Let’s Separate State and Education

Good Morning, Ladies, Gentlemen and Hermit Crabs! It is Wednesday and here at According to Hoyt it’s Heresy Time!

Today’s heresy — against “the way things have always been done” is “Let’s get the state out of education, and let’s keep those two separated forever more!”

Stop looking at me like guppies. First, “the way things have always been done” applies, at most to the last 100 years. Second, you guys know how I feel about the state. Everything goes worse with the state involved! (Except possibly for defending our borders. I don’t know. We’ll find out if the state ever decides to do it.) Third, I am not calling for guillotines or ropes and lampposts, so as things go around here, I’m very calm, bordering on practically asleep.

What I am calling for is a cold, hard look at the utility of mass-industrial, state enforced education as we head out of the mass-production, mass-skills era.

I am not in any way shape or form calling for an end to education itself. I think my household has always spent ten times the average normal amount a household spends on education. (However much that is. Those statistics are mostly compiled by the state, and therefore not worth the paper they’re printed on or the pixels they burn.) We consumed formal online courses, educational videos, materials and tools for learning to do things…. it’s just what we do for fun around here.

And it is known that learning, and acquiring new skills all the time is great insurance against dementia. It’s also, in general, a good way to stay employed and support yourself.

However, tell me, not-so-gentle reader, what the heck business is this of the feds? Or even your very own state bureaucrats? I’m willing to concede it might — might, perhaps — be of interest to your city, local business associations or churches. In which case those entities are perfectly free to start schools to make sure future citizens or employees, or even believers, know how to use the oxford comma, tie their shoes, and speak in full, coherent sentences, or even solve quadratic equations, if that is what is required.

But why is it the province of the state?

Oh, I know what the excuse/reason was at the turn of the 20th century. Then as now, the US was trying to digest a massive bolo of immigrants who didn’t know how things were done here. And let’s be honest, teaching them to be “good Americans” was better than now, when we teach them to hate the country they just immigrated to.

On the other hand… On the other hand a lot of that “good Americans” thing taught them to be members of FDRs vision for the US. And…. And led to everything else that’s come along.

So why not remove all educational requirements, take the public schools and raze them, possibly salting the land afterwards, just so people get the point that no, this is not good and should not be done again.

Oh, you work and can’t be at home to look after the kids? Well, then. The money the government takes from your paycheck to pay for education should be refunded with all possible alacrity, and you can probably find someone to teach your kids what you want them to be taught, or just to let them free-range while you’re at work. Look, if you really insist, we can find you a multi-tattooed, pink-haired monstrosity to convince your kids that they’re really trans-dragons and you get the entire public school experience.

On the serious side, while there probably are still good teachers laboring in vain in public schools, I can guarantee there are fewer of them every year. The teachers #1 son loved had left either for administration positions, or left the system altogether by the time #2 son came along 2 years later. The horrible time-wasters, the perverts and the insane, however, stayed right there in the classroom.

The entire system is designed to make those who actually want to teach, and those who actually want to learn run out of the system or turn into useless drones. And our university system has been turned into a credential factory that actually teaches remarkably little.

In fact, the predictable result of turning education over to the state (note not the states, but the state, since it’s all overseen and dominated by the Federal government) has been to make it a factory of indoctrination, turning out people with the “correct” views, instead of those that conform to reality.

The only way we escape this dumpster fire in a clown shoe factory is to stop the automated production of more clown shoes by our state indoctrination mechanisms.

“But Sarah” you’ll say “People will be illiterate!”

Will they? They weren’t by and large, before the institution of free public schooling. Communities, groups of families, and even cities got together and chipped in money to hire teachers. Yes, I know, horrors, teachers wouldn’t be “certified.” They might however — take heart – be able to count to twenty with their shoes on. And likely wouldn’t be trained in teaching your kids the new gender of the week. Or enforce bizarre rules that ostracize kids they don’t like. Or–

Worst case scenario, the kids will indeed be illiterate. But they will be honestly illiterate and not illiterate holding a diploma from — is it Oregon? — that says they’re high school graduates, even though they cannot spell their own names.

In fact, at this point, I’m willing to say that kids roaming the neighborhoods in groups getting into trouble is — for the average neighborhood — way better than whatever is happening at the clown factory of government schools. Heck, even in the worst neighborhoods it wouldn’t be any different. They are already not going to school. The only difference would be that there isn’t a gigantic building where some people are getting paid for not teaching them.

You know, I come from a society in which, though schooling was theoretically mandatory through fifth grade by the time I came along, only about 10% of the people went that far. By and large everyone went to school through 4th grade, after which you claimed your kid was mentally retarded and got permission to send them to work.

So…. were all those people visibly worse educated than Americans with a 12th grade education? Not really. Like most Americans they continued learning (mostly bullshit) through entertainment and the news, and conversations with other people. (Mostly bullshit, because entertainment and news media were already taken over with rampant Marxism.) In their day to day lives, though, they learned what they needed to get along.

There were still illiterate people — mostly women — around from before there was any system of education at all. But you know, they were honestly illiterate. They didn’t try to tell you they’d gone to school and therefore knew they were oppressed or that they didn’t read because “the man” was keeping them down. And most of them had picked up enough reading to read the signs on merchandise, and enough counting to count money — both of which they did fast and accurately. You haven’t lived till you see an illiterate vendor in a market add the prices or what you just bought in her head, fast and accurately, apply any percentage discount, and give you the exact amount in seconds. Something our college graduates would feel was a micro aggression to even be asked to do.

All in all, yeah, the illiterate will always be with us. They’re with us now.

But a lot of the now illiterate might very well learn to read and write, at least enough to get by, by other means than state school, if we weren’t imprisoning them in mandatory seclusion and stealing their best learning years in a system that is obviously broken.

We don’t need any more state schools to produce “experts” for the system.

Open the doors. Let the kids out. Let employers find their own way to certify what people know. Or allow different companies to set up competing systems of certification.

Let the best system win.

The free market works better than the captive market in everything.

Education is no different.

284 thoughts on “Let’s Separate State and Education

  1. “The money the government takes from your paycheck to pay for education should be refunded with all possible alacrity, and you can probably find someone to teach your kids what you want them to be taught.”

    This is precisely what school vouchers are designed to do, which is why the left opposes them at every turn. Because they are a slow, incremental, parent-driven method of starving the state-education complex of its lifeblood (money, that is). The teacher’s unions understand perfectly well that school vouchers remove power from them and give it to the parents, and THAT is why they hate the idea.

    1. Vouchers mean it passes through government hands. Friction arises, plus taking a cut and thinking they have a right to impose conditions.

      1. Yes, vouchers have some flaws, but they’re something that can be done now, with the systems currently in place. They would then allow incremental steps towards getting the government out of the school business entirely. Whereas a wholesale raze-and-replace is never going to get off the starting block: you need the replacement to exist first before you’ll get enough people to vote for the “raze” part.

        1. If the existing rotten mess is not razed, any replacement will be strangled in the cradle. A whole lot of good ideas have been strangled already.

          Smash the first wrecking ball into the teachers unions.
          Not everybody should go to college. Some folks, you send ’em to college and you just wind up with an educated idiot.

      2. Reposting because WP seems to be eating my comments:

        Yes, vouchers have some flaws, but they’re something that can be done now, with the systems currently in place. They would then allow incremental steps towards getting the government out of the school business entirely. Whereas a wholesale raze-and-replace is never going to get off the starting block: you need the replacement to exist first before you’ll get enough people to vote for the “raze” part.

        1. Note, occasionally WordPress will sit on a comment for a minute or ten before adding it to the blog. When this happens to me, I take a look at the total comment count at the bottom of the essay. When it increments, my comment usually shows up. Being WordPress (Delenda Est), on occasion it will eat a valid comment, usually by sticking it into moderation for Our Gracious Hostess to wield the Wand of Approval. On rarer occasion, it eats the comment entirely.

          TL;DR: if your comment doesn’t show right away, have patience. (Yes, I have the T-shirt.)

        1. This is very true — additionally, permits have also paved the way to “permitless carry” (of which I’m still convinced pretty much Vermont — the originator of this mode of carry — is the only State that still gets it right: 16 years and above, Constitutionally guaranteed.)

          1. Well, it’s closer to right; age isn’t mentioned in the Constitution beyond voting and holding 3 particular offices, and not in the Bill of Rights at all. So the “16 years” is also an added restriction, and therefore unconstitutional.

    2. Vouchers are an incredibly effective step towards recognizing that the right to make choices for kids belong to parents, not the government.

      It’s also a useful step towards removing government from education, if that turns out to be the best route.

      1. Yep. And it’s being expanded again in AZl with the usual REEEEEing from the teachers’ union and other fellow travellers and useful idiots.

  2. I haven’t time to write a lot right now, but in the United States, education is the province of the state because it always has been. Literally. The Land Ordinance of 1785, which set out how land in the old Northwest Territory would be organized and sold (and was used as a model for every new territory acquired thereafter), included land set-asides for public schools, and it was assumed that every township would include a publicly funded school. The Ohio state Constitution of 1851 made that official, and I believe many other states have similar provisions in their state Constitutions.

    What changed around the end of the 19th century was that those in power stopped seeing schools as instruments of education, and started seeing them instead as instruments of indoctrination.

    1. The Northwest Ordinance assumed that land set-asides would provide education money, in perpetuity, that the locals could use for schools without contacting the territory/state or federal government.

      School boards were just supposed to be the suckers who got stuck hiring a teacher for the local co-op school.

      Teachers usually were young men who were studying to be ministers or lawyers or something, who took the job for a winter or two. Later it was young women making some pin money before getting married.

      1. I know that at least in Utah, all of the school lands were confiscated by Clinton the day he took office. It’s now a national park, in honor of the greenies. The budget for schools immediately dropped, and the libs started screaming about the state having the lowest per student spending in the country.

        1. There are still some school trust lands in Utah, but a LOT of them are less desirable Clinton “traded” leaving us with inaccessible junk rather than the productive lands of the past… Some of that has been corrected since, but a lot of the battle remains.

          Land ownership in Utah:

          Federal: 63.1% (only Nevada is higher with 80.1% Federal Land).
          School Land Trust (part of SITLA, funding 12 state institutions including public schools, state hospitals, colleges and universities): 6%
          Other State Lands: 4%
          Private Land: 21%

          From my perspective the states should own the national parks, but, ceding those exist, that and buildings for government offices and military bases should be the only land owned by the Federal government…

          1. Sounds like the state needs to declare eminent domain over those lands, and kick the feds out.

            Sauce for the goose, and all that.

          2. A lot of federal government offices are in leased space already. Make it 100%. State and local governments would go for it because the now privately owned buildings go on the tax rolls. Yes I realize that provides more money for state and local governments squander but it is a start.

            1. State governments, and to an even greater extent local ones, are a helluva lot more directly answerable to the citizens than the DC swamp dwellers are; way less romm for them to play off factions against each other.

          3. A lot of federal government offices are in leased space already. Make it 100%. State and local governments would go for it because the now privately owned buildings go on the tax rolls. Yes I realize that provides more money for state and local governments squander but it is a start.

        2. Not quite confiscated, per se (unless there’s something I’m unaware of), but a whole lot of the state’s school land parcels did locked up inside that gigantic “monument” of his, and I’m not sure if the state ever got functional control back. If ever there was a law that needed to be repealed…

          And Utah always did have a low per-student expenditure, simply because it has always had a high ratio of kids to taxpayers. It’s just as well; if they had more, they’d waste most of it on administration anyway.

          1. I would add that when Utah schools do get more money, oddly enough, test scores seem to go down a little, too.

            I haven’t kept track of things, but it used to be that Utah had the best test scores, and was one of the lowest expenditures — yet this was considered a bad thing, because they weren’t spending “enough” money on schools! As if the only thing that matters is how much money is dumped into the system.

    2. Requiring settlers to set aside land to be used to fund a locally controlled and staffed school, can, I suppose, be seen as the camel getting its nose into the tent. The schools thus funded – think of the school described in Anne of Green Gables (Canadian, I know, but same idea) – did in fact inculcate local standards, so, again, we can imagine that as indoctrination if we wish. The big difference: teacher pops off to the farmers, she’s gone, end of story. Don’t like the school building? Build a new one. That level of local control was what Fichte, Mann, etc. desperately wanted to destroy.

    3. Like h*ll it has. My husbands ancestors started a school in the little colony they founded.
      And in the westward expansion, teachers were hired piecemeal by small groups.

      1. The education section in Milton Friedman’s book “Free to Choose” (there was also a video series, but I haven’t seen that, sad to say) goes into these multitude of schools started by msall communities rather than “the state” in considerable detail. One of the first things communities would do is start a school, generally funded by tuition and donations. And, yes, some folk couldn’t afford tuition but, again, there were generally ways to provide for those–working their way through or charity from neighbors.

        And it wasn’t folk dissatisfied with the results of such schools that led to the state coming in. Rather it was “professional educators” talking about how much better they could do it. Really. Trust us.

        An argument can be made for public funding of education based on the “external benefits” of education. And an argument can be made against it. I’m not prepared to weigh in on either side of it. However, if (and I mean “if”) we are to have public funding of education, that funding should go to the student–parent in the case of minors–and let competition among those offering education encourage the “cream” as it were, to rise to the top.

        1. If a business fails to provide some product or service that is of value to its customers, it goes broke and ceases to trouble the world. Not so a government bureau. Indeed, government thrives on failure, by claiming that success can be achieved with a bigger budget and more bureaucrats. Since this benefits the whole government, it’s an easy sell to politicians and other bureaucrats.

          Government provides no incentive to be efficient, to deliver acceptable results on time or within budget, not even to deliver any results at all. What positive results have we seen from our obscenely bloated government recently?
          There is but one greater sin than to be right when those in power are wrong — proving it.

          1. “…If a business fails to provide some product or service that is of value to its customers, it goes broke and ceases to trouble the world.”

            Baloney. That notion, so dear to us dimmer libertarians, was a trick, and a trap.

            Or did we not just live through a time when useful businesses got locked and shut down? We all of us have one neighborhood treasure that took it in the shorts and folded, no? And Modern RNA Inc. was juuuuust about to go bankrupt, when… well, you know how little Moderna troubles us.

            TARP me! From “Green Energy” companies to those wonderfully DIE architectural firms that build collapsing bridges, to ESG scores, the idea that businesses are superior to gummint projects because they are not propped up by political connections and tax monies is a bad joke.

            Keep it local.

            Then you know exactly who to put in the stocks, and where they live.

            1. The problem you our calling out, though, isn’t a free market problem. The ills you list are all caused by government fiat — governments can prop up businesses that should fail, and stomp on businesses that should succeed.

              This great evil shouldn’t be laid at the feet of libertarians, though. Libertarians have been complaining about this kind of thing for a long time — they are merely the Cassandras that nobody listens to, even after the Athenians come out of their government-fixing horse and ransack the place, and then proclaim that Troy is such a mess, and only they can “fix” it by ransacking it again!

              1. Exactly. Success in business goes not to well-managed companies that produce great products efficiently, but to those most proficient at playing government bureaucratic games and bribing contributing to the right politicians.
                If you tried to run a business the way they run the government, you would be in jail or the poor-house within six months.

                1. At the same time, what are libertarians supposed to do differently?

                  At the very least, we can take some consolation that every so often, a politician listens to us, and actually does something helpful, rather than make things worse (which seems to be the default mode for politicians of both parties).

          2. If a business fails to provide some product or service that is of value to its customers, it goes broke and ceases to trouble the world.

            There’s situations where this isn’t so, besides gov’t influence.

            Most of them are from lack of information– people don’t know that they aren’t actually getting what they paid for, or they find out after they’ve paid that the service wasn’t as promised.

            It took 25 years for the butcher that worked that way in my home town to finally go out of business, and it was actually forced by a totally unrelated event.

            1. A “thumb on the scale” type, or a quality issue? Either one can be detected fairly readily, especially the first, if people just decide to check. Ground meat can be tricky to evaluate, but my grandfather (who was a butcher) was pretty good at it. He could also tell Prime from Choice (the only ones he ate) from everything else, which he usually referred to as “range beef”. 🙂

              1. Basic fraud.

                They built their business around there being a regular, large influx of completely ignorant customers, which is NOT unusual in a society with high mobility.

                And no, you couldn’t “just check.” We identified the fraud because the third time around, mom noticed that we got bone-cut sizes in roasts that COULD NOT have come from the same animal.

                Which you’d need to have non-standard education to see.

                With that information, the “inside normal variations” things which were ALWAYS in the same direction formed a hell of a pattern.

                See also, the scam where you send out 1000 letters with a prediction, 50/50.
                The ones that are correct, you then do another 50/50.
                And so on, until you’ve built up a false record of accurate predictions and ask for them to trust you.

                A lot of free market claims ignore fraud.

                1. OK; thanks. That’s a good deal more complex that I was thinking you meant. And yes, that does require more than a simple check, although I’d think a butcher should recognize the fraud.

                  Jail time? (He asked, hopefully)

                    1. Yeah.

                      It sucks, because I like the theory.

                      But I’ve got too much exposure to the IRL expression for the clear and clean theory to seduce well.

                    2. > “But I’ve got too much exposure to the IRL expression for the clear and clean theory to seduce well.”

                      I acknowledge that the free market isn’t a magic cure-all, but surely you don’t think government control is better? What system do you favor, exactly?

                    3. One that’s built on humans and arguments about merit, rather than appeal to a theory, especially a nebulous ideal where you can have people arguing for opposite things in accordance with the theory.

                    4. That doesn’t answer my question at all. I’m asking what kind of laws you want, not what justification you offer for them. Justifications are meaningless until I know what it is you’re trying to justify.

                    5. You first; justify the demand for nebulous “kinds of” laws

                      I’m not down for the same nonsense tactic that pissed me off with Marx coming from something that’s supposedly rational.

                      Make the rules based on their actual merit, not some theory.

                      The rules develop based on problems– like the example I gave. They’re going to be different in different situations.

                      That is not a system.
                      Same way that there isn’t a system of “capitalism” to stand opposed to “communism,” or there wasn’t before dude needed an enemy.

                      I reject the very idea that you can, and should, have a simple format for “kinds of laws” beyond that they should be built off of recognizing folks’ rights and balancing the conflicting interests as best possible. Which is what all rules should be.

    4. Oregon: Timber receipts, federal, state, and private, pay county and school district budgets, which kept property taxes down (that and Oregon’s superior version of California’s property tax propositions). Still does, technically. Problem is timber receipts, especially from federal and state timber lands is limited to non-existent thanks to the environmental idiots. (Oregon is 5th for federal owned land: 52.3%. This does not count timber land that is owned by the state itself. Some counties (Jackson, Douglas, Baker, Kalamath, for example) over 60% is public owned timber lands. There is no way private property tax can ever make up for the timber receipt short fall.

      1. And a lawsuit to recover lost timber revenues has just finally died at the Oregon Supreme Court. https://apnews.com/article/oregon-forests-lawsuits-forestry-b4104a7813980a5f39380782848e6dda

        PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from 13 counties in a long-running $1 billion lawsuit over timber revenue and what constitutes “the greatest permanent value” when it comes to forest management.

        The denial ends a six-year legal battle over logging practices on 700,000 acres and is a victory for the state Department of Forestry and environmental groups. The decision leaves in place a lower court ruling saying that Oregon can manage forests for a range of values that include recreation, water quality and wildlife habitat — not just logging revenue.

        1. That does not surprise me, it is 100% true. Counties got greedy when they agreed to the timber revenue instead of property taxes from timberlands. Now they are reaping that cost. Can they make another agreement? That is TBD. (Would not bet that way. But guess it is possible, in theory.)

          1. Polls are indicating that Drazen is pulling ahead of the Commie, but since it’s fraud by mail, I’m not counting on any chance to be disappointed by another GOPe selling us out improvement.

  3. THIS Sarah! However, if such a reality is achieved, I foresee a future where apprentices will learn skills from masters/neighborhood teachers (good for training lots of people to work and be productive) and enlightened philosopher or scientist private tutors will again be directly sponsored by the rich (bad, since the rich control what learning is funded and the resulting “product”). We can only hope if that happens that some balance between the two will be realized.

      1. LOL. I think my post had to do with if the current education system was eliminated entirely. For sure, most current government schools teach at the lowest level: Ignorance. However, I do have some hope now here in Florida (I’m not a Desantis fan for sure because he is just the other side of the uniparty pendulum), because my kids in middle/high school here are actually learning! My 8th grader came home and had an actual assignment on the Declaration of Independence, John Locke, and Thomas Jefferson! Wow. My former state still has forced “integrative” busing to lower all schools to the same equally poor level and would have declared that assignment “Raycis”

        1. Since we’ve done “current public education system eliminated entirely” already and it was fine; completely liveable for all except the iron rice bowl parasites, your back track doesn’t help.

          You are / were just wrong. No harm in admitting it: It happens. More to some of me than others 😳, but that’s just practice for real life.

          Figuring out a way to burn it all down and start over, sans actual conflagration of the (relatively) innocent is the trick. The deep state woke Satanists bureaucrats will fight tooth and nail to hang onto every jot and tittle. They’d honestly prefer to see all “their” school properties destroyed before letting anyone else use it, and many of the admin, and even teachers consider others’s kids part of that furniture.

  4. Yeah, a lot of the ideas that informed public education in the early twentieth century came from “our pals” the Germans. Ahem. The trend to home schooling, charter and private schools is now unmistakable and I suspect irreversible. The DOE should be “unplugged”. However, the NEA is a very powerful union as is the AFT. They’re the real stumbling blocks moving forward.

  5. Didn’t Carter saddle us with the Department of Education? I remember the argument was, “All the cool countries that have better educated kids have national standards and make education a national program, so we should, too.”
    Meanwhile, Loudon County, VA, got a bit more attention because it appears there was a nasty rape/assault case in the high school which the administration neglected to tell the parents about until forced. Another nasty assault, I should say. The news of the previous nasty assault may have helped Glen Younkin get elected governor.

    1. Yes he did, quid pro quo to the unions.

      That said, I think George W really doubled down on the stupidity so it’s a bi partisan screw up.

          1. I meant W. The whole, “This awful man wants us to have standards! Well, we’ll just have to teach nothing but what’s on the standardized tests, not one item more!” bit.
            I liked W in office, but I wish he hadn’t gone the, “I can’t judge you, but I can judge my own party, and they’re bad people for supporting Trump,” route.

        1. No Child Left Behind was a bipartisan (stupid AND evil!) effort championed by Ted Kennedy (who had experience with people left behind). It ran afoul of rule 1 of federal bureaucracy, though: The ratio of dollars to oversight increases monotonically, at a super-inflationary rate.

          1. And as Jerry Pournelle often pointed out, “No Child Left Behind” really means “No Child Gets Ahead”. It’s a sure way to keep the schools from being of any benefit at all to the smart kids.

      1. :eyebrow raise:
        The guy who made them actually investigate assaults by school employees?

        Where we found out that the nonsense that was seen, and objected to, in the Catholic Church, five to ten years earlier– was ongoing in public schools?

        Sometimes I wonder how much of the current meltdown is from that alone.

    2. Jimmy Carter’s Federal Department Of Education has spent 40 years and $2 TRILLION ‘improving’ our public schools. What has it accomplished? Are the schools better today than they were in 1978?

      The Virginia school administration bears the guilt for both incidents. A ‘transgender’ student raped a 14 year old girl in the girls bathroom and was quietly transferred to another school where he raped another girl. When her father demanded accountability from the school board, he was arrested as a ‘domestic terrorist’.

      The Ministry Of Education is corrupt from top to bottom. It can’t be fixed until the rot is seared out.
      There are forms of stupidity that businesses can’t indulge in. There are no such limitations on the stupidity of government.

      1. I can’t believe you doubt the Great Vision of our Most Honest President Ever. Of course our schools are better now, than they were in 1978!

        They are the perfect indoctrination centers for generating the much-needed hate of America and it’s “oppressive” prosperity-generating system! How else are we going to obtain utopia, if we don’t destroy the one thing that has brought unbound prosperity to the entire world first?

    1. And the government spends an obscene amount of money on a result that can be had for free, if that’s the outcome people actually want.

      1. Which people? I mean, you don’t want politicians to have to forgo the donations from the teachers’ unions, the teachers’ unions having to forgo their salaries, the teachers who can’t teach having to either pull up their socks or be unemployed?

        1. Set them free!

          “Freedom”, of course, famously being defined as the choice between [actually] working and starving.

    2. And not new. I know of a lot of people that graduated in the ’60s – early ’80s, that are functionally illiterate. All for different reasons. Hubby didn’t do his brother any favors by doing his homework for him. Note, hubby was 5 years behind his brother in school (just short of 5 years younger). His brother’s talent is mechanical. There is a scouter whose wife and son sat with him to fill out job applications. How many adults need someone to read unemployment applications to them?

      Then there were the job assessment tests for the dislocated workers program (the money for the seminars for skills updating was nothing to sneeze at) for new skills education. Really? An hour, each, for basic reading and math skills? At least when I was done with the second one I could leave. But the first hour dang near drove me nuts. There were people there, first hour, math, that never finished the test … (Comparison, I was done in 10 minutes, and I checked everything 3x’s … good thing that was before “show your work” was required … that I’d have flunked … well not really. I do know better than to not follow the instruction on that type of stuff, but my eyes would have rolled out, on to the floor and out the dang door.)

      The problem is definitely not new. Worse? Or same percentage, but a lot more visible because higher numbers?

      1. No. It’s worse. It’s not “just” dyslexia. And btw, dyslexia CAN be combated by small schools and consistent attention. Or a parent who overcomes it and teaches the kids the tricks. Ask me how I know.

        1. Or, in the case of a friend of my mother’s, a dedicated friend who has a great deal of patience. (They didn’t realize he was dyslexic until YEARS later, by then he was a marine biologist.)

          1. heck, I didn’t know I was dyslexic. The hint should have been I made more mistakes in copies than in dictation.
            Dictation, I was following the letters in my head (Portuguese is very phonetic) copying, I was just looking, then scrambling the letters.
            BUT yeah. I mean the kid with the 60 or so IQ in my class learned to write and read. Class of 12. You gave each what she needed

        2. One of my nephews got a trifecta—dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, AND nearsightedness. So he couldn’t see the words on the board, couldn’t read them up close, and couldn’t understand when they were being explained to him.

          Big relief to my brother and SiL once they got those diagnoses, because they knew he wasn’t stupid, but he was for sure struggling. (They were a little upset that they’d missed the vision issue, the easiest fix.)

  6. Fichte delivered his Addresses to the German Nation. The state has the power and moral duty to enforce a single standard education on everybody. The enemies to be defeated are foreign influences and – the family, the village, and the church. “It is essential that from the very beginning the pupil should be continuously and completely under the influence of this education, and should be separated altogether from the community, and kept from all contact with it.”

    The perfect product of this education no longer has a will or any individuality. They can be counted on to do as they are told. They will have nothing and be happy. Fichte didn’t mention if they’d eat bugs.

    Horace Mann and other American ‘educators’ – essentially the bored sons of well off Americans – headed off to Berlin to study this new science, as did similar dilettantes from all around Europe. As this new education was implemented, Prussia’s economy boomed (while they could never quite get the complete removal of kids from their families thing to work, they did the next best thing: fill every waking hour with school and school-related activities and make mom and dad into the school’s enforcement agents.) everyone wanted to be Prussia.

    The mask started to come off around 1900, using the common tactic of pitting natives against immigrants – the same trick Mann had used to get the first compulsory state schooling laws passed. Local education was much loved and good, so it wasn’t killed off until the 1930s. By 1980, the last people to be well educated in locally controlled schools aged out, the last people able to contradict the state from their own personal experiences. The mask fell completely.

    And here we are.

    1. That originally read “In 1807 Fichte…” Odd things happen when one types on an iPhone at 5:30 a.m. The point: we’re going on 215 years of this nonsense. It took until around 1900 for it to really take over in the US.; took over faster in Europe (outside Great Britain), then took over everywhere where Western-style governments were installed. We fought it off longer because, at least in the rural areas, people already had very effective local school. There’s an epic tale to tell about the efforts of the ‘consolidated’ school crowd to put the one-room schools out of business – which they did, with the aid of the Great Depression, in the 1930s.

      1. In 1807 Prussia was under existential threat from Napoleon, so a little leeway should be granted to pull all the localities with all their particularism together as a single “nation”.

        But just like employer-based health insurance and tax withholding in post-WW2 USA, it was a wartime exigency that persisted long after its purpose was obsolete.

        1. Don’t forget the telephone tax, intended to pay for the Spanish-American War which began and ended 1898.

          The tax was repealed in 2006.
          “Gentlemen! You can’t fight in here — this is the War Room!”

          1. There is still a special tax on champagne in Germany put in place to build the Kaiser’s Navy. That fleet has sat underwater, scuttled in Scapa Flow, these 100+ years.

                  1. That should be Mark 48, the CBASS version. After all, it’s the littoral one, and this place is full of authors… 😉

  7. Get out of my mind !!!!

    I have been thinking about how we are mentally captured by assumptions about the role and effectiveness of the state, in my case the FRB but it’s two sides of the same coin. If you look at just about any textbook about money or interest rates, you’ll find they begin with “policy makers decide.” Now, policy makers decide all sorts of things but whether their decisions really matter is another question.

    I would note that the decisions mattering, or not, come down to whether the market believes they matter, or not, which is why the FRB lies all the time about everything, even when they’re telling the truth. It’s all a confidence game. the longest con. Once one looks behind the curtain you tend to see things very differently.

    Free your mind and the rest will follow,

    1. If the “policy makers” are not “We the People”, then they really aren’t doing what We the People want them to; especially if we don’t have direct hire and fire control over them.

      1. Even so, the problem is that “policymakers” with such a broad mandate should not exist in the first place. They have done nothing but harm, and they are, by their nature, uncontrollable.

        1. They are also ignorant and incompetent, and many of them are corrupt. This is the inevitable result of having unquestionable ‘experts’ that face no consequences when they are disastrously wrong about everything. Fauxi should have been fired 40 years ago for his first public health fiasco.
          People can make stupid mistakes, but only the government can force everybody to make the SAME stupid mistakes.

          1. Even if they were informed, competent, and honest, such concentrated power should not exist, both from a risk management — diversification — and a moral — personal responsibility — point of view.

            I’m writing this during the quarterly “Fed day” when all the financial world waits on a dot plot put out by a group of academic economists who’ve never held a real job. Trillions of dollars are at stake. Such utter nonsense. They have no more idea about the future than my shoe does,

            1. And tomorrow the market will tank. Or so I expect. I’ve been holding forth for the last two years about what would happen when the Fed finally tried to dry up the easy money.

                1. It was a wild day. Flat into the news, down sharply on the news, up sharply during Powell’s presser when he appeared to wobble, then down sharply into the close. It went from up about 1% to down about 1.7% in about an hour as the sell programs kicked in.

                  Short term bonds took a hit, but the long term bonds did very well, thus steepening the yield curve even more. This is called a “bear flattener” and tends to signal economic contraction as opposed to the “bear steepener” that we had been in which tends to signal more inflation. The smart. money, me too, is buying long bonds with both hands as the recession trade becomes more obvious. I was too early, again d@mn it, but it looks like my strategy might be coming good.

                  All in all then, was all sound and fury signifying nothing which is why one should basically ignore what the policy makers say. they have no idea what they’re doing but they’ve got the markets pumping and dumping simply by the use of loaded words and puerile dot plots.

                  The “boys” were speculating that the market could break one day records to the upside if Powell used the word easing and one day records to the downside if he used the word tightening. This is nuts.

                  1. It’s wildly insane that one grossly incompetent bureaucrat can kick the stock prices of (mostly) perfectly good corporations around with a word.
                    If economists actually understood economics, they’d all be billionaires, and wouldn’t need to be supported by the government.

                    1. That’s one reason why any politician in Washington, and any bureaucrat working for the federal government, should be forbidden to have any contact with their money managers while in office. They are engaging in insider trading.

                    2. If economists actually understood economics, they’d all be billionaires, and wouldn’t need to be supported by the government.

                      Um, no, actually. That’s not what economics is, or how it works. It’s the study of cause and effect relationships in the allocation of scarce resources that have alternative uses. It’s not how to invest in the stock market. It’s not how to run a business.

                      Economics, for instance, tells us that in a free market, resources tend to flow toward their most valued uses. If people value butter knives more than paper clips then the iron used to make their steel will go more toward butter knives and less toward paper clips. It does not, however, tell you what people will value. People value what they value (and, no, it’s not about money, or not always) and they make their decisions accordingly.

                      Economics can help you determine policies that lead to a strong, robust economy (mostly by leaving it alone–although there are some special cases that can use a bit of nudging) so that more businesses grow and florish and fewer fail (although the failure of some businesses is part of that–culling the “dead wood” so to speak). It doesn’t tell you which businesses will do which. That depends on the choices that people make based on what they value.

                      That’s not to say that there aren’t a lot of people who call themselves “economists”, who even have degrees in economics, who aren’t really. They’re political pundits masquerading as economists. (cf. Krugman and Occasional Cortex as examples.)

                    3. All politicians should be required to publicly announce any planned stock sales or purchases a week before they actually execute the trade. That way, the public can get in on the deal right along with them.

                2. And according to Instapundit, the press is blaming it all on the Fed.

                  No mention of why the Fed is feeling the need to take such actions…

            1. Actually, that comment was about a human bigshot who brushed off Londo’s advice about not provoking the Minbari. It did not end well.
              Delenn: “The Ancients understood, that in war, it is always the young and the powerless who are sent off to fight, sent by leaders and warriors and generals who are not themselves engaged in the battle, who do not bleed on the front lines, who do not die alone in the cold and friendless night.”

              1. Delenn: “The Ancients understood, that in war, it is always the young and the powerless who are sent off to fight, sent by leaders and warriors and generals who are not themselves engaged in the battle, who do not bleed on the front lines, who do not die alone in the cold and friendless night.”

                I know that was supposed to be Meaningful and all, and I know Delenn is from the religious caste, but JFC the Minbari were a bunch of sanctimonious pr*cks.

                Stuff it, Delenn: the generals don’t bleed on the front lines because that’s not their job. And correct me if I’m wrong, but the Ancients did a whole lot of sending the young and powerless off to die (see, e.g., the Shadows and the Vorlons), so they’re not exactly a good source for your moral lesson.

  8. All this, yes. I have two years before grandchild number one enters the school system, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn’t happen. If that means I move to where the grandkids are and offer to school them myself, I’ll do it.

    We thought we were sending our kids to a good school when we got them into a charter school in Colorado. Unfortunately they hired teachers from the machine. I thought the school experience would be better than me teaching them. I couldn’t teach my son violin, or Spanish. Stupid former me thought I was stupid, but I could have hired a tutor for those skills I didn’t have. My children had some pretty rough times getting through the system, and I regret not being brave enough to homeschool them. They’re all wonderful humans, brave and thoughtful, with not a single liberal clone among them. But I could have done better.

    1. “could have hired a tutor for those skills I didn’t have. ”

      Which is the biggest problem with public education via funding from “The State”. Thing is, public school funding is usually at the local level for budgeting. However, at least in NH, payment is made to the town, with state and local (town and school) payment going into one big pot and then divvyed up from there, Point is, if you had that money that you paid for “school tax”, then you could use it to purchase those tutor’s services when and as you desired. And you wouldn’t be forced to pay for things you don’t want (like paying for sports uniforms and equipment that your kids hate and don’t participate in, but no longer have a music or shop program they would.)

    2. Same here on home schooling. Now there is a public charter homeschooling option. At least it is some that can be monitored. The charter schools have some free range options that the neighborhood school doesn’t.

      What we ended up doing was keeping a strong pulse on what was going on, self tutoring and supplementing the son’s education. But then he’s been out of HS, now, almost 15 years. Did a good enough job that he college experience didn’t result in liberal nonsense.

    3. Is there an option to hook a computer to a TV?

      Starfall dot com is a WONDERFUL preschool replacement, both of my sons taught themselves to read from it. (they didn’t want to try “sounds” with mommy)

      We put a computer on the TV with a wireless keyboard, and one of those tiny laptop wireless mice, to work on eldest’s dexterity and fine motor control– my in laws needed encouragement that homeschooling was OK.
      A kid who was at mid to late first grade level, when she wouldn’t go to kindergarten for a good nine months, did that.

      1. If you have a computer with an HDMI video connector, and a TV with HDMI inputs, just plug it in. Before the Great Raspberry Shortage set in, I got a Raspberry Pi 4B and plugged it into my TV. Works great, and cost less than $200.

        I want to get at least 2 more Raspberry computers, but they’ve been Unobtainium for more than a year.
        Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

        1. That’s odd, there’s lots and lots of Pis available on Amazon, in all different models. They’re a lot more expensive than a couple years ago, but you can get one.

          1. I mean from reputable suppliers. I don’t want to support scalpers. Getting a $45.00 computer and reselling it for $250.00 because they are in short supply is reprehensible.

        2. This also works nicely for video calls with family, or youtube browsing.

          Takes “Computer time” from being a solitary sort of thing, to being in the middle of the room with everybody.

    4. Oh!

      For folks who get upset at math– I very much recommend the Komen books.

      Even the stuff that I had trouble with, in high school, I can puzzle out from the notes there on the page and in the answers.

      DO NOT get rid of last year’s books, they’re useful the next year as reference.

  9. Apropos of nothing, I just found out that “Sleep, Dearie, Sleep” aka “Chidail Mo Ghaoil”, “Chidal Thus A’ Ghaoil,” etc. is actually supposed to be a fairy lullabye, learned by being overheard.

    So there was some representation of Britain’s traditional nonhuman population….

      1. How to pronounce Gaelic words:

        g–? “WRONG”
        ch–? “WRONG”
        th–? “WRONG”

        And just forget about vowels.

          1. Hey, I’m not the one who decided that the basic principle of your spelling system would be “confusion to the English”.

            1. Siúil, Siúil, Siúil, a ghrá
              Níl leigheas le fáil ach leigheas an bháis
              Ó d’fhag tú mé, is bocht mo chás,
              A’s go dté tú , a mhuirnín, slán

              Irish spelling matches the language very well, unlike that of the Sassenach.

              We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes;
              But the plural of ox should be oxen not oxes.
              One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
              Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

              1. We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes;
                But the plural of ox should be oxen not oxes.

                I don’t know about anyone else, but I absolutely have and do use “boxen” as the plural of box.

              2. Time to break this one out again:

                On second thought, let us not speak English. ‘Tis a silly tongue.

      2. Because it’s pronounced gul in Scottish Gaelic, and geel or something like that in some kinds of Irish Gaelic.

        Gradh is like, normal love. Gaol is, like, the super-closer than love kind of love.

        Nope, don’t know the difference, just know poetic vocabulary.

        1. Also, sometimes ghwayl.

          Agus as Gaeilge, grá is more the act of love, the feeling, the romance, etc. Gaol is relationship, kinfolk, etc., often referring to bloodkin

  10. If you graph Federal spending on education and the decline of educational achievement, they are highly correlated, and it’s a full blown disaster…

  11. I remember when the school office had the Principle, the secretary, maybe two if it was a busy one, and the school nurse, and one the Janitor was in the same office area but usually they were elsewhere. By H.S. there were a few more, but still a handful of people. Now there seems to be a third or more of the people working at a school are admin.

    1. My high school had the Principal, the Vice Principal, I think a Dean of Boys and one of Girls, and guidance counselors. The Principal was God, the VP was God’s Enforcer, and the rest were more or less invisible.

      1. At East Anchorage High in 1978-82, for 1900 students, we had the Principal, VP, head secretary, junior secretary, and the nurse in the main office, and then three or four guidance counselors in a separate office.

        Everyone avoided the guidance counselors as much as possible.

        1. About the same for my school in rural Virginia 1979-82. 1200 students grades 10-12, we had one principal, two assistant principals, two or three guidance counselors, two women working in the office that none of us knew exactly what they did besides type a lot, and a couple of janitors. That was it. “School resource officer?” What was that? Nurse was county-wide and only there a day or two a week, she also had to cover the two junior high schools. No bloated admin staff, no cops, and 100+ guns in trucks in the parking lot, and nobody cared. It was a simpler time. Not necessarily better, but definitely simpler.

      2. Middle School My Aunt was “secretary” but it was more administration than secretarial. She had two others (one a Nurse for minor issues, the system had a RN or LPN who wandered from school to school) and the Principle was the one for the High school shared with the one at the in-town elementary (those were a few blocks away across the street from each other . . . in-town 7th grade went to the middle school that was rented from the Catholic church) 9-12 we all went to High School and yeah, was Principle, two Councilors, and the “Secretary” and her help, the system Nurse’s main officeso 4 or 5 others beside the Principle. we didn’t have a Vice P. at Middle School the enforcer was pretty much my Aunt, all 4’6″ of her. You got on her bad side at your peril. Small town system. No idea how things are there now. New HS, old one torn down mostly and a new Middle school built attaching it to the in-town elementary. The street I used to get on the bus is no longer there, filled with a cafeteria expanded library, and classrooms

    2. Not only are today’s schools stuffed full of bureaucratic deadwood, they are paid 4 or 5 times more than the teachers. And they’re the ones asking, “Where does all the money go?”

      Don’t get me started on ‘School Boards’.
      “Boards are long and hard and made of wood.” — Mark Twain

  12. Well, as someone who had a nearly 20-year career working in the American university system, I have to say… I agree with Sarah 110%.

  13. Yes to this.
    The Federal Department of Education has no valid purpose and needs to go. While I would not eliminate the State level Education Departments – their function would be very, very restricted and limited to support only to local districts. The local boards, in many cases and especially in large communities, will need to be overhauled too. However, this only works with parent involvement and (local) commitment. With that local control the schools and teachers will answer to their clients and the parents. Oh, yeah – NO unions and administration at an absolute minimum.

    Now, this is for ‘education’ which is “book learning” and the basics of knowledge needed for students to be functional. Then there is ‘training’ where specific skills/knowledge sets are provided to people for specific use or needs – likely trades and ‘professional’ needs. Last is ‘development’ where those with specific skills or knowledge at a identified competency level are provided opportunities and methods to become more informed and higher skilled in a structured process. Eh, I can dream…

    1. “State level Education Departments ”

      This right here is exactly why we could eliminate the Federal Dept of Ed with no loss of function. (and also why the entire country will not fall into chaos even if someone nuke DC.)

      Federalism for the win.

      What state schools would lose are unfunded federal education mandates, some amount of funded mandates, and funding from student loans.

      1. See, I disagree. I think schools should be AT MOST the business of cities. But always deferring to parents. “But they’ll teach the children creationism” — so what? At least the kids will be able to read. They can decide what they believe in the future.

        1. I am still thinking that a state level process for teachers and some (limited) curriculum input will be good in that you won’t have “good” in one place and “not so good” in another. I view it as teachers having to show a base level of competency in a subject to teach it… not anything beyond something like a math teacher being able to show they can actually “do” specific math – or an English/comp teacher can actually write and spell at a basic level to be able to teach in a system. Curriculum should be much the same for the basics so a fourth grade kid in community A is doing about the same classroom work as a kid in community B but each will have (by necessity) a local element to the materials.

          Keep control of the system locally with the school board process and do NOT let any large city be involved beyond input to a board. The Districts should be logical and in high population areas cut them into several and keep them neighborhood based. The whole key to making it work would be parent AND community investment – it has to show value for the cost in time, effort and money to be valuable and thus supportive of community needs and desires. You may not get a lot of higher math studied or being taught in a lot of more rural areas but around factories, plants and say Space X you will (by demand and needs) get more. It should balance out over the long run I would hope.

            1. Yes! I would also add “Write a test different but ‘equal’ to the test you just passed.”
              That would be a good way to show competence/topic mastery.

        2. I am not in the least opposed to pushing control of schools to the lowest possible societal level.

          Neighborhood-level would be perfectly acceptable to me.

          1. Assume a typical family has between four and twelve children.

            Then you could have a few parents overseeing a one room, one teacher, all grades and subjects school.

            That is the ‘Sane Bob’ theory of reformed public education.

            I am not at all convinced that the single grade, single subject work station production plan has resulted, or could result, in any real production efficiencies or quality.

            So, then, if it is not better, why not go directly to a situation where the families can do the administration and supervision? Easier to supervise one instructor than approximately 120 times the number of children, over the K-12 of the children.

            The more agitated Bob suggestion is that maybe parents should have a legally protected right to Lynch teachers, so long as there is a quorum of parents. Obviously, totally crazy, and too easily abused for the public to tolerate.

            The ‘Agitated Bob’ proposal is closer to being appropriate for polite company than some of what was coming to mind when I read the post this morning, and ‘noped’ out of going into angry tirade mode.

            1. You left off the ability for older children to teach younger children. Or the scouting method: Learn, Practice, Do, Teach. Repeat.

              1. They call it the EDGE method now. “Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, Enable.”

                That last one is a bit silly in phrasing, but we’ve got to have our acronyms, right?

                1. Ah, acronyms! For those times you need jargon produced in job lots. One place I worked, we had an initiative called CARP: the company acronym reduction project.

                    1. Okay. A few. Used a lot.. I’ve even use ROFLOL. But stuff like EDGE? What the heck? Even the definition meaning doesn’t meet the desired results, at least not clearly; not to me. I’d never remember that. (Not 100% sure it wasn’t in use when son and us were still participating in Scouts. He earned Eagle 2005, stayed active through graduation and leaving for college, Sept 2007, 30 months later. We were available to be active, still registered, through fall registration 2010.)

                      I wrote software for a living. I’m still lousy with most acronyms. KISS (Keep it simple, stupid), I remember. Mostly because not remembering it brought problems.

        3. Creationism is not effing worse than what the schools are up to right now.

          AGW, covid, their theory of sex ed. All of these are individually at least as wrong as, and more harmful than, creationism.

          Then there is their racial war nutjobbery. Which is horrible, but less provably contrary to any sort of basis in scientific understanding. Because the real scientists listened when we asked them to shut the hockeysticks up about ‘scientific models of racial superiority’.

            1. They, of all people, have no grounds to be looking down on creationism.

              Where superstitious ignorance is concerned, the cult of big central bureaucracy is more extreme than any arbitrary Christian stereotype.

        4. Worse, the way “creationism” is rather randomly defined, it includes “anything that does not teach random mutation without influence as a law of nature.”

          IE, a nonsensical religious view.

          1. I cannot help but observe that a lot of “tension” between religion and science can be relieved if teachers would be permitted to say “evolution is the scientific explanation for a variety of life, but there are those who believe a higher intelligence of some sort had a guiding role in that evolution”, even if they just left it at that.

  14. Governments use public education and public ownership of the media to control the information that their citizens receive. More totalitarian governments as well as those with larger wealth transfers make greater investments in publicly controlled information. This finding is borne out from cross-sectional time-series evidence across countries and is confirmed when the recent fall of communism is specifically examined. My results reject the standard public-good view linking education and democracy, and I find evidence that public educational expenditures vary in similar ways to government ownership of television stations. Country-level data on the organization of families as well as data on South African public schools are also examined.

    - John R. Lott
    - Public Schooling, Indoctrination, and Totalitarianism

    Click to access Lott-Public-Schooling-JPEv107S.pdf

  15. I refer to it as “socialized education”…because that’s what it is. Getting government out of it is a grand idea.

  16. A little history from an old guy. Despite John Dewey and Woodrow Wilson, federal involvement in education actually dates from the Eisenhower years. It was only after WWII that we had a large standing armed forces with hundreds of military bases scattered through most of the states. Most state and local schools were funded by local (especially property) taxes, and it was considered unfair for the federal government to populate an area with a large population of “army brat” kids, mostly in tax exempt federal housing. It was considered part of the DoD budget to give each school a federal stipend based on how many federal dependents went to that school. That became the driving force behind taking attendance. The schools had to prove that the out of town kids attended their school to get their money.

    Likewise the Interstate Highway system was funded and justified based on the needs of the military. Of course that was way back when our politicians still took the actual Constitution seriously enough to try to justify their actions as being legal under it.

    1. Eisenhower in 1919 participated in a labored 62 day military road trip across America. https://www.history.com/news/the-epic-road-trip-that-inspired-the-interstate-highway-system
      So after seeing the autobahns of Germany, he knew the importance of being able to have a national system of interstate highways.

      The problem is that a bunch of money got spent trying to cut freeways thru cities, which led to the Freeway revolt. Berkeley had a freeway planned by the state to replace State highway 13 along Ashby. It didn’t get built. It was actions like this that helped create the left activists. It also is the root of the anti-freeway money in the latest demo “free” money bill, the “anti-inflation” one.

      1. Robert Moses was a visionary but also a bit of a sociopath. The needs and desires of actual persons weren’t going to get in the way of the Needs Of The People for well-designed and convenient freeways.

        He may have only been in authority in New York and New Jersey, but his spirit animated the whole early freeway-building era.

      2. Many of the freeways through the cities weren’t part of the early plans, but added in later stages as enticements to urban pols to support the interstate act.

    1. ending the requirement for high school students to prove proficiency in reading, writing, and arithmetic before graduation.

      Wait? What? Idiot Governor Brown did away with the worthless pieces of paper that were the assessment folders? (Forget what they were called.) Now called OAKS? I don’t know about other HS, but maybe 3% of son’s HS completed the first one, and no one completed the second one (son lacked the job shadow requirement, wouldn’t do just any shadow, and his potential field would not allow minors to job shadow).

      Son never took the OAKS type assessment tests. Any student in higher math and other advancement classes didn’t have to take them, even then. OTOH just because one can do math and read, doesn’t mean their writing is particularly great, but …

  17. Personally, I’d love to shut down “higher education” in this country, at least outside of STEM and foreign-area studies, the both of which we desperately need. I know it’s drastic, but I can think of no other way to eradicate the poisonous subculture of “academia.” Academia was infected with Communism (and its subordinate illnesses) very thoroughly in the 1930s, and by now it’s utterly pervasive. Anybody to the right of the old SDS who tries for an academic career finds out what a “hostile work environment” really means. And that’s not mentioning the deadwood—alleged “professors” who think teaching’s utterly beneath them, old fools who haven’t had a new idea since 1973, and losers who have tenure and can’t be fired.

    Not to mention getting rid of the huge shoals of “students” who have no real business on a college campus. It’s from them that we get the pernicious “sports-uber-alles” mentality that pervades so many campuses, as well as the “Animal House wanna-bes” who think that college is a four-year party.

    1. Yep. After spending almost 20 years working in the university system, this is pretty much the same conclusion I’ve come to. (I’m slow, but I’ll get there eventually.)

  18. Bravo! And might I add, If your kid is a lazy, ignorant but proud, communist pervert who has sex with chickens and snakes, boas, then… Thank a teacher! But, yes, for you folks rushing to the keyboard… there are some good ones out there, but they’re like the Dutch boy at the dike. For your next post I’d like to see, “”Let’s get the state out of MARRIAGE, and let’s keep those two separated forever more!”

    1. Good point. I think the “government” needs to justify why, when we have a 1st Amendment that protects freedom of association, why we need to have a license for two people to decide to associate with each other on a long-term basis.

      1. We don’t.

        You can religiously marry, if your religion allows it, without a license.

        Same way I have cats without a pet license. It just makes things harder if Something Goes Wrong.

      2. It’s not a piece of paper for two people to associate with one another; it’s a legal contract for what to do with their assets or minor children if they die or are divorced.

    2. I have a friend who was freaked out when Trump was elected because a “conservative” court might make her marriage invalid. She was absolutely in favor of the courts messing with marriage, until she realized that the court is a political entity, making political decisions, and not all those decisions might go in her favor.

    3. We HAD the gov’t out of marriage as much as was practical.

      Those who had a union that can produce new citizens had an option to register for a standard defense of that high cost investment in the public intrest.

      It got nuked.

    1. Eh, cut them some slack: there is nothing as central to the American character as thinking America is terrible these days and about to fall apart.

      They just take a slightly different twist on the old tradition.

      1. They used up all their slack impeaching Trump over and over. And BLMing. And worse.

        I’m just lucky I’m not crazy enough to own firearms nor enough rope to try filling the local trees and lampposts with “Romanian Christmas” ornaments.

          1. I only have about a dozen trees small enough to produce half decent pikes. They’ve gotten too large over the past 20 years. And no hardware for the points or the counterweighted butts.

    2. I wish I’d been able to take you with me to the ReAwaken America tour this past weekend (Friday-Saturday).
      The Holy Spirit fire was LIT from beginning to end.

      1. Wife and I were self-quarantining from our own church because of a wuflu test… 😦

        And yes, “LIT” is the point of the Holy Spirit!! In Luke 12:49 (ESV this time) Jesus said, “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled!”

        1. I’m so sorry about the Coof diagnosis. Do take care.
          Turns out, Dr Stella Emmanuel is a Pentecostal style believer. She could have prayed the snake out of the Garden and reversed original sin the way she threw down.

          1. She was positive on Saturday, negative on Tuesday and negative again on Thursday, so we are in church tonight. I was negative all three times.

  19. Not going to comment much on this one, because I have strong opinions about Federal requirements imposed on public schools, and the resulting rolling disaster for the students and their parents. I also have a vested interest in a different form of education. I will simply say that administrators should never, ever outnumber classroom teachers, or classroom faculty.

  20. Talk to an Amish 14-year-old. About anything. You’ll know why we need to destroy the education system and return with hyper local, community-based education.

    (The 14-year-old and I had a lively conversation about the wood shop he and his dad operated, the Amish education system, healthy eating, horses, and…. I don’t remember what all. He was a delight.)

    1. Eldest Son did a solo-trip with his father, to hostile territory– the short version, a gal that had…conflict…. with my husband as a teen, and is INCREDIBLY dedicated to public schools, was converted to “wow homeschooling is great” because the 8 year old spent three hours in conversation with her about winemaking.

      Because that was the book that he thought looked good for an 18 hour car trip, and he read it three times.

      And he already knew something about her job, because I have anxiety about visits to that practice, and so I explained stuff out the ears…. and he remembered it, close enough.

      I am still boggled.

      1. We were pretty amazed as well.
        We left that workshop, and an eight year old boy was standing on a flatbed, driving a team of four horses across the field.

  21. Totally OT, but interesting: we were trying to find an RV park on the way home. Spouse contacted one he likes, slightly out of the way, outside medium-small town.
    We couldn’t get in. They’re booked three months out….because people with trailers who can’t afford apartment rentals are getting monthly rates at the RV Park and living in the trailers.

    1. Also resulting in a scarcity of RV’s. Or were. Bush’s has bought out a local RV ownership. They’ve moved in a lot of RV’s from other areas. Other local RV’s however, you can still see they are trying to hide they don’t have the inventory they used to.

  22. Schools, education yes. Government regulated, controlled, mandate schools, education no.

    Yes early 20th century schools were designed to produce factory, 9 to 5, bell rings quit and go home, come back tomorrow, start when the bell rings workers. Farmers work until the job’s done or it’s too dark to work any more.

    Hunter gathers tell time by seasons not a time clock. I became very much aware of this when I first came to Alaska. A whale harpooned in Barrow or Savoonga, everyone in thee village turns out to haul it ashore and then cuts, stores, cooks 24 hours a day, one person leaves to catch a little sleep, another person takes his/her place until the skeleton’s bare.

    Little old lady look at the sky say “Hey by golly the salmon are coming.” and folks move and set up fish camp, living there fishing cleaning, drying fish to take back to the village for the winter. An Eskimo buddy from Emmonak I used to hut with told me of the time he shot 40 caribou and they moved the village to where he shot them for the winter.

    The idea of stopping work before the job’s finished or staying on the job site doing make work when the real work’s done just isn’t natural, one has to be schooled to do that.

    So! That’s how/why we got were we are today how do we get away from it?

    Non state controlled schools is part of such a move. Home schooling, a quick google tells me that “18 states that shared data through the current school year, the number of homeschooling students increased by 63% in the 2020-2021 school year,” is another way. Maybe the old guild. apprenticeship system need revival, such did produce doctors, lawyers, engineers in the past.

    1. We have the ability to have 90+ percent of necessary schooling available free online, and limit the universities to teaching only what needs hands on. So surgery, student teaching, courtroom time, that kind of thing, and have everything else for advanced schools available through distance learning. Discussion times could be negotiated in public spaces, such as libraries, for those living in the same area.

      Elementary school could be in person with teachers until the child has mastered the basics (no age based grades, so none of the damaging “he got held back” nonsense), and everything beyond that self paced digital learning, maybe in class one day a week so the teacher can address individual problems.

      Special education would continue mostly as it stands, I think.

      I know a lot of people use school as a sort of free daycare, but that has to stop as well.

          1. This. So much.

            One school’s idea of a proper “gifted” thing to be doing was “why don’t you put on a Star Trek skit?”

            …I got myself removed from it by nonparticipation, so I could spend the time sitting and reading in peace.

        1. I guess I should clarify (and see if you still disagree). When I speak of special ed, I’m not referring to resource or IEP systems, but the separate schools for children who have major disabilities and cannot be “mainstreamed.”

          I think those serve a purpose that can really not be sidelined without causing more problems.

          1. er… so, my best buddy when dealing with kid in school was a grandmother raising profoundly mentally deficient grandson.
            Broke as she was, she finally got tired of the horrible “education” her kid was getting, and put him in a private program.
            It ate her whole life (money wise) but they managed to teach the kid to do things like use the bathroom by himself with minimal issues, and mostly feed himself, ditto.
            The government school had been making it worse for him to accomplish those tasks.
            Perhaps that school was unusually wretched, but I wouldn’t think so.

            1. That answers the question. Thank you.

              Since my “experience” is all second hand (parents raving about how their kids are progressing, mostly) I’ll leave it. I thought we were talking different definitions.

              1. I was thinking of the current, expanded thing based on so-called learning disabilities, not what you were thinking of.

                No experience on education for people with profound mental handicaps, so not much of an opinion that way — except for the bimonthly “volunteer” Sundays our church did back in the 80s at a big “home” for severely retarded people who couldn’t function in society. Utterly horrifying. I wouldn’t wish living in a place like that on anyone.

                1. Absolutely the special programs for learning disabilities and such need to go the same way as the rest of the school system. I remember my sister being dumped into a “resource” program. Bored and defiant, she liked it because she didn’t have to deal with the stupidity of the other kids.

            1. All of us have remnants of the welfare/nanny state mentality that we haven’t managed to eradicate yet. One of mine is the truly disabled, but I’m not sure how to solve the problem otherwise. Far too many people even today struggle with the burdens of a disabled family member, and the old solutions were always about putting people in institutions or spending huge amounts of money for their care. Otherwise it all fell on the family and few of these people lived long.

              Those that survived were seldom educated even on such simple things as clothing or bathing themselves.

              I don’t know the solution.

              1. My cousin was profoundly physically disabled (1967 – 1980) from Spina Bifida, wheelchair requirement. She was the poster child, legally for allowing physically disabled children mainstreamed, at least for Arizona. But my aunt will be the first to tell you (she moved from being her daughter’s classroom aide, to aide in general after L died during surgery, to being a teacher, starting 1990, with her inheritance from grandma’s estate), that the education system mainstreamed students who had no business disrupting a classroom, period. (I’ve said this before. I don’t care what their IEP states.) Note, not only will she tell anyone who will listen, or won’t, she’ll cite the law verbatim. Note, they adopted my cousin, who also is disabled, her grandchildren are disabled, again, not disabled to disrupting classrooms, but physically and medically requiring an aide because of medical requirements.

              2. Right off the bat– you’re paying for it, DO NOT get guilted into supporting everyone else AND doing it yourself out of principle.

                Focus on what’s best for your child, first. You ARE paying for it.

                I can reasonably argue that not using support that you need, inside of the system, which helps your child, is immoral. That is propping up the rotted system.
                Paying into something you do’nt take anything out of– a subsidy.

              3. For the record, the child in question had an IQ of 48. Which is very, very low for a human. Also, the grandmother COULD get performance from public schools, by staying on top of them day and night, but they kept pressuring her to mainstream him, which was in no way helpful or useful.

    2. The reason for the different attitudes isn’t anything pernicious. It’s an illustration of what the options are. When that whale got harpooned, the locals were in a race against time to get it taken care of before the meat either went bad, or got stripped by local wildlife. Same with the farmer’s job, and the other hunting or fishing examples. The work must reach a certain spot before you can realistically think about pausing. Otherwise you’ll risk spoilage or other forms of loss.

      But the factory worker? The work will still be there tomorrow. It’s not going anywhere if he doesn’t spend another hour working on it. He’ll come back and find it in the exact same state that he left it. And on those occasions where there is a real need to get that little extra bit done, management and supervisors will make sure that the workers stay late to get it done.

      1. Why yes, of course, true, but that’s the reason we needed the 9 to 5 school bell to teach the farmers, hunters gathers that it’s not only OK, it’s mandatory, to put off until tomorrow what you can finish today.

        1. Hardly. Tell a man he gets paid for working just so long, and he’ll figure it out on his own on the very first day. He doesn’t need to go to school to learn that.

            1. You just stated the real reason why, and it’s not schools.

              The key word is “subsistance”. That means that you’re talking about people who have spent their entire life up to that point living in an environment in which everything needs to get done NOW or they will die. If you instead take people who have lived their lives in a situation in which things weren’t nearly so close to the edge, they’ll have no trouble adapting to “quitting time” even if they’ve never done so before.

    3. “The idea of stopping work before the job’s finished”

      I would have to confess that, as a mathematician pretending to be a software developer, I do not like this idea. I do not know how many times I told myself “I need to stop working and go home (or, if home, get to bed), but if I just do this, I’ll be done for the day …, no wait, if I just do this …, no, wait, I’m sure this is it!”

      But I nonetheless also appreciate the notion that if there’s no work to do, there’s no reason to do busy work, so there is that, at least, I can agree with …

      1. “It will compile this time, and I’ll go home …” Followed by “Oh …. **** it is 7 PM!” Or given my last job (programming/support), getting a phone call at 12 (so lunch at 2 PM, or not at all) and sure as ice melts when it is hot, at 4:30 PM or later, it is a payroll problem and payroll is due at 5 PM. (Yes. The last 6 months, when I new dang well I was quitting/retiring, I did not answer the phone after 3:30 PM.) Note, I never quite said “You couldn’t call earlier?” Especially when the problem wasn’t the software code (which it rarely was). Thought it a lot. Never said it. My last week, for reasons, the days were 1/2 days. Didn’t plan it originally that way, but how it worked out. I was out at 4 hours exactly. So, yes, could be done. Just in my experience, never did.

        1. Husband has mostly trained office-mates off of “oh, guy who starts two hours earlier than me is walking out, time to spring the stuff that take an hour of his time” nonsense.

          Mostly from going “No.”

          The USE TO think it was hilarious…. until he said no a few times, didn’t stop walking, and they had to wait for the guy who didn’t clock in for four hours to get their stuff logged properly.

          Weird how going over time on THEIR time is an issue, but going over time on the other guy’s card was funny.

          1. Context, it’s an 8 hour work day. So 9 hours they could’ve said “I need this.”

            ….they thought it was funny to wait until clock out time to ask for the service.

      2. Worse, you can need the mental break to do that. Many a wasted hour at the end of day did not fix what took the morning fifteen minutes.

  23. Part of the problem here is that school has always been a point of political power. Some cultures it was based on class, or money, in others children were taught at home and then removed to state run boarding schools to teach them how to be good citizens.

    It’s always about power. He who controls the food controls the people, but he who controls the education controls all the future generations.

    Until it can be removed as a source of power, nothing will change. The only way that is going to happen is if a majority of the people take it on themselves to change it.

      1. Can you imagine being a Minor Niner, you are 14 years old, it’s frigging September, and you just started high school. You walk in to shop class and you see THIS guy:


        Yeah, that’s going to be great, right? And the very best part is, when you RUN to the principle’s office to scream there’s some pervert/weirdo/nutcase in the wood shop, the cops -don’t- come.

        That’s my favorite part. Mr. T1tt1es is still there the next morning, the next week, and etc. Those pics are all taken on different days. Bro is STILL there today. Right now.

        The kids learn a pretty big lesson right there. Very educational.

        This is not the worst thing I’ve heard from Canadian schools. It is merely better photographed than usual.

        After all, as grotesque as this is, nobody suffered brain damaged from being repeatedly kicked in the head in the parking lot. That’s been known to happen here in peaceful, boring, Hooterville Ontario, a town with two stoplights.

        1. That’s a hazard in the shop, as is the hair. All dangly bits need to be fully secured before working around power tools.

          I don’t care how you feel about your body, a shop is an inappropriate place to be disregarding basic safety precautions. And while those are prosthetic breasts, they’ll still hurt when they’re ripped off your body by a machine.

          1. That would be the easiest way to get this obvious fruitcake/troll off the job and end the situation. Just declare some balderdash about HealthAndSafety!!! Regulations, clap your hands three times and the situation resolves itself. “Sorry, hairnets, hard hats and a proper protective shop coat WILL be worn in the shop at all times.” Easy peazy.

            But no, they did not do that. Mr. T1tt1es was STILL TEACHING at Oakville Trafalgar High School today, with the same getup. (Which, by the way, is in one of the wealthiest school districts in Canada.) Some school board CRT geniuses must be actively preventing a bureaucratic rules-based solution from the school principal.

            This is the type of thing that deserves its own web site. New pictures every day.

            1. That would be unspeakable cruelty foisted upon the world. Eeewwww.
              Does the Left drive those idiots barking mad, or were they drawn to the Left because they were already batshit crazy?

  24. Yes!

    I have been advocating ridding our civilization of the so-called “public schools” for years. Until a decade or so ago I was a fringie but, more and more, people are beginning to realize just what a mistake the public schools are. If I am lucky I will see the day when the modern school system will be seen as one of the greatest mistakes of the 20th Century.

    It won’t be easy but I hope it can be done.

    To quote a movie, I think the title character in “Good Will Hunting” summed it up well.

    “See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you’re gonna start doin’ some thinkin’ on your own and you’re going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don’t do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a fuckin’ education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!”

    Let the schools teach children to read, write, and cipher. From there those who want to learn more will.

  25. It’s like…I’ve already got a headache from my job, trying to write (and mostly succeeding) for fun and something that looks like profit in bad weather, and this is just adding to that stress.

    You just look at this and go, “it wasn’t that long ago that nobody would say these kinds of things in public or in private in most places without them being laughed out of a job and unable to find work anywhere that didn’t involve the words ‘do you want fries with that?’. What the absolute crucified Billy-Bob Clinton fuck is going on here?”

    I know, moving of the Overton Window, social media making various forms of deviancy actually seem like good ideas without engaging people’s brains, etc, etc, etc…

    Just I don’t need extra stupid right now. I’m already overstocked with my own stupid and I don’t need extra help.

  26. Yep. Why not a constitootional amendment.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of education, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of education, or of the parents; or the right of the people peaceably to educate, and to petition the Government for a redress of educational grievances.

    1. I’ve said here before that I’d like an amendment forbidding any level of government to provide or fund the education of a child, aside from those in custody and wards of the state. With a requirement to read the entire constitution aloud before witnesses before you can vote or hold public office.

  27. So I am of several minds on this front. First off things I
    am clear on. First the Department of Education is a severe
    dysfunctional waste of money and as far as I can tell has NO
    constitutional warrant. Given that constitutionally schools
    and school legislation (via the 10th amendment) are in the
    realm of the states and the people any candidate of a conservative
    bent should have in mind removing DOE.

    Second I am clear that in a modern environment i.e. one where
    even agrarian pursuits require a fair bit of skill with mathematics
    and machinery an uneducated person is essentially worse than useless.
    They are a burden on their community (be it family, extended family
    tribe, town etc) and a danger to themselves. Without at least basic
    reading and simple arithmetic they are barely even qualified to man
    the handle end of a push broom.

    This is part of the fundamental issue that is affecting many of
    today’s youth. Their educations are poor. Is this true of ALL publicly
    provide educations at present? In some aspects yes. They are not taught
    how to reason so much as how to emote. They do NOT understand how to
    argue from a logical basis, nor do they seem to accept that manner of
    reasoning. The values which make a student effective, hard work,
    free thought, and persistence are mocked and denigrated as
    culturally inappropriate. To some degree exceptional students will
    usually succeed although the crab bucket effect can come into play. But even
    here we may be losing very good folks who just don’t get enough to help dig
    themselves out.

    So how do we fix this? Our hostess and others have advocated in
    varying degrees for a libertarian every family for themselves model.
    I think this would work for some portion of the populace, but it does
    have issues. It is likely going to lead to very stratified
    education levels. Of course we have that now to a large degree.
    People like my wife and I choose the town we live in BECAUSE
    the school system was good and pay a premium for our home and in
    taxes. That choice and self control is not universally found in parents.

    Honestly I don’t see a good way to fix this short of a revolution
    on the level of that portrayed in the world that led to Starship
    Troopers. Even forcing the decision down to the town/city level
    ends up with massive failures as demonstrated by school systems
    like Baltimore and other cities (mostly blue). But just shutting what
    we have down and shifting to free market isn’t going to work in the
    short term either. I can’t imagine just handing back the tax money
    to those residents of failed educational systems is going to get much better results
    (although perhaps no worse). I think the best is maybe school
    vouchers/choice including supporting home schooling, letting those
    that want to walk away from the system do so. Yes this leaves some
    part of the system in control at least at some level
    something the libertarian in me loathes, but as noted I suspect
    without some control at some level we end up likely worse off in
    those areas that are now bad and we probably mangle areas that
    are currently marginal to some degree. Getting that control as
    close to the consumer of the product as possible invariably leads
    to better results, the free market sucks, but it sucks far less than
    centralized control where the consumer has no input.

    In time a voucher system combined with the free market should
    provide enough alternatives like private schools, charter schools,
    home schooling collectives etc. that should be able to pick up the
    slack. But fighting other parts of the system and not letting them
    take over and screw things up (possibly out of just spite) is going
    to be a challenge.

    My biggest concern is we’re wasting human resources and making
    people miserable and dependent for their whole lives. Miserable
    dependent people can become dangerous if things start to fail
    or if they agitated as we saw in 2020 summer. As is elsewhere
    noted in this blog population is headed down worldwide. If we want to maintain
    a high tech society with a high standard of living productivity/worker
    by needs must rise as the number of workers declines. We’ve done
    a lot of that in the last 100 years. However it depends on a work
    force that at least moderately literate and numerate. One of
    my favorite shows of late is “Inside the Factory” found on
    Smithsonian channel. It is a British show looking at food production
    each week choosing a single product and taking it from source to
    processing to store. I am astounded by how high tech the process is
    in some cases. For example Milk processing looks like a classic
    flow through chemical plant, Milking is now almost totally automated
    with a 1/3 of the milking parlors in the UK being totally automated,
    the cows stroll in when they want to be milked, no human hands
    involved even in hooking the cows up. Other things still have lots of
    human involvement for example for Fish Sticks (British Fish Fingers)
    the initial frozen cod is cut by a human with a specialized band saw.
    In all cases these workers are not doing put screw on widget A move
    down the line to next worker tasks. The workers in those progams are VERY
    skilled and have been trained and operate complex systems. There is a great deal of
    knowledge and skill involved and Kornbluth’s marching morons have
    no hope of taking part in that. How much more productive would we
    be and how much more pride and pleasure would there be if we
    could even fix 20% of the issues in broken cities?

    1. We already have very stratified education levels. The only kids learning are those whose parents put significant effort into their education. And even they get crazy amounts of indoctrination from the schools.
      No. It’s over. Burn it. Salt the earth.

      1. I was in a ‘gifted’ program, before they started DIE-ing those. I wish they’d kept the gift receipt. In many classes, anything other than vocational (I took all that they offered), I could convince a teacher to leave me alone and I’d read the textbook end to end, then whatever else they had on the shelf.

          1. Yeah, I was in a full track G&T program, and it was marvelous, the things we got to do—but note, my particular class got to do things no other G&T class had, because we figured out that if nobody disrupted things, we got to do MORE—and even the potentially disruptive kids figured that out. (Things like silk screen, where other classes would have made a mess—we are talking elementary schools here.)

            What’s interesting is that several of my classmates have gone on to publicly-seen successes. I spotted one in the credits of the recent Sandman adaptation, for example, even as the adapter for a particularly tricky episode.

  28. The sad part is that the ‘practical’ classes like shop, woodworking, 4H, FFA, and others have been pushed to the wayside by ‘educators’ who are pushing COLLEGE for everybody… Also kids being able to work a half day as seniors in ‘apprenticeship’ programs are long gone. They were excellent programs for those who had no desire to go to college right off, and had other interests.

    1. The irony, at least in my experience, is that the vocational classes got more math, science, reading, writing, public speaking out of kids that had been written off by the college track.

  29. Enough is Enough! Take action to end school shootings!
    Close the schools.

    I may have posted this one before. Needs to be a bumper sticker, or something.

  30. Yes, yes, and more yes. One argument for mandatory school was “we want an educated electorate”, I’m looking at you, Thomas Jefferson. But schools children from rotten families in rotten communities haven’t taught their students a single, useful thing. Communities with many working parents, and two parents in the home, and church attendance, have excellent schools. The most excellent schools are not sufficient to overcome huge deficiencies in the students lives.

  31. The worse thing that ever happened to Education in this country was when Jimmy Carter took it over.
    Man was an idiot and a lot worse things (as well as a commie).
    Education was doing okay before him, because the feds didn’t control it.
    And as usual the GOP didn’t do a damn thing to stop his illegal dictatorial rule.

    1. You’re being fatuous. 80 years or so isn’t “so long” and I challenge you to produce proof that it has “served the nation well”.
      PFUI. Speaking power to truth won’t serve you here.
      It is unethical to make false claims about public education. Use what’s between your ears and stop bleating about ethics, when you clearly have none.

Comments are closed.