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From “Nine Assumptions of Schooling, and Twenty-one Facts the Institution Would Rather Not Discuss” by Taylor Gatto:

 

 

Nine Assumptions of Schooling

 

1. Social cohesion is not possible through other means than government schooling; school is the main defense against social chaos.

2. Children cannot learn to tolerate each other unless first socialized by government agents.

3. The only safe mentors of children are certified experts with government-approved conditioning; children must be protected from the uncertified, including parents.

4. Compelling children to violate family, cultural and religious norms does not interfere with the development of their intellects or characters.

5. In order to dilute parental influence, children must be disabused of the notion that mother and father are sovereign in morality or intelligence.

6. Families should be encouraged to expend concern on the general education of everyone but discouraged from being unduly concerned with their own children’s education.

7. The State has predominant responsibility for training, morals and beliefs. Children who escape state scrutiny will become immoral.

8. Children from families with different beliefs, backgrounds and styles must be forced together even if those beliefs violently contradict one another. Robert Frost, the poet, was wrong when he maintained that “good fences make good neighbors.”

9. Coercion in the name of liberty is a valid use of state power.

 

 

21 Facts About Schooling

 

1. There is no relationship between the amount of money spent on schooling and “good” results as measured by parents of any culture. This seems to be because “education” is not a commodity to be purchased but an enlargement of insight, power, understanding and self-control almost completely outside the cash economy. Education is almost overwhelmingly an internally generated effort. The five American states which usually spend least per capita on schooling are the five which usually have the best test results (although Iowa which is about 30th in spending sometimes creeps into the honored circle).

 

2. There is no compelling evidence to show a positive relationship between length of schooling and accomplishment. Many countries with short school years outperform those with long ones by a wide margin.

 

3. Most relationships between test scores and job performance are illegitimate, arranged in advance by only allowing those testing well access to the work. Would you hire a newspaper reporter because he had “A”s in English? Have you ever asked your surgeon what grade he got in meat-cutting? George F. Kennan, intellectual darling of the Washington élite some while ago – and the author of our “containment” policy against the Soviet Union – often found his math and science grades in secondary school below 60, and at Princeton he had many flunks, “D”s and “C”s. “Sometimes,” he said, “it is the unadjusted student struggling to forge his own standards who develops within himself the thoughtfulness to comprehend.” Dean Acheson, Harry Truman’s Secretary of State, graduated from Groton with a 68 average. The headmaster wrote his mother, “He is…by no means a pleasant boy to teach.” Einstein, we all know, was considered a high-grade moron, as were Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin. Is there anybody out there who really believes that grades and test scores are the mark of the man? Then what exactly are they, pray tell? Q.E.D.

 

4. Training done on the job is invariably cheaper, quicker, and of much higher quality than training done in a school setting. If you wonder why that should be, you want to start, I think, by understanding that education and training are two different things, one largely residing in the development of good habits, the other in the development of vision and understanding, judgment and the like. Education is self-training; it calls into its calculations mountains of personal data and experience which are simply unobtainable by any schoolteacher or higher pedagogue. That simple fact is why all the many beautifully precise rules on how to think produce such poor results.

 

Schools can be restructured to teach children to develop intellect, resourcefulness and independence, but that would lead, in short order, to structural changes in the old economy so profound it is not likely to be allowed to happen because the social effects are impossible to clearly foretell.

 

5. In spite of relentless propaganda to the contrary, the American economy is tending strongly to require less knowledge and less intellectual ability of its employees, not more. Scientists and mathematicians currently exist in numbers far exceeding any global demand for them or any national demand – and that condition should grow much worse over the next decade, thanks to the hype of pedagogues and politicians. Schools can be restructured to teach children to develop intellect, resourcefulness and independence, but that would lead, in short order, to structural changes in the old economy so profound it is not likely to be allowed to happen because the social effects are impossible to clearly foretell.

 

6. The habits, drills and routines of government schooling sharply reduce a person’s chances of possessing initiative or creativity – furthermore the mechanism of why this is so has been well understood for centuries.

 

7. Teachers are paid as specialists but they almost never have any real world experience in their specialties; indeed the low quality of their training has been a scandal for 80 years.

 

8. A substantial amount of testimony exists from highly regarded scientists like Richard Feynman, the recently deceased Nobel laureate, or Albert Einstein and many others that scientific discovery is negatively related to the procedures of school science classes.

 

9. According to research published by Christopher Jencks, the famous sociologist, and others as well, the quality of school which any student attends is a very bad predictor of later success, financial, social or emotional; on the other hand the quality of family life is a very good predictor. That would seem to indicate a national family policy directly spending on the home, not the school.

 

10. Children learn fastest and easiest when very young; general intelligence has probably developed as far as it will by the age of four. Children are quite capable of reading and enjoying difficult material by that age and also capable of performing all the mathematical operations skillfully and with pleasure. Whether kids should do these things or not is a matter of philosophy or cultural tradition, not a course dictated by any scientific knowledge about the advisability of the practice.

 

11. There is a direct relationship between heavy doses of teaching and detachment from reality with subsequent flights into fantasy. Many students so oppressed lose their links with past and present, present and future. And the bond with “now” is substantially weakened.

 

12. Unknown to the public virtually all famous remedial programs have failed. Programs like Title I/Chapter I survive by the goodwill of political allies, not by results.

 

13. There is no credible evidence that racial mixing has any positive effect on student performance, but a large body of suggestive data is emerging that the confinement of children from subcultures with children of a dominant culture does harm to the weaker group.

 

14. Forced busing has accelerated the disintegration of minority neighborhoods without any visible academic benefit as trade-off.

 

15. There is no reason to believe that any existing educational technology can significantly improve intellectual performance; on the contrary, to the extent that machines establish the goals and work schedules, ask the questions and monitor the performances, the already catastrophic passivity and indifference created by forced confinement schooling only increases.

 

16. There is no body of knowledge inaccessible to a motivated elementary student. The sequences of development we use are hardly the product of “science” but instead are legacies of unstable men like Pestalozzi and Froebel, and the military government of 19th century Prussia from which we imported them.

 

17. Delinquent behavior is a direct reaction to the structure of schooling. It is much worse than the press has reported because all urban school districts conspire to suppress its prevalence. Teachers who insist on justice on behalf of pupils and parents are most frequently intimidated into silence. Or dismissed.

 

18. The rituals of schooling remove flexibility from the mind, that characteristic vital in adjusting to different situations. Schools strive for uniformity in a world increasingly less uniform.

 

19. Teacher-training courses are widely held in contempt by practicing teachers as well as by the general public because expensive research has consistently failed to provide guidance to best practice.

 

20. Schools create and maintain a caste system, separating children according to irrelevant parameters. Poor, working class, middle class and upper middle class kids are constantly made aware of alleged differences among themselves by the use of methods not called for by the task at hand.

 

21. Efforts to draw a child out of his culture or his social class has an immediate effect on his family relationships, friendships and the stability of his self-image.

 Read the rest of Taylor Gatto’s article here.

 

 

 

 

So, after reading this, can you see how Obama’s ideas on education in America…

 

“We can no longer afford an academic calendar designed when America was a nation of farmers who needed their children at home plowing the land at the end of each day. That calendar may have once made sense, but today, it puts us at a competitive disadvantage.  Our children spend over a month less in school than children in South Korea. That is no way to prepare them for a 21st century economy.”

 

…is just plain wrong?

 

 

My Lori taught me how to make gauchos. 🙂

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They are really quick and easy to make (I made these during Mira’s nap).  They’re also really fun to dance around and play in!

 

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Sammy wanted to be in the pictures (for once) so I jumped on that!!!

 

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I soon realized that he only wanted me to take his picture so he could see what he looked like in a handstand. 🙂

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Thanks to much help from my friend, Lori….

 

Here are some pictures of my “Lena Dress” (my own version of the “pillowcase dress”).  It was made out of a vintage pillowcase I bought for $1 at the thrift store.  Instead of doing the ribbon sleeves from the standard pillowcase dress pattern, I added a strap with a short, gathered sleeve.  So sweet!  Thank you, Lori for helping me with this!  Now I know how to make 100 more!

 

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 By the way, as much as I would love to claim it, I did not make the bonnet that she’s wearing.  That one was all Lori. 🙂

 

And…here’s a couple of pictures of the purse I finished today.  Thank you for the pattern, Lori!  …and the fabric 🙂

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