Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Opus 2013-62: The Big Answer in Education

I have had students, philanthropists, teachers, and parents ask me a question:  What is the one thing I would do to improve education?  My answer usually surprises them.

The one thing I would do to improve education is do away with the compulsory part.  I would remove the coercive power of government that forces kids to do something that requires buy-in.  Let me quote an old bit of wisdom,
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
You can force a child to come to school but you can’t make him learn and contrary to what I keep hearing at faculty meetings and in-service training, you can’t consistently trick him into learning.  Maybe I am confused.  Maybe the world I live in is full of aliens in disguise.  Maybe I have lost it.  In my world when you tell someone they “must” do something the natural reaction is to dig your heels in and resist. 

Under current law a child must attend school.  If a child is not attending then the parents become liable.  This can lead to jail time in extreme cases.  Since the parents must send them, the schools must accept them.  Funding is based on having the students on campus.  It used to be that schools would get money even if the student had an excused absence but this led to so many abuses by the schools that they are now paid only if a student is physically on campus and in class.  This leads to all kinds of crazy schemes to get the money.  It sets up a cycle of destruction.

When a student causes chaos and should be sent home the school looks at the loss of revenue and finds ways to keep him on campus.  They pay an adult to babysit, tell the teacher who kicked him out to provide work and act like education is happening.  They increase the paperwork and multiply forms and do nothing to really solve the problem.  The student knows that nothing serious is going to happen and so there is no change in behavior.  After all, where else can you go for the day and act like a fool with no consequences?

The next day, or usually the next period, they continue the disruption.  I had a student last week that had been kicked out of two of his classes by the time he got to me.  He only has four classes a day.  The first class he was kicked out of is across the hall from me and I saw him standing in the hall causing problems half the period.  He should have been banned from the campus immediately.

Education should still be provided.  I have no problem with that.  The difference would be that the student would be forced to earn the privilege of attending.  If he could not cooperate, he could go home.  Since most of them, even the trouble makers, really want to be with their friends it would generate an entirely different way of behaving.  There would be consequences.  There would also be education because the most serious roadblocks would be somewhere else.

Think about it.

homo unius libri


  1. When school wasn't mandatory, there MAY have been more illiterates, but those who COULD read were, apparently, far more skilled than most folks that I see today.

  2. I would tend to side with your "may". We have classes full of people who can read you the words just fine but can't tell you what they just read. Why should they bother when they can act like they don't understand and get the teacher to do the work or they are working in a group and can have the smart one do the work.

    It is another application of "why buy the cow when the milk is free."

    Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.