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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.

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Poll: What would it take to educate the nation's youth?
Eliminating the public school system entirely.
Public referenda and crowd-sourced reform.
Loosened restrictions and non-compulsory schooling.
Bipartisan reforms determined by our Congressmen.
Putting more money in the Department of Education.
They're being educated just fine already.
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What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?
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Ky Offline
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Post: #1
What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

Choose one of the poll answers above and explain why you made that your choice. Simple as that.

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08-31-2014 01:01 PM
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xcriteria Offline
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What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

I'd take a third option. Or 7th option, in this case.

Longer reply later.

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08-31-2014 02:04 PM
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no Offline
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RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

Somewhat a combination of "Loosened restrictions and non-compulsory schooling," and "Some kind of miraculous social revolution." Even if we fix the problems with schools, there will still be problems with parents (i.e. those who teach values such as blind obedience, forced religion and so on). Although I can't speak from experience or point to any concrete numbers, it seems like it's easier to "bounce back" from bad schooling than from bad parenting, and students will more readily see problems with the school than with their upbringing. However, if we "fix the parents," they can simply homeschool/unschool or whatever works best for the child without the whole "what one size shall we make all fit" debate clogging the reform process.

Hello, traveler.

This is an ancient account I have not used in a long time. My views have changed much in the intervening months and years.

Nonetheless, I refuse to clean it up. Pretending that I've held my current views since the beginning of time is what we in the industry call a lie. Asking people to do so contributes to moralistic self-loathing. "See, those people have nothing damning! I do! I'm truly vile!"

Because you can never be a good person with a single blemish on the moral record, I thought that simply entertaining some thoughts made me irredeemable. Though I don't care for his writing style, William Faulkner presents a good counterexample. He went from being a typical Southern racist to supporting the civil rights movement. These days we'd yell at him for that, probably.

People are allowed to change their views.

Nevertheless, this period of my life has informed some of how I am today. In good ways and bad ways. To purge it would be to do a disservice to history. Perhaps it will not make anyone sympathetic, but it may help someone understand.

If, after reading all this, you still decide to use the post above as evidence that I am evil today, ask yourself if you have never disagreed with the moral code you now follow. In all likelihood you did, at some point. If some questions are verboten, and the answer is "how dare you ask that," don't expect your ideological opponents to ever change their minds.
08-31-2014 02:19 PM
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Post: #4
What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

Give states the right to handle education, give dept of ed regulatory watchdog role, and don't make mandatory schooling(if alternative is presented) and don't make it highly restricted(give teachers and schools flexibility)

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08-31-2014 02:21 PM
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RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

(08-31-2014 02:19 PM)no Wrote:  Even if we fix the problems with schools, there will still be problems with parents (i.e. those who teach values such as blind obedience, forced religion and so on).

Yeah. I've realized more and more that it's not just school that affects people on School Survival... it's arguable even more things like parents, siblings, social interaction, psych issues, boredom, figuring out how to navigate all the media saturation, making and spending money, and all of that... even if you take school out of the equation.

(08-31-2014 02:19 PM)no Wrote:  Although I can't speak from experience or point to any concrete numbers, it seems like it's easier to "bounce back" from bad schooling than from bad parenting, and students will more readily see problems with the school than with their upbringing.

Agreed. I think most people on School Survival are here not just because they hate school, but because other factors in their life make their overall situation even more unbearable.

Still, bouncing back from bad/ill-fitting school is one thing, but somehow getting a real education is another. If home life is bad, and parents aren't providing much of a good education themselves, there's the question of how to get out of there, meet people, and do something with life, regardless of school.

(08-31-2014 02:19 PM)no Wrote:  However, if we "fix the parents," they can simply homeschool/unschool or whatever works best for the child without the whole "what one size shall we make all fit" debate clogging the reform process.

Right. The question is then, what other approach to take. A lot of parents are skeptical of their kids just totally unschooling, and they don't want to have to take the responsibility of educating their own kids. So, that's where building alternatives -- our own version of education -- whether online, in collaborative non-school spaces, or however else, is the key step to change.

Some people are already doing that... see my reply here for some examples.

Another angle is Vermont's recent law requiring all students to have Personal Learning Plans, and schools to support them.

http://statescoop.com/vermont-launches-p...-web-site/

“Today’s Personal Learning Plan launch is a critical step toward providing individual students with the specific path to graduation – and beyond – that best meets their learning styles,” the Governor said. “There is no one-size-fits-all plan for teaching our children. These learning plans enable us to adjust education to meet the needs of all students, and ensure they have the skills they need to find good jobs after graduation.”

How that might get implemented is another question, but there's ultimately no reason why all schools, families, and learners shouldn't at least try to do that.

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09-01-2014 03:07 AM
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Post: #6
What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

Loosened restrictions and non-compulsory schooling.
Either that or
Eliminating the public school system entirely.

I don't understand most of the others, or they're too US-specific.

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What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

Loosened restrictions and non-compulsory schooling. The reason schools are bad is because it is largely about getting the Gov't to control the kids.

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09-01-2014 05:29 AM
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RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

(09-01-2014 05:23 AM)SoulRiser Wrote:  Eliminating the public school system entirely.

This entails quite a lot if it were to happen. I'd be scared it were to happen, actually.

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What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

1. Compulsory K-9, make high school optional. Put a focus in the early years on the 3 R's rather than social engineering.
2. Accountability for the actions of teachers and administrators. (get the unions out)
3. Consider the feasibility of a voucher system in districts which are plagued with chronic administrative problems.
4. Offer alternative programs as well as different delivery methods.
5. High school should have a career oriented focus coupled with an academic program.
6. High school should only be 2 years and should have shortened days as well. Possibly running on a 4 day week.
7. Personal development and learning plans should be implemented as well.
8. End standardized testing.
9. Rethink the meanings of "achievement" and "progress".
10. Overhaul the current curriculum and grading system.
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RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

I wouldn't move to get rid of the system entirely. Some may be left with nothing in that case. Loosened restrictions sound good. So does non-compulsory schooling -- I'd rather see them make kids want to go to school or otherwise educate themselves. Telling them they have to do something is a great way to get them not to do it.

Since we're keeping the system around, I'd like to see more money put into the Dept. of Ed. for materials, cutting-edge pedagogies, and teacher compensation. We also need to put some money into marketing a new image of teachers in America as highly respectable professionals. Right now, they do too much and get too little credit and pay for it.

I've seen (in passing) a lot of parents take the school's perspective as gospel, so if we can change things from that source, we might manage that societal change as well.

I'm not entirely sure how to picture crowd-sourced reform, but that sounds nice too.
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09-02-2014 01:50 AM
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RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

Getting rid of the system entirely would be a terrible idea. Simply put, if we were to get rid of public education entirely, the education system might turn into something akin to the US healthcare system pre-Obama.... I'd really hate to see that.

Some loosening though would be nice. I think that to an extent, a bit of a small privatization should be allowed, but not to the extent where it hurts the public education system itself. As vo pointed out, many kids might not have much other options. You might argue, "well, they can educate themselves", but the question is, how effective would that be for all students?. We'd be falling in the same "one size fits all trap", although a lot less strict.

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What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

Either you've all gone soft on me, or I've been surrounded by moderates all this time.

I call for nothing less than the disestablishment of government-run school systems. Yes, an end to standardized testing, compulsory attendance, unions, imbalanced budgeting, and federal micromanagement are quite welcome, but they are only half-measures that do not fully address the problems plaguing America's (and the world's) youth. The first poll answer is distinct in that it would be an excellent starting point to ensuring more people are truly educated, while the other answers would only mask the problem, possibly diminishing the effects of indoctrination in some small way without really putting a stop to it. Making peace with the public education system will never result in positive change; it is in the wrong hands, being used for the wrong purpose, and going about it in the wrong way. Years can be spent righting (reforming) just one of those wrongs when the pragmatic solution is to get rid of it and replace it with alternatives that are not only numerous, but already exist.

School sucks. The Prussian model of education is universally problematic, and for some reason most of the world emulates it. Here's what's wrong with the main aspects of this model:

- Attendance is compulsory. Children do not have the choice nor the authority to give or deny their consent to be dragged into an institution dedicated solely to indoctrinating them. Their parents have limited options also; the government simply will not permit them to keep their children outside of public schools unless they (or the institution they would prefer) comply with draconian education regulations. Attendance is enforced under threat of force; refusal to permit the government to undertake the responsibility of education, historically entrusted to the parent or the individual, is deemed a crime.

- Teachers are specifically trained to indoctrinate. To indoctrinate is to inculcate ideas, attitudes, and cognitive strategies without the expectation of critical examination, and that is the job description of underpaid experts who happen to be housed in an institution with hundreds/thousands of young people not permitted to escape. The life skills and information they provide is specifically tailored to be the minimum the future dregs of society need to understand and take to heart. They have little to offer those who aspire to be more, and they cannot afford to have their doctrines questioned because it is vitally important that their lessons are learned, not only for their own job security but for the goal of public education: to produce a society of sensible, homogeneous, and pliable individuals who can accomplish that which is asked of them for the common benefit of all. One size has to fit all; that is the premise of their training.

- Students are tested on their knowledge. Because it is a necessity for teachers to impart their knowledge on students, and because students need this information to at least form the lowliest cogs in the machine of the working world, they must be able to prove that they have received the indoctrination successfully. Standardized tests are intended to ensure that children - who are forced into a system against their will, and forced to accept information from teachers - are capable of retaining this information, whether they want it or not. Failure has consequences for everyone - students who fail these tests will be punished to the fullest extent of the system, and informed that they will not survive out in the world if they continue to resist the information given them, teachers whose students fail these tests are punished to the fullest extent of the system for not reaching the minds of their subjects as their job entails, and a society comprised of people who fail these tests will not accomplish the goals of public education. Success, then, is not an option but an absolute necessity.

- Students are divided into grades. To minimize the destructive effects of failure, and to distinguish those who are far along in education from those who are not, students are arranged in order of their age (and advancement) into individual years of involuntary servitude to this system. Let's ignore the obvious problems that arise from dividing prisoners into groups and the psychological games that can result, and focus on how it applies to education only: In order to spare society from failures and ensure that the false premise of public education remains a societal possibility, students who fail too many tests are not permitted to progress, and must remain in the same grade until the lessons of their teachers stick. If they make the choice to fail, whether willingly or unwillingly, in the hopes of shaking off the indoctrination forced upon them, they will be no better off than those who succeed. In fact, they will be worse off - they will have to remain longer and suffer the indignity of being taught the same things over and over again, and will not be permitted to join their society until they have been fully brainwashed (or, in the case of dropping out, at least being close enough).

Do you notice a common trend?

There's more than one, really. Central planning, for one - each of the elements of the Prussian model depend upon the premise of a central authority ensuring that their goals for public education are being fulfilled. The lack of choice, for another - to choose not to attend school, to choose not to receive information, to choose to fail is not a choice at all, and puts one at a significant disadvantage if they are even capable of making that choice. Compounded necessity also - no part of this system works without another, and it also depends on central planning and the lack of choice.

You cannot work with the system. You cannot work within the system. You cannot expect the system to work in your benefit. If school were made voluntary, many would elect not to go, subverting the authority of central planners - this will not come into fruition on its own. If teachers were to offer advice rather than forcing doctrines, the aims of central planners would not be endorsed - this will not just happen. If students did not need to be tested, central planners would have no way of measuring the effects of their plans - this is impermissible. If grades were no longer a thing, there would be many more ways the central plan could go wrong (if it hasn't gone wrong enough already) - while possible, this is highly unlikely. If we remove the central planners - the bureaucrats, the E.D., the politicians, the school administrators - from the equation, there would still be a central plan. Who would change and enforce it? Us? Do we really know how to represent millions of people we've never met better than they did?

"Fixing" a part of public schools will not solve the problem and may, in fact, make it even worse, even more unsustainable. The government does not solve problems; the concerns of the people cannot truly be met by any reforms to our schools. This is because this government "solution" is being forced upon the populace; more and more taxpayer dollars are required for this venture by the year, they have less and less incentive to make schools a legitimate service as time goes on, and the threats of force are becoming graver and greater than previously. Education is not an option, and the only way to change that is to regain control of it completely.

Many of you would ask what would happen if public schools were to cease to exist. Whatever tragedies you could possibly conceive as a result of these bastions of government planning vanishing into thin air are significantly fewer and less harmful than the terrible things they are doing to millions of people as I write this. We have alternatives; if private schooling is too similar, charter schooling too different, homeschooling too unfeasible, and unschooling too unpopular for at least one of them to work for various members of our society, we can all additionally rely on our other personal, non-system choices. It helps that most of us have access to an enormous, constantly-updating archive of information called...a library, and even more of us can access an even larger, faster archive known as the Internet. And to those few who really wouldn't have a choice no matter what, well, they don't have a choice in our schools today either, and they are no better off with eight hours of every autumn, winter, and spring weekday wasted in an inescapable institution.

The removal of school is just the beginning to undoing the damage of the people who have controlled our lives (and the lives of our parents) despite our never meeting them. It is very difficult to educate properly while the most popular system miseducates. There is no hope for improving most aspects of your home life when your family, friends, and peers are stuck in the incomplete, fragmented, and corrupted mindset thrust upon them by their miseducation. When the branches of the tree of evil ensnare you, your only hope is to strike the root before you are enveloped; even if you chop off the branches, more will grow in their place.

To those of you who remain strong in the weak belief that you must make peace with the establishment to right the wrongs it has done you, you have already lost your battle. Do not take half-measures when a full solution is necessary. Do not treat the symptoms when you can fight the disease. Do not go gentle when life hits you hardest.

Attempting to instigate a reform, by any method, will make you one of the people you are fighting; you are making a single-choice decision on behalf of others that will give them no real choices as a result, just as politicians and bureaucrats do. To fight this truth, you must fight for nothing short of another choice.

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09-02-2014 11:01 AM
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RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

All you've done here is list various problems with the current school system that could be addressed by the other poll options, then made baseless claims that it wouldn't be feasible to fix these issues except by doing away with the system entirely. You accuse the moderates of having weak beliefs and of being on the way to joining the enemy. You claim that moderated change can't happen. From what I can see, you support these only with strong, passionate language, not with any sensible argument. You make your claims and expect them to stand on their own. You write some pretty appealing words near the end of your post, but just because something is pithy doesn't mean it's right.

You make several good points -- which I think most of us already agree with -- about things that are wrong with the current system, but your post falls apart when you start claiming that repairing it is impossible. This idea that the government is entirely inept (or even malicious) and not to be trusted with doing anything good for any of us becomes more tiresome every time I see it. It's the sort of thing that points out to me those who lack perspective and often are inclined to take up the extreme position in foolish anger or an attempt to be edgy.

But is that fair to say? I don't know. It seems like the same sort of pointless opinion as accusing us of being weak in our beliefs or suggesting that we're all right with half measures.

An overhaul is definitely needed, but a public education system could do a lot of good with some changes. Look at it this way: Why take away options?

Quote:you must fight for nothing short of another choice.

Who here isn't? We're all for alternatives. I'm also in favor of improving the existing options. Imagine for a moment that some (many) people may not have the resources needed to educate themselves or knowledge of how to use them. They may also be unable to afford privatized services. What point is there in removing what could be their only viable choice? I don't want public school to be compulsory, and I have much the same objections to how it's being done as you do, but I would like for it to be there for those who need it.

Let me know if I've misunderstood anything.
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09-02-2014 11:50 AM
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RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

(09-02-2014 11:01 AM)DoA Wrote:  Either you've all gone soft on me, or I've been surrounded by moderates all this time.
Yeah... I'd say I'm pretty moderate. I'm not calling for an immediate abolishment of compulsory education laws (which would face mass resistance by teachers, parents, and even students). I'm not calling for the absolute disestablishment of the public school system. What I do call for is some realistic change such as loosening zero tolerance, allow for some privatization of the education system, an end to massive standardized testing, more use of modern technology, etc. I haven't been an extremist for a while now, and I'll stay that way. I don't want School-Survival to turn into some crank site.

Quote:I call for nothing less than the disestablishment of government-run school systems. Yes, an end to standardized testing, compulsory attendance, unions, imbalanced budgeting, and federal micromanagement are quite welcome, but they are only half-measures that do not fully address the problems plaguing America's (and the world's) youth. The first poll answer is distinct in that it would be an excellent starting point to ensuring more people are truly educated, while the other answers would only mask the problem, possibly diminishing the effects of indoctrination in some small way without really putting a stop to it. Making peace with the public education system will never result in positive change; it is in the wrong hands, being used for the wrong purpose, and going about it in the wrong way. Years can be spent righting (reforming) just one of those wrongs when the pragmatic solution is to get rid of it and replace it with alternatives that are not only numerous, but already exist.
Whoa whoa whoa slow it down here. You're calling for an abolishment of a system that has educated so many generations? Yes, I hate it as much as you do, but you're going way too far. I'm not going to see the education system be akin to the US healthcare system pre-Obama. Nice black and white fallacy. In order to truly change education, we must destroy the entire machine, and let the thing run laissez-faire (I assume, at least).

I'm not trying to defend the factory model, but you do realize that it has taught many to read, and it really has educated people? Likewise, it's not an effective system anymore, but when it was designed to fuel the growth of industry in the late 19th century, it worked. I think there definitely need to be major reforms, but something as extreme as abolishing the public education system? Holy fuck.

Quote:- Attendance is compulsory. Children do not have the choice nor the authority to give or deny their consent to be dragged into an institution dedicated solely to indoctrinating them. Their parents have limited options also; the government simply will not permit them to keep their children outside of public schools unless they (or the institution they would prefer) comply with draconian education regulations. Attendance is enforced under threat of force; refusal to permit the government to undertake the responsibility of education, historically entrusted to the parent or the individual, is deemed a crime.
I think xcriteria has pointed out that parents do have options. They just don't realize them, and it sort of falls in their hands. I think one change we can make is making parents more aware of what they can do, and perhaps, if they request, to receive some kind of schooling kit. Instead of abolishing the system, let's campaign for something reasonable, like more options, shall we?

Also, I've sort of realized that elementary education is actually pretty useful. You learn to read, write, learn basic mathematics, etc. You learn a lot of useful life skills. However, middle and high school are problematic. I do agree with an earlier age of being able to not have to attend anymore, being compounded by the fact that middle and high school aren't seen as relevant in teens' lives (definitely not in mine's). You're making as if compulsory education is akin to being sent to a North Korean gulag. I hate having no choice, but it's not a crime against humanity.

Quote:- Teachers are specifically trained to indoctrinate. To indoctrinate is to inculcate ideas, attitudes, and cognitive strategies without the expectation of critical examination, and that is the job description of underpaid experts who happen to be housed in an institution with hundreds/thousands of young people not permitted to escape. The life skills and information they provide is specifically tailored to be the minimum the future dregs of society need to understand and take to heart. They have little to offer those who aspire to be more, and they cannot afford to have their doctrines questioned because it is vitally important that their lessons are learned, not only for their own job security but for the goal of public education: to produce a society of sensible, homogeneous, and pliable individuals who can accomplish that which is asked of them for the common benefit of all. One size has to fit all; that is the premise of their training.
You have the right idea, but yet again you make this sound like there's this massive, massive conspiracy. Yes, the education system wants to conform, but I believe at the same time there is a serious attempt to foster things like creativity. The problem is that there's just a seriously bad dichotomy in the schooling system.

Again, you make it sound like the education system some kind of torture camp. Nice strawman. Yeah, I've been through shit in middle and early high school, but I wouldn't try to make it sound as if I were put in fucking Nazi Germany. Truth is, people perceive school differently. Your PoV in which somehow, school is a torture facility, doesn't apply to all. There are people who enjoy school. I don't, but who am I to say "school sucks because it's like a concentration camp!"?

Quote:- Students are tested on their knowledge. Because it is a necessity for teachers to impart their knowledge on students, and because students need this information to at least form the lowliest cogs in the machine of the working world, they must be able to prove that they have received the indoctrination successfully. Standardized tests are intended to ensure that children - who are forced into a system against their will, and forced to accept information from teachers - are capable of retaining this information, whether they want it or not. Failure has consequences for everyone - students who fail these tests will be punished to the fullest extent of the system, and informed that they will not survive out in the world if they continue to resist the information given them, teachers whose students fail these tests are punished to the fullest extent of the system for not reaching the minds of their subjects as their job entails, and a society comprised of people who fail these tests will not accomplish the goals of public education. Success, then, is not an option but an absolute necessity.

Again, you're going too much on the dystopian strawman. It is true though that standardized tests suck, I'll say that. I think you're extreme though to say it's somehow related to social Darwinism as your post implies. No, the massive testing was just the governments (both parties to blame here) bad way of tackling lower scores.

Quote:- Students are divided into grades. To minimize the destructive effects of failure, and to distinguish those who are far along in education from those who are not, students are arranged in order of their age (and advancement) into individual years of involuntary servitude to this system. Let's ignore the obvious problems that arise from dividing prisoners into groups and the psychological games that can result, and focus on how it applies to education only: In order to spare society from failures and ensure that the false premise of public education remains a societal possibility, students who fail too many tests are not permitted to progress, and must remain in the same grade until the lessons of their teachers stick. If they make the choice to fail, whether willingly or unwillingly, in the hopes of shaking off the indoctrination forced upon them, they will be no better off than those who succeed. In fact, they will be worse off - they will have to remain longer and suffer the indignity of being taught the same things over and over again, and will not be permitted to join their society until they have been fully brainwashed (or, in the case of dropping out, at least being close enough).
Again, nice dystopian strawman. Keep using it, and you're going to win a lot of people over. Honestly DoA, if you're attracting resistance, of all places, on an anti-school forum, I don't know how this'll fare in a public place.

I actually agree with your whole analysis on grades, because I hate grades. I loathe grades, and I've learned at this point how to obtain those high theoretical numbers without much effort (all it takes is some good cognition and anti-procrastination skills with some planning, and you're damn set). However, this argument is really hard to agree with because of your very, very strong language. Tone it down, DoA, tone it down.

Quote:There's more than one, really. Central planning, for one - each of the elements of the Prussian model depend upon the premise of a central authority ensuring that their goals for public education are being fulfilled. The lack of choice, for another - to choose not to attend school, to choose not to receive information, to choose to fail is not a choice at all, and puts one at a significant disadvantage if they are even capable of making that choice. Compounded necessity also - no part of this system works without another, and it also depends on central planning and the lack of choice.
You're less extreme and I think this is a bit more accurate.

Quote:You cannot work with the system. You cannot work within the system. You cannot expect the system to work in your benefit. If school were made voluntary, many would elect not to go, subverting the authority of central planners - this will not come into fruition on its own. If teachers were to offer advice rather than forcing doctrines, the aims of central planners would not be endorsed - this will not just happen. If students did not need to be tested, central planners would have no way of measuring the effects of their plans - this is impermissible. If grades were no longer a thing, there would be many more ways the central plan could go wrong (if it hasn't gone wrong enough already) - while possible, this is highly unlikely. If we remove the central planners - the bureaucrats, the E.D., the politicians, the school administrators - from the equation, there would still be a central plan. Who would change and enforce it? Us? Do we really know how to represent millions of people we've never met better than they did?
Again, nice black and white fallacy. You're promoting an "us vs them" mentality, which, in my opinion, is poison. Why? Because we have many of those who work within the system any way supporting us. I don't know how many teachers are out there who want legitimate change. I think there are principals as well who want change as well. There's more than "us vs them", DoA. Truth is, I think most of us fall in a grey area, which would include me, Vo, Neue, xcriteria, Schwamm, Poole, and millions more, I assure.

Quote:"Fixing" a part of public schools will not solve the problem and may, in fact, make it even worse, even more unsustainable. The government does not solve problems; the concerns of the people cannot truly be met by any reforms to our schools. This is because this government "solution" is being forced upon the populace; more and more taxpayer dollars are required for this venture by the year, they have less and less incentive to make schools a legitimate service as time goes on, and the threats of force are becoming graver and greater than previously. Education is not an option, and the only way to change that is to regain control of it completely.
Again, the "us vs them" policy. The government is probably just as confused as we are. Hell, they've actually been willing to listen in on suggestions previously, such as a live open Twitter feed months ago.

It's not "trying to control us". It's more like the government trying old ideas and making them work in modern day.

Quote:Many of you would ask what would happen if public schools were to cease to exist. Whatever tragedies you could possibly conceive as a result of these bastions of government planning vanishing into thin air are significantly fewer and less harmful than the terrible things they are doing to millions of people as I write this. We have alternatives; if private schooling is too similar, charter schooling too different, homeschooling too unfeasible, and unschooling too unpopular for at least one of them to work for various members of our society, we can all additionally rely on our other personal, non-system choices. It helps that most of us have access to an enormous, constantly-updating archive of information called...a library, and even more of us can access an even larger, faster archive known as the Internet. And to those few who really wouldn't have a choice no matter what, well, they don't have a choice in our schools today either, and they are no better off with eight hours of every autumn, winter, and spring weekday wasted in an inescapable institution.
You make it as if everything is bright and shiny in the world of alternative education. I could easily see the education system turning into the monster that was the U.S. healthcare system pre-Obamacare.

Quote:The removal of school is just the beginning to undoing the damage of the people who have controlled our lives (and the lives of our parents) despite our never meeting them. It is very difficult to educate properly while the most popular system miseducates. There is no hope for improving most aspects of your home life when your family, friends, and peers are stuck in the incomplete, fragmented, and corrupted mindset thrust upon them by their miseducation. When the branches of the tree of evil ensnare you, your only hope is to strike the root before you are enveloped; even if you chop off the branches, more will grow in their place.
Again, you make it sound like the education system has done so much bad. It's almost as if you're making it out to be some kind of holocaust.

DoA, I really don't know what the heck I just read. 70 percent of the argument you were trying to make it as if the U.S. education system was committing some kind of evil intellectual holocaust. You made great use of the strawman fallacy by making it as if the moderates are all somehow supporting the system, and all teachers, principals, etc to be evil.

I rest my case.

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RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  All you've done here is list various problems with the current school system that could be addressed by the other poll options
Yet not a one is a complete solution; not even the first, though it is the closest thing we have.

Let's say that the public complains loud enough (and that, for some reason, this actually concerns one of the state governments enough) to put an end to compulsory education somewhere (say, one of the states). Then what? Some people will inevitably choose not to participate in public schools, and if they do not replace it with another form of education (which is pretty likely if education is non-compulsory), they will be unfettered by any educational doctrines. What would happen if they were to become a part of their society with those who are so fettered? Would anything change for the better? What would happen to the aims of public education if things did change for the better?

The result would inevitably lead to the failure of one of the parties; it is conceivable that those who do not have an education will not be able to adapt to their society and cannot make their way in the world. But if they can (and I would assume they can), and if enough of them can, people will realize this, and more will abandon the public schools until it becomes clear that there is no need for them. That is the point at which the entire system would fail, as is the fear of many bureaucrats and proponents of the Department of Education.

Believe it or not, governments are aware of this - rather, fearful of this. Would any of them willingly make education voluntary, knowing full well that it could impede their goals?

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  then made baseless claims that it wouldn't be feasible to fix these issues except by doing away with the system entirely.
It wouldn't be feasible.

First of all, it wouldn't be feasible for us. Governments pocket our money and point guns at us when we don't follow their rules; they have no obligation to protect our interests, and any observant man will see that they don't. What hope could we possibly have to tell them to fix a part of their system they know could jeopardize either their control of the system or the system's control over others? The "components" of the Prussian model need one another to function, and as a result it is made very difficult for the public to replace them. Our efforts would be better invested in replacing the highly outdated model as a whole.

Which brings me to how unfeasible it would be for them. Some politicians already pay lip service to the idea of reforming education, knowing full well that any real attempt to change the fundamentals of the school system would be costly - best case scenario for them, solely in terms of money, though in practice likely worse. If we quit dividing students into grades, for example, billions would need to be spent and countless analyses would need to be made in order to determine a better system of division; this is difficult enough for individual charter schools to pull off that doing it on a massive scale would be highly inadvisable. Is it really so surprising that the state of education has remained mostly unchanged in the past hundred years?

Replacing the entire system would be no small feat either, most certainly, but it would result in a proportionately greater (and greatly needed) amount of change if it were capable of being accomplished.

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  You accuse the moderates of having weak beliefs and of being on the way to joining the enemy.
There are no points for neutrality.

"The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Excuse me if I am the slightest bit skeptical of those who are willing to work with the very same system that has intentionally wronged them.

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  You claim that moderated change can't happen.
As I've said, why would any government let it? We're giving them exactly what they want, and no attempts at negotiating with them will change that.

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  From what I can see, you support these only with strong, passionate language, not with any sensible argument.
No, but passion is a major plus; it is greatly preferable to the apathy of those being exploited, whether they're aware of it or not. It is sensible to look upon such an injustice and seek for something substantial to be done about it; while much of what I've said is debatable, do not consider my stance insensible solely because it is more extreme.

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  You make your claims and expect them to stand on their own.
And this is different from other claims how, exactly? Interestingly enough - perhaps ironically enough - this is one of my major concerns with the doctrines perpetuated by our schools, that their claims are supposed to be unquestioned.

You are clearly questioning what I have to say, however, and I applaud you for it, and have more to say in return.

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  You write some pretty appealing words near the end of your post, but just because something is pithy doesn't mean it's right.
A weakness - I am, after all, a writer, and one common pitfall among writers is their inexplicable tendency to be heavy-handed in their attempts at what should be healthy persuasion. It just goes to show how much I still have to learn.

As for morality, that depends entirely on the perceptions of the reader. I thought I made it pretty clear what effect each aspect of public education has on the individual, but only the reader can be certain of how clear I've made it to them personally.

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  You make several good points -- which I think most of us already agree with -- about things that are wrong with the current system, but your post falls apart when you start claiming that repairing it is impossible.
Naturally. When presenting an argument, the common ground you have with those you are attempting to persuade is a significant part.

Though it took me awhile, I was in a hurry to write this - I should better have tied my points to my claims. Specifically, this is what I think of repair:

Each of the points represent a facet of the Prussian model, and these points are greatly intertwined such that the removal of one would result in inefficiency or perhaps even total failure among the others. It does not help that (as we know) this model is dedicated to false principles - we know, perhaps even better than any other community, that the folly of central planning lies in their assumption that one size can fit all. It can't; the fact that they have intended this system to turn every individual, no matter how different, into similar model systems means that such a system is doomed to failure.

If repair were possible, it would have to be deep-cutting enough to fundamentally change the system entirely, eliminate the false premise of omni-targeted education, and remove the aspects of the model that result in more harm than good. This would require multiple impermissible subversions of government authority when decisive acts of public protest could conceivably replace the system entirely (with one geared toward success) in a much more feasible way (not to mention a shorter amount of time; change takes quite a long time to occur in government, after all).

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  This idea that the government is entirely inept (or even malicious) and not to be trusted with doing anything good for any of us becomes more tiresome every time I see it.
What's more tiresome is that some will stubbornly not accept it. We want to believe we are free, and ignore the fact that we are handed many non-choices by a monstrous group that answers to us in theory only. What's more, I want to believe that governments are well-intentioned, I really do, but you know the old saying about the road to hell...

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  It's the sort of thing that points out to me those who lack perspective and often are inclined to take up the extreme position in foolish anger or an attempt to be edgy.
Complaining about a problem is a pathetic way to attempt to be edgy. My intent is the opposite; I can see the effect governments have on a bigger picture, and will not downplay their significance for convenience or wishful thinking. Make no mistake, they're a considerable threat; even if they weren't attempting to infringe upon the rights of the people now, we'd still be handing them rights anyway, because the damage has already been done. What's worse, they are on the quest for more power, and there is more damage yet to be done, I'm afraid.

Unlike others who make this observation, I have the hope that this obstacle can be overcome, and I reject the "edgy" people who claim otherwise. The power of a dedicated individual can triumph above all equal circumstances; what power can resist these individuals when they join forces?

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  But is that fair to say? I don't know. It seems like the same sort of pointless opinion as accusing us of being weak in our beliefs or suggesting that we're all right with half measures.
Then enlighten me - what do you believe? What measures are you willing to take that you believe are full in and of themselves?

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  An overhaul is definitely needed, but a public education system could do a lot of good with some changes. Look at it this way: Why take away options?
What we overhaul it with (if we replace it with a public education system at all - let's not limit ourselves to only one realm of possibility) should be carefully considered; we have no end of theoretical options. The problem is, we only have the one real option if we don't act, and that isn't really an option at all; it's what we're being offered, and nothing more.

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  
Quote:you must fight for nothing short of another choice.

Who here isn't? We're all for alternatives.
I would hope so.

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  I'm also in favor of improving the existing options. Imagine for a moment that some (many) people may not have the resources needed to educate themselves or knowledge of how to use them. They may also be unable to afford privatized services. What point is there in removing what could be their only viable choice?
Let's not kid ourselves here; public school as we know it is not a viable choice. People who are in it now could find something better to do with the eight hours being sucked out of every day no matter their circumstances - it is just that bad.

If you think that improving existing options might change that, by all means, strive for improvement in those areas. Just bear in mind that there are better outcomes from establishing new systems that aren't hopelessly outdated or poorly constructed.

(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  I don't want public school to be compulsory, and I have much the same objections to how it's being done as you do, but I would like for it to be there for those who need it.
Something should be done for those who need an education but are not getting it. But that's the thing; they're not getting it now, and they will need some form of real education in the future. We should focus on finding it once we're in the direction of progress; as long as school-as-we-know-it remains, education policy will be facing the opposite.

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RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

Oh DoA, delusional as always.. tsk tsk
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What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

Oy vey! When they rounded us up in the school buses it was the holocaust all over again!

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09-02-2014 12:48 PM
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What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

DoA, I'm not even going to argue with you anymore. It's not that I can't refute your arguments, it's just that they're so damn long and filled with nothing but making "the system" to be nothing more than a giant machine meant to control all of us. It seems you can't make even an accurate basic point without going on about how the education system is committing an entire holocaust and how the government emphatically wants to prevent it from dying, and how all these massive social changes would ensue. You make good use of strawman, black and white, and slippery slope fallacies all over the places just to support them.

Have a nice day.

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09-02-2014 01:05 PM
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RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

(09-02-2014 12:41 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  Yeah... I'd say I'm pretty moderate. I'm not calling for an immediate abolishment of compulsory education laws (which would face mass resistance by teachers, parents, and even students). I'm not calling for the absolute disestablishment of the public school system. What I do call for is some realistic change such as loosening zero tolerance, allow for some privatization of the education system, an end to massive standardized testing, more use of modern technology, etc. I haven't been an extremist for a while now, and I'll stay that way. I don't want School-Survival to turn into some crank site.
Realistic, quickly-attainable change is a step forward, but bear in mind that there's miles to go from there. Expecting authority figures to put up with our requests for loosened restrictions and greater rights will only go so far.

(09-02-2014 12:41 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  Whoa whoa whoa slow it down here. You're calling for an abolishment of a system that has educated so many generations? Yes, I hate it as much as you do, but you're going way too far. I'm not going to see the education system be akin to the US healthcare system pre-Obama. Nice black and white fallacy. In order to truly change education, we must destroy the entire machine, and let the thing run laissez-faire (I assume, at least).

I'm not trying to defend the factory model, but you do realize that it has taught many to read, and it really has educated people? Likewise, it's not an effective system anymore, but when it was designed to fuel the growth of industry in the late 19th century, it worked. I think there definitely need to be major reforms, but something as extreme as abolishing the public education system? Holy fuck.
I know it sounds extreme. Very extreme. (And I would definitely beg to differ on the Obamacare issue, but that is another topic entirely.)

It doesn't matter to me that this machine - this method for educating millions of people - was made for a good (if not slightly authoritarian) intention by a European government that no longer exists. What matters is the effect it has had on people; when children are being taught what to think rather than how to think, it makes many aspects of our free will (though certainly not all of them) seem like illusions at best. What bothers me most is the illusion of a choice, as I've said.

Oh, yes, it was quite good at producing dutiful workers; it hasn't stopped!

In its day, the effect it had mercifully matched the intentions, but we really should have seen its corruption and dilapidation coming. As I noted in a blog post, a few attentive individuals were complaining about education issues (that are relevant today) since the days of the Great Depression. It has occurred to no one 'important', since that time, that we might need to make a few major modifications, if not entire replacements?

(09-02-2014 12:41 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  I think xcriteria has pointed out that parents do have options. They just don't realize them, and it sort of falls in their hands. I think one change we can make is making parents more aware of what they can do, and perhaps, if they request, to receive some kind of schooling kit. Instead of abolishing the system, let's campaign for something reasonable, like more options, shall we?

Also, I've sort of realized that elementary education is actually pretty useful. You learn to read, write, learn basic mathematics, etc. You learn a lot of useful life skills. However, middle and high school are problematic. I do agree with an earlier age of being able to not have to attend anymore, being compounded by the fact that middle and high school aren't seen as relevant in teens' lives (definitely not in mine's). You're making as if compulsory education is akin to being sent to a North Korean gulag. I hate having no choice, but it's not a crime against humanity.
The options, while promising, are insubstantial. Private schools are essentially public schools with technically different ownership, and charter schools (and homeschooling attempts) are subject to heavy-handed government regulations. It's a choice between government-chosen curricula and government-chosen curricula; while homeschooling is preferable, it's not the breakaway solution it should be.

My parents practically gave me an elementary education, and this was either before or during my elementary school attendance. It was no wonder I was always ahead of the class. My point is that these bare essentials are highly unlikely not to reach people in some way or form...and, frankly, I'm more concerned with the few clueless people out there who forget them by the time they reach adulthood (likely as a result of bad learning techniques, something schools do not attempt to mitigate).

Anyway, we should indeed consider more options; my proposed removal of the Prussian model does not mean we can't replace it with something else (and we probably should, to some degree).

Also, I would argue that it is a crime against humanity. Being imprisoned on the basis of age is a considerable human rights violation in and of itself, yet no one bats an eye!

(09-02-2014 12:41 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  You have the right idea, but yet again you make this sound like there's this massive, massive conspiracy. Yes, the education system wants to conform, but I believe at the same time there is a serious attempt to foster things like creativity. The problem is that there's just a seriously bad dichotomy in the schooling system.

Again, you make it sound like the education system some kind of torture camp. Nice strawman. Yeah, I've been through shit in middle and early high school, but I wouldn't try to make it sound as if I were put in fucking Nazi Germany. Truth is, people perceive school differently. Your PoV in which somehow, school is a torture facility, doesn't apply to all. There are people who enjoy school. I don't, but who am I to say "school sucks because it's like a concentration camp!"?
Well, it's not a conspiracy. At least, not in the "crazy conspiracy theory" sense; there is indeed some kind of intent on the part of governments here, but it's way more of an attempt at utilitarianism than petty villainy or some crap like that. I can understand the necessity for this kind of thing, given the context of the system, but it does sound really creepy when you think about it, and I would prefer to do without.

You'll have to understand that my circumstances were not as forgiving as yours. I wouldn't compare it to Nazi Germany either, but it was unjust enough for me to feel strongly in my heart that no one else should ever have to suffer the indignities I did. While there are indeed those who enjoy it, I would like to point out that not knowing you're being exploited is not the same as not being exploited; those who embrace conformity are not necessarily better off for it.

(09-02-2014 12:41 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  Again, you're going too much on the dystopian strawman. It is true though that standardized tests suck, I'll say that. I think you're extreme though to say it's somehow related to social Darwinism as your post implies. No, the massive testing was just the governments (both parties to blame here) bad way of tackling lower scores.
Yes, I understand that - lower scores have a negative effect on everyone, as I've said, and governments are justified in wanting to mitigate that. I just think schools would just benefit from an environment in which this does not have to be the case, and it happens that it would have to be pretty different from the current one to work.

(09-02-2014 12:41 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  Again, nice dystopian strawman. Keep using it, and you're going to win a lot of people over. Honestly DoA, if you're attracting resistance, of all places, on an anti-school forum, I don't know how this'll fare in a public place.

I actually agree with your whole analysis on grades, because I hate grades. I loathe grades, and I've learned at this point how to obtain those high theoretical numbers without much effort (all it takes is some good cognition and anti-procrastination skills with some planning, and you're damn set). However, this argument is really hard to agree with because of your very, very strong language. Tone it down, DoA, tone it down.
I'm speaking to the School Survival community, who I assumed shared most of my distaste for the status quo (after all, that's what I first came here for). Believe me, I would address a non-SS audience differently.

Anyway, I expected resistance, but my assertions stand.

(09-02-2014 12:41 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  You're less extreme and I think this is a bit more accurate.
Thanks.

(09-02-2014 12:41 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  Again, nice black and white fallacy. You're promoting an "us vs them" mentality, which, in my opinion, is poison. Why? Because we have many of those who work within the system any way supporting us. I don't know how many teachers are out there who want legitimate change. I think there are principals as well who want change as well. There's more than "us vs them", DoA. Truth is, I think most of us fall in a grey area, which would include me, Vo, Neue, xcriteria, Schwamm, Poole, and millions more, I assure.
I understand that, Hans, but do bear in mind that while I am not opposed to working with those within the system, I see working with the system itself as nothing more than a fruitless effort. I understand that there are many within the system that want to see it change, and I would like to stress that this change is highly unlikely to happen from within (due to the potential for suppression).

I've been to that grey area, and I can see the merit of being on the fringe between extremism and neutrality. I just happen to be impatient with those, seemingly on our side, who pick true neutrality - that is, no longer acting in the hopes of so much as even reforming the system. This is the case with many former School Survivalists, and I get tense when I see people on that fringe leaning towards neutrality.

(09-02-2014 12:41 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  Again, the "us vs them" policy. The government is probably just as confused as we are. Hell, they've actually been willing to listen in on suggestions previously, such as a live open Twitter feed months ago.

It's not "trying to control us". It's more like the government trying old ideas and making them work in modern day.
Both of those points are good points - Hanlon's Razor is in effect here, which means we shouldn't attribute to malice what can be more accurately explained by ineptitude. And I would say the government is quite inept...

(09-02-2014 12:41 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  You make it as if everything is bright and shiny in the world of alternative education. I could easily see the education system turning into the monster that was the U.S. healthcare system pre-Obamacare.
Oh, it is bright and shiny - by comparison to the status quo. By itself it isn't that impressive, but I would welcome it over the system we have now.

(09-02-2014 12:41 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  Again, you make it sound like the education system has done so much bad. It's almost as if you're making it out to be some kind of holocaust.

DoA, I really don't know what the heck I just read. 70 percent of the argument you were trying to make it as if the U.S. education system was committing some kind of evil intellectual holocaust. You made great use of the strawman fallacy by making it as if the moderates are all somehow supporting the system, and all teachers, principals, etc to be evil.

I rest my case.
It's reprehensible. Not holocaust reprehensible, but it's disconcerting to see how widespread and potent the effect of maleducation is. At least the system started out good, but it's past time to give it a break.

If that's how you construed it, then maybe it's a good thing I didn't say this to a less anti-school crowd. I'll need to work on my delivery - while I am disappointed in what great problems the public school system has caused, I did not intend to make neutrality any more evil than it is mildly annoying, nor did I try to paint teachers and principals as villains when each one is clearly different, and answers to someone else anyway.

Allow me to stress that no good can come of the Prussian model of education anymore. My point is that we must settle for no less than its complete removal before we consider what system to enforce upon millions of people we've never met. Actually, that's probably not a good....anyway, I mean that we'll have a far better shot at proper education when our work isn't constantly undone by a regressive default system.

EDIT:

(09-02-2014 01:05 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  DoA, I'm not even going to argue with you anymore. It's not that I can't refute your arguments, it's just that they're so damn long and filled with nothing but making "the system" to be nothing more than a giant machine meant to control all of us. It seems you can't make even an accurate basic point without going on about how the education system is committing an entire holocaust and how the government emphatically wants to prevent it from dying, and how all these massive social changes would ensue. You make good use of strawman, black and white, and slippery slope fallacies all over the places just to support them.

Have a nice day.
Aww, come on! You gave xcriteria a chance when he was on his wall-of-text phase, and you haven't so much as given me the benefit of the doubt any more than you've stooped to generalizing my argument (incorrectly, I might add). Give me a break.

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09-02-2014 01:31 PM
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RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

(09-01-2014 05:23 AM)SoulRiser Wrote:  Loosened restrictions and non-compulsory schooling.
Either that or
Eliminating the public school system entirely.

I don't understand most of the others, or they're too US-specific.
I agree with this, with the removal of compulsory schooling and with what DoA has to say. I want a mixture of solutions that'll all end in the removal of compulsory schooling.

DoA, with many of your points I found myself applauding, but a few could use a fix in its delivery. I think that by removing compulsory schooling we'd already achieve an effort that would indirectly remove the public school system virtually entirely, and change it with a new system as well.

I get what you're trying to say because you feel so passionately about this as much as I do. You want to fight fire w/ fire, and those who go (borderline) neutral on us vaguely remind you of the youth who betray the anti-school movement (neutrality will honestly get us absolutely nowhere) while the moderates are trying to please the folks who cannot really be pleased because they're more or less against us. It kind of mirrors the mess in Congress.

I don't know much about politics but all I know is that our government can eat one big pile of **** because they can't really get much done. In a way your "us vs. them" mentality is true, but I would say only to an extent.

Also, for me in a way school was kind of like a concentration camp. I was forced to go, and I would be branded a petty criminal if I refused to keep going or take the GED option – the latter that, IIRC, is something controlled by the very ones who control our public school system. Sure, you're not forced to do the work, only attend, but if you don't do the work you're still punished like DoA said, and you're most likely left of worse than those who chose to legitimately get through the system.

Another thing I'd like to mention is those working within the system who do support us. In a way they're efforts are meaningless because they're still working for a system that goes against everything we believe in. As long as these people keep working for a system we're trying to "defeat", at the end of the day they're still "supporters" of the system whether they like it or not. The best way they can make an impact alongside us if leaving that system because DoA is correct, they cannot do virtually anything against a system they're working for.

As for options, there is stuff like homeschooling and unschooling which I support 100%, but I have parents who vehemently oppose such options and anything that doesn't have to do with the public school system. There are some people who have become practically brainwashed by this institution that they believe the homeschooling/unschooling-type of myths you hear and read about. There are many other parents like mine because otherwise, this website wouldn't exist and compulsory schooling likely wouldn't be an issue.

Even my mom had it a bit rough going through school. Sometimes she would share stories about mean girls and stuff, the usual annoying and rude peers, and yet no matter what she didn't like about it she believes I had to go "just like everybody else." As for homeschooling, it was that it was too expensive, her and my dad can't teach, and they didn't agree signing me up for an online program because I would just be "playing games beside the schoolwork." One of her and my dad's biggest fallacies was that they "didn't believe in it."

I think one major contributor towards their stance in their disagreement for homeschooling was that they're both from Colombia, a 3rd-world country, and apparently, according to my mom, homeschooling was unheard of over there. Who knows what it's like today, but yeah, I get that there are options that can be expressed but some of you have to realize that there are some people (like my parents) who will willingly put their index fingers in their ears and not listen to reason. Some parents just cannot be "fixed." And as long as compulsory schooling exists then free options such as homeschooling/unschooling will continue to be criticized by the ignorant people who at least disagree with the free options (I never heard my parents declare ever being pro-school but I wouldn't be surprised if they were).

Lastly, in a way, compulsory schooling is a "crime against humanity." Semi-literally, at least? I'll elaborate. The U.S. Constitution's 13th amendment abolishes virtually all forms of slavery and indentured servitude, with the exception of the courts having you do things such as community service and prison work and the like. I believe the laws that states schooling is compulsory is going against everything this amendment stands for, and with the U.S. supposedly being the "home of the brave."

Didn't you guys hear of some German family who asked the U.S. government for asylum from Germany because they couldn't homeschool their kids there? The Obama administration flat-out denied their request and stated to them that "homeschooling was not a fundamental right." I'd say that any family who homeschools in this country and anyone against compulsory schooling should be very afraid. The Constitution itself is being infringed. I don't know how I can trust the government (the federal, at least) when they themselves are breaking the laws they create and execute and it's all being pushed under the rug.

I don't think I missed anything I wanted to touch on regarding the sides of the moderates, those who are moderate but have a preference towards anti-school, and those who clearly are anti-school. It's not as black and white as I pointed out here in this paragraph and how Hans did, but whatever. I'm a little tired right now, I need to edit another post to make on the SS forums, make another one, and then I got some bugs to watch out for.

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09-03-2014 01:28 PM
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Post: #21
What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

I'm against both public education in it's current form and private education.

Public education is indeed a state-run daycare centre with a side of propaganda. What would make privately-run education any different? I fail to see how businesses wouldn't want to raise obedient workers for their companies. I don't see anarcho-capitalists offering any viable alternatives other than 'let the free market fix it'.

The solution to our education woes is to replace the current system with one run with unity between teachers and students in the form of worker's councils. Both those teaching and those learning should be the ones running the education system, not the state or the bourgeoisie. Of course, I believe such a system cannot exist until an international proletarian revolution has occurred.

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Post: #22
RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

(09-02-2014 12:44 PM)DoA Wrote:  Let's say that the public complains loud enough (and that, for some reason, this actually concerns one of the state governments enough) to put an end to compulsory education somewhere (say, one of the states). Then what? Some people will inevitably choose not to participate in public schools . . .

The result would inevitably lead to the failure of one of the parties; it is conceivable that those who do not have an education will not be able to adapt to their society and cannot make their way in the world. But if they can (and I would assume they can), and if enough of them can, people will realize this, and more will abandon the public schools until it becomes clear that there is no need for them.

Believe it or not, governments are aware of this - rather, fearful of this. Would any of them willingly make education voluntary, knowing full well that it could impede their goals?

Yes, that's fine. If in making public education optional we discover that nobody needs it, and it falls, that's just fine. At least then we'll have shown ourselves that it's unneeded, rather than torn it down based on our ideals and without considering that it may still be useful for some.

Quote:
(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  then made baseless claims that it wouldn't be feasible to fix these issues except by doing away with the system entirely.
It wouldn't be feasible.

First of all, it wouldn't be feasible for us. Governments pocket our money and point guns at us when we don't follow their rules; they have no obligation to protect our interests, and any observant man will see that they don't. What hope could we possibly have to tell them to fix a part of their system they know could jeopardize either their control of the system or the system's control over others?

You say that the government is out to control us from the school system up, and I say that they're far too inept to manage that. It's like saying the government orchestrated 9/11. It's a compelling and exciting idea, but I doubt they're so well organized. I imagine they have the best of intentions but terrible execution owing to tortuous bureaucracy.

There's also the problem of how difficult it is to change a large and complex system in any meaningful way. There are plenty of people inside the system (not students, but people in positions of real influence) who I'm sure would like to change things, but it's not as easy as it might sound to get everyone to agree on how to do it and to feel sure that the benefits of the changes will outweigh the risks.

Quote:Which brings me to how unfeasible it would be for them. Some politicians already pay lip service to the idea of reforming education, knowing full well that any real attempt to change the fundamentals of the school system would be costly. . . . Is it really so surprising that the state of education has remained mostly unchanged in the past hundred years?

No, it really isn't. One of the reasons it's hard to change the complex system is because many implications have to be taken into account, to the point where many leaders will tend to leave well enough alone. Maybe they'd like to change things but the cost is truly prohibitive, or maybe they can't find a relatively safe way to try it out and wouldn't like to play around with people's education, or maybe there's just too much day-to-day stuff to deal with to focus on these broad changes as much as they'd like.

None of this means that abolishing public education rather than trying to fix it is necessarily a good idea.

Quote:Replacing the entire system would be no small feat either, most certainly, but it would result in a proportionately greater (and greatly needed) amount of change if it were capable of being accomplished.

Greater change, yes, but better? I don't know about that. Patience is vital here. In keeping but improving public education, we may not get the grand revolution we've all hoped for from time to time, but I think we can eventually reach a better system for everyone if we move slowly and carefully.

Quote:
(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  You accuse the moderates of having weak beliefs and of being on the way to joining the enemy.
There are no points for neutrality.

"The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict." - Martin Luther King Jr.

If we were neutral, we wouldn't be expressing opinions about what should be done with public education. If anything, we're moderate, which does not mean we're in any way weak or wishy-washy. I, for one, feel very strongly about effecting measured changes in public education.

Quote:Excuse me if I am the slightest bit skeptical of those who are willing to work with the very same system that has intentionally wronged them.

Again, I like to believe they have good intentions. The way of public education was practical when it came about, and was apparently accepted by society at the time, but it's now outdated. It should be changed for sure, but I highly doubt that anyone is intentionally jerking us around. I don't see the people of the system as the enemy, so I see nothing wrong with trying to work with them.

Quote:
(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  You claim that moderated change can't happen.
As I've said, why would any government let it? We're giving them exactly what they want, and no attempts at negotiating with them will change that.

I think that this idea of "the government" is a bit off the mark here, as it brings up the idea of the monolithic Fed. We're talking about separate states at most, and even within those, the people in government concerned with education are different from the ones concerned with controlling the citizenry, if such a thing is even happening. I've worked in enough large, compartmentalized organizations to know that the groups that make them up have enough trouble communicating within themselves, let alone collaborating with the other groups.

These people are far too busy worrying about how to educate well a large and disparate population to sit down and conspire about how to use the school system to keep us down.

Quote:No, but passion is a major plus; it is greatly preferable to the apathy of those being exploited, whether they're aware of it or not. It is sensible to look upon such an injustice and seek for something substantial to be done about it; while much of what I've said is debatable, do not consider my stance insensible solely because it is more extreme.

Yes, passion is nice. I like reading a passionate post and I like when it pushes me to reply passionately. But it can't stand alone. As fun as it is to read something written with passion, it also needs substance and rationale.

Rallying for the extreme solution is inspiring, to be sure, and maybe that's even a useful role to play, but it at least needs a more moderate voice alongside it to channel that passion into more reasonable pursuits. If we don't agree on whose aims are reasonable, though, that sort of team-up doesn't work so well.

I didn't think your position insensible because it was extreme, but because you seemed to hold it up only with passionate writing, which is a fine start, but not enough on its own. It seems you've moved beyond that somewhat, but you still seem to think that those of us taking the moderate position are at best useless and at worst working with the enemy, when really we have all the same problems with the current system as you do, but see a different way to handle it.

Quote:
(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  You make your claims and expect them to stand on their own.
And this is different from other claims how, exactly? Interestingly enough - perhaps ironically enough - this is one of my major concerns with the doctrines perpetuated by our schools, that their claims are supposed to be unquestioned.

It's that you make a lot of predictions about what will happen if public education is made optional (and so on) and phrase them in a very definitive way. So it's not as if you just said "school bad, kill". You did go a step beyond that in speculating about what could go wrong with trying for moderate changes, but those ideas aren't sure to be reality.

My problem here is more that, instead of saying, "Here are some things that I think could go wrong with trying to change the system; do you think these can be addressed?" you've said that, for the reasons you gave, moderate change is sure not to work, though as far as I can tell, you were only speculating based on your idea of the workings and motivation of government. It's taking this sort of speculation and framing it as the obvious result of what we're suggesting, and even going so far as to accuse moderates of lacking conviction, that I take issue with.

Quote:
(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  ... Just because something is pithy doesn't mean it's right.
A weakness - I am, after all, a writer, and one common pitfall among writers is their inexplicable tendency to be heavy-handed in their attempts at what should be healthy persuasion. It just goes to show how much I still have to learn.

It's not really a bad thing, but it has its place. Sometimes inspiring words are needed, but those alone aren't really any good in place of reason. They can give reasoned arguments a great boost, though.

Quote:Each of the points represent a facet of the Prussian model, and these points are greatly intertwined such that the removal of one would result in inefficiency or perhaps even total failure among the others.

I'm not sure, but that sounds right. I'm definitely not claiming that change will be seamless, but it seems worth the trouble.

Quote:It does not help that (as we know) this model is dedicated to false principles - we know, perhaps even better than any other community, that the folly of central planning lies in their assumption that one size can fit all. It can't; the fact that they have intended this system to turn every individual, no matter how different, into similar model systems means that such a system is doomed to failure.

However it started off, I think that at this point the people currently running public education are doing the best they can with a poor system. I haven't met very many people who are completely satisfied with how things are, and I agree that the current system isn't sustainable. It's pretty well impossibly difficult to get all the necessary people to agree on how to change it, but I don't believe this means blowing it away entirely will serve the greater good.

Quote:
(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  This idea that the government is entirely inept (or even malicious) and not to be trusted with doing anything good for any of us becomes more tiresome every time I see it.
What's more tiresome is that some will stubbornly not accept it. We want to believe we are free, and ignore the fact that we are handed many non-choices by a monstrous group that answers to us in theory only. What's more, I want to believe that governments are well-intentioned, I really do, but you know the old saying about the road to hell...

So, I mentioned earlier that I believe the government is too inept to intentionally screw us over, which may seem to conflict with what I said about being tired of hearing about them being inept. I don't think the individuals of government are inept. I believe that they're even effective in groups. It's just that when you bring it all together, it must be amazingly difficult to please everyone. Someone will always cry fascism, and someone else will always say it wasn't enough. All of this results in the government seeming useless at best and abusive at worst. This is another thing that badly needs change, but I won't presume to know the best way to go about it.

Quote:Unlike others who make this observation, I have the hope that this obstacle can be overcome, and I reject the "edgy" people who claim otherwise. The power of a dedicated individual can triumph above all equal circumstances; what power can resist these individuals when they join forces?

That's a step up from empty complaining, at least.

Quote:
(09-02-2014 11:50 AM)vonunov Wrote:  But is that fair to say? I don't know. It seems like the same sort of pointless opinion as accusing us of being weak in our beliefs or suggesting that we're all right with half measures.
Then enlighten me - what do you believe? What measures are you willing to take that you believe are full in and of themselves?

I'd like to fully make school optional, fully increase funding (let's take some from the military), fully make an effort to revolutionize teaching methods in the now-optional public schools, and fully turn the profession of teacher into the well-compensated and coveted position it should be. Right up there with doctors, lawyers, and those STEM fields reddit likes to jerk off over. It should be super difficult to become a teacher and teachers should be paid accordingly. They're far too important to be hired and treated like they are now.

But I digress. All of these are things that can be done fully or half-assed. That I don't support fully abolishing the public education system doesn't mean that the changes I do support are not full within themselves.

Quote:What we overhaul it with (if we replace it with a public education system at all - let's not limit ourselves to only one realm of possibility) should be carefully considered; we have no end of theoretical options. The problem is, we only have the one real option if we don't act, and that isn't really an option at all; it's what we're being offered, and nothing more.

Sure. I don't want to roll over and take it either. I just think that there's a lot we have yet to try before we nuke it from orbit.


Quote:Let's not kid ourselves here; public school as we know it is not a viable choice. People who are in it now could find something better to do with the eight hours being sucked out of every day no matter their circumstances - it is just that bad.

Yeah, that's why I want to change it and make it truly effective.

Quote:If you think that improving existing options might change that, by all means, strive for improvement in those areas. Just bear in mind that there are better outcomes from establishing new systems that aren't hopelessly outdated or poorly constructed.

I think we might even be trying for much the same result. I just think that we can morph the current system, while you think we're better off starting over. Different paths up the same mountain? Hm.

Quote:Something should be done for those who need an education but are not getting it. But that's the thing; they're not getting it now, and they will need some form of real education in the future. We should focus on finding it once we're in the direction of progress; as long as school-as-we-know-it remains, education policy will be facing the opposite.

It seems we're concerned about the same thing, at least.

I really hate getting into this kind of point-by-point thing. It spirals and expands and just never ends.
09-04-2014 03:15 AM
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Post: #23
RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

I think I'll just post a small write up about what I think about the privatization of education and whether a free-market approach could work.

Personally, a partial free-market approach, if executed correctly, could be a massive boon for all, with my reasoning below.

1. The U.S. education system is far too overburdened with too many students. If private chains (yeah, I know chain more or less has a negative connotation, but stay with me here) were to take a good chunk of those students, the system would be less overburdened with students. This reduces the number of kids in classes, the number of kids teachers have to deal with, etc.

2. Because private schools are independent, they could use their own model. Perhaps the idea of education for all and a multiple sizes fit all could be realized if private schools become somewhat more allowed.

3. Just allowing a free model would allow people to make profit. Again, negative connotation, but we do live in a capitalist society. We want to make money, we want to make it big. Not only that, but I think this would allow for jobs to be created as well, because there are more schools.

That's how I see it working. However, a full-on privatization would be potentially disastrous, especially long-term. I don't want to see a complete commercialization of education, nor do I want to see the lower classes being shut out from basic education services they might need.

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09-04-2014 03:57 AM
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Post: #24
RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

(09-02-2014 01:31 PM)DoA Wrote:  Realistic, quickly-attainable change is a step forward, but bear in mind that there's miles to go from there. Expecting authority figures to put up with our requests for loosened restrictions and greater rights will only go so far.
Yeah.... because.... that's how things work, to be honest.

Let's be honest. Did you really think that Martin Luther King Jr. expected more rights for minorities in a week? Do you really think change is going to be easy?

(09-02-2014 01:31 PM)DoA Wrote:  It doesn't matter to me that this machine - this method for educating millions of people - was made for a good (if not slightly authoritarian) intention by a European government that no longer exists. What matters is the effect it has had on people; when children are being taught what to think rather than how to think, it makes many aspects of our free will (though certainly not all of them) seem like illusions at best. What bothers me most is the illusion of a choice, as I've said.

Oh, yes, it was quite good at producing dutiful workers; it hasn't stopped!

In its day, the effect it had mercifully matched the intentions, but we really should have seen its corruption and dilapidation coming. As I noted in a blog post, a few attentive individuals were complaining about education issues (that are relevant today) since the days of the Great Depression. It has occurred to no one 'important', since that time, that we might need to make a few major modifications, if not entire replacements?
The Prussian and American governments had much different intentions when it came to using the education system....

DoA, you make it seem as if somehow, this "evil machine" has affected all of us. Somehow, the concept of free will itself is on the verge of extinction, yet you forget how many great thinkers, etc exist today. Tupac Shakur, Nasir Jones, Noam Chomsky, Mark Zuckerburg, and countless, countless others, have emerged from an era where compulsory education existed. I'm not saying school made them into great thinkers (in fact Shakur and Jones were both drop-outs), but what I am saying is that "the machine" you described hasn't destroyed the way we think.

And yes, the education system did its thing, by creating industrial workers, because you know, that's where society was headed at the time. Of course, things have changed. You make the intention to be pure evil, but the reality is that the industrial revolution brought many benefits, like, I don't know, the advancement of technology.

(09-02-2014 01:31 PM)DoA Wrote:  The options, while promising, are insubstantial. Private schools are essentially public schools with technically different ownership, and charter schools (and homeschooling attempts) are subject to heavy-handed government regulations. It's a choice between government-chosen curricula and government-chosen curricula; while homeschooling is preferable, it's not the breakaway solution it should be.

My parents practically gave me an elementary education, and this was either before or during my elementary school attendance. It was no wonder I was always ahead of the class. My point is that these bare essentials are highly unlikely not to reach people in some way or form...and, frankly, I'm more concerned with the few clueless people out there who forget them by the time they reach adulthood (likely as a result of bad learning techniques, something schools do not attempt to mitigate).

Anyway, we should indeed consider more options; my proposed removal of the Prussian model does not mean we can't replace it with something else (and we probably should, to some degree).

Also, I would argue that it is a crime against humanity. Being imprisoned on the basis of age is a considerable human rights violation in and of itself, yet no one bats an eye!
DoA, I'm going to be honest with you here, I do support a partial privatization of education (read my post).

I don't know how to respond with the rest of your argument.... again, this isn't "the machine brainwashing us all". It's simply outdated teaching techniques being applied in the wrong era. Of course they're not going to learn, how is a kid from 2014 going to learn via 19th century model?

Though I'm not exactly big on compulsory attendance... you really need to take it down a notch. Part of the reason this "considerable human rights violation" is not seen is for 3 reasons:

1. Kids are not seen as mature anyway. Of course, this misconception should be fought... especially with information being available much more widely, etc, and increasing how people learn and the speed of them as well.

2. An American high school is not a fucking North Korean gulag.

3. School is just seen as a part of life. Simple as that.

(09-02-2014 01:31 PM)DoA Wrote:  Well, it's not a conspiracy. At least, not in the "crazy conspiracy theory" sense; there is indeed some kind of intent on the part of governments here, but it's way more of an attempt at utilitarianism than petty villainy or some crap like that. I can understand the necessity for this kind of thing, given the context of the system, but it does sound really creepy when you think about it, and I would prefer to do without.

You'll have to understand that my circumstances were not as forgiving as yours. I wouldn't compare it to Nazi Germany either, but it was unjust enough for me to feel strongly in my heart that no one else should ever have to suffer the indignities I did. While there are indeed those who enjoy it, I would like to point out that not knowing you're being exploited is not the same as not being exploited; those who embrace conformity are not necessarily better off for it.
I agree it is sort of creepy. There are always parallels to be made. DoA, you do understand how American morales work though, right? American morality sort of embraces conformity, etc.... it's not necessarily government but people as well.

Again though, your experience is your experience. Doesn't mean that nothing should be done about it, but you need to realize that not everyone's perception is the same. My perception is definitely different from your's, and many other people. Understand that.

(09-02-2014 01:31 PM)DoA Wrote:  Yes, I understand that - lower scores have a negative effect on everyone, as I've said, and governments are justified in wanting to mitigate that. I just think schools would just benefit from an environment in which this does not have to be the case, and it happens that it would have to be pretty different from the current one to work.
Perfectly reasonable.

(09-02-2014 01:31 PM)DoA Wrote:  I'm speaking to the School Survival community, who I assumed shared most of my distaste for the status quo (after all, that's what I first came here for). Believe me, I would address a non-SS audience differently.

Anyway, I expected resistance, but my assertions stand.
I suppose you're reasonable here....

(09-02-2014 01:31 PM)DoA Wrote:  I understand that, Hans, but do bear in mind that while I am not opposed to working with those within the system, I see working with the system itself as nothing more than a fruitless effort. I understand that there are many within the system that want to see it change, and I would like to stress that this change is highly unlikely to happen from within (due to the potential for suppression).

I've been to that grey area, and I can see the merit of being on the fringe between extremism and neutrality. I just happen to be impatient with those, seemingly on our side, who pick true neutrality - that is, no longer acting in the hopes of so much as even reforming the system. This is the case with many former School Survivalists, and I get tense when I see people on that fringe leaning towards neutrality.
What is "working with the system" anyway? The system itself is not a person. It does not breath, move, or any of that stuff.... in my honest opinion, there's too much grey in order to just destroy the system. Again, so much is complicated....

Also, this is just the way I'm seeing your argument, but you make it as if someone who isn't a radical is somehow, neutral, when that's just inaccurate. Let's just put it this way: I hate school, but I don't think we should destroy the system completely. Again, it's all complex....

(09-02-2014 01:31 PM)DoA Wrote:  Oh, it is bright and shiny - by comparison to the status quo. By itself it isn't that impressive, but I would welcome it over the system we have now.
I agree, actually.... but I don't agree with your point on destroying government-run education.

(09-02-2014 01:31 PM)DoA Wrote:  It's reprehensible. Not holocaust reprehensible, but it's disconcerting to see how widespread and potent the effect of maleducation is. At least the system started out good, but it's past time to give it a break.

If that's how you construed it, then maybe it's a good thing I didn't say this to a less anti-school crowd. I'll need to work on my delivery - while I am disappointed in what great problems the public school system has caused, I did not intend to make neutrality any more evil than it is mildly annoying, nor did I try to paint teachers and principals as villains when each one is clearly different, and answers to someone else anyway.

Allow me to stress that no good can come of the Prussian model of education anymore. My point is that we must settle for no less than its complete removal before we consider what system to enforce upon millions of people we've never met. Actually, that's probably not a good....anyway, I mean that we'll have a far better shot at proper education when our work isn't constantly undone by a regressive default system.
You're more reasonable here, I suppose. I agree that nothing can come out of the old-style education system either. In fact, it'll likely kill us in the long-run if we keep using it in say, the 22nd century. However, I just don't see how the government-run education system must be one way. I imagine there could be many different schools under the government that cater to us all. What's key here is choice, diversifying, etc.

Quote:Aww, come on! You gave xcriteria a chance when he was on his wall-of-text phase, and you haven't so much as given me the benefit of the doubt any more than you've stooped to generalizing my argument (incorrectly, I might add). Give me a break.

....because xcriteria wasn't going on about "DESTROY THE SYSTEM!!!!". (Hell, xcriteria influenced me to lessen how extreme my views were, ironically)

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09-04-2014 05:33 AM
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Post: #25
RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

(09-01-2014 05:59 PM)Evan92 Wrote:  1. Compulsory K-9, make high school optional. Put a focus in the early years on the 3 R's rather than social engineering.
2. Accountability for the actions of teachers and administrators. (get the unions out)
3. Consider the feasibility of a voucher system in districts which are plagued with chronic administrative problems.
4. Offer alternative programs as well as different delivery methods.
5. High school should have a career oriented focus coupled with an academic program.
6. High school should only be 2 years and should have shortened days as well. Possibly running on a 4 day week.
7. Personal development and learning plans should be implemented as well.
8. End standardized testing.
9. Rethink the meanings of "achievement" and "progress".
10. Overhaul the current curriculum and grading system.
I agree with everything, except I think it should be K-6. You learn NOTHING in middle school that you don't learn elsewhere.

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09-04-2014 07:26 AM
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Post: #26
What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

We should at least get rid of some of the red tape and get rid of stuff like NCLB and RTTT.

Wake up people, and look at life around you
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09-06-2014 01:14 PM
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Marlena403 Offline
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Post: #27
What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

They're being educated just fine already.
01-02-2017 07:55 AM
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Superkamiguru Offline
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Post: #28
RE: What is your -real- opinion on the public school system?

(01-02-2017 07:55 AM)Marlena403 Wrote:  They're being educated just fine already.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n5E7feJHw0

Hidden stuff:
"CONSENSUAL incest is not wrong. (Abuse victims: being abused by a relative does not make it wrong for others to have consensual incest, any more than rape by a stranger makes all sex wrong. Sex and assault/molestation are two different things.) An aversion became common in humans that aided in population growth as one disease couldn't wipe out the human race. That's not a problem anymore.

Consensual incest is very common. You know people who have been involved, whether you know it or not.

There is no rational reason for keeping laws or taboos against consensual
incest that is consistently applied to other relationships. Personal disgust or religion is only a reason why one person would not want to personally engage in what I call consanguinamory, not why someone else shouldn't do it. An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with ANY consenting adults. Youthful experimentation between close relatives close in age is not uncommon, and there are more people than you'd think out there who are in lifelong healthy, happy relationships with a close relative. It isn't for everyone, but we're not all going to want to have each others' love lives, now are we? If someone thinks YOUR love life is disgusting, should you be thrown in prison?

Some people try to justify their prejudice against consanguineous sex and
marriage by being part-time eugenicists and saying that such relationships inevitably lead to “mutant” or “deformed” babies. This argument can be refuted on several fronts. 1. Some consanguineous relationships involve only people of the same gender. 2. Not all mixed-gender relationships birth biological children. 3. Most births to consanguineous parents do not produce children with significant birth defects or other genetic problems; while births to other parents do sometimes have birth defects. 4. We don’t prevent other people from marrying or deny them their reproductive rights based on increased odds of passing along a genetic problem or inherited disease. It is true that in general, children born to consanguineous parents have an increased chance of these problems than those born to nonconsanguineous parents, but the odds are still minimal. Unless someone is willing to deny reproductive rights and medical privacy to others and force everyone to take genetic tests and bar carriers and the congenitally disabled and women over 35 from having children, then equal protection principles prevent this from being a justification to bar this freedom of association and freedom to marry.

Some say "Your sibling should not be your lover." That is not a reason. It begs the question. Many people have many relationships that have more than one aspect. Some women say their sister is their best friend. Why can’t their sister be a wife, too?

Some say “There is a power differential.” This applies least of all to siblings or cousins who are close in age, but even where the power differential exists, it is not a justification for denying this freedom to sex or to marry. There is a power differential in just about any relationship, sometimes an enormous power differential. To question if consent is truly possible in these cases is insulting and demeaning.

Some say “There are so many people outside of your family." There are plenty of people within one’s own race, too, but that is no reason to ban interracial marriage. So, this isn't a good reason either. Let consenting adults love each other the way they want!"-Keith Pullman

01-03-2017 07:31 AM
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