OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IS ROOTED IN THE INDUSTRIAL AGE. IT VALUES PUNCTUALITY, ATTENDANCE, AND SILENCE ABOVE ALL ELSE.
from How a Radical New Teaching Method
Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses by Joshua Davis
So I've written a lot about my twelve year old son's struggles with school, with learning, with dyslexia, with learning disabilities, including auditory and visual processing. None of that writing has been particularly substantial and only barely touches on the depth and breadth of the problem, of the level of hatred that he expresses for school, of the tears, the tantrums, the sturm und drang. I've also written extensively about Oliver's uncanny ability to perceive the world and the people around him, about his curiosity, his intelligence, his sense of humor and his hilarity. I know in my heart that he will be fine -- in the long run -- but just how arduous that run is remains a question, and not just how arduous but whether the arduousness is even warranted.
Right now, I believe on a deep, gut level that it shouldn't be this hard.
Today I spent a good part of the morning researching home-schooling and also looked into a number of alternative schools. Quite serendipitously, a dear friend of mine sent me the article from which I quoted above -- click here, and you can read the whole thing.
I'm shaking things up, for real.
The other day, I got an alumni magazine from the private school that I attended in Atlanta, Georgia for middle through high school. While I value the education I received back then and know, particularly in English and writing, that it helped me to become the writer I am today, I was appalled by a letter included with the magazine that asked alumni help in the current capital campaign to raise $88 million by 2015. I believe they are close to $75 million and need only close that gap of $13 million in three more years.
ADVISORY: Language from here on out could be offensive to some.
Here's my response: What the fuck?
I can hardly go into what all of this means to me -- the enormous and ever-growing disparity between the extremely wealthy and those who have less and then even nothing. What is my alma mater buying with this sort of endowment? Are these children better educated and more prepared to succeed when they're finished? What is the measure of success? Where does it end?
Again, what the fuck?
I might be starting a mini-revolution here at chez Crazy where the disabled and the abled live side by side, where the Catholic school boy rubs elbows with the revolutionary and where the primary caregivers live forever. Stay tuned or tune in with your own riffs.