The Grand Lie of Public Education: How to fix a broken system

When anybody uses the term, “we must educate our children to compete in the global marketplace,” or any variation of that term the instigator is totally ignorant as to what makes education valuable. They falsely believe that education consists in teaching children left-winged ideology and work habits of a 100% commitment to institutionalism and that since the rest of the world is moving in that direction, that American education must consist of these erroneous premises. After all, political “leaders” see how things are done in China, and Japan, and they believe they must copy those methods—which is probably the dumbest thing that could be introduced to an American workforce and the people who make it up. People who believe that “education” as defined by Common Core standards is the way to direct young minds might as well be crack addicts instructing others on responsible living. The point of education eludes them making them a menace to the discussion of learning.

The most important attribute public education could and should implement into an instructional system of any kind, is the ability to think. The second thing it could do would be to teach students to be competent human beings. Anything outside of those parameters is useless to a human mind, and merely ornamental. Education is not a race against the socialists of Europe, the communists of China, or the kamikaze driven Easterner. Americans are imaginative, intuitive, and utilize large amounts of horse sense in their utilization of productivity and their education system needs to reflect this trend.

Americans fix tractors often with shovel handles, solve complicated engineering feats with bubble gum, and produce more patents than anyplace else in the world—because they are a free people who are at liberty to think. However modern education which leans way to far to the political left, is about chasing the rest of the foolish world teaching our youth to be just as stupid as everyone else, and to turn off their minds to the process of thought—and to embrace blind submission to institutional authority. This is the most damaging attribute that can be taught to an American.

If those who support government education want real success, not just statistical success relative to the rest of the world’s false methods they would teach young minds to “think” not just remember facts given to them by the state. Even conservatives are guilty of this tendency of believing that by committing resources to “education” that they have done their job. They don’t consider the quality of education, only that someone is doing something educationally related. They don’t think of what the implications of education may be if the wrong things are learned, or the wrong interpretation of history is broadcast to young minds awaiting programming of their brain by trusted adults.

Michelle Rhee the popular education reformer at the heart of the movie Waiting for Superman is wrong when she says that education is the key to the success of American children. That cliché is overused and ridiculous. It is a mythology designed to preserve the education culture and their utopian vision for the world. Most of those people are well-intentioned human beings who simply love children and teaching them—but they do not consider in those assessments the quality of their love, or their intelligence as factors that can hold back children from living otherwise fruitful lives. They assume that they are qualified to teach just because the state has given them a license to do so—a license that meant the teacher had to comply with the state’s version of reality.

The way to alleviate these faux pas in education is to teach children to think. Why is Common Core so vile and evil? The reason is that the only way it can work is to limit the intelligence of the most brilliant and force them to only be as good as the weakest links. Our modern education system does not like making such value judgments—which is why they ultimately are failures. The belief with Common Core is that if children spin their wheels copying off students from countries reeking with statism, that success will abound and that such success can be had by not asserting value to the quality of the students or their educations. It cannot. If students aren’t taught first how to think, or how to be competent human beings, the education system will fail 100% of the time.

If the value is to produce students who will mindlessly serve the state, then modern education throughout the world is doing its job. But if the goal is to teach human beings to invent new things, start businesses, vote correctly, or mentor a child—they are way off the intended target and have no hope of getting there under the current circumstances. Education is more than just lip service—it is a philosophy. It can’t be memorized; it has to be a part of an individual mind. There is no way to cheat it. If garbage is put into a mind, then garbage will come out.

My daughter sent me a text the other day that featured a cartoon of a young person reading a book. The caption read, “Uploading data to the human brain.” What we feed our brains is what we ultimately become. If we read good books, think good thoughts, and use our imaginations to explore possibilities, we will have reasonable success in life. But before that can happen, “good” has to be identified, and stood behind. If on the other hand we put into our minds garbage like pornography, sports stats, trivial nonsense like global warming issues, political diatribes and that kind of thing, our minds over time will become encumbered with sluggish thought processes. Education is not good unless the value of good accompanies it. A well-rounded education is not exploring sexuality, worshiping the earth, or supporting teacher unions. It is about learning to think and living as a competent individual.

It is utterly shocking how many functioning adults in 2014 are incompetent fools. The only way I can avoid this incompetency is to not leave my driveway in the morning, because there are some really stupid people functioning in the world—which is evidence that our education system is a complete failure. Yet politicians want us to do more of this foolishness so they can get their fingers on federal money dangled like bait in a trap to supersede our state sovereignty. That is just idiotic.

It is easy to make clichéd comments about education without considering the implications and it happens all the time. But the answer is not in just hiring more teachers, giving more money to teachers, or building more schools. That is not enough. The real intent of education is in teaching people to “think.” Without thought there is no education, there is no mind, and there certainly isn’t any kind of future. Without thought, there is nothing—but empty promises and misery. And I want no part in that.

Rich Hoffman


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