Training Children for Failure

Proposed Cuts Strike Teachers as Attacks on Their Value to Society – NYTimes.com

“I put my heart and soul into teaching,” said Lindsay Vlachakis, 25, a high school math teacher in Madison. “When people attack teachers, they’re attacking me.”

This is a non sequitur–the sign of desperate idealism. When a huge percentage of public school graduates are unqualified for college, the natural conclusion is that there is a problem with the public school system. Since the claim for state hegemony over childhood education is that it is thereby controllable and answerable to higher standards, there is no reason not to criticize public school teachers. Ultimately, the idealism of public education is simply an unfounded, irrational belief. It doesn’t produce the claimed results for the general society, much less the least capable members of society. Its primary defenses amount to sympathy for suffering teachers, the ethical need for all children to suffer together, the political need for all children to be indoctrinated in the same system of values, and the mystical need for all children to be “socialized” in an institution closely resembling a prison.

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2 thoughts on “Training Children for Failure

  1. A difficulty is when a few selected teachers are interviewed which distorts their efficacy as a whole. There are many good teachers.

    Let the parents have more say, let them send children where they will, and the good schools will expand and the poor ones shrink.

    The problem with sincerity is it disregards effectiveness. Education should be better understood than it is. We should know what works and what is effective. Working hard is commendable when that is all you know, but to be told how to work smart, reject the advice, and work hard but un-smart is not overly virtuous.

    To buy into educational ideology that keeps children busy, but not learning effectively lacks sense; and hard work on behalf of the teachers (in as much as they are not forced to behave like this by their bosses) is not reward worthy.

  2. I think competition is the best thing for education. The primary problem I have with public schools is the claim of absolute authority [that is, sovereignty over the education of every child in society] by the State.

    The position of the German courts is revealing on this account, insofar as they have ruled against homeschooling on the grounds that it constitutes the formation of a parallel society that is not under the direct supervision of the government.

    The second problem with public schools is that their appeals for protection are mainly emotional, as in this article. Whenever the discussion turns to effectiveness, public school advocates shut down the discussion.

    In fairness to them, I accept their assertion that much of their job is not educational at all, but concerned with maintaining order and fulfilling a social welfare function.

Instigate some pointless rambling

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