So, I got this comment from someone too scared to identify him/herself:
Formalized schooling is a joke. It is not only expensive, it is downright prohibitive to actual learning. Leave the system behind. You have already wasted too many years of your own life feeding the beast. Abolish the DOE, both federal and state, and return education to its true owners: Families =. There should be a true and strong BOE in every town in America, and the world for that matter, who are answerable only to the children and parents that they teach
I don't know where to start. I think I will go line by line.
"Formalized schooling is a joke."
A product of formalized schooling myself, I find this personally offensive. That being said, I'll be the first to admit that I have deep concerns about the state of American public education. Without a system of formalized education, however, we ensure a de facto caste system in which each child born into poverty is guaranteed a lifetime in exactly that position. Public education, free for all, is the foundation on which a socially mobile democracy sits.
"It is not only expensive, it is downright prohibitive to actual learning."
Again, I will be the first to admit that kids sitting in silent rows staring at a blackboard is the hallmark of an old, tired system. I am not opposed to reform. I also teach in a school that qualifies as "formalized schooling" but which contains no rows, no blackboards, and I'm pretty sure learning happens.
Per schools being expensive - you either pay early or you pay later. Every dollar spent on Pre-K education saves more than that dollar on prison costs later. Students who graduate from high school are exponentially more likely to become tax paying, law abiding students - and guess which schools have higher graduation rates? The ones we spend the money on. If you want safe, productive communities you have to educate the people living in them, even if they aren't your kids. If you don't mind paying billions of dollars in corrections costs, then screw the schools and pay for the prisons. You'll pay either way.
"Leave the system behind. You've already wasted too many years of your own life feeding the beast."
This one really hurt. I did some crying; I can admit it. Whoever you are, have you read any other entries on this blog?? I have met some of the most amazing kids on the planet. Kids who have overcome barriers I can't even imagine. Kids who have battled homelessness, domestic violence, physical and mental disabilities...kids who have lost family members to gang violence...kids who thought, every day, for years, about killing themselves. And yet they came to school and worked their asses off and kept a sense of humor the whole time. Many of them overcame their own sense of worthlessness, and actually started to believe in themselves. I'd like to think I had some tiny part in that, and I'd like to offer you, anonymous prick, a giant FUCK YOU for calling it worthless. Really. Fuck you.
"...return education to families."
This is the most ridiculously overprivileged elitist argument I have ever heard. Not everyone is blessed with a family. And if a person does have a family, that family might not be capable of offering an education. Maybe they have to work three jobs and need public education to take care of it. Maybe they don't give a shit. Whatever the case, it certainly isn't the child's fault. Had my education been left to my mother...well I shudder at the thought.
Look, jerk, public education might not be perfect. I'll be the first to admit that. But getting rid of it gets rid of democracy. It will solidify every current social class, keep the poor in poverty and benefit the rich, white overlords. Public education was supposed to be the "great equalizer." If you abandon it, you abandon any hope for equality. So, to that end, I'm going to go ahead and keep wasting my time. You, sir, can kiss my ass.