A damning statement about public schools

Occationally I find a statement by someone so stunning in its brilliance, yet so obvious, that I feel the need to spread it around. Such as this:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/08/i_am_the_wrong_person_to_answe.php#comment-2702235

Posted by: skeptifem Author Profile Page | August 3, 2010 10:28 PM   #9

Public school isn’t meant to genuinely educate. It never will. They dole out skills that increase the value of the lowest rung of workers. That is the purpose of it. Having customers and workers who can read and do basic math is something that power structures need, so we have it.

The current cirriculum in schools does not prepare students for huge portions of living, perpetuating privilege and disadvantage. People come out of school knowing nothing about how to go further than HS, medicine, the law, economics, and history. Children are taught obedience and discouraged from thinking critically. The liklihood of a state institution portraying the state honestly (which is to say, in a negative light) is unlikely. So it isn’t as though everyone who grew up in public school isn’t pumped full of ridiculous lies in the same way the homeschoolers are, it is just a different set of lies.
Real knowledge and the ability to think critically is kept to classes of people who are conditioned for obedience. The number and variety of meaningless hoops a person typically has to jump through in order to make it far in education weeds out radical people. Even on the K-12 level, people are branded “behavior problems” (of course there are genuine ones as well), or put into “slow” or “advanced” groups based on what people should know by a certain age, as if minds don’t vary wildly in that respect. It divides em, often along race/class/sex lines. It teaches learning is a chore (that takes place between 7 and 3), and you learn what other people say, and that you unwind by doing a bunch of non thinking by buying products or staring at screens all day. It kills the motivation to learn. Children don’t see the past or future of the world they are in, shut in with only people their own age except for authority figures.

SO yeah, I unschool. I don’t see the supremacy of public school at all. Crappy homeschools literally move school into homes- that is what creationist homeschoolers do in spades. School would have to be radically rethought for me to approve, and they have been before. Voluntary skill swaps, anarchist free schools from the early 1900s, that I would approve of in a school. As is public school is a crock of shit.

I must note that I was brought up in public schools, even in college. I guess I was lucky I learned to think as critically as I do. But I am not against public schools. But P Z Myers, who wrote the blog entry skeptifem was commenting on, said at the beginning:

I am not a fan of homeschooling; in fact, if I had my way, I’d make it illegal.

I am glad that P Z is not a dictator over us, then. Not all homeschoolers are religious fundamentalists. That’s an urban myth we need to stamp out.

There are indeed secular homeschoolers. Here are some of their websites:

http://www.secularhomeschool.com/

http://www.secular-homeschooling.com/

http://www.secularhomeschoolers.net/

http://www.atheistview.com/secular_homeschool.htm

There are also Unitarian Universalists who homeschool:

http://www.uuhomeschool.org/

Public schools may provide a valuble service, but no one should rely on them exclusively to educate their children. Parents and other adults also have a responsibility to be teachers, now and forever. Let it be so.

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