Due to server upgrade, my previous post on prediction markets and the US elections seems to have vanished, but rather than typing it again, I think I’d better note that another notable thinker, Alvin Toffler, has joined those who think it is time to abolish public schools. More on Edutopia. Just as Taylor Gatto in his classic article Against School, Toffler notes that public schools are basically designed to dumb down the population to make good and obedient industrial workers (not to mention mindless consumers who watch plenty of TV and have no higher interests than sports or some such activity, because public schooling has managed to destroy their individuality and after spending years partially imprisoned in schools learning about things they aren’t personally interested in, TV shows seems bloody interesting and keep the population that watches them sedentary enough that they won’t revolt even if the establishment quite openly works against their interests as happens with taxation and subsidized third world immigration to Western countries). I’m not sure about Toffler’s 24h open schools as they may not be cost effective, but I’m quite sure that customizing each children’s education to his particular desires and talents is a good idea. Obviously children need more than little guidance about what they should learn, but they should not be forced to learn subjects they are not interested in if educators can’t motivate them about their importance.
I could also note that to me it seems like segregating people who have little common interests to different learning environments is a good idea as in public schools for example the dumbest people tend to bring down everyone. In addition, as Robert Epstein has argued, I think youngsters should be learning from those who they are trying to become (grown ups) rather than from their peers as happens in public schools, and they should have more rights and responsibilities which would force them to grow up into responsible citizens rather than into infantilized adults.
Finally, I don’t think eradicating public schools would be enough to make everything alright as I don’t think people are blank slates that public education can totally shape to the establishment’s interests, but killing public schools would definitely be a good start in making the world truly better.