Please forgive my obsessive compulsive habit of finding fault with public “education” systems. I have a big grudge against them that goes a looooong way back, and this poor old soul here doesn’t really let go of grudges easily. (I know; I’m a bad person. But that doesn’t mean I’m not right.)
Thing is, just about everything reminds me of exactly how wretched public “education” systems have become. And when I see articles like this one, I get very excited.
A few facts about schools and education:
- A review of British pre-school programs which included “free nursery education for all three-year-olds” found that the £3-billion spent on the programs since 2001 resulted in no discernible benefits. One study found that the children of teen mothers actually did worse in the new program.
- Peer-reviewed studies consistently show that home-based learners out-score their schooled counterparts, with the relative gains being greatest for those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
- The Conference Board of Canada’s 2007 Report Card on Canada found that “[o]ver 7.5 million adult Canadians have low basic skills and low levels of literacy,” even though many of them had graduated from high school.
- There is compelling evidence that before the implementation of compulsory schooling in New England, the literacy rate far surpassed that of today, even when controlling for the greater numbers of non-English speakers present in the region now.
- Research two years ago at the University of Connecticut discovered that many graduating students at four-year American colleges knew less about civic issues, including history, government and economics, than those students entering the institutions.
Why is it that more schooling can actually hinder learning? Perhaps it’s time to start pointing the finger at moral hazard, the blanket scholastic insurance policy that induces those insured — students and their parents — to become less inclined to take an active role in securing their own education.
Makes sense, which is exactly why governments everywhere are insisting that, No, no! We should NOT point fingers at anything and we should ABSOLUTELY frog-march toddlers to all-day “early education centres”, no matter what it costs and how much it doesn’t do! (Here in Ontario we have a big old expensive all-day school-based daycare system coming, and nothing anyone says will stop politicians from implementing it.)
In other (completely unrelated, I’m sure) news, children in Britain will get a legal right to a good education:
An education Bill to be unveiled in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday will create a set of pupil and parent “guarantees” for the first time – outlining what families can expect from the state school system in England.
This includes one-to-one tuition for pupils struggling in the basics, five hours of PE every week, the right to “high quality” cultural activities and a promise that all schools will promote healthy eating, active lifestyles and mental wellbeing.
Let me get this straight: First we institute new and modern “education” systems that consistently teach less and cost more. And then we tell parents their children are guaranteed a “good education” [sic], opening the door to endless and no doubt extremely costly litigation. Which will result in better outcomes for the kids in what way, exactly?by