Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.
~ Mark Twain
I sometimes grow weary listening to people complaining that the government schools are doing a terrible job. I have many objections to this horrid system, but I must give it credit for accomplishing its actual – but unstated – purpose, namely, to dumb-down the minds of people so as to make them unquestioning and obedient vassals of the established order. There is nothing so disruptive to the status quo as a society of self-directed, independent-minded people both capable of and insistent on informed, analytical thought. It has been the purpose of government schools to assure that such conditions do not arise; to continue to produce a society of capable workers but who, nonetheless, have passive and contented minds.
The contrast between systems of learning that focus on helping students become epistemologically independent and competent, and the government schools, is often difficult to make other than by anecdotal examples. When I was in the eighth-grade in a government school, we were required to study Latin. That revelation, standing by itself, conveys little to a listener. Only occasionally am I able to find some past curricular evidence with which to compare modern school offerings.
Thanks to the Internet, however, I have rediscovered an interesting item that helps make my point. It is an eighth grade exam that students in Salina, Kansas, were required to pass in order to advance to high school (i.e., the ninth grade). The exam was given in 1895, and consists of the following subject areas and questions.
It's bad enough that the taxpayer-funded, government-controlled schools are failures in the education department, but that they are anti-Christian in every other way, only makes matters worse. That Christians would think of such an ungodly institution as "our schools" (as in, let's get prayer and Bible-reading back in our schools) is head-in-the-sand shameful.