04 January 2013

Education Reform Part II

I am reminded of what Carl Sagan said of a person, probably a theologian, that he was educated beyond his intelligence. This idea has stuck with me. Aristotle, and those subsequent, when putting together his manuals had no intention of publishing them in a paperback version allowing the public access. Not only did the general public have no business reading them, they would not have understood them if they had. We seem to have this underlying assumption that mankind has changed in the last two thousand years. Not so. Public schools in American throughout their history have had the job of acculturation not education. An educated high school graduate may be, in some rare instances, a happy by-product. We, as a civilization, meaning the western industrial world, have learned to operate an advanced, complicated society with idiots. Very little thought needs to be given to one's job. McDonalds and Walmart are only two examples. Once a few elementary duties are learned, nothing further is required. The further up the job echelon a person travels, the more duties one must master. No thought is required once those duties are learned. The surest method not to be hired for a position is to be over qualified. The assistant manager of Burger King has no intention of hiring someone more intelligent than him or herself. I have spoken often of the myriad of rules governing our lives. The number of rules, regulations, and laws enacted by our various governments and administrative agencies are numberless. This plethora of rules are enacted for one of two reasons: either those enacting them have the opinion that those for whom they are enacted have no ability to think for themselves or they are of the opinion that those for whom they are enacted should not think for themselves. Television and radio merely reinforce this idea. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, the national news, and the local news all give their audience catastrophic events, accidents, sport scores, or what the weather was today. Radio bombasts either country western music, teenage angst, or ancient rock 'n roll. For a large number of citizens there is nothing upon graduation from high school that requires an education; so when someone tells a kid that they need an education, it is a falsehood. Just do what your are told and you will get along fine. Although, it would be beneficial if they could put a sentence together and speak with some semblance of grammatical correctness.