If you were born with the ability to change someone’s perspective or emotions, never waste that gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts God can give—the ability to influence.
Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance.
[Homeschooling]...recipe for genius: More of family and less of school, more of parents and less of peers, more creative freedom and less formal lessons.
...the poor man, whom the law does not allow to take an ear of corn when starving, nor a pair of shoes for his freezing feet, is allowed to put his hand into the pocket of the rich, and say, You shall educate me, not as you will, but as I will...
Jiu Jitsu opened up doors in my mind that public education had bolted shut. In hindsight, I see just how superficial my thoughts had been prior to this art. It is no coincidence that my efforts in reading and writing have run parallel with this craft. I began training Jiu Jitsu at twenty-two, and at the time of this writing I am about to turn thirty. I have learned more in the past eight years than the previous twenty-two, and have no doubts that Jiu Jitsu opened up my mind in a way traditional organized education never could. Jiu Jitsu gave me a life when I didn't know how to live. It is the best thing I have ever done, and is the foundation upon which all I will do.
Public education is not broken. It is not failing or declining. The diagnosis is wrong, and the solutions of the corporate reformers are wrong. Our urban schools are in trouble because of concentrated poverty and racial segregation. But public education is not ‘broken.’ Public education is in a crisis only so far as society is and only so far as this new narrative of crisis has destabilized it.
There is obviously something wrong with our educational system. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that there might even be something wrong with at least some of our schoolteachers. But heaven help anyone daring to express such heretical views.
Property taxes' rank right up there with 'income taxes' in terms of immorality and destructiveness. Where 'income taxes' are simply slavery using different words, 'property taxes' are just a Mafia turf racket using different words. For the former, if you earn a living on the gang's turf, they extort you. For the latter, if you own property in their territory, they extort you. The fact that most people still imagine both to be legitimate and acceptable shows just how powerful authoritarian indoctrination is. Meanwhile, even a brief objective examination of the concepts should make anyone see the lunacy of it. 'Wait, so every time I produce anything or trade with anyone, I have to give a cut to the local crime lord??' 'Wait, so I have to keep paying every year, for the privilege of keeping the property I already finished paying for??' And not only do most people not make such obvious observations, but if they hear someone else pointing out such things, the well-trained Stockholm Syndrome slaves usually make arguments condoning their own victimization. Thus is the power of the mind control that comes from repeated exposure to BS political mythology and propaganda.
The dilemma I was faced with was one every parent faces sooner or later: you want to defend your child, of course; you stand up for your child, but you mustn't do it all too vehemently, and above all not too eloquently - you mustn't drive anyone into a corner. The educators, the teachers, will let you have your say, but afterwards they'll take revenge on your child. You may come up with better arguments - it's not too hard to come up with better arguments than the educators, the teachers - but in the end, your child to going to pay for it. Their frustration at being shown up is something they'll take out on the student.
He found, using fifty stones to keep track, that he could easily remember the names of all fifty states, and he knew the capitols of a lot of them. He knew his times tables all the way up to twelves, and he knew when they'd signed the Declaration of Independence and when John Glenn landed on the moon.But he was keenly aware that he didn't know how to tell if nuts were good to eat, or what berries will make you sick, or what mushrooms were poisonous, and he slowly began to wonder why not one person had ever taught him anything useful.
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.
Listening to the debates about public schools on the Christian Right, one hears plenty of opposing opinions and a great deal of confusion. Some want to change the schools, others want to leave them. But the smart money seems to know what it is doing. It provides support for programs like the Good News Club, which slowly erode the support for public education in the country at large and in their own constituency in particular. And then it lays the groundwork for dismantling public education in favor of a private system of religious education funded by the state.
Public education does not serve a public. It creates a public. And in creating the right kind of public, the schools contribute toward strengthening the spiritual basis of the American Creed. That is how Jefferson understood it, how Horace Mann understood it, how John Dewey understood it, and in fact, there is no other way to understand it. The question is not, Does or doesn't public schooling create a public? The question is, What kind of public does it create? A conglomerate of self-indulgent consumers? Angry, soulless, directionless masses? Indifferent, confused citizens? Or a public imbued with confidence, a sense of purpose, a respect for learning, and tolerance? The answer to this question has nothing whatever to do with computers, with testing, with teacher accountability, with class size, and with the other details of managing schools. The right answer depends on two things, and two things alone: the existence of shared narratives and the capacity of such narratives to provide an inspired reason for schooling.