Are we ruining Education?
EDIT: Since people seem to have some issues with my profanity, I'm changing my TL;DR to look more like an actual essay I'd want to publish. Oh and also for those of you who can't get past the rhetoric and can't get the actual message, I'm kindly adding annotations for ya.
Good education (K-12, College, and trade schools) is the most fundamental factor that impacts not only the success of a nation but true equality of opportunity. Most of us on WSO probably can't relate since we're either all smart enough to get into targets/semi-targets or are ambitious and driven enough to get ahead in life.
The sad truth is that education in the US has been disproportionate and unfair for quite some time - world class for the smart and ones who can afford it, but complete dog shit no better than that of a 3rd world country for the poor and the not-so-brights. What can I say? This makes me so F***ING MAD and I'm gonna rant while trying to offer some perspectives.
What really drives me F***ING NUTS is that there are bunch of people out there who call themselves "AcTiViStS" and "PoLiTiCiAnS" who care about "MaKiNg ThInGs BeTtEr fOr AvEraGe AmEriCaNs" or whatever nice-sounding BS they come up with. But you know what the truth is? Most of them are bunch of ideologues, sycophants, opportunists, and dumbasses who don't know jack shit. [Main Argument: It's senseless to discuss Voucher vs. NAtionalized Education System]
[Supporting Point 1: Standardized test scores are not good metrics to measure effectiveness of an education system] Bunch of "LiBeRaLs" talk about how they want to "ban charter schools" or whatever. Well guess what? Your metrics are FUCKING dumb. Standardized tests scores don't mean jack shit if your students can't think for themselves and can't be creative. I remember Obama praising Korean students for being so smart and some shit like that. Dude could not have been more WRONG.
[Example 1: Nationalized Education Can Fail] Korean students pull banker work hours studying for bunch of nonsense exams from K-12 and I ain't exaggerating. Every year bunch of Korean students die from studying too much or commit suicide due to immense pressure. You know how many Nobel prizes that Korea has? It only has 1 and it was a god damn Nobel peace prize. Why do you think Samsung is nothing but a copy-cat (really good one though)? You ever hear about some cool start-up based in Korea? K-Pop is sooo big and they must be bunch of creative geniuses right? NO FUCKING WAY. The entire K-pop industry runs on bunch of desperate kids. There is a whole system to find bunch of potentially talented kids, train them 24/7 like dogs for years, and only the top of the top actually gets to debut and be successful. The rest become borderline prostitutes, bartenders, or backup dancers at best.
[Supporting Point 2 + Example 2: Voucher Systems can Succeed] How about Sweden? Sweden went with the school voucher system. LiBeRaLs want to criticize how their standardized test scores are so low now or whatever (hypocritical considering how they want Sweden like welfare state?). But I don't see any problems. Swedish students actually seem to focus on learning what they enjoy and can thrive on. I once worked with bunch with Swedish guys and they all seem to love it. Economic specialization at its best. In fact, Sweden's welfare DEPENDS on the free market and deregulation of its most promising industries + its free education that allows for choices.
[Supporting Point 3 + Example 3: Voucher Systems can Fail] But then do I like the school voucher program? I like the idea of having choices, but I FUCKING HATE how it's done in America. It clearly seems to work in Sweden, but why not in America? The answer is, it's run by bunch of ideologues who think 1+1=3 but have strong faith in it so "it's okay". FUCK DeVos and her stubborn ideological BS. What kind of backward nonsense of an idea is it to create charter schools and just have most of them be super selective? Then, they have to cut funding for public schools even though bunch of kids are still enrolling in public schools since they can't get into these fancy schmancy charter schools. I mean WTF? Milton Friedman and everyone who actually understood the voucher program are crying in their graves. Oh shit I guess some are still alive. Also, does DeVos not realize that it's the 21st century? Online learning can clearly work, especially in colleges. What kind of a government is it to threaten schools?
Since I know someone is gonna be all like " You're just angry that you didn't get into target (I did get into a target jackass and I make the same money bankers do working 40~60hrs a week)". Or some shit like "This is boring. So what's your idea?". I'm gonna offer my ideas for you naggers. "It's choice of curriculum, stupid!". Liberal ideologues who want to nationalize education are wrong. School voucher supporting ideologues are wrong. Ideologues are ruining everything. Public school or charter school, they can BOTH work.
[New Proposal: It's better to shift the debate on how to bring "Choice of Curriculum"]
[Supporting Point for the New Proposal: Different students have different educational needs, so let them customize their education]
As long as kids can get quality education and can choose what and how they can study, things are gonna be magical. Humans are naturally curious. Let us fucking explore our curiosity in the best way possible, letting us choose while providing good guidance. Besides the minimum education requirement, let kids choose their curriculum. We already have advanced classes and AP programs, which are good ideas by the way. But I know just too many kids who hate math because they think math is just bunch of numbers. Once they realize that real math is all about logic and abstract thinking, they love it. But it's too late by then... You know that Einstein failed at math? It wasn't til he learned some OG MATH that he got into that shit. What about kids who hate history because it's all memorization? Truth is history can be very much of a science based on data analysis and critical thinking. Sadly, kids don't know that.
If kids want to take fundamentals of music theory, they should be allowed to. If kids want to learn how to make electronic music, they should be allowed to. If kids want to learn how to fly a plane, they should be allowed to. If kids want to do some cool independent research, they should be allowed to. Btw, all the classes I just mentioned are classes that actually existed at my fancy boarding school. Why shouldn't regular kids be allowed to have the same choices I did?
[Final Remarks: Good Education is a fundamental solution to many of problems in the US.] While half the Americans are so worried about the "evil billionaires paying people starvation wages" and the other half about "immigrants and globalization taking away their jobs", America is shooting itself in the foot. Wait, let me fix that: America is shooting itself in the FUCKING head, not fixing this mess of an education system. Until we fix this education system paramount to a 100 year-old grandma with dementia who paints the wall with her own poops, there ain't gonna be racial justice, there ain't gonna be income and wealth equality, there ain't gonna be more American jobs. Need I go on?
Sorry for the harsh language and thanks for reading this crap.
TL;DR: In the US, the debate around school voucher system vs. nationalized education is senseless. The fact is they both can work, they both can fail. 3 reasons - 1) Anti-voucher people argue against it using decrease in standardized test scores. However, test scores are incomplete metrics that fails to capture other essential objectives of education - creativity, critical thinking ability, etc... Korea is a good example of this where maximizing test scores has led to a draconian system that punishes creativity and independent thinking. 2) School voucher supporters in the US have failed because their views have been distorted, which disregards the most important aspect of the voucher system, funding goes to where people choose. They have become so focused on their ideologies of charter schools > public schools, that they are implementing policies that are very likely to incur self-fulfilling prophecies. 3) Sweden's school voucher system has clearly worked - allowing students to focus on what they can be good at. Hence, it's much more constructive to discuss how to bring about choice of curriculum, which allows students to customize their own education.