
that kill, that kill, that kill

Elm - Sylvia Plath
01-15-2008 12:11 PM
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akdonn Offline
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amizon:
I understand your point, I just do not think that any educational system can be all things to all people. Public education has pretended to be for a long time,and with the No Child Left Behind Act public education got a whole lot of federal money to try and accommodate the special needs of some students in exchange for higher requirements for teachers and students. That is the first major change of that magnitude in decades.

On the other hand, I think the majority of people who are teachers are working to solve unique needs of students. Last year I had 8 special needs kids in my 6th grade class of 27, and I had aides and specialists and all kinds of special considerations to help those kids. It added a whole level of work for my lesson plans while I had to wonder what I might do better for the high-end students. It is an incredible balancing act to try to deliver daily lessons, generate projects of merit, manage the class and grade all the work. There is not enough time to do everything you want to do. It is VERY STRESSFUL! I NEVER said "that's good enough" but I can tell you my wife said: "That's ENOUGH!" She couldn't believe the crap I had to put up with from the other teachers, let alone the expectations of the administration and parents!

It's pretty easy to find fault in something you don't understand. The education system has evolved over centuries and it is trying to do what taxpayers are willing to support. Schools are very complicated. All the kids have to do is show up and take advantage of the resources available. Sure there are some idiots to deal with, but that is part of the deal because there are idiots everywhere. You need to learn to survive in spite of them.

I'm pretty sure I understand your position, but I don't think you have a clue about mine!!!


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01-15-2008 02:55 PM
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amizon Offline
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Akdonn:

I think I now get what's been pissing me off with what I've seen in your recent posts. You're taking criticisms against school personally and it's making you (imo) overly defensive. I don't blame the teachers in general (although far too many of them suck), I blame the system. It's not the teachers responsibility to teach a lesson that fits everybody. I think students need to be split up into groups based on how and what they need to be taught. I'm at a pretty small school but there is between four and eight teachers for every core subject. If different needs were assigned to different teachers, it is one thing that I consider pretty small that would bring about a lot of important change. Obviously even then it wouldn't work for every single person, but I think it would at least work a lot better for the majority and work period for the minority. There are obviously a bunch of other things I could think to do, but none that I can think of on the top of my head put a particular amount of emphasis on the teachers. There are some ideas having to do with teacher accountability, but those aren't meant for most teachers, just the ones that I've had that can't even spell the topics we're supposed to be learning about (no joke, this happens). In fact what's stressing you out is what's bugging me the most: schools are pressured to be one size fits all, when they should just offer multiple sizes! Cheesy, I know lol but stuff like giving different teachers different needs, so one class is a size nine and another is a size eleven.

Overarching point here: I am not blaming teachers! And the only thing I'm blaming you in particular for is arguing against schools changing. It's not a personal insult when people suggest schools need to be different. I may not have a clue about the position teachers are in, but I'm fine with that because that's not what I'm trying to argue about. And I think that sentence is a pretty good indicator that you're taking this unnecessarily personally. I know I'm bias against school because that's what I'm desperately trying to put up with right now, so I struggle and probably fail to see it in a particularly clear light. But you seem to be biased against students, especially ones you view as squanderers or ones with attitude, because that's what you're having to put up with right now, and I think it's making you unable to see clearly what I'm trying to say. I understand you being protective of your profession, but I think even you would agree that school is not working out so hot for anybody these days--not students, teachers, parents, or employers, and consequently not the nation as a whole.

katie///amizon
its snaky acids kiss
it petrifies the will
these are the isolate, slow faults
that kill, that kill, that kill

Elm - Sylvia Plath
01-15-2008 03:36 PM
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akdonn Offline
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Post: #30
 

amizon

I believe my postings are simply stating facts. If that is incorrect then it is a mistake. I am not defensive about this, and as a matter of fact I pretty much agree with most of what you say. Schools are a mammoth undertaking and everybody bitches about them, but I think they are generally serving society well because if they weren't the public would not continue to support them at the high levels they are supported.

Trying to explain my position to you reminds me of something that happened to my dad when he used to work in the "Wire Center" for the local telephone company. For years he told all the other guys he worked with that this was a job women could do, and he expected it wouldn't be long before they were working side-by-side with women electrical workers. At first the men poo-pooed his suggestions.

Then it happened. Soon there were several women who were hired to work there and they were very capable. However, one of them decided my dad (being near retirement) must obviously be some insensitive jerk like so many of the others who thought women were inferior in that workplace. She started ragging on my dad, telling him he needed to retire sooner rather than later, because women could do the job better. At one point she actually said: "Anything you can do I can do better!"

My dad's response: "Well, maybe, but you haven't ever seen me put out a campfire!"


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01-15-2008 04:14 PM
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