We are incapable of thinking for ourselves…

…especially when it comes to our eating habits.  So, the government has to make them for us.  The students of Southmoore High School (and indeed, all the schools here) got a harsh but clear lesson today: meddling government makes things worse.

There was mass pandemonium today as teacher and student alike realized that junk food would no longer be easily obtained on campus. (By mass pandemonium, I mean that a bunch of people complained.)  All good foods were either downsized or removed all together from school vending machines and teacher-vendors.

Do people need to lay off junk food? That isn’t for me, and especially not for governments, to decide.  But this little adventure has far more reaching implications than just the regrettable loss of junk food.

Many teacher-sponsors of extra curricular activities fund those activities by snack and drink sales. Bought in bulk and sold for a profit, the sale of sodas, candies, and chips help immensely in the funding for clubs and sports.  An arrangement where everyone wins.  The members of the activities don’t have to bear as much of the expenses, and the buyer can get his favorite processed junk foods in a most convenient manner.

Yes, here is a great example of what happens when government interferes “for our own good.”  I am told, if school or teacher is caught selling this contraband, the district may lose funding, the school will lose funding, the teacher will be terminated and quite possibly, the administrator as well.  But remember, this is supposed to be for the betterment of society.

The funny part of this is, it won’t help, it only hurts.  People will get junk food no matter what.  Short of banning it altogether (which seems to work so well with drugs these days) we’re still Americans; which means we’ll stuff our face with doritos and guzzle down coke, no matter where it comes from.  In the end, however, activity funding is hurt, and teachers will indeed struggle to make up for it.  What are they supposed to sell? Apples?

And in a way, this is a perfect microcosm of the full market.  When there is freedom there are many choices, which benefit all involved; when government interferes and begins to regulate, no matter it’s motivation, choices are few and limited.

Now if we were to privatize the school system, we wouldn’t have to deal with these little absurdities.  That’s for another article. Your thoughts, as always, deeply appreciated by the owner of this place.-

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Adventure in Absurdity #4 – Children can’t read…

…according to the state of Oklahoma. Yesterday’s (August 3d, 2014) daily disappointment headline reads: “Few OKC 3d graders pass 2d test.” (Will the next generations even be able to read the paper? Well, they won’t miss out on much…)

“More than 600 third graders in the Oklahoma City School District who failed a state mandated reading test will be held back when school starts this Monday according to statistics shared by school officials.

“In a last ditch effort to gain promotion to the fourth grade, 311 of 636 students who faced retention took an alternate assessment July 25.  Only 25 passed.”

It’s almost comical, except for the fact that these kids are, here again, getting the raw end of the deal.  They have fallen victim to the insanity of the public school methods.

The same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result.  Or do they expect a different result?  Certainly they don’t need a different result – the public schools aren’t going anywhere.  They aren’t a business that needs to shape up its act in order to stay in operation.  And there’s the problem.

I think this entire thing is just another symptom of compulsory education.

Time and again I have stressed this: if you seek to force education, and to codify enlightenment, you won’t get very far.  Oh, sure, you can teach kids to read things and spit them back on all sorts of assessments and tests and what not – but forcing it causes resistance, and a generation or more of students who have no appreciation for learning.

Life is one big, long classroom, and that’s a good thing – there is so much to be learned and shared beyond the scope of schools.  Unfortunately, schools are giving all that a bad name, with lasting negative consequences, no doubt.

No, instead, you must let the love of reading and other things to come naturally and let the student come upon it himself, perhaps with some helpful but gentle guidance.  Such is how you create a love for learning in a student that will last for the long haul.  But, unfortunately, that isn’t an option, because it can’t be structured into curriculums or used by politicians for political purposes.

 

So blame here can’t go to the students, can’t go to the teachers, not even the schools themselves, but the entire idea of compulsory education, which prevails – nearly everywhere in the U.S. – year after year we’ll be having the same problems until we address the underlying flaw. Until then, good luck.