One Size Doesn't Fit .. At All
Wouldn't it have been nice to get a passing grade for truancy back in the day?
I remember the spring and summer of 1998 quite well ... I spent most of it ditching class.
But I had to show up enough times to at least get a "C" grade. So I went occasionally.
With my fifth-grader ending his elementary school years under the coronavirus cloud ...
... we're witnessing the first case of truancy by the education system itself.
Our local districts announced kids would not return to class for the remainder of the year.
Upperclassmen of every rank will "graduate" without having to complete work.
Seniors will get diplomas. My fifth-grader will move to middle school in the fall.
And apart from the inconvenience, many parents aren't particularly alarmed.
Well, at least not this one.
For one thing, he's a good student. I sure wish I'd been like him at that age.
Secondly, the digital world has opened up so many alternative career paths.
Why waste time satisfying requirements that haven't impressed people for 20 years?
But best of all, we're seeing proof of a foundational weakness in traditional education.
That weakness is this antiquated notion of cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all learning.
I never adapted to it, especially once adolescence started. My son is no different.
This is a golden opportunity to reform how our kids learn.
Assuming we don't let it slip through our fingers.
Before anyone gets offended, let me say that our kids' teachers are good people.
We don't hate them, nor do we detest or diminish the value of education.
We simply refuse the premise that educational institutions are immune to resisting change.
The "customer" of public institutions is the government, not parents ...
... which puts us in the unfavorable position of being "outbid."
Government has more coercive and financial leverage than average citizens.
It can withhold or refuse funding based on its dominant ideological direction.
It often makes decisions about what is "required" to be an educated citizen ...
... against the sound judgment and wishes of the people.
For instance, we can bet red money our kids will learn about sex ...
... but not marriage.
We can be sure they'll learn about slavery in the United States ...
... but not slavery in Egypt.
We don't need to wonder if our kids will learn about corporate greed ...
... while never hearing a word about corporate virtue.
Which makes me wonder what's possible, if we can turn off the news ...
... ignore Chicken Little telling us the sky is falling (a little Aerosmith reference) ...
... and seize this opportunity to TEACH our kids ... what could we accomplish?
Suppose you already possess one of these high-income skills that requires no degree.
Could you begin teaching it for free to young kids?
In time, perhaps you could create an online business of your own.
You could teach high-income skills to low-income students. Working from home.
Where politicians, teachers' strikes and snow days can't interfere.
Seriously, we can even do ourselves good and stop sneering at younger generations!
We could restore much of education to where it belongs - decisions made privately.
Between parents and educators. For sums average people can afford.
Where the failure of educators remains the failure of educators.
Not the responsibility of unelected bureaucrats and pandering political leaders.
A return to individual responsibility. Now that's a virus worth catching!