Friday, July 31, 2015

Schools, Adults, and Sadism

Over in Chattooga, Georgia they switched to a 4 day school week last year and say they saved a ton of money, hired more teachers, and improved test scores.

That's all well and good, but I'm not going to talk about that. I'm not going to research the claims, I'm not going to say what I think about four days or five days, because I don't know. I don't have enough data to form an opinion one way or the other. I'm not going to talk about this article at all. I'm not going to bother. I'm only commenting on the knee-jerk reaction I would expect to find in the comments section. Even though children are physiologically and psychologically different from adults people want to make school exactly like work. They want kids to get up at 4 AM and be in school until 6 PM, 7 days a week, with like a week off for Summer and that's it. They don't care what the optimal teaching method is, they don't care how children learn, how children's bodies and brains grow, they want this rigid system that no one in the world uses out of some perverse sadism.

"I had to suffer through school so I want to make kids today suffer ten times more or they'll be pampered! Kids today are lazy good for nothing and they need to get off my lawn! Make school 20 hours a day! They should sleep in school and eat one meal a day like the Spartans. The kid can walk and talk, take it from home and put it in school until age 18 and then the kid can become a cog in the industrial machine so I can collect my pension! No recess, no PE, no exercise of any kind, sit in one place for 12 hours and learn, even though the human brain doesn't work like that, I don't give one fuck about reality, do it!"

If pushed against the wall they'll justify it by saying "Do you think they should make work 4 days a week?! Fuck no! I don't want to work at all but anyone else is lazy if they work less than 120 hours a week."

If making work 4 days a week or 6 hours a day or whatever would increase productivity and grow the economy than fuck yes, change the work week that was designed around an arcane industrial system that only came into existence about 100 years ago and has been rendered totally obsolete. Everyone going to work at 8 AM and working for 8 hours for 5 days a week is an antiquated system based on means of production that no longer exist in a world with global telecommunications and an increasing degree of automation. It is a tradition based on absolutely nothing that has lived out its usefulness and needs to be supplanted with something new so humanity can enter the next phase of evolution colonizing space.

That's what I would say if I had unassailable proof that changing the work week would increase productivity to the same degree that changing the way the schools work (since only the 1970s, mind you) would so dramatically increase learning. The US education system is terminally broken, not because schools pamper kids but because it was an experiment undertaken 40 years ago that has failed. Before mandatory busing of "minorities" into all white neighborhoods to increase "diversity" because "separate but equal" supposedly doesn't work (it absolutely does, black students do significantly better in all black schools by every conceivable metric than in multi-racial schools because learning supposedly makes you look white while being ignorant makes you "authentically" black; in all black schools there is no us-versus-them mentality and consequently students perform much better) the school day could be tailored to fit the students. High school used to begin at 9 or even 10 AM, and in many places in the country it was like that up until the Department of Education was created. But if we're going to bus kids to school then High schoolers have to start at 6 and they don't get enough sleep because that's not how the body works at that age. Other countries have older kids start school after 9 and they have education systems that are incomparably better than the US. But no one gives a damn what the actual evidence shows, they want kids to suffer with the 40 year old tradition because it's traditional.

School is not daycare. School is not supposed to raise your children for you. Get off your ass and do some fucking parenting. You fucked and you had the kid and now it is your responsibility to take care of the kid. School conflicts with your schedule in any way? Too damn bad. When you become a parent your top priority is raising your child. You second responsibility is raising your child. Your tenth responsibility is raising your child. If school conflicts with your job then find some other way to get your kid to school. If you can't do that then work something out with your job or go work somewhere else. You fucked no you have to deal with the consequences and put raising your child first.