What is Wrong With Government Education?

I’ve noticed changes taking place in the American education system.  While I am critical of the American education system, it is not always for the same reasons as others.

First, I am willing to realize that government education is a form of welfare.  I don’t blame anyone for using it, just as I don’t blame anyone for collecting Social Security.  They are being forced to pay for it, so it is understandable to “redeem” some of your lost money.

The average middle class person hates it when I compare government schools to food stamps.  But in reality, they are both a form of welfare and virtually everyone is forced to pay for the benefits of a select group.  There is nothing sacred about education where it has to be a government function.

But aside from the fact that the government schools are funded with taxpayer dollars, I have another major issue with the schools, although it is somewhat related.

I am different than many others on this topic.  I am not concerned that children aren’t learning enough; I am concerned about what children are learning.  Or more precisely, I am concerned that children are being taught to be obedient, nationalistic, and overall good little citizens of the state.

While many parents wish for obedience, there is a difference between being respectful towards others and never questioning authority.  I fear that too many children are being taught to never question authority.

There has been a lot of criticism of the American education system over the past few decades, and for good reason.  Children in the U.S. rank well below many other countries in the world in language skills, math, and science.

In my view, the American education system is trying to step it up and demanding more.  If you have seen the “Common Core” curriculum, you will likely know what I am talking about.  They are pressuring kids to learn all of these things at an early age, in most cases before the children are ready for it.

Personally, I don’t see the point in struggling to teach a 2nd grader how to multiply or do complicated word problems when he or she will easily be able to learn the concept in a couple of years.

It is almost as if the government schools are trying to promote a much more strict teaching environment where kids are supposed to constantly work hard and study.  They are trying to adopt something similar to a Japan model of education.

But I don’t really care that many kids in Asian countries score really well in math and science.  I don’t really care that kids in other countries know how to read and write at an earlier age.  I only care in the sense that it is important for all children to eventually learn how to read and write and do some math.  But it should be taught when the child is ready, not because they happen to be in a grade where they have to learn it for a standardized test.

The thing that has made America great through its history is the sense of individualism, entrepreneurship, and creativity.  Americans have not historically been obedient people, at least relative to the rest of the world.

It is no coincidence that it is the government schools trying to teach children to be obedient.  They want them to grow up to be obedient citizens of the state and to not question government authority.  I am not saying that all teachers are purposely promoting this, but the system itself is promoting it.

The best thing we can teach our children isn’t math and reading.  Those things are certainly important, but they will likely learn that no matter what.  The best thing is to teach them to think independently and to be their own person.