Arrested Development

” … the moment young people walk into school, they increasingly find themselves under constant surveillance: they are photographed, fingerprinted, scanned, x-rayed, sniffed and snooped on. Between metal detectors at the entrances, drug-sniffing dogs in the hallways and surveillance cameras in the classrooms and elsewhere, many of America’s schools look more like prisons than learning facilities.”

13 thoughts on “Arrested Development”

  1. The state run/supported schools are just training good obedient little sheeple who won’t mind have the Government monitor every wee aspect of their lives, willingly live by all the rules, regulations and edicts that are passed down to them.

    WTF do you think a school is for anyhow? Certainly not to teach independence, responsibility and critical thinking..


  2. Some may hate us boomers, but I think they are just jealous.
    I am sooo glad I grew up in the 60s and 70s.
    Music was better too!
    Rock on.

  3. the moment young people walk into school, they increasingly find themselves under constant surveillance: they are photographed, fingerprinted, scanned, x-rayed, sniffed and snooped on.

    Yet people keep buying into the devised devisive issues to make this all possible,

    Your fears will be used against you as you seek security.

    When will you realize that you have not created a safe house but that you have helped, by your moral bias, built a prison about you?

  4. They don’t care about the “liberty” issues the way we do in Gen-X. They just don’t. As long as they can join a hive with their friends.

    They do listen to older music. On my trek to school today with my 16-year old, he put on Boston and The Rolling Stones. “Gimmee Shelter” has never been so appropriate as in this day and age.

  5. A war worth having is a war against technology. It is the chains that bind us. We all work to increase productivity, to make devices, that makes us more controllable. This is very similar to the slaves that had to forge the same chains that went around their necks. Technology has enabled our controllers to enhance their ability to control us. It is a sick world, where the Prols have no idea what they are doing to themselves and us. We of the lower party, may know, but will never speak out, lest the party destroy us and our families. It was far to inefficient to have one know they are a slave. The system in place now is the ultimate culmination of centuries of planning. We are all slaves now…

  6. Gary North refers to the sending of children to public schools as ‘tithing your children to the state.’ Parochial, private or home-schools are the only ones worth using. Perhaps on-line schools will mature and offer yet another alternative. Like other organizations whose ‘business model’ no longer makes sense, the loss of ‘customers’ will eventually trigger collapse or irrelevance.

  7. Well my friend taught in California.It sounded like an insane asylum from what he told me.
    Society is only so advanced and the schools are teaching the basics so future workers can fill in the repetitive dull jobs that await many of them.Now they have to compete with people from other countrys who well work cheaper and complain less.

  8. It’s called enstupidation for the masses…kids are systematically dumbed down whilst simultaneously desensitized to totalitarian control is no accident.
    It’s state policy.
    Get ’em hooked on Ritalin in their formative years and keep ’em addicted to something only the state can provide the rest of their lab rat lives.

    A Taste of Realism

    May 1, 2012

    I wonder what purpose the public schools serve, other than to warehouse children while their parents work or watch television. They certainly don’t teach much, as survey after survey shows. Is there any particular reason for having them? Apart from their baby-sitting function, I mean.

    Schooling, sez me, should be adapted to the needs and capacities of those being schooled. For unintelligent children, the study of anything beyond minimal reading is a waste of time, since they will learn little or nothing more. For the intelligent, a public schooling is equivalent to tying an anchor to a student swimmer. The schools are an impediment to learning, a torture of the bright, and a form of negligent homicide against a country that needs trained minds in a competitive world.

    Let us start with the truly stupid. Millions of children graduate—“graduate”—from high school—“high school”—unable to read. Why inflict twelve years of misery on them? It is not reasonable to blame them for being witless, but neither does it make sense to pretend that they are not. For them school is custodial, nothing more. Since there is little they can do in a technological society, they will remain in custody all their lives. This happens, and must happen, however we disguise it.

    For those of reasonably average acuity, it little profits to go beyond learning to read, which they can do quite well, and to use a calculator. Upon their leaving high school, question them and you find that they know almost nothing. They could learn more, average not being stupid, but modest intelligence implies no interest in study. This is true only of academic subjects such as history, literature, and physics. They will study things that seem practical to them. Far better to teach the modestly acute such things as will allow them to earn a living, be they typing, carpentry, or diesel repair. Society depends on such people. But why inflict upon them the geography of Southeast Asia, the plays of Shakespeare, or the history of the nineteenth century? Demonstrably they remember none of it.

    Some who favor the public schools assert that an informed public is necessary to a functioning democracy. True, and beyond doubt. But we do not have an informed public, never have had one, and never will. Nor, really, do we have a functioning democracy.

    Any survey will reveal that most people have no grasp of geography, history, law, government, finance, international relations, or politics. And most people have neither the intelligence nor the interest to learn these things. If schools were not the disasters they are, they still couldn’t produce a public able to govern a nation.

    But it is for the intelligent that the public schools—“schools”—are most baneful. It is hideous for the bright, especially bright boys, to sit year after year in an inescapable miasma of appalling dronedom while some low-voltage mental drab wanders on about banalities that would depress a garden slug. The public schools are worse than no schools for the quick. A sharp kid often arrives at school already reading. Very quickly he (or, most assuredly, she) reads four years ahead of grade. These children teach themselves. They read indiscriminately, without judgement—at first anyway—and pick up ideas, facts, and vocabulary. They also begin to think.

    In school, bored to desperation, they invent subterfuges so as not to lapse into screaming insanity. In my day the tops of desks opened to reveal a space for storing crayons and such. The bright would keep the top open enough so that they could read their astronomy books while the teacher—“teacher”—talked about some family of cute beavers, and how Little Baby Beaver….

    I ask you: How much did you learn in school, and how much have you learned on your own? Asking myself the same question, I come up with typing, and two years of algebra.

    The bright should go to school, but it is well to distinguish between a school and a penitentiary. They need schools at their level, taught by teachers at their level. It is not hard to get intelligent children to learn things, and indeed today a whole system of day-care centers only partly succeeds in keeping them from doing it. They like learning things, if only you keep those wretched beavers out of the classroom. When I was in grade school in the early Fifties, bright kids read, shrew-like, four times their body weight in books every fifteen minutes—or close, anyway. In third grade or so, they had microscopes (Gilbert for hoi polloi, but mine was a fifteen-dollar upscale model from Edmund Scientific) and knew about rotifers and Canada balsam and well slides and planaria. These young, out of human decency, for the benefit of the country, should not be subjected to public education—“education.” Where do we think high-bypass turbofans come from? Are they invented by heart-warming morons?

    To a remarkable extent, dumb-ass public schools are simply not necessary. I asked my (Mexican) wife Violeta how she learned to read. It was through a Head Start program, I learned, called “mi padre.” Her father, himself largely self-taught, sat her down with a book and said, see these little squiggles? They are called “letters,” and they make sounds, and you can put them together….. Vi contemplated the idea. Yes, it made sense. Actually, she decided, it was no end of fun, give me that book…Bingo.

    The absorptive capacity of smart kids is large if you just stay out of their way. A bright boy of eleven can quickly master a collegiate text of physiology, for example. This is less astonishing than perhaps it sounds. The human body consists of comprehensible parts that do comprehensible things. If he is interested, which is the key, he will learn them, while apparently being unable to learn state capitals, which don’t interest him.

    What is the point of pretending to teach the unteachable while, to all appearances, trying not to teach the easily teachable? The answer of course is that we have achieved communism, the rule of the proletariat, and the proletariat doesn’t want to strain itself, or to admit that there are things it can’t do.

    In schooling, perhaps “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” isn’t a bad idea. If a child has a substantial IQ, expect him to use it for the good of society, and give him schools to let him do it. If a child needs a vocation so as to live, give him the training he needs. But don’t subject either to enstupidated, unbearably tedious, pointless, one-size-fits-nobody pseudo-schools to hide the inescapable fact that we are not all equal.

  9. Thanks Novista…good topic for the study

    An educated populace is dangerous to the state and therefore public education must be controlled for the benefit of the state as has been documented by Charlotte Iserbyt.
    Charlotte Iserbyt is the consummate whistleblower! Iserbyt served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education, during the first Reagan Administration, where she first blew the whistle on a major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America’s classrooms. Iserbyt is a former school board director in Camden, Maine and was co-founder and research analyst of Guardians of Education for Maine (GEM) from 1978 to 2000. She has also served in the American Red Cross on Guam and Japan during the Korean War, and in the United States Foreign Service in Belgium and in the Republic of South Africa. Iserbyt is a speaker and writer, best known for her 1985 booklet Back to Basics Reform or OBE: Skinnerian International Curriculum and her 1989 pamphlet Soviets in the Classroom: America’s Latest Education Fad which covered the details of the U.S.-Soviet and Carnegie-Soviet Education Agreements which remain in effect to this day. She is a freelance writer and has had articles published in Human Events, The Washington Times, The Bangor Daily News, and included in the record of Congressional hearings.

  10. Step one one in education reform. Get rid of multiple choice answers on tests. Demand childern to learn, to know and think about things. Minds that are given some exercise get sharper. Even the failures will fail better. Separate the ones who study and think from those who won’t or can’t and move the capable forward. Train the rest to enter the ranks of low class, low wage competitive labor.

    With the new “Anyone who is a moron gets left behind” education program we should see a big shift towards excellence while the leftist’s cry foul. The stigma of being inferior and the probable fate of a life in the sweat shops will be a big motivator to make the cut. Of course many will still not be able to make it. That’s okay. If we want to compete in manufacturing and production again in this nation we need plenty of people who work for low wages, at long hours with minimal benefits be factors that can help bring it all back. Sad, but true.

    The world is the market place of modern times and a great leveling of wages and living standards is taking place. It as natural a thing as a river flowing to the sea. Because we have had it better does not mean squat. What it means is lower standards for western people and some elevation of standards for those everywhere else. Maybe not total equalization of workers of the world but a significant movement towards that. Americans and Europeans face this kicking and screaming but to no avail. The idea of a large majority middle class is obsolete, the idea of eminence wealth for a very few is also obsolete as even the lowest paid must be able to survive and the smaller middle class and lessor wealthy must also have suitable motivation and compensation for their positions. Equal opportunity is a good thing, equal achievement is imposable. Give children the chance, the access to a quality education with some good discipline. Then get out of the way and let them sort themselves out.

    But then our Government and the majority of the people will not accept reality because its not really very nice. And certainly not nice for everyone. So rather than make the cold hard decisions now we plod along with sub par education and everything else but sooner or later reality will hit the people anyway. She will hit them like a brick wall at the speed of sound. Then the SHTF and all hell breaks loose. We are Doomed.

  11. The Fred Reed piece cited above is as good an explanation as one is likely to see with respect to the realities of education. I am one year older than Fred and also an expat, and remember well how tracking began in 1958 or thereabouts, when the brightest were placed together in what was called an “accelerated” program and the rest, well, go team go and there’s a job driving the oil truck waiting for you, or perhaps in an insurance office, or… But the emphasis was on the bright, who were destined for Ivy League schools. Things are different now.

    I sent my kids to private schools, but they spent time in the public education system as well. Both learned that practical subjects carried and would carry far more weight in the world than “artsy” ones. A key factor for both in obtaining well-paid work was that they are bilingual. Both know that ignorance can be remedied but stupidity (lack of intellectual capacity) cannot. Neither lives in the USA, but neither will send to public schools any children they may have.

    When Fred and I were kids, public schools encouraged the bright, given that the government feared the Russkies, Sputnik and the “science gap.” Now… I do not share the values public educators wish to inculcate in their attempts to indoctrinate the young. School should be about instruction in rigid academic disciplines with some phys ed thrown in. Those who have no real interest in learning should be allowed to leave, but to what? Hi-tech, largely urban/suburban society has no real place for them.

    Education is now more than ever a parent’s responsibility.

  12. I wouldn’t put a kid of mine in any school today (K-12).. If I had to starve, they’d be home schooled. It’s nice that I’m beyond that choice by a few years. I truly don’t understand how anyone could bring a fresh young’un into the world we are about to face..

    I guess they just don’t think about things further out than Friday..


  13. flash

    Thanks for The Fred, always a good read. I’m older than Fred and Oscar, who wrote, “Things are different now.” Indeed they are and they were different before sputnik, too.

    I graduated from high school, 12 grade, in 1953. I was 16. In Florida. No “accelerated” in those days in that state. The usual whine of my peers was “Oh, it’s easy for _him_, he’s smart.” Huh. Maybe it was that I was the odd one who actually read the books before writing the book reports — but yeah, with help I had taught myself to read when I was four. So there’s that. But mainly, it was doing the homework and more. You get that sort of drive from parents who never finished high school.

    When I went back stateside after 21 years away, I met a few people I’d been in high school with — it was like an early scene from “Pleasantville” … them stuck in time likes flies in amber. Meh.

    But then we see luddites like Stigmation for whom the glass is always half empty.


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