The Shifting Paradigm of Factory Education - Part II
By J. Anne Huss, M.S.
September 30, 2009
The Pros and Cons of a Factory Education
In last week's article, The Shifting Paradigm of Factory Education Part I, I talked about how the factory model of education was a process of conditioning. In this article I would like to talk about how we came up with the factory model in the first place. Now, I don't want to bore you with 19th century education pedagogy, who cares. I want to concentrate on the "how" of how we got this educational model in the first place. How did sending your kids off to school become "normal" and how did keeping them home and instilling your own morals and values become "abnormal" and, if you listen to anti-homeschoolers, even "dangerous".
We don't need a history lesson. We know that a free education for all was a good thing when the model for American education sprang to life.
An educated populous is a powerful populous, right? It was, and always has been, a way to even the playing field. Hundreds of years ago only the children of rich families were educated and they were educated at home. The unfairness of this was that those who could not afford the private tutors had little or no education.
And so, the public education system in America was born.
But let's get something clear at the get go; public education was never intended to take control of the student, it was intended to fill a gap and make education available to the community and it did this by being free.
Funded by the taxpayers of the community, the original intent of the public school was to better the community.
Is that still the case?
Can we honestly say that A) The public schools are filling the gap and B) The public schools are making the community better?
Perhaps some lucky districts are, but I doubt it for two reasons. First, the "lucky" districts don't need the gap to be filled. They are upper middle class neighborhoods and can funnel money to the necessary places to make their neighborhood schools perform. And second, the "unlucky" schools are actually making the community worse. They breed discontent, disparity, and are unable to even provide a safe environment for millions of inner city children.
You only have to turn on the TV these days to see the examples. A gang of "school kids" murdered an honor student after school or the child on the school bus that was beaten while the bus driver did nothing. Is this making our communities better and filling the gaps?
You can make your own decision on that one.
This article is about reality. The cold hard truth if you will. So let me give it to you straight. Public education is about:
Public education is about money. It is a well known fact that schools get paid per pupil. If you live in New York City your local public school gets $15,981 per student. To be fair, Utah spent only $5,683 per student and the average amount was $9,666 per student.
Did you know that $16,000 a year can get your child into some of the BEST day schools in the country? And even the measly $6,000 per year in Utah can pay for a very nice catholic school.
If you lived in Detroit, do ya think that you could find a better school for your child if you were allowed a $10,000 a year (the amount Michigan pays per student) to pay for it?
Public education is about MONEY, but even more telling - public education is about CORRUPTION.
As IF the government was accountable for ANY tax payer money these days.
So let's be real, the NEA doesn't want vouchers (or any kind of change) because they want money. And let's not forget that the NEA is a political union that advocates a political agenda.
How many propaganda videos are there showing children singing praises to Obama? How many schools across the country have included the liberal TIDES Foundation video "The Story of Stuff" into their curriculums?
Ask yourself, why would they do this? Could it be that a child in the public school is being indoctrinated?
Pffffffft. Total right-wing conspiracy theory started by crazy gun-toting religious people, right?
Even if we are to assume that the NEA does not have an agenda the worst case scenario is that they advocate for the rights of teachers and not the rights of the child.
In fact, they state on their website that "We the members of the National Education Association of the United States, are the voice of education professionals." Not the voice of children. The voice of Education Professionals. The NEA is a political action group dedicated to preserving their salaries, benefits, and the factory school model. Period.
Parents don't choose to send their kids to public school - they simply settle for the default option. If they researched all the options they are in the extreme minority.
There I said it. And I believe it.
Today, the worst of the public education system is nothing more than a daycare for millions of families. They send them there because they either don't care where their kids go to school (and yes these parents exist) or they can't afford a better option. Sadly, the President and the politicians in Washington are always on board when it comes to keeping kids from having options to the public schools system
Remember - the schools are run by the "Educational Professionals" and the Educational Professionals have a union that lobbies Washington for them.
No wonder parents don't feel the need to research options - why bother when the political action groups are going out of their way to deny you the right to choose your child's education? Sure, you are afforded the right to choose to kill the child before it is born, but afterwards - they belong to the state and the state run education factory.
Boy - we sure are lucky to have teacher's unions looking out for our teachers.
Even though the money "spent on students" has increased roughly $500 per year, there is no proof that the factory model is getting any better. And it never will. The factory model is as outdated as the factory it was modeled on.
So, what are the pros and cons of a Factory Education? Here you go:
Is there a better way? You betcha. Is it homeschooling? No.
Homeschooling will never work for everyone so homeschooling cannot be the only answer. But the homeschool revolution has provided us with a new model that could be adapted to all children. A model that rejects the societal mentality that all kids are to be equal in the eyes of the Union and replaces it with the novel idea that children are to be respected as individuals that have unique needs and learning styles.
Next week's article: The Adaptive Education Model