Nine Kinds of Pie: Those Who Can, Teach

Great post from Nine Kinds of Pie:

...rather than giving public schools the funds they need, they should be forced to compete for less money. Also: instead of creating conditions that foster learning, let’s focus purely on testing. And let’s not forget this one: instead of making college affordable to all, states should gradually stop supporting higher education, shifting that cost onto those who can least afford it — the students.

The points that especially resonate with me is the narrow-minded focus on testing. We've built a school system that's more like Pink Floyd's The Wall rather than a population of critical thinkers and nerds. If we're supposed get out of debt and bring our country closer together, isn't it in our best interests NOT to create millions of automatons and autodidacts?

So too goes the argument for higher education.

[The] dominant idea shaping the national dialogue is that capitalism is a moral system, a smoothly efficient social Darwinism that will allow good ideas to thrive and bad ideas to fail.

There are many things wrong with the idea that capitalism is our moral compass, but I want to focus on this "good idea" versus "bad idea" thing.

Where are all these good ideas coming from if all we're doing is teaching students to regurgitate answers for a test? Talk to any business who's main product is innovation and they'll tell you there's no multiple choice test out there to measure someone's creativity.

And because college is becoming more expensive and viewed as unnecessary, the view that Capitalism is King gets more weight because more and more college-age students are choosing to work instead.

One Gawker Comment of the Day cited Tom Wolfe:

"In Roman times slaves could learn any type of schooling as long as it was only practical. They could take engineering, which was complicated but practical. They couldn't take philosophy, theology, history, rhetoric. These were all the arts of persuasion. They didn't want slaves to be able to deal with concepts that would lead them to say, 'We should be free'."

Interesting.