Education

The Best Use of Education Dollars: Paying People to Avoid Standardized Education

|

Successful politician Barack Obama wants more school, more money for school, more time for school; successful entrepreneur Peter Thiel (cofounder of PayPal, and who has provided more use for more people?) wants to pay kids under 20 $100K to drop out of school and make something of themselves.

Grace Llewellyn talked about "unschooling" in Reason's Oct. 2001 issue.

NEXT: D.C. Regulators Not Pleased With Pub Owner Whose Customers Don't Buy Enough Food

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. As with horny teachers, ecstasy, and goth chicks…where the hell was this oppurtunity when I was in priso…I mean school?

    1. I still regret missing the ecstasy train. I’m sure I got close with some of the “mixing” I did, but still…

  2. “The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality”

    Mencken

    Horace Mann’s “Seventh Annual Report” to the Massachusetts State Board of Education in 1843 is essentially a paean to the land of Frederick the Great and a call for its schooling to be brought here. That Prussian school system was what shocks is that we should so eagerly have adopted one of the very worst aspects of Prussian culture: an educational system deliberately designed to produce mediocre intellects, to hamstring the inner life, to deny students appreciable leadership skills, and to ensure docile and incomplete citizens – all in order to render the populace “manageable.”

    1. Left out from most talk of our failed educational system is that every single thing about it is liberal.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/…..h-goldberg

    2. I don’t know, I always found school to be an excellent place to catch up on sleep. Especially chemistry class, 8:20 a.m.

  3. Inglis, for whom a lecture in education at Harvard is named, makes it perfectly clear that compulsory schooling on this continent was intended to be just what it had been for Prussia in the 1820s: a fifth column into the burgeoning democratic movement that threatened to give the peasants and the proletarians a voice at the bargaining table. Modern, industrialized, compulsory schooling was to make a sort of surgical incision into the prospective unity of these underclasses. Divide children by subject, by age-grading, by constant rankings on tests, and by many other more subtle means, and it was unlikely that the ignorant mass of mankind, separated in childhood, would ever reintegrate into a dangerous whole.

    Inglis breaks down the purpose – the actual purpose – of modem schooling into six basic functions, any one of which is enough to curl the hair of those innocent enough to believe the three traditional goals listed earlier:

    1) The adjustive or adaptive function. Schools are to establish fixed habits of reaction to authority. This, of course, precludes critical judgment completely. It also pretty much destroys the idea that useful or interesting material should be taught, because you can’t test for reflexive obedience until you know whether you can make kids learn, and do, foolish and boring things.

    2) The integrating function. This might well be called “the conformity function,” because its intention is to make children as alike as possible. People who conform are predictable, and this is of great use to those who wish to harness and manipulate a large labor force.

    3) The diagnostic and directive function. School is meant to determine each student’s proper social role. This is done by logging evidence mathematically and anecdotally on cumulative records. As in “your permanent record.” Yes, you do have one.

    4) The differentiating function. Once their social role has been “diagnosed,” children are to be sorted by role and trained only so far as their destination in the social machine merits – and not one step further. So much for making kids their personal best.

    5) The selective function. This refers not to human choice at all but to Darwin’s theory of natural selection as applied to what he called “the favored races.” In short, the idea is to help things along by consciously attempting to improve the breeding stock. Schools are meant to tag the unfit – with poor grades, remedial placement, and other punishments – clearly enough that their peers will accept them as inferior and effectively bar them from the reproductive sweepstakes. That’s what all those little humiliations from first grade onward were intended to do: wash the dirt down the drain.

    6) The propaedeutic function. The societal system implied by these rules will require an elite group of caretakers. To that end, a small fraction of the kids will quietly be taught how to manage this continuing project, how to watch over and control a population deliberately dumbed down and declawed in order that government might proceed unchallenged and corporations might never want for obedient labor.

    That, unfortunately, is the purpose of mandatory public education in this country. And lest you take Inglis for an isolated crank with a rather too cynical take on the educational enterprise, you should know that he was hardly alone in championing these ideas. Conant himself, building on the ideas of Horace Mann and others, campaigned tirelessly for an American school system designed along the same lines. Men like George Peabody,

    1. Funny, isn’t it, that an educational movement that was intended to pacify the population and render it dependent on elites and susceptible to being led by the nose in the name of a conservative oligarchy has worked out so that it is now leftists who value its results.

      1. it was designed by statists and statists still love it…right-left is brainwash talk.

  4. Peter Thiel (cofounder of PayPal

    Fuck you, you thieving cocksucker.

  5. The Socratic Method was an important part of education before the Rockefeller/JP Morgan/Carnegie funded education revolution. People learned about the classical fallacies in reasoning, people learned rhetoric as well as math, history and literature.

    Independent, robust thought was highly valued by parents who paid for their kids education.

    This was a constant threat to the oligarchy:
    “This candor can be heard clearly in a speech Woodrow Wilson made to businessmen before the First World War:

    We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.

    By 1917, the major administrative jobs in American schooling were under control of a group referred to in the press of that day as “the Education Trust.” The first meeting of this trust included representatives of Rockefeller, Carnegie, Harvard, Stanford, the University of Chicago, and the National Education Association. The chief end, wrote the British evolutionist Benjamin Kidd in 1918, was to “impose on the young the ideal of subordination.”

    At first, the primary target was the tradition of independent livelihoods in America. Unless Yankee entrepreneurialism could be put to death, at least among the common population, the immense capital investments that mass production industry required for equipment weren’t conceivably justifiable. Students were to learn to think of themselves as employees competing for the favor of management. Not as Franklin or Edison had once regarded themselves, as self-determined, free agents.”

  6. successful entrepreneur Peter Thiel (cofounder of PayPal, and who has provided more use for more people?) wants to pay kids under 20 $100K to drop out of school and make something of themselves.

    My kid is under 20 and he certainly could use the money to jump-start his escort service business. I will apply for him.

  7. Just tell us how you were educated, Doherty, and people can avoid that.

    1. Get a life.

      1. Go stick your cock in some Republican’s ass, Twinky.

        1. Quit projecting, Maxi. Now bend over and take it like a man.

    2. Re: Max,

      Just tell us how you were educated, Doherty, and people can avoid that.

      Not as well as you were “educated” at the “education camp” you attended, Max…

      1. This one time at education camp, Max got his wee-wee stuck in the bag-pipes. Poor little guy had to blow quite a few Scots to free himself.

  8. Thanks for the lead about the grant. I’m mailing it to my younger cousin.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.