The Public School System Sucks

I just recently watched a video that is going viral about issues with the public school system in the United States and the changes that must happen. In the last 24 hours the video has had over 18 million views. You can watch it here.

I am not a fan of the public school system by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a failing system that sets up students to do just that…fail. It creates compliant employees instead of bold entrepreneurs. It rewards obedience instead of creativity. It creates competition in the worst way and awards letters based on the ability to perform under certain and particular rules.

fish-tree

You can’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree nor a monkey by its ability to swim. So why does the public school system in America judge all students in the same manner?

I was home schooled until 9th grade when I began attending Pasco High School which at the time was the largest high school in Washington State. 640 students in my freshman class, less than 500 of which graduated on time.

I was a student who either got an A or maybe a D on my tests and homework. Seriously, some classes I finished with a 60 or below and some classes I finished with a 100 or even above. In the same class that I would fail, a different student would pass with an A and in the other classes I passed with an A there were students who failed. The first semester of my senior year I earned a 4.0 GPA, second semester I got a 1.7 GPA and I finished high school with an overall GPA of 2.5. Just enough to participate in sports.

Even today, I learn better by doing instead of listening. Action over PowerPoint.

There were countless teachers who made me feel worthless and like a complete failure. I still think about some of them weekly. They loved to embarrass me in front of the entire class and I still have vivid memories of those experiences. That’s alright, I’ll prove them all wrong.

I was a good kid at home but the public school system made me seem like a reckless child at times. Detention for being 2 minutes late to a class that was on the other side of the campus. Being ridiculed by a teacher in front of the whole class because I didn’t know what 69 was, or because I wore dorky shoes, or because I asked a question out of turn.

There were seven different teachers in total who made me the butt of their jokes at one time or another. It’s no wonder I finished with a 2.5 overall GPA.

Teachers are underpaid and not allowed to be creative. Classrooms are over populated. Curriculum is outdated. The entire system and the way school is done hasn’t been changed in over 100 years. Two of my favorite teachers  got turned into administrators because they were so good at being teachers. It makes sense on paper but when you take a great teacher out of his or her classroom then you takeaway their opportunity to educate any more students and instead make them into a hall monitor.

The public school system stymies creativity while promoting conformity. It discourages uniqueness while trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

My wife and I will be homeschooling all three of our children and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. They’ll be in an environment where their style of learning is catered to. They’ll learn how to balance a checkbook instead of learning the Pythagorean theorem (well, maybe they will learn that too but you get the point).

The point is that they will be free to be themselves. They won’t have to fit into some crammed classroom where everyone learns to shut up and raise their hand if they want to talk. As a family, we’ll be able to travel whenever we want to instead of having to wait for the kid’s next break, and they’ll learn more from our travels than they ever would sitting in a classroom.

Seriously, home schooling is the way to go.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Public School System Sucks

  1. Very cool thoughts man! It is a blessing that we even have good teachers – good people with the drive and heart to endure our broken school system from the inside. Things are difficult for both teachers and students.

    Seeing the need for teachers here locally (since my wife is a teacher!) has been eye-opening. It blows my mind for there to be many open teaching positions at this point in the year still. How are they making it work now? Over-crowded classrooms and schools is what’s of course happening. This does not help the situation at all. Students get less personalized attention (not like they can get much as it is) and teachers are more and more stressed with the numbers of students. Using mandatory out-dated curriculum becomes even more challenging with bigger numbers. My wife showed me yesterday two written papers from two different 5th grade students in her classroom. The different in language usage and handwriting between the two was crazy!!! If I had been shown that blindly, I would have easily guessed that those papers had at the very least a 2 year grade level difference. Crazy stuff.

    Here is a cool quote I stumbled on:

    “We destroy the disinterested (I do not mean uninterested) love of learning in children, which is so strong when they are small, by encouraging and compelling them to work for petty and contemptible rewards — gold stars, or papers marked 100 and tacked to the wall, or A’s on report cards… in short, for the ignoble satisfaction of feeling that they are better than someone else…. We kill, not only their curiosity, but their feeling that it is a good and admirable thing to be curious, so that by the age of ten most of them will not ask questions, and will show a good deal of scorn for the few who do.” – John Holt, How Children Fail

    I would have to consider myself an anomaly of the public education system – I did not lose my curiosity and I love to ask questions – no matter who or what is concerns. I believe everyone should be like this – perhaps *cough*the government*cough* wouldn’t be trampling on us so hard if more people would question them…

    Any who, blessings in your future homeschooling. It will be for the best!

    Like

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