So why have decades of education reform resulted in failure? I submit to you that public education as it stands today cannot be reformed, because
it is working exactly the way it was designed to.
Many people live under the mistaken conclusion that public education was set into place to meet the needs of children living in poverty, who, it is supposed, received no education because their parents could not afford to send them away to what would have then been the equivalent of expensive private schools today.
However, the sad fact is that nothing could be further from the truth. The TRUTH is, that in early America, the literacy rate hovered near 100%. The TRUTH is, there were publicly funded schools. They were just not FEDERALLY funded; they were not even STATE funded, they were funded locally by the families who were using them. The TRUTH is, that the federal compulsory school system was never intended to free children from the bondage of ignorance, because there was no bondage of ignorance.
With the rise of the industrial revolution, it became evident that there was one large obstacle to corporate domination. Free enterprise.
As long as we were a nation of freely educated, creative, ambition, frugal people, the large corporations would always be at risk of collapse. That is the hard law of competition. Every creative and driven young man was a threat to the towering empires of wealthy families. Every smart and innovative child could become the next American millionaire. These companies needed two things to thrive: Consumers and workers. The public school system was a way to produce both, while at the same time limiting creative thought and uniqueness.
Extension of childhood long beyond historical ages.
Separation from parents.
Younger and younger students.
Removal of proven methods. (Phonics, Arithmetic, Latin...)
Creative thought discouraged.
Adding meals to the school day.
Rewarding conformity and disciplining independent thinkers.
Classical schooling completely removed.
All of these things point directly to an underlying system. And it is working exactly like it is supposed to.
I just want to add that I have the greatest respect and admiration for our public school teachers. Most of them are doing the best they can in a system that has undermined them from the very beginning. Most teachers are trying, really trying, to teach their students and most of them succeed against overwhelming odds. But the cost to our countries greatest asset, creative thought, is devastating. The system is failing teachers as much as it is children.
What do you think about our failing education system? Can it be reformed?