Our Schools, Our Prisons, Our Failure
Our schools are much like our prisons: they disappoint us because they only do what they’re designed to do, and it annoys us that they don’t do something else!
Our prisons are designed to make criminals miserable for as long as they’re there–and their success rate at this is 100 percent! But we don’t see why they can’t make good citizens of their charges while they’re at it. Why not make criminals miserable and rehabilitate them at the same time?
Our schools are designed to produce graduates who are ready to step onto the lowest rung of the workforce. The lowest rung. Why do I stress the lowest rung? Because, consider this. Suppose one year the schools were to make a huge advancement over the past. Suppose one year the schools turned out a graduating class that was ready to step up onto the third rung of the workforce.
Suppose this class was so well trained and knew so much that, on graduation, they were immediately hired to supervise their older brothers and sisters– maybe even their own mothers and fathers!–and naturally at a higher rate of pay! What would you have? Would you expect to hear cheers? I don’t think so! You’d have an uproar, to say the least. You’d have a revolution on your hands! After all, how would you like to have an 18-year-old knowing as much as you, as competent as you–walk into your office and start calling the shots?
Not to worry. This is never, ever going to happen–so long as we continue to keep all our eggs in the school basket–because the schools do their job just the way the prisons do. They have close to a 100% success rate. Almost never is a school graduate ready to start anywhere but at the very bottom of the workforce.
Also published on Medium.