Education in Oklahoma … What is the real issue?

Most voters, especially when thinking about local or state elections, think that “education” is the most important issue.   But what exactly, is the issue with “education”?  Is there an issue with education at all?  Yes, there is, but it is being missed by nearly everyone.

If you listen to politicians trying to gain points or the people that listen to them, you will think that the issue lies in teacher salary, prayer in schools, school funding, or as we have seen more recently, the AP fiasco.  Some of these things may or may not be issues (I will deal with them here and now: teacher salaries should be set just like any other, by the market, taking into consideration supply and demand, and school funding increases are never enough.  More is always needed because so much of it gets eaten by a bloated administration.)

And we are distracted by all this nonsense, arguments that will never end.  Politicians, ever eager to avoid real issues, egg this on.  They approach the podium and make vauge arguments for these things and paint those who oppose this “improvement” as anti-education.   And the audience has been fed this nonsense so long, they have forgotten what reality tastes like.

But where do the students come in?  Where is their place in this circus?  Between a rock and a hard place.

No one talks about the real issue with “education” – simply, the entire system – letter grades, multiple choice tests, busywork during the day, etc.  Meawhile the students are being filled with dangerous notions, a most subtle indoctrination: whatever comes from authority is truth, success is spitting back information, blind patriotism, love of government not country, etc.  There is little room for free thought in this equation.

Not to mention, it is such a waste, especially when we begin talking about High School.  Literature is forced and consequently ruined (this goes back to the elementary AR program, which makes kids hate reading more than anything else).

Simply this: true education must be voluntary and up to the student, not the law or anyone else.  Sure, you can teach basic math and reading, but anything beyond should be up to the student.  if our goal is enlightened and free thinking citizens, our public schools have been a dismal failure.

However, if our goal is to create docile citizens who never question our state of society, the two party political game, or the entire government itself, our school system has been a smashing success.   It is one step in the process: 12 or 13 long years of public school, ship off to college, become prisoners to a load of debt, land a job and fulfill their most important role (to the politicians) – that of voters and taxpayers.   The former, to sustain the party system, and the latter, to finance their nonsense.

So as we discuss this AP Adventure in absurdity, as marches descend on the state capitol, either for AP or raising teacher salaries, can we discuss the real issue with public education?