Failing U.S.A.: Opinions on Inner-City Schools in the United States (Part II)
Education U.S.A. Today: Far From Origins
Gone are the early days of education in America when facilities had real learning. These were student centered discussions, parental participants and/or observers, and the diversified academic “hands-on” forums that took less money (unlike field-trips today). Schooling in yesteryears took less than seven and a half hours a day to guide youth to their career choice upon school-end. Not to mention that these schools were also held at home or in church as school-houses did not appear in abundance until the mid to late nineteenth century. Government operated schools in states, counties, and municipalities (public education systems) did not come till after World War One.
After all, most children were needed at home to share in the family’s domestic responsibilities. They had to band together to survive in a world that had sold reciprocity (the oldest human system of exchange) down the river for the means of exchange by the market place (the younger model). If the means that make the market are no longer bountiful, the market will not remain. Prior to the American government’s decision to adopt Prussian (Prussia was a former European nation-state between the 1500s-1800s A.D.) education models in the 1930’s, children learned primarily from their parents. In taking a page from Prussia’s politics, America saw in her society a people with vast privileges that have (arguably naturally) led to the threat of further partitions of peoples along socio-economic and ethnic lines; national rebellions such as the Civil War was one such attempt.
After all, some conformity was needed to instill a sense of national pride and coherency (in America’s case in the present) by placing little emphasis on ethnic, genetic and/or phenotypically classified origins and differing historical circumstances by an unequal composite of ethnically diverse peoples in the states allying themselves with the historical happenings of the majority. This American identity is socially one of a primarily British origin not to forget the influential French, Italians and Germans. In a move to avoid what they have witnessed in Europe, the dissolution of empires such as Prussia, Americans legislators (prompted by corporate interests) instituted the socialist-nationalist system of acculturating all Americans to a popular history and to the standards that the ethnic majority (all) the influential agreed on.
Raising Patriots For Products
Patriotism to America was and is the first priority of every citizen; or ideally and in reality, loyalty to products in the market place. It was decided that all, regardless of their historical circumstances in witnessing the rise of American exceptionalism, had to attend school, pledge allegiance to the flag, get heavily recruited by JROTCs and Athletics, celebrate the triumphs of the past while ignoring the losers, pay taxes and get advertised into buying to keep big business rich and puny people poor.
As if the pressures of having to preform subjects of little interest in 2015 at school is not enough, students are now faced with the pressures and anxieties that come from being smoothly strong-armed into competing to sell the “World’s Finest Chocolate” candy to get cheap prizes up to taking out college loans in turn that do not add up to the money that they made for the corporations without a knowledgeable explanation of the situations that they may find themselves and often their families in.
The small limited government trusted that parents did their part in rising their offspring to the knowledge that could be applicable in the future and that can equal a stronger sense of self-reliance. Today, government is bigger, schools are bigger, and yet the children, though technologically savvy, are less prepared to read, think, write, and reason for individual fulfillment academically and intellectually to be able to have a chance to come together collectively to conquer what has become a world of (corporatized mentalities competitors) that compete to win limited resources in a society that seems to be overpopulating its laws and people (of life).
Schools instruct youth to bubble in what they believe is the right answer and without their direct knowledge contribute data (through subject testing) to corporations that measure and categorize them and their peers. These facilities have become nothing more than government sanctioned and imposed corporate youth consumer data collection centers if not adolescent daycares for the overworked and under-paid parents of the twenty-first century. These places provide corporations with the materials to keep customers believing that they need the latest product.
The marketing methods have reached new highs in attracting MBA degree recipients to administrate public secondary schools because of their (often easily obtained) management and financial experience as opposed to the often limited educational experiences on the ideal and effective (psychologically healthy and practical) ways of child-rearing from MLAs and Ph.Ds. (academic degree) recipients (usually obtained from nationally accredited colleges and or universities). But schooling for school may not be the answer to all of the problems facing the current education system.
The collected testing data also serves as a guide for what they see as future potential consumers (these youth and the children that they may have) that act on the impulse of want as opposed to intellectual necessity and self-sufficiency. The reward for administrators that obliged sponsors with passing test scores receive further economic incentives that inspire them to try racier ways towards obtaining the same if not improved results as opposed to providing students unrelenting support and (an unfortunate but necessary bride in) financial incentives that may help to stimulate youth into reaching the corporations and governments desired results under the guides of a state enforced and testing focused educational experience.
As we all know, those administrators that aspire for students to pursue intellectual goals outside (or beyond) of the educational standards of learning to follow test prep instructions and assignments face huge trouble, only when students perform poorly or when officials bell curve scores to meet satisfaction. Sadly, these kinds of administrators are disappearing or have appeared to disappear here as arguably anywhere else in the United States.
Growing Up To Work For Status Quo
In the present, all workers are not treated equally. Some workers are micro-managed and others go under or unsupervised. Those who are left to perform their duties without accountability are able to because there appearance and attitude are unthreatening to their employer’s (often twisted) conceptions of who is friend or foe in the work place. Schools have become beacons of instruction as opposed to real education. Witnessing “off-task” young people skipping in hallways with no administrators present is an all too common occurance. Yet, they never seem to be missing-in-action in administrative-teacher meetings and in the classrooms of minority male educators and substitutes.
The choices by some of these school administrators to perform in a cutthroat and business-like fashion of controlling the work process of certain employees that they have selected to be a victims of their psychoanalytical critiques while leaving the person no option to reason is a display of irrational behavior by the administrator in the work place (racism), and one disgustingly accepted. If the education system is serious about reaching all youths (especially minorities) in the schools, colleagues and/or the up-and-coming on the work force, they must learn to reason and communicate with them; they must relate.
Excommunicating them is not an option as this choice is contributing unequivocally to the continuous setbacks of minority women and (especially) young men in academia and the workforce as they witness others that they can relate to are separated from them, not come back to their schools anymore because of a thoughtless decision made for them in their (the children’s) place. The last time I checked, educational facilities were public places paid by all of us. It is a place where children and adults (the community) can come and not feel intimidated by school managers to learn to reason (argue and agree) with one another in a non-violent and peaceful fashion without the threats of being removed by the police.
In the present, the schools are held hostage by controlling administrators that think that the facilities they manage are their possessions entrusted to them by their employer and they have little time to do what is being asked of them by the people they claim to serve and that have ultimately made theirs and their employer’s jobs possible. It is quite simple, these inner city youth underperforms because they either know that good test scores, performance, as opposed to diversified learning, and is what the secondary education system offers them. It is also that the material that they are expected to know maybe or (even is) of little interest to their personal development in growing up to hopefully realize their socio-economic and political potentials.
Ideally, school ought to be a place where learning is shaped by student and parent(s)/guardian(s) demands and desires, decided mutually by the supposed benefactors of such a system. School represents (subliminally for most whether they know it or not) to them and is preparing them for a life of subservience to future employers and financial obligations; there is nothing remotely free and liberating about this controlled existence in the freest and richest country in the world.