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Public schooling in relation to the economy
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Trar Away
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Post: #1
Public schooling in relation to the economy

So public schooling is damaging to children and teenagers and one of the worst ways to acquire knowledge. That much is true. You may have read the title of this thread and remembered that the money made selling school products is indeed quite large (the back-to-school late summer sales period is the 2nd largest in the US, just after Christmas). That is also true. I'm here to talk about something different, however.

High school diplomas (not to mention GEDs) and college degrees are becoming more important to employers looking for workers (college degrees in particular), and it is believed that the things learned in public education (from writing and basic math to Shakespearean analysis and trigonometry) will greatly benefit not only students, but the economy and the country as a whole.

(Putting aside the obvious "factory knowledge" connotations(for now), I myself believe that while basic skills are things that everyone should know for the benefit of us all(and the economy, the driving force behind the capitalism of the western world (I should probably mention that I am sort of a capitalist myself and don't see it as entirely bad)), things like Shakespeare don't really fall into that category, not unless you're interested in classic literature in some form. I realize that thanks to the choice that some schools present in AP classes, things like that may not be entirely mandatory. Then again, they may be. I'm not an expert, and I'm willing to defer to one if he or she pops up in this thread.)

What I'm thinking about is the potential impact on the economy if school were more decentralized (like how the good mister J. T. Gatto described it), if it were opt-in or if it were a relatively small-scale choice compared to, say, homeschooling. To truly improve public education, we must addresses the root issues that make it as bad as it is, most of which revolve around the way it is structured and the emphasis on rote memorization and unquestioning obedience of authority. (Then again you already knew that, right?) Obviously if the system were improved, most likely in one of these ways (long shot I know, but bear with me), the students might not only "perform" better according to the government but potentially learn better, be more motivated, and maybe even not have their originality and creativity stamped out of them, especially if more of them were interested in what they were learning (since that spark tends to get snuffed out before high school, I'm talking about reforms through K-12). And of course, motivated, educated people (from a system that isn't half-broken, nonetheless) would most likely do better on the job market, and in their jobs, and therefore for the economy as a whole.

Putting aside (again, for now) whether the authorities might want reforms to happen, and recognizing that this pretty much could benefit the US economy, how do you folks think this potentially reformed system could stand up against the systems of foreign countries, such as China (which basically runs their kids through the frigging grinder with regards to schoolwork) and Sweden (I admittedly don't know what they're doing but they must be doing SOMETHING right)? Do you think this would benefit the economy? What effect would NO public education have? (It might be better for our society, but we may ultimately fall behind in, again, the economy since we'd be taking longer to achieve more fulfilling and interesting educations, interest being the driving force behind education and knowledge itself then again you already knew that too preaching to the choir etc.)

As an aside, I tried arguing for lack of public schooling on a different forum. Since this was a couple years ago my debating skills weren't exactly up-to-snuff, and I was told that "homeopathic" learning would ultimately result in immigrants getting all the jobs, among other things.

Basically, I'm wondering about the geo-poltiical consequences of reformed public education. Or lack of it. The US (and the UK and South Africa and other countries like them, come to think of it) can't exactly drop out of the world, but they could change it.
04-20-2013 03:51 AM
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Post: #2
Public schooling in relation to the economy

I think they can pretty much leave everything just the way it is, as long as they just stop fighting against the people who REALLY want to leave or do things their own way. Those are currently a minority it seems.

But as this minority does their own thing, the others will start to notice and join in, and then more organized alternatives will pop up (which already exist, mind you, but I mean there will be more in each specific area).

Drastic changes will confuse people, and we know how much the average human resists change, so let's not mess with them too much.

I think that the more people can be in charge of their own education, the more entrepeneurs we will have, and that will result in a better economy (not just more money, but more sustainable in the sense that what they're doing actually has some real value, and isn't just based on tricking people into giving them money for worthless crap).

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04-21-2013 12:58 AM
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Trar Away
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Post: #3
Public schooling in relation to the economy

By "worthless crap" you mean the wonderful world of the stock market and banking, right? Razz I can hardly blame you there, but since I find the institutions interesting myself (and I plan to invest wisely to maybe make some money in the future) and central to capitalism, I'm not exactly going to be picketing my local bank anytime soon. (Besides, that's where my money is.)

I'm not too sure that the public schooling system itself will be reformed, so I'm fine with leeway potentially being given for those who wish to find their own way. Perhaps it will fluster some people, perhaps some parts of the Administration™ won't want to see it happen.
(This post was last modified: 04-23-2013 06:01 AM by Trar.)
04-23-2013 05:59 AM
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Sunbourn Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Public schooling in relation to the economy

Quote:As an aside, I tried arguing for lack of public schooling on a different forum. Since this was a couple years ago my debating skills weren't exactly up-to-snuff, and I was told that "homeopathic" learning would ultimately result in immigrants getting all the jobs, among other things.
If the education system were reformed people native to the location would also be able to educate themselves in any subject that interests them and compete for jobs with the immigrants. It does nothing but set a level playing field. It seems like a really irrational point of view to say that immigrants will automatically acquire all of the jobs when natives can also learn how to do the job correctly and thus earn the job like anybody else. What did you rebut with?

Quote:I think they can pretty much leave everything just the way it is, as long as they just stop fighting against the people who REALLY want to leave or do things their own way. Those are currently a minority it seems.
I disagree. I think that along with allowing people to abandon the public school system entirely to pursue their own education, there should also be more flexibility within the existing public school system. For example, students waste so much time in high school English classes when they have already mastered everything that's gone over in those high school English classes years ago. It was a complete waste of time for me to essentially repeat what was learned in middle school and even elementary school English classes and read the school's selections of books which usually failed to ignite any interest from me. While I enjoy reading, I'm very selective about what I read. I would have benefited from having an elective class take the place of English, since the English language basis needed to get by in any other class was already established before entering high school.

Schools should become more relaxed in general instead of focusing on obedience. My middle school would make a huge deal out of gum chewing to the point where they were making it a distraction to learning. Chewing gum is a non-issue. The only rule that should result from it is to not leave your gum in a location that it shouldn't be. This is consistent with it being illegal to stab somebody with a pencil but being perfectly legal to carry around a pencil for its legitimate usages. It also doesn't make sense for the high school I attend to make such a big deal out of tardies. If a student can't or doesn't want to attend class on time, then what sense does it make for them to be punished with in school detention, which takes them away from more class time? The goal is to give students a reason to show up to class on time, so classes should be made as interesting as possible. If they fail to show up at the start of class, that's their own prerogative.

I'm going off on a tangent that has little to do with the original thread's purpose, so I'll just cut that off for now. I think I've gotten my point across anyway. Public schools in their current incarnation being made optional + significant reform to those public schools = big win for education.

What I think would be interesting to see is teacher's responses to school being made optional. An obvious result of this would be for many of them to lose their jobs, and I imagine that teachers unions would heavily oppose anything that might cause a substantial loss of teaching jobs. Though there will certainly be jobs in the area of alternative education opening up, some teachers will find it difficult to adapt. Especially older ones who aren't as familiar with technology and have become permanently grounded in the public school system. On the other hand, some teachers themselves are also quite sick of the state that schools are currently in and may be on board.

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04-23-2013 06:54 AM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Public schooling in relation to the economy

I say the educational system is totally incompatible with the work environment.

__________
1-School: You get punished for being tardy and are forced to come
1-Work: You get punished for being tardy and are "required" to come if you want to keep getting PAID
__________
2-School: You have to follow certain rules or get punished
2-Work: You have to follow certain rules or get punished and maybe not get PAID
__________
3-School: You have to wake up every weekday to go to school to "learn"
3-Work: You have to wake up every weekday(and maybe weekend) to go to work and get PAID
__________
4-School: You have no say/ultra-minimal say in daily affairs
4-Work: You have much say in daily affairs through union and are taken serious in the legal sense, in case you want to be better PAID
__________

I'm sure you can tell the greatest difference between school and work. School absolutely does not teach you to be a good worker. What it teaches is how to become a loyal, obedient servant to the corporations. A worker who is meek and lacking in self-confidence, obeying orders like a robot and not asking for things that would annoy the robber-barons that are your boss.

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04-23-2013 08:35 AM
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Trar Away
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Post: #6
Public schooling in relation to the economy

Good replies, both of you. Dunno if the guy I argued with will accept any of this or still cling to the belief that kids these days are lazy assholes (due in part to schooling, which I'm sure you already know about). I can provide a link to the "debate": http://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic....20&t=83939 (i'm The Remote Islands)

I found the whole "unpaid work" thing irritating too. They had the gum ban in my school as well. Around the 2nd quarter, most of my teachers (and probably most of the school) banned it because it was allegedly ditracting; there were only like one or two that still allowed it. I remember smoothing out gum in my mouth and pressing it against the top of my mouth just to get around this; I made one piece last a whole day once.
(This post was last modified: 04-27-2013 03:36 AM by Trar.)
04-27-2013 01:15 AM
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