The Problem with the Public School System is the Public School System

Every day there’s another story in the news about total insanity and confusion in the public school system. Every week you could write a new book as thick as the Bible on the subject. And every week it would be the saddest, most depressingly bleak and apocalyptic book in the history of humanity. A true-life novel about the public school system would probably read like a monstrous non-fiction blend of Lord of the Flies and 1984. With a touch of 50 Shades of Grey, due to the extra-curricular activities you hear about pretty frequently these days.

With that said, you gotta love the latest tidbits from our illustrious bureaucratic learning institutions. A girl at a high school down in San Antonio is continuing her fight against a policy requiring all students to wear tracking devices. Meanwhile, a 5 year old in Pennsylvania was suspended for “terrorist threats” after attempting to shoot BUBBLES at a kindergarten classmate. This, only days after an elementary schooler in Maryland found himself suspended for pointing his finger at another student. Keep in mind, the bubble wielding assassin and the finger pointing jihadist now have a record. A record that will follow them for the rest of their childhood and adolescence.   
 
So that brings me to the crux of the issue. We have to start attempting to see the proverbial forest instead of concentrating on a random twig and a falling leaf here and there. Yes, all of these examples are outrageous. Yes, there are, as I mentioned, a million other anecdotes any one of us could easily produce. But what’s the problem? What is the underlying problem that leads to our kids falling victim to this lunacy? 
 
The problem is that we send our kids off to whittle away their formative years in government facilities. The problem is that we have utterly surrendered our children to a bureaucracy that will rule over them 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 12 or 13 years. They want to brand and track your kids like livestock? They come up with harebrained politically fueled policies that have a disastrously detrimental impact on everyone involved? They permanently label your child a dangerous delinquent because he threw a punch during recess? They shove propaganda down junior’s throat, you say? Well, what did you think was going to happen? We are allowing the government to educate our kids. Government is force, not wisdom. Government can kill, not teach. This is a job far too big, far too important, far too nuanced and delicate to put in the colossally clumsy hands of Uncle Sam. I mean, we’re actually surprised when the state controlled propaganda machines act like state controlled propaganda machines? That’s like the people that are surprised when their pet python eats their poodle. The python is just doing what pythons are designed to do, just as the propaganda machine is simply doing what propaganda machines do.

So let’s junk the damn thing rather than blabber on about ways to “reform” it.

Now I know I’ve lost the Statists and Neo-Liberals here. You people see the State as a just and loving omnipotent force, pre-ordained by the cosmos to rule over every single facet of our lives. I don’t expect you to understand why these gods of Olympus shouldn’t have a role in education. I realize you view my assertions as blasphemy and, if you get your wish, one day people like me will be forced to repent for our sins publicly or be drawn and quartered (in the most tolerant and progressive way possible, of course).

But what I don’t quite comprehend is why so many self described conservatives, Libertarians and “small government activists” see no problem with the entire concept of a government run school. Many of the same people who are still doing angry back flips over government healthcare will look absolutely perplexed if you attack government education. You don’t think they have any place in your doctor’s office but they do have a place in the classroom?

Huh?

It just goes to show. Give any form of tyranny about 10 or 15 years to sink in and people will accept it. They will accept it simply because it exists, and for no other reason.

Well, for one other reason that is related to the first. We accept it because we’ve chosen, as a society, to live in such a way that requires us to depend on it. We bought into the lie that parents, somehow, despite thousands of years of proof otherwise, aren’t capable of teaching their own children. We subscribed to the absurd fiction that education ought to be mass produced and sold in bulk, like toothpicks or toilet paper. Except in this case mass produced and sold in bulk by the government, like bullets or grenade launchers.

I know a lot of people send their kids to public school because they truly have no other choice. I understand that. And there is no quick fix or easy answer. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t ANY fix or answer. I don’t have it all worked out but I do have the first two steps:

1) Come to the realization that government education is profoundly flawed on a fundamental level and must ultimately be abolished.

2) Re-establish the family as the unbreakable foundation of society and as a child’s ultimate source of wisdom, education and moral teaching.

The first step we can all take pretty much right now. The next will take a bit longer. But we can certainly start the process on an individual basis.

I know I won’t be sending my kids to the government learning centers. I’d sooner send them into the woods to be raised by squirrels than to a public school. But that’s just me.

 
 
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29 Responses to The Problem with the Public School System is the Public School System

  1. Eric Douglas says:

    Right on, Matt. The public school system by default is set up to diminish the influence of the parent. The child is isolated from the parent and is filled with “education” that if followed, would lead the child to be liberal and atheistic. I am convinced that the PSS is one of the primary problems that has lead to the crumbling of our culture.

    • Chris Jarmon says:

      “The child is isolated from the parent and is filled with “education” that if followed, would lead the child to be liberal and atheistic”
      This has, of course, been the plan of humanists/atheists all along.

  2. eShamus says:

    Matt,

    Recent Cincinnatian from Portland, OR. After meeting with teachers and parents, it seems the Cincy area schools are equivalent to private school quality in Portland. However bad it is here, it’s worse in Oregon.
    Regardless, ending your child to public school is child abuse in nearly every case. I homeschool our kids because a) it’s my job, b) they are my kids, and c) there is nothing the government does that meets my standards. Set aside fingers/bubbles/pictures as weapons to be punished, K-12 teachers are -2 StdDev in intelligence. As a group, they demonstrably fail to spell, calculate, and reason adequately. An exceptional teacher is typically of average intelligence–they are outliers owing to the average teacher intelligence and skill.

    Why would I send my children to be taught by the unintelligent? It is tautological that the ignorant cannot pass on intelligence.

    My daughter will graduate at 16 with 120% of credits necessary for graduation. Her plan is to obtain her Bachelors in 3 years (no debt) and be earning money full time when she’s 19.

    The government does not share this goal with me and my daughter.

    What surprises most people who learn of my family (7 kids) approach to homeschooling: when my wife tells them that I do all the homeschooling. In addition to my full-time job and own PhD studies.

    It is often trying and difficult, but look what easy gets you.

    Let me encourage all fence-straddling parents: home school your kids!
    Your child gets up at 6:30 am to be to school by 7:20a. They get home at 3pm. Total time spent on school: 8.5 hours (likely minimum). Six subjects taught in those 8.5 hours, right, maybe 40-50 minutes each? So that’s 240-300 minutes of “instruction” (4-5 hours). Grab a school calendar and multiply in-school days times 4-5 hours/day to get your annual hourly scholastic expectation. You’ll be shocked how little instruction occurs during a year of school. **And that’s your low bar for homeschooling. Everything extra is gravy.**

    Other benefits: I, not the government, leads my children’s grammar, logic, and rhetorical growth. I understand how they think and never ask “how was your day?” I am able to understand their individual skills and aptitudes and direct their learning–one will be a nurse, one will be an electrical engineer, one a heavy equipment operator, and the other two are too young for such certainty.

    You don’t know any of this when the government “teaches” your kids.

    Take the plunge, meet other homeschool parents, gut up and do it.
    And I’m not talking to women here.
    If you have 2-4 hours a day after work, you can homeschool your children. If you don’t, you’re watching too much television.

    • JB says:

      I can assure you that most teachers are not 2 standard deviations below the mean in intelligence. That would mean most teachers have mild cognitive disability (old diagnosis: mild mental retardation), and this is not true. I am a conservative Christian and I admire your dedication to homeschooling. I am not a teacher, but have worked with many, many teachers in the last 7 years as I have worked as a contractor in schools. When you are bashing teachers as a whole, remember that some of these teachers in public schools are your Christian brothers and sisters, trying their best and doing a good job.

      • I am a teacher. My IQ is in the gifted range. I, however, quit teaching at the public schools because of the problems mentioned. The amount of time wasted is phenomenal (4-5 hours of instruction is generous). There is time wasted for every student to quiet down, to finish the assignment, to wait for a student to ask to go to the bathroom–it all adds up. I want nothing more than to homeschool my future kids. I’m not sure this will be possible. How do you work it homeschooling in the evenings? What do they do during the day?

    • Charlotte says:

      While I will agree with you on your stance against government run schools, you seem to have an animosity towards women. I’m a homeschooling mother of three, and while my husband occasionally instructs our children, I am the one at home with them all day, therefore, I am the one who undertakes the majority of their education. Your entire comment, from calling the average public school teacher mentally challenged to your attempt to spur your fellow men into action, seems chauvinistic and slightly combative. Women are men’s equals in intelligence and the ability to convey knowledge. A man, who works full time to support his family, need not worry about shouldering the duties of homeschooling as well if he has married an intelligent and capable wife.

    • Emily K says:

      wow.. too bad we are all not exactly like you. Personal temperments and other life issues are no excuse at all because if you can work a full time job and then come homeschool your kids, then we all can.

      I find this so disheartening. I did homeschool my kids for about 6 years, but made the decision to put them in a public school this year because our family moved into my parents home to take care of my father with Parkinsons and Dementia, and my mom with several other health problems. I was finding the task of teaching them academics to be extremely difficult.. (but I know I know.. difficult shmifficult. They’d be better off with squirrels… or something).. and unlike a lot of anti-public school folks, I actually do think a good education is important and wouldn’t feel comfortable just skipping school for a while.

      The challenges of taking care of the elderly, and toddlers, and being pregnant, and keeping a house taken care of and meals made was just simply too much. I was unable to do it all. And my husband is out working hard all day and sometimes a lot of the evenings to support us. Not to mention upkeep on both my parents home and the home we left in order to take care of my parents.

      It was just too much. I couldn’t do it all. Maybe other people stronger in their faith could have, but I couldn’t.

      Anyhow.. I’m finding that there are great teachers out there. I am finding that the schools are challenging my kids in ways that I was not.. IN A GOOD WAY!. I am finding the homework in the evenings to be a family bonding time. I am finding that nobody is pushing any sexual agenda on my kindergartner, nor do they think they should be. I am finding that sex education here doesn’t even start until the middle school years and we are free to opt out. I am finding that my kids, because they have good parents are choosing to hang around other kids who come from good homes and recognize evil and bad things and choose to stay away. I am finding that public school wasn’t nearly as scary as it was made to seem. Not all schools are the same. There are good parents and good kids and good teachers and bad parents and bad kids and bad teachers.. There are liberal areas and conservative areas. No two schools are the same and while its easy peasy to look at a system and think the plan was to turn them into brainwashed atheists, its a little more difficult to come to that conclusion when you look at individual teachers and students.

  3. Liz says:

    I want to homeschool so bad, but we are relatively low income and have no family in our area. Though I have no fears that homeschool children are not “socialized,” I don’t know how else to help my children find friends. We can’t afford sports, books or even printing on our printer. Our oldest is only in kindergarten right now, but as I have no local friends I dread the isolation that seems inevitable with no friends or family locally, in a very liberal area. Anyone’s comments or support in this area would be welcome; I am at my wits end how to help my kids find good friends in an area I did not grow up in, but I am also convinced we need to homeschool our growing family as soon as possible.

    • Eric Douglas says:

      Find a good church! We homeschool and our children get all kinds of interaction with other kids at church and through sports.

    • moyersjon says:

      Easy Peasy All In One online curriculum is a free online Christian curriculum. You might look up The Homeschool Lounge and see if you can connect with moms in your area. Look for local homeschool groups. It really doesn’t take a lot of funds to homeschool when they are young. As far as friends go my advice for you is while he is so young focus on family relationships and then move outward. He and you will have time for the other stuff later. Focus on family for now.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Liz,

      moyersjon is right. It costs virtually nothing to give your children a fabulous education (we use some of the All-in-One curriculum he mentioned and we love it). And family relationships are what God gave us for socialization. Everything else is extra, and like Eric said, your best socialization outside of family will be with a church family.

    • Eileen says:

      You have been given a lot of great advice already. I just want to add that you may want to look into finding a homeschool support group. We have many in our area and I have belonged to different groups depending on what stage we were in our lives. The support, encouragement, and relationships they offer are invaluable. We have formed life-long friendship with these other homeschool families. We have many parents visit our meetings who are even just thinking about homeschooling. It helps for them to get a better idea of what homeschooling is about and what resources are available in their area, before they decide if homeschooling is right for them.

    • Beth M. says:

      Hi Liz! That is my biggest struggle with homeschooling too, so I understand where you’re coming from. Fortunately most communities have free activities for children, you just have to look for them. Look for story times at your local library, those are ofen great places to make mom-friends. If there are mommy groups (such as MOPS) in your area, ask them about scholarships to cover the fees you can’t afford – many such programs will do so anonymously. Get involved with a church that has families with kids, or look for churches that offer children’s programs such as Awana. Look for local homeschooling groups in your area – some groups have fees (the co-op in my town has a small membership fee) but other groups are more informal and do not. Once you and your children have had the opportunity to meet and make some friends, maintaining those friendships is easier as you can simply invite them to your house or the local playground for a play-date.

    • Cam says:

      I’m doing the same thing right now Liz and I have to say, it’s going really well and I’m having a lot of fun. We’re two solid days drive from my husbands family and thousands of miles from ours and we haven’t made a ton of friends since my husband is so busy with school and work and I’ve been busy with the kids, but it’s actually working amazingly well. I got a stack of cheap paper at Staples and I’ve made my own little projects and she colors and we do reading and take advantage of the free activities in our area (it helps that there’s a university). I’d definitely look around to see if there’s any homeschool groups nearby that you can join. The area we live in is fairly liberal but I’ve been finding out there are a surprising number of homeschooling groups with people with similar values, even if we are in the minority!

    • Matt says:

      Liz, your answer is church. Homeschool your kids and get involved in church. Wham-pow!

    • Monica says:

      Liz, I’ve been homeschooling my children for 9 years and I can tell you that it isn’t expensive to “socialize” them. I am a part of a wonderful homeschool group which meets for park days, game days, and holiday parties for free! You can find a homeschool group in your area by contacting your state-wide homeschool association. They can direct you to a local group. You will make lifelong friends and they will be a great resource for you.
      Also, your local library is a treasure trove of free books and educational movies. You can look up book lists on homeschool sites and request classics instead of the junk that is often displayed. God bless!

  4. Cylar says:

    Here’s what I don’t understand, and help me out if I’m missing something obvious.

    Compulsory public education has been around for quite a while now – many decades. Anyone living today has grandparents and probably great-grandparents who were “subjected” to the tender mercies of government-run schools.

    Yet, for those prior generations so propagandized, they grew up to invent wonderful machines that treated polio, killed Nazis, and sent men to the Moon. So here’s the $25,000 question…

    WHAT CHANGED?

    Why is it only recently we’re hearing about the third grader suspended for hugging his teacher, or the girl suspended for giving her classmate an aspirin on the school bus, or the kindergartener thrown out of school for pointing a stick at a classmate and yelling “bang bang” ? Huh? Are we going to place all of the blame for this insanity on a spate of school shootings over the last decade or so?

    I spent the 80s in elementary school, which puts me about a decade older than you, Matt. This sort of insanity you describe was absolutely unheard of when I was a kid. When I was in school, kids got suspended for doing things like throwing a punch at one of the teachers, or carrying a knife in class, or setting off firecrackers on school property. You know, actual dangerous things that we sort of want to punish among grade school kids. I won’t even get into what it was like when my father and grandfather were children.

    If anyone can explain this to me, I’m listening.

    • moyersjon says:

      It actually started 150 years ago when Horace Mann got involved. It was a slow kill. He could not do it overnight but he would be very proud of what the public school is today.

    • Brianna says:

      Things used to be controlled by the state and local government, compulsory education was only compulsory until about 12 or 13, and the culture was such that it kept teachers concentrating on the three Rs as opposed to shoving ideology down kids’ throats. Compulsory education is a necessary condition to brainwash your kids, but not a sufficient one. Things started to get really bad when the culture deteriorated, combined with the Feds taking over education.

  5. Word Warrior says:

    THIS.This subject and every point you made (and more) is what keeps me up at night and what I will continue to crusade against. It is the same subject that gets people the most angry–and not just people, neighbors, friends and family. The sacred cow may not be touched, no matter how excellent your points, no matter how insane the evidence. Christians, even, who claim to believe that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” hand their flesh and blood to be discipled by the false religion of Humanism that hates everything about the One whom they serve. Banging head.

  6. Mary Gilkey says:

    Everyone here seems to have the idea that all people are either equipped or emotionally suited to homeschool. This is not true. I homeschooled my son when he was in 7th grade but the rest of the time he went to public school. He received an excellent education. My public school education was excellent as well. Unfortunately as politicians have increased their involvement with education they have decreased funding for education, and such subjects as art, music and physical education have been slashed so that math and science can be emphasized. Although math and science are important, so are art, music and physical education. For homeschooling, private schooling or public schooling to be effective. parents need to be involved. My sister was a teacher for several years to the trainably handicapped. Many of these students were also physically disabled as well. The public school system offers these children an opportunity to learn, to socialize in a way that perhaps their parents could not provide. Public school is not for everyone, but private schooling or homeschooling aren’t either. I don’t regret the year I homeschooled, but my son and I agree that one year was enough. My son is well educated, able to think for himself,
    has high Christian values and is certainly not indoctrinated. I am a liberal, my husband is conservative and our son is more conservative than his father. My son and I agree on some issues and disagree on others but I am happy that his views come from his belief system and his ability to think for himself.

  7. rcjr says:

    Well done sir. Thank you.

  8. Amy S. says:

    We homeschooled our first two kids (now 20yo and 18yo), graduating the first at 18yo with 72 college credits to his name and the second at 18yo with 27 college credits completed. More importantly than academics though, we were able to protect them from the insanity that exists within the four walls of a public school system. We were able to protect them from socialized sex, morally degraded (and required) social agendas, the push to do drugs at an early age, and the excruciating torments of small-minded peers. We built relationships with them, taught them to live by OUR moral compass, taught them to LOVE their neighbor as themselves, and yes … we fit the academics in, too! 😀

    Our next set of kids are now being homeschooled as well, having gone into the public school realm for a few years. They are loving it and I am, again, loving teaching my children!

    We wouldn’t have it any other way!

  9. Jason says:

    So Matt, is it your position that the State has no legitimate interest in the education of its citizens? Or do you acknowledge that such an interest exists, but they have failed to provide the education?

    • Brianna says:

      The State probably has an interest in seeing that we’re all fed too, but that doesn’t mean it’s required to see to it personally by running all the farms and grocery stores. Nor does it mean that having them run all the farms and grocery stores would work, or be a good idea. Just because you don’t want the government to do things, doesn’t mean you don’t want them to get done. Just because the government doesn’t do things, doesn’t mean they won’t get done.

  10. Rachael W says:

    I was exclusively home schooled and so was my husband. We never even discussed public or private school for our children. We LOVE what our parents did for us and it was just assumed the moment we first found out we were pregnant that we would be feeding, clothing and educating this child ourselves. There’s no other option.

  11. Sally says:

    It’s sad our society has brainwashed so many people into being afraid to home school their children. I lost all those fears the second I started researching how school works vs. how people learn. Public schools as we know them have nothing to do with educating children. Their sole purpose is to create a docile workforce. Most of what most people will need to learn to live as adults has been covered by the end of fifth grade–the next 7 years or more is review and specialization. If you actually use it, you won’t need the review. Depending on what you choose as a career, 60-90% of that specialization will be a complete waste of your time. Our children deserve better and it’s so easy to give that to them.
    Time doesn’t have to be a problem. When you remove the bureaucracy and crowd control aspects (not needed in a home school) one week of the average public school curriculum can be taught in 2-3 hours. If you give them the resources and don’t kill their natural love of learning, most kids will learn more faster if you leave them alone so it can actually take even less of your time. That lets homeschool kids spend tons of time at the park or the museaum or the art gallery or etc. (and you get to go during the school day instead of waiting for the weekend so you don’t have to fight the crowds)
    Money doesn’t need to be an object either. A library card and a decent interloan system and/or an internet connection will get you a lot more information than any packaged curriculum. A decent inter-library loan system can even get you college level texts. I’ve studied microbiology, immunology, and biochemistry in the privacy of my home for free because I thought it was fun.
    “Socialization” is a joke in most of the homeschool communities I’ve dealt with. Public school kids are prepared to handle the real world by spending 6-8 hours per day, at least 180 days per year in a room with 20-30 people within a year or two of their age with most at the same socioeconomic level while one authority figure controls them. Homeschool kids are prepared to deal with the real world by forcing them to live their entire lives in the real world.
    I would never dream of sending my kids to school. I want them to have a chance to learn.

  12. John says:

    What we need is ignorant masses serving the elite. Why should anyone other than a “job creator” need an education – or healthcare for that matter? There are plenty of “resource suckers” so if a few get sick and die, no big deal. It is the job creators that we must protect.

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