Sunday, August 17, 2008

Education, education, education

I got a proposal for ya folks. Ya wanna solve our social problems? You wana fix the world? You wanna make it so everyone has an equal chance? You wanna make it so that the electorate(the people who vote) of this country is inclusive and well informed? You wanna make it so that your kid and my kid and everyone else's kid has that most essential element for survival. . . HOPE?

Yes, you do? Well here's what you do:
Make education the #1 priority. Make it the #1 priority in your life. Make it the #1 priority in the lives of your children. Make it the #1 priority for the people you vote for on ALL levels of government. Yes, ALL levels of government and ALL offices. Yea, I mean the fucking dog catcher. Ask the guy running for dog catcher what he will do to educate the masses to keep them from getting their dogs caught.
DEMAND that education is a part of every single elected official's agenda and then when they are elected, hold them to it. If they perform the duties of office without making education their #1 priority, vote against them. Doesn't matter who is running against them, vote against the mother fucker who isn't on-board with making education the abolute most important social program at ALL levels of government.

I know, it all sounds cliche. "education opens up the world," "The truth shall make you free," blah, blah, blah. But it's true. Every word of it. Education enlightens. Education informs. Education gives people the ability to see beyond their own little tiny sphere of living, recognize the potential and understand the possibilities.

Educated people have jobs and are able to have choices in their life style. Educated people are able to raise their own children with more opportunity and vision.

I know, some of you will say I'm being elitist. That you don't have to be educated to do these things. I really don't care if you want to call it elitist or not. It aint elitist when I want every single person in this country to have equal access to what you're saying is elitist. Let's have a whole country full of elite people. Whatever.

If you believe that education is an elitist thing, then you're buying into the propaganda that is being shoved down your throat by the corpo-fascist elitists. Do you think they want an educated electorate? Do you think they want the working class to be educated? Fuck no! They want you proles to be stupid and ignorant. They want to be able to manipulate you with fear. They want you to believe there's a terrorist behind every trash can waiting for the right opportunity to blow you and themselves from here to kingdom come. They want you ignorant and afraid.

DEMAND EDUCATION!! It won't happen right away. In fact, most of us won't see an educated populous if we all began making the demand today. It will take a couple generation to make it happen. It will be our children and g'children who see the difference. It will be they who will inhabit a world where people act with reason and logic rather than purely emotion and fear.

So tell me, are there any educated people out there who disagree with my idea? Has education ever hurt anyone? Has education ever not been beneficial to anyone?


MacDaddy said...

Cliche or no cliche, you speak the truth. If we were educated, we would never allowed our government to get us into a stupid war, or have anything less than universal healthcare and free education for everyone that's qualified-- like they do in Denmark, Sweden or some of the other European countries.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Hey Sagacious, I read this last night but wanted to think about it. Our kids do get a free education thru grade 12, so I don't think the lack of it is the problem. I'll explain why.

In the early part of the last century, many people didn't go further than further than 8th grade. If someone has done their lessons, they should be able to read a newspaper, book, and do enough math to balance their checkbook and get by for the rest of their life.

There are many people who have done well with only high school diplomas. Whether it's an office job, starting a sole proprietorship business from farming to being a plumber, carpenter, or sales person, they've done well on the basic education provided.

One can learn more from reading newspapers consistently than four years of a general, non-technical college program.

I disagree with Mac that if people were educated we wouldn't be seeing the problems he mentioned we have today. These are caused, by and large, by people with college degrees.

I see the crisis in our country the result of too many kids who are not motivated to get the free education offered to them. They won't do their assignments and have little interest in school beyond socializing.

The oldest of my two was like this. The youngest has always been motivated and I have never once had to remind her to do her homework. As a result, the oldest is semi-literate, a high school drop out, and can't find a job.

The youngest is an honor roll student. She works as babysitter and arrives early. While shopping this summer, she had two store managers ask herif she wanted a job because they liked the way she carried herself and overheard her talking to store clerk. They were disappointed when she told them she wasn't 16.

So the question is, what are the solutions for the kids who aren't motivated?

First it helps to find out why. Some thoughts:

- Some kids don't do well in the massively large schools we have now. They function best in small settings and classrooms where they don't get lost.

- Parents who are interested in their kids, but have long work hours or two jobs are too tired to help as much as they would if they had the luxury to be stay at home moms. Fighting over homework or failing is a way for kids to get that extra attention.

- Some parents are home but have significant problems with alcohol, drugs, depression, or low borderline intelligence. They don't have the skills to help their kids and need help themselves.

- Other parents may work and be middle class, but have so many family issues and marriage problems that the constant stress has sent their kids into a hedonistic lifestyle of pleasure seeking, which does not lend itself to studying.

- Some kids don't have parents. They're shuffled from one set of relatives to another or foster and group homes.

- A lot of kids have learning disabilities and emotional problems. There are so many of these that one wonders if the cause begins prenatally, from toxins in our food, water, and vaccinations. We have seen an alarming rise in autism in the past 30 years. Could the lesser problems be caused by the same thing that causes this?

These are just a few thoughts.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Kit, All the problems you outline can be fixed if education is the priority.

Kids getting lost in mega schools or no adjusting well to standard classrooms?
Change the paradigm. MEga scvhools suck. Community schools serve the community. Different classrooms for different kids.

Parents not interested or unable to help children in school?
That would change over time if education is put at the forefront of our social programs.

Of course our present system of education fails on many levels. It is an antiquated system designed exactly for what you outlined. . . getting people literate enough to read and write.
We need more than that today. In a world where everyone is as close as the cell phone in your pocket or the computer in your living room, we need a sysztem that is designed to create citizens of the world who are informed and responsible. That will require a new system built upon those needs.

And yes, you are right, education doesn't have to be a 4 yr degree. I think of the Amish people I am familiar with in central Ohio. They get little formal education beyond a Jr. Hi. level, but they value education highly and believe that a person should never stop learning. . . they are very enterprising and intelligent people who do well for themselves.

To the idea that people with college degrees are at the root of our problems. . . .yes they are and they are the elitists who want to keep the good college degrees and educational opportunities to themselves as much as possible.

They are the root cause of why we have a school system that fails most students, especially the poor and working class, and they intend to keep it that way.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

I agree with all of you many fine points except one. I don't think of college grads as elitists. I think they fail in designing programs for the same reasons many of us do: a lack of wisdom. A cure? Maybe as you said, an education in how to get wisdom.

Heavens only knows who would teach it!

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I hear ya Kit, but "who would teach it" is part of the process and why the process will take decades. We're talking about a real revolution in thinking here. I certainly wouldn't know where the beginning will come let alone how it might progress, but the bottom line is that we can't keep doing it the way we are now doing it otherwise we will cease to exist as anything resembling a civilized nation.