by Patrick Kane
Clash Daily Contributors
When in the process of building a society, it would seem very strange for one to suggest that the state mandate one size of pants in which to squeeze every American. No one would try to design one television show to entertain all Americans: yet the public education system in America feigns to create one system to adequately educate every child in America. This form of reasoning can only be bred in a monopoly, a monopoly that forbids competition and has no incentive to please its customers.
The data collected about the public education system in America is haunting. In Nevada alone, the graduation rate for high school students from 2006 to 2009 lies at a nauseating fifty-six percent, consistently ranking it amongst the lowest in the country. In the back yard of the Capitol of the United States and the heart of American government, public schools follow a close second, averaging a graduation rate of fifty-seven percent. These numbers are not token examples. Among developing countries, America ranks 20th in graduation rates.
Not only are students failing to complete their education up to their senior year, they are barely competent in the most rudimentary of skills. According to the Department of Education, seventy-nine percent of 8th graders in Chicago Public Schools are not proficient in reading, and eighty percent are not proficient in math.
The way people light their cigarettes has made an unrecognizable change from its nineteenth century counterpart, and yet the education of the young, perhaps one of societies most important issues, has not been held up to this evolutionary scrutiny. When people in the twenty-first century are cramming their children into archaic molds, it is no wonder how the education system ended up this way, just as if how society fed children with a nineteenth century diet they would not meet modern life expectancy nor growth averages.
One-size-fits-all education simply does not work. Humans are an almost unimaginably eclectic bunch, and the thought of taking ostensibly every child in America and putting them into one form of education is egalitarian to a fault. Every student, regardless of abilities, interests, mental capacity, and personality is all crammed into one classroom and is taught the same things, in the same way, by the same people, at the same pace. The only thing students in public schools share in common is age, and this seems to be a very poor criterion to determine how a student should be educated.
Not only are students expected to learn in a system that may be a malfit for them, but they are forced to attend them for eleven years. Truancy laws keep students who are not satisfied with their education to rot in a mindless purgatory. A student who may greatly benefit from learning a skill or getting a job is literally forced into their desk by the threat of legal sanctions against both the student and their parents for missing class. This being said, the public school system is not benignly inefficient, it is a vicious perdition that keeps students intellectually flaccid, hobbled, and left to decay until the day they turn eighteen. While students are free to leave during their last year, it is a very sick consolation to those unfortunate souls who have had their minds forcefully bound for eleven years.