School Enslaves

“But school enslaves more profoundly and more systematically, since only school is credited with the principle functon of forming critical judgment, and, paradoxically, tries to do so by making learning about oneself, about others, and about nature depend on a prepackaged process. School touches us so intimately that none of us can expected to be liberated from it by something else.” Ivan Illich.


“A liberation movement which starts in school, and yet is grounded in the awareness of teachers and pupils as simultaneously exploiters and exploited, could foreshadow the revolutionary strategies of the future; for a radical program of deschooling could train youth in the new style of revolution needed to challenge a social system featuring obligatory “health,” “wealth,” and “security.” Ivan Illich.

Honest discourse difficult. But essential.

If I am wrong about something, tell me but do not dismiss my meanings by complaining about my style of discourse. The message may be at least as important as the messenger. That said, I will say this about democratic discourse and politeness. Politeness is, too often, an enemy of vital truths, politeness of the kind where one agrees so as not to offend those who might disagree, those who might be offended by another’s truths. Truth is what gets lost in the overly polite and accommodating discourse.To be truthful, when I say something I do believe that I am right. Otherwise I would not say it. Too, if I disagree with something someone else says, I always have reason for disagreeing, my signaling such an invitation for arguments to be put forth to move toward agreement based on actual agreement.I write this because I am fearful. I am fearful that the notion that if everyone says what he or she things and what is said is accepted nicely, there is no direction in the discourse, no chance of it moving participants to truths and, as the discourse in my circles has been directed too often by those who insist on enforcing a politeness that makes conversation impotent, without the possibility of guiding meaningful action.I will continue to write and engage in conversation with anyone who wished to do so with me, with hope that we might do to one another what meaningful democratic discourse does, make one another think so much through discussion of our disagreement that we think our way to truths that lead to meaningful action.

Acquiescence Not Tolerable

I certainly know that a good number of teachers do not like when I argue that schools in America are problematic and that this problematic society is as it is because of the schools. I am told that teachers try their hardest and work under conditions that are far less than ideal. I agree. But that schools are not the problem is an absurd response when most teachers know what problematic places schools are in which to work.I do not visit classroom anymore. I do not qualify anymore for access as I did when I was a professor. But I do know that even the best teachers do not, because they cannot, do what is necessary to help students be able to look at facts that help to describe their society and determine the true nature of that society, it a highly problematic one.Why this is so has much to do with who has the most power in the the decision making process that creates school policy. The powerful in America, economically and, undemocratically thereby, politically powerful mostly all white men, will not allow schools to teach a truth that IS most definitely fraught with misdeeds, many horrendously inhumane, of white men with power, about how they attained power and how they insured that they, white men, would have most access to it.So, teachers. Let us be real. You may be good. You may be great. But the system in which you work is not and, therefore, even in your greatness your are impotent in helping to make the significant changes to society that are essential to a sane and humane future on a still viable planet.Yes, teachers, the good and great ones, must empower themselves to force the system to become, first, good enough, and then truly good, and then great.I am for teacher empowerment, always and forever. I cannot, nor can the society afford to tolerate those who teach FOR THE SYSTEM, by the system, and of the system. Their students are cheated, humankind is threatened by teaching that is supportive of the system. Students and teachers, along with parents must participate in analyzing the system and doing the good work of changing it for the better.

The Chamber of Commerce

Sorry Mike, but Washoe County schools are problematic schools because of the way the district has historically been managed and whose purposes it has served into the present day. Washoe County schools have been designed to serve the “needs” of a community in which the most prominent and powerful employer has been an industry dependent on an abundance of low payed workers. That is a fact. The power of the “gaming” industry to influence politics and schools via the politics it sponsors has created and maintained as system in which a some, a few schools exist to serve the class of people to casino executives belong, the rest, to turn out good employees for low paying jobs to support the selfish needs and desires of the casino class, passive and obedient servants whose level of education will keep them from revolting against an unfair system. Think this is not true or not true anymore. Consider the “qualifications” of Heath Morrison and Pedro Gonzales, for whom the current superintendent worked and learned what is expected of a leader in the Washoe County School District.

In response to Reno Gazette-Journal commentator Mike Kazmiersky

New View with Truer Truths

There is a powerful tendency of supporters of public education to defend a system that has produced so many who want to either eliminate public education or have public education offer up their own false narrative of both America and education in America. Those who defend American public education want to have it that the system has been a good in society, those educated by it benefiting from it as individuals and society from their participation in it.
The best argument for meaningful change is the one that says that the American educational system has failed to serve well for a truly sane and humane democratic society in which people are able to decide consistently in favor of what is best for all and not just for a few.
But selfish interest controls schooling in America as the political system that dominates favors an economic system that is oppressive over a political system that is liberating, this because liberation of intellect would cause people to understand the inherent inhumanity of a capitalist system.
Perhaps it is time for the sensible and humane to admit to what causes lack of good sense in a democratic public and consider how this leads to willingness to make decisions that are inherently inhumane, amongst these the perpetuation of a school system that teaches lies because a dominant group, capitalists led, is too powerful because too many do not understand how they are oppressed by it.

Are we beyond reason?

One cannot read this nation honestly and think that reason will win the day. The purpose of school should be to help people grow more reasonable, ever more capable of thinking for themselves using sound information assessed for truth value using critical analysis. So, either we find a way to make them reasonable or we abandon democracy, or we split the country in half. But we do not seek compromise.Schools should teach about the good things America has done and of the atrocities, as they do even in Germany where the past is not buried but studied for what is says about how people fail and how they come to grips with failure, no matter how monstrous, in order to work toward decent society.As the people who have been motivated to attack this really silly attempt at social justice in buying a canned social justice curriculum that teaches nice and good without too much mention of what is and has been bad is worse than asinine. It is criminal coverup of criminal activities including enslavement and murder on a mass scale, peoples’ forced removal native lands, denial of basic rights the Declaration says are “natural right.” All that and the denial of rights and legitimation of the mistreatment of women, the lawful mistreatment of those who are not heterosexual and making heroic those who were the perpetrators of these crimes agains humanity.All we should want is truth and enough of it taught so that young people can think about how to go about the business of making this a more perfect union.


Chomsky Truth

Looking back at the success of the Sanders campaign, I think one answer to your question is “keep at it.” Remember, a terrible mistake was made when Obama was elected: namely, a lot of the Left believed in him. Obama had a tremendous amount of popular support, especially from young people — lots of young activists and organizers worked to get him elected. After the election, what happened? He told them, “Go home.” And unfortunately, they went home. Within two years, Obama had completely betrayed his constituency, and it showed in the 2010 election. ChomskySo few want to believe this true. But it is and then Trump and now Biden. What will it take to actually find a new direction?”

Article here

Propaganda and education

Seems to me that propagandists of all kinds (never know they are such because they believe their’s is the IT) have fought, some more vociferously than others, some in the covert ways that have truly caused incipit memorization methodologies to dominate) cannot allow for education that is about the development of critical ability.They fear that students might question when what they should want most is for students to question.That is a problem for teachers brought up to teach from the text to the test and so, education, to a large part, only prepares students to take uncritically what certain “authorities” mandate is right not thinking that they should be thinking a lot about who those authorities are and what they are being told.