Why Should Smart Students Stay in School? « Dvorak News Blog

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I’m wondering, why should smart students stay in school when they could stay home and better educate themselves?

In this age of Google and the Internet if you took a smart kid who wanted to learn, they could self educate on the web and get a far better education than they can in public or private schools. School is like doing prison time to bright students when they have to endure teachers who are far dumber than they are. Smart students are forced to learn at a rate so slow it’s like watching grass grow.

I think that the school system is obsolete and that it’s time for bright people to quit wasting time and organize to self-educate. Let the first class be a social network of students and your first assignment is to organize into your own online school community.

Who likes this idea?




  1. bobbo, int'l pastry chef and Supreme Court reader says:

    #31–amodedoma==Ha, ha. I recall coming home and complaining to dear old Dad that school was boring and a waste of time. After telling me for the 40000 time that “Boredom was the product of a dull mind” and “Your job is to learn in spite of the school” he said: “Life is a rat’s maze, learn to run it faster than the other rats.”

    And I did. More Cheese.

  2. amodedoma says:

    #33 bobbo

    Wow, personal anectdote, thank you! My dad, made no effort to encourage my education, couldn’t afford to. This was not an obstacle in pursuing my proffesional ambitions, or intellectual curiosity. I’ve never had much taste for cheese and have a thorough distrust of the guys in white lab coats. Big surprise, eh?

  3. Benjamin says:

    I think they should steer the smart kids toward the community colleges. I know a kid who got a associates degree before he graduated from high school.

    If I could go back, I would take summer school classes to graduate early. I hated high school.

  4. The0ne says:

    If smart kids do that they only end up like Bobbo and the many fanatics here. Discussions worth diddly squat because they read it on the internet hahhaha

  5. MikeN says:

    Sounds like homeschooling.

  6. WmDE says:

    From The Terminal Man.

    Dr. Ellis responds to reporter “We’re trying to correct that violent behavior with surgery. I don’t think that’s a despicable thing. I think it’s a noble goal and an important goal.”

    “But isn’t that mind control?”

    Ellis said “What do you call compulsory education through high school?”

  7. deowll says:

    People wanted accountability so we got the tests. Now the tests can be thirty percent or more of a teacher’s evaluation which occurs annually. If those scores fall to low the teacher will be fired. Now many of you are complaining that the teachers are focusing on the tests to the exclusion of all else.

    You guys wrote the rules. If you don’t like them change them. Teachers work for you and they do what you tell them to do. Don’t blame the system for doing what you said you wanted it to do.

  8. ECA says:

    Who understands that 90% of education is information that CHANGES very little.
    History, science and parts of Math change.

    reading dont,
    Writing dont,
    90% of history dont change, only the last 20 years fluctuate.
    Arithmetic..dont change.

    So, why dont we use the best formats to TEACH our kids?

    Politics
    religious groups
    GRAFT..

    WHO is incharge of what and HOW our kids are learning?
    According to some sources, its TEXAS..

  9. The0ne says:

    #40
    Well, not quite all Texas but they have a humongous influence in the decision(s). There was a recent NPR show done about this. I’ll try to find a link as it’s pretty interesting.

    What you’ve suggested, however, is not the case with smart people I’m afraid. I don’t know whether you’re kidding or not but heheh

    Smart people do read and do write. It is because of the “don’t change” that they crave for initially to help them form opinions and pave their future. Teaching them politics, business practices and such will only destroy them IMO. Start with something stable then grown and change 🙂 Start with something chaotic and you’ll end up…probably dead, suicide and such 😀

  10. RSweeney says:

    Public schools are in an untenable position.

    They are presented with a wildly disparate student population and expected by political correctness to come out with uniform results.

    Success becomes a dangerous thing, because it points out failure in those groups that are not succeeding, which is unacceptable in the pc world.

    Thus success becomes a problem.

    Unfortunately, one that educators seem more than able to minimize in the name of egalitarianism.

  11. bobbo, free speech is precious says:

    #34–amodedoma==thats funny. Pretending to be a brain dead engineer with no imagination/application at all. For others just like you, cheese = money. Money = a kind of freedom.

    #36–T-1==thank you. I never went to community college though. “High school with ash trays.”

    Speaking of personal anecdotes though: I did almost flunk 7th grade. I went to Catholic International School in Japan for 5th grade. In order not to fall behind when moving, they used the “next level” school books. I got all “A’s.” Then I transfered in 6th grade to local military school and they used the same books as the “next level” in the States in order for their students not to fall behind when their families got transfered. I got “B’s” and “C’s.” Then back in the States in the 7th grade, I got all D’s and F’s and the teachers recommendation I repeat 7th grade because I couldn’t pay attention.

    Dear old Dad gave me the same spiel he always did. Mom went to school and showed them my “A” papers from 3 years earlier. My school allowed me to continue on to 8th grade where my grades slowly improved.

    Two years sacrificed on the alter of conformity. How many are bored up front without the repetition? Quite a few.

  12. ECA says:

    #41,
    agreed.
    the BASICS dont change.
    Even into College..Very little changes.

    Get the basics Taught..and teach them properly.
    Quit trying to change the basics.

    Kids want/seek TRUTH. Dont lie to them, it only confuses them and causes problems.
    If you want religion taught in school, TEACH many of them, not 1.
    If religion wants to control what/how is SAID in school..Let them MAKE their own school. and we can CUT out religion in school.

    When our kids get to 12-14, we have to let them see what is in the future and let them CHOOSE what they wish to do…NOT when they are 18.
    we have to TEACh our kids..not to be kids. to be ADULTS..

  13. Timuchin says:

    #1, the kids NEED Humanist indoctrination
    #2, If the department of Education doesn’t get its money, how will it be able to lobby congress for more money?

  14. Floyd says:

    #7: “As an Evangelical Christian I’ve met _tons_ of home schooled kids. Clearly, most of these kids are getting a good education. Most are confident and curious and have a remarkable lack of adolescent cynicism.”

    Cynicism, along with skepticism, are far more important traits than being able to diagram a sentence. Noting that you consider yourself an Evangelical, you probably need to learn a bit more about critical thinking yourself. Your home schooled kids need to think for themselves, not just what your church teaches.

  15. billabong says:

    College and High School will soon be outed as the social organizations that they are. The future is Internet education.Schools do not teach they brainwash.

  16. billabong says:

    BTW that is a Hot picture.

  17. POI says:

    There are two points of information I’d like to add for what it’s worth:

    From GlennE

    “And it was once like that, in America, way back in the days of the little red school houses. Out in what was mostly wilderness America.”

    The above is a myth. From the beginning, the U.S. public education system was problematic at best. Families were forced to send their children. The most vocal resistors were forced at gunpoint to hand them over.

    The most cursory review of the history of public education in the U.S. will reveal this to all but the dimmest of seekers.

    POI #2:

    Even after fourteen years in my professional capacity at a private college, I am continually impressed by the preparedness of home-schooled students.

    I previously and mistakenly assumed that most home-schoolers were marginal religious types.

  18. Glenn E. says:

    #49 You’re totally wrong, on point #1. My father lived thru the Great Depression. He was about 10 years old by then, and from a large family. He never spoke of anyone being forced to attend school, AT GUN POINT! And he didn’t get more than a sixth grade education. I’m sure the Depression put a lot of kids out on the streets, earning food for their families. And I can just see families, out on the prairies, being told a gun point to hand over their kids for schoolin.

    Crawl back under your disinfornation rock, POI.

  19. Glenn E. says:

    I think a lot the US’s problems stem from how college students were exempt from the draft, back in the 1960s and 70s. I believe a lot of the trouble makers, ruining the country now. Where just hiding out in these Ivy League institutions, thanks to their rich folks. And while they managed to get some kind of degree or diploma, for their time there. They had none of the scruples or values of those who sought higher education to make the world a better place. So we ended up with doctors, lawyers, bank execs, and politicians. Only interested in helping themselves. And completely ignoring their oaths of profession. And glut of educated screw-ups, from the 70s, is what has been running the US downhill, ever since. Because they basically have a license to run reckless, with whatever position had been handed to them.

    BTW, one of the world’s richest men, didn’t spend more than a year in college. That would be Bill Gates, of course. Word is that he spent most of his time at Harvard, playing poker. I think he was just there, to wait out the draft. Along with Paul Allen and some others. Soon as he felt safe to leave, he did. And decades later, that suck up school gave Gates an honorary degree, just for being so damn rich.

    No doubt Gates was smart, when it came to computers. But that’s not surprising, since his parents helped his private school raised money to buy its own computer for student use. Which cost thousands of dollars, back then. If every High School had its own computer, back in 1969. Gates would have competed with a lot more computer savvy people writing code, than just the CA Computer Club.

    My point is, Gates became a captain of a great industry. But had the personal values of a draft-dodging, self-serving, troll. Who didn’t think he owed anything to anyone else.

    Kind of like Rush Limbaugh, who also spent less than a year in college, hiding from the draft. And is now this overly hyped media star, who talks like everyone else go fight in a war. But his fat ass!

    BTW, I have little problem with those who don’t want to fight in wars. But there are more honorable ways to refuse, and to do alternative service. But those who hide out in costly learning institutions, not attracting attention to themselves by speaking out against the draft or war. Or spend a few seasons abroad, for the same reason. And then go on pretending like they’re so patriotic, after their skin is safe. These types I have no respect for, however rich and famous they’ve become.

    Don’t want to fight? Own up to it, the way Cassius Clay Jr did. And suffer the public consequences. And not pretend to be something you’re not. As Elvis Presley did, in the Army. And as other movie stars did, during WW2, getting 2-A deferments (“deferred in support of the national interest”) to make war movies.

  20. don quixote says:

    It didn’t work out to well for you did it.

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  22. BmoreBadBoy says:

    That is a great idea. Too bad, if you’re bright but poor, you may not be able to afford to pay for public schools and not go. Kind of like throwing money down the toilet. If only they could just tell the government to go screw itself and not pay…oh yeah, there is, stop paying property taxes. of course, they’d have to find someplace else to live…

  23. artstanton says:

    I’m a homeschool dad of 2, step-dad of 2 more. We’ve been homeschooling for about 15 years. I am not an Evangelist. Quite the opposite.

    The ‘homeschool sucks because kids need to be socialized’ is a myth. In the four communities I’ve lived in over the past 15 years (we’ve moved around different parts of Georgia) my wife was able to:

    1. Find other homeschooling families.
    2. Attend/Organize homeschool group functions.

    And the kids made friends of other homeschool kids.

    Many times I hear the ‘well, I knew a homeschooler’ refrain and it’s getting old. Hasn’t the general commenter population heard of sample size, and anecdotal evidence?

    If I said I knew a public school kid once that shot and helped kill 12 of his class-mates, would you consider this as representative of public school kids in general?

    Truth is a lot of the homeschool families I know have special needs kids, and that’s one of the more important reasons why they’re homeschooling. Despite their special needs, these kids are quite bright, but they do have troubles getting along with other kids. The homeschooling isn’t causing their lack of social skills, but their lack of social skills led to their homeschooling.

  24. Brock says:

    #24 – God what an Ass.

    My high school was actually known as being in the top 10% of public schools. What I didn’t tell you was it had 3500 students, a cool 1000 in my graduating class and had some of the best and worst you could imagine in a school. Students, teachers, whatever. Ben Stein would have been an outstanding teacher at this school. The school wasn’t outstanding due to the teachers, it was generally smart kids trying to live through the tedium.

    The problem I had was they forced you to take their courses in their order with no accounting for prior knowledge or interest.

    Good thing undergrad and grad school wasn’t like that. That’s where I finally got interested in school and had instructors who actually cared and encouraged me to learn at my speed.

    And my comment about lazy parents is spot on. My daughter went to public school at one of the top 5% public schools. The funny thing was 90% of the parents didn’t show up for meet the teacher or any parent teacher conferences. Most American parents are lazy A-holes when it comes to their kids. School is a convenient babysitter.

    And yes, my daughter scored 1100 on the SAT in 7th grade, which was higher than any of her teachers would admit they scored in high school. And guess what, she had to take their set of courses whether she was interested or already knew the material or not. This is the way to improve society? Let unionized drones teach the best and brightest in an environment where 90% of the parents don’t care?

    There’s got to be a better way

  25. Uncle Patso says:

    Hmmm, bitter much? As the comments here show, you are not alone. Many, many more schools should be like the Summerhill School, which I read about in A. S. Neill’s book of the same name.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summerhill_School

    I think there are drawbacks to self-directed study as opposed to getting a degree. First, it tends not to produce good writing skills (just look at these comments). More importantly, most of the autodidacts I have met have been tremendously knowledgeable in their areas of interest, with amazing depth and breadth of learning, but they lacked a certain confidence in that knowledge, too often deferring to people with less knowledge but more forceful personalities.

  26. Thomas says:

    #56
    Just because your public school was in the 10% of public schools does not mean it was necessarily good as you have clearly illustrated. You are ranting against the wrong problem. Bad teachers and overly rigid curriculum are definitely problems but not so dire as to require tossing the entire school system in general. There have been many very smart people that received very good educations in the school system in the past 100 years. Just because it sucks now does not mean that fundamentally the entire concept of a school system has to be trashed. The opinions on private schools are far more positive which means that changes can be made to improve the system.

    IMO, one of the biggest problems with the public elementary school system is that there is no competition which is also why your undergrad and grad school experience was superior. Empower parents (rich or poor) with the ability to choose whatever school they wish and I guarantee that the (surviving) schools will improve.


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