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August 2001 - June 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-SoulRiser

The forums are mostly read-only and are in a maintenance/testing phase, before being permanently archived. Please use this time to get the contact details of people you'd like to keep in touch with. My contact details are here.

Please do not make a mirror copy of the forums in their current state - things will still change, and some people have requested to be able to edit or delete some of their personal info.


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Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!
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TheCancer Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

Quote:It's scary, but sometimes I wonder if the freedoms we defend are thinner than we realize. We can't imagine losing them while we have them, but we'd get over it if they evaporated.

Like Anne Frank did?

Like the victims at Hiroshima?

Yes, Trump is that bad.

If you want to be a different fish, you've got to jump out of the school.


Captain Beefheart
02-11-2017 11:14 PM
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sswbm Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

(02-11-2017 09:00 AM)SoulRiser Wrote:  
Quote:There are all sorts of places to go if you just want to talk about your personal problems. Why would you want to be somewhere where you actively derail threads that’re about accomplishing the place’s mission? This is the only forum dedicated to ending compulsory education – if you look you can find an endless number for personal support.
Rofl

Yeah, there are soooooooooooooo many places on the internet that will help kids/teens with their school problems and will support them if they say they hate school, and won't be patronizing towards them at aaallllllllllll.... totally.

It's called School Survival for a reason. The reason is that it was the first name that popped into my head in 1999 when I started it, and I figured I could come up with a better name later. Well, I couldn't. It's still the most appropriate name I can think of, because it's totally 100% about surviving school. Not abolishing it. I don't know how you think a forum on the internet can actually abolish the compulsory schooling of an entire country, let alone the world.

Other than that, I agree with pretty much everything no said.

School was horribly destructive for me, and I'm still recovering from the damage, 17 years later. Should it cease to exist? No, some people do seem totally happy there. Should it be optional, and be easier for kids to get the hell out if it's destroying them? HELL YES! Can this small forum on the internet accomplish that? Not bloody likely.

Sorry but saying that "it's totally 100% about surviving school. Not abolishing it" is comparable to an escaped labor camp inmate saying "it's totally 100% about surviving the labor camp. Not abolishing it". Yeah, theoretically people could survive without it being abolished. In practice, tearing the whole thing down is what saves people. Even though some people might actually think they like the labor camp.

No, chatting alone won't accomplish anything indeed, besides giving people an (absolutely valuable!) "wew I'm not completely alone" feeling. Even though some people here actually seem to believe that. Why aren't ideas to actually hamper the system ever talked about here...
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2017 03:03 AM by sswbm.)
02-12-2017 03:02 AM
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TheCancer Offline
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Post: #33
RE: Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

Right on Jop!!!

If you want to be a different fish, you've got to jump out of the school.


Captain Beefheart
02-12-2017 03:08 AM
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Gwedin Offline
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Post: #34
RE: Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

Quote:This is the only forum dedicated to ending compulsory education
jej

oh, shit, it seems i don't belong here because i support reform rather than abolition! whoops, bye guys!

everybody else has said it already but this is so fucking dumb even my dumb ass needs to bang on about it. to quote the history page or w/e:
Quote:I wanted the site to be the kind of place where people who feel the same as I did can come to and see that they're not alone.
it's clearly a support forum first and foremost jfc

Quote:Sorry but saying that "it's totally 100% about surviving school. Not abolishing it" is comparable to an escaped labor camp inmate saying "it's totally 100% about surviving the labor camp. Not abolishing it".
ignoring the fact that this comparison is just plain dumb, what would be wrong with this? it would make the inmate's time in the labour camp a hell of a lot better if he could vent about his struggles and he probably realises the futility in trying to change the regime. sure he probably wants the camps abolished but why bother, he'll only get a bullet in the back of the head if he tries anything.

or something.

fuck off i just woke up, you cunts made me bitchy already (that isn't supposed to happen til at least midday!) wah wah
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2017 04:53 AM by Gwedin.)
02-12-2017 04:46 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Post: #35
Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

Quote:Why aren't ideas to actually hamper the system ever talked about here...
They are. Some of our members have come up with sub-projects that aim to abolish compulsory schooling though, and sometimes they use School Survival in the name. And I'm totally fine with that.

Quote:Sorry but saying that "it's totally 100% about surviving school. Not abolishing it" is comparable to an escaped labor camp inmate saying "it's totally 100% about surviving the labor camp. Not abolishing it". Yeah, theoretically people could survive without it being abolished. In practice, tearing the whole thing down is what saves people.
But surviving school is the forum's purpose, according to me, because it's my forum. If members here want to start sub-projects that aim to accomplish things, that's totally fine, and maybe I will even help, but that isn't the main purpose of the forum.

Hidden stuff:
Because I said so.

I couldn't resist. Rofl

But seriously though, don't argue with the friggin founder of the forum about what its purpose is.

If you think members here should do more, then by all means, start something yourself.

"If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them." - Dalai Lama
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02-12-2017 04:48 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #36
Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

I'll think about how to respond in more depth to this thread, but in regard to the original post:

The thing is, in the US, school is basically run at the state and district level. The federal government's role is limited to a small percentage of funding and some kinds of policies, especially around students with disabilities and areas with high poverty.

It's at the state level where laws exist around compulsory attendance, the granting of diplomas, homeschooling, and things like corporal punishment (in some states.) The vast majority of school funding occurs at the district and state levels.

I do think that "public education" has a lot of value, but the problem is that almost all "public education" (and even a lot of "private" education) is based on a coercive, factory-model version of school. It doesn't have to be like this; districts and states could potentially offer school in the form of voluntary learning centers that work more like libraries. The reasons it doesn't don't have so much to do with the federal government as much as how so many people, from parents, to teachers, to school administrators, to school boards, to state legislatures, to college admissions, to cultural norms and media, and even students themselves are used to a particular idea of education-as-conventional-schooling.

Things need to change at all these levels. And they are changing, slowly, among people who do see that things don't have to be this way. But so much more change is needed, and I think a big part of it is just raising awareness that school is optional; it isn't necessary for success in life. The current standard model of school, as practiced in most public and private schools, is incredibly obsolete in the 21st century.

Peter Gray & allies launching the Alliance for Self-directed Education

ASDE Newsletters: #1 Announcement | #2 History of ASDE | #6 Education Liberation


School Survival & Catalyst Learning Network featured on AlternativestoSchool's blog
“Mom, Dad, can I stop going to school?”

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02-12-2017 12:48 PM
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TheCancer Offline
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Post: #37
RE: Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

Quote:The thing is, in the US, school is basically run at the state and district level. The federal government's role is limited to a small percentage of funding and some kinds of policies, especially around students with disabilities and areas with high poverty.

Common Core or some kind of statewide equivalency is based on strict adherence to federal legislation designed to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into the bank accounts of the ultra rich. It's the biggest obstacle to reform for those who don't fit in there is.

If you want to be a different fish, you've got to jump out of the school.


Captain Beefheart
02-12-2017 01:57 PM
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Zeta Offline
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Post: #38
RE: Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

So, who's contacted their representative? Pirate

I'll add the names of everyone who has to the first post! Grouphug
02-14-2017 08:53 AM
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TheCancer Offline
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Post: #39
RE: Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

You're asking who's contacted their representatives to encourage them to support a bill to abolish the Department of Education?

If you want to be a different fish, you've got to jump out of the school.


Captain Beefheart
02-14-2017 09:16 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #40
RE: Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

(02-12-2017 01:57 PM)TheCancer Wrote:  
Quote:The thing is, in the US, school is basically run at the state and district level. The federal government's role is limited to a small percentage of funding and some kinds of policies, especially around students with disabilities and areas with high poverty.

Common Core or some kind of statewide equivalency is based on strict adherence to federal legislation designed to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into the bank accounts of the ultra rich. It's the biggest obstacle to reform for those who don't fit in there is.

I think Common Core and equivalent is a huge obstacle to reform, and the federal Department of Education and related legislation has played a big role in that. But I'm not sure that's the biggest obstacle to reform. Even before Common Core and the heavy emphasis on high-stakes testing -- and even if that could be eliminated -- so many people such as teachers, parents, administrators, and even students are accustomed to coercive, factory-model education as the way education works.

For example, when I went to school in the 80s and 90s, school was still school with all the same kinds of problems people find today. It's just become much worse, even as conventional school is less and less relevant to life in the 21st century.

Peter Gray & allies launching the Alliance for Self-directed Education

ASDE Newsletters: #1 Announcement | #2 History of ASDE | #6 Education Liberation


School Survival & Catalyst Learning Network featured on AlternativestoSchool's blog
“Mom, Dad, can I stop going to school?”

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when the Stakes are High

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02-14-2017 12:00 PM
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TheCancer Offline
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Post: #41
RE: Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

Fair points.

If you are a reform minded teacher No Child Left Behind can really make life hard on you.

If you want to be a different fish, you've got to jump out of the school.


Captain Beefheart
02-14-2017 12:45 PM
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Zeta Offline
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Post: #42
RE: Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

(02-14-2017 12:45 PM)TheCancer Wrote:  If you are a reform minded teacher No Child Left Behind can really make life hard on you.

Plus it's interesting to see the circular thinking that having standardized tests like that causes. I was reading the section of George W. Bush's autobiography on No Child Left Behind, and he was praising it as a success since in many schools ethnic minority's reading scores and such on those selfsame tests started going up over time.

In the real world, have we seen any corresponding actual improvement? No. But the standardized tests gave every teacher something to teach to and something to punish kids for not performing to on par with, so inevitably the scores on those particular tests went up.

They create an illusion of improvement: doing better on the test is taken as success when in reality all that's happening is someone is becoming better at that particular test.

Its like having someone memorize the layout of keys on a keyboard to get them better at typing. In theory, to someone detached from it all, it would make sense.

But even if you're an expert typer, sit down and try to write out where all the keys on a keyboard are, or say them in order. You'll look like a computer-illiterate moron.
And if you do memorize it, you won't see your typing speed go up a single WPM.

The brain simply doesn't process actual tasks the same way it processes a test.
(This post was last modified: 02-16-2017 03:06 AM by Zeta.)
02-16-2017 03:00 AM
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the Analogist Offline
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Post: #43
RE: Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

that keyboard analogy was beautiful

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02-17-2017 12:57 AM
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no Offline
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Post: #44
RE: Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

`1234567890-=
qwertyuiop[]\
asdfghjkl;'
zxcvbnm,./

wot u gon do nao

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.
02-17-2017 12:05 PM
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the Analogist Offline
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Post: #45
RE: Bill introduced to abolish the Department of Education!

ctrl-c, ctrl-v
end

Purity is to Believe only that which deserves it.
Wisdom is to follow only the Opinion which makes the best use of evidence.
Excellence is to be mindful of all these things in Living.
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02-17-2017 03:44 PM
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