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.


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