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Why Every Kid in America Doesn’t Need to Be Educated

Do we really want all of us to be a bunch of educated people who never do anything useful — like the Obama administration but for the whole country?

by
Frank J. Fleming

Bio

March 12, 2011 - 12:00 am
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Why do we spend so much money on education? I think a lot of people would answer, “Because educating our kids is important.” Really? Why?

There are a lot of problems with teachers’ unions, whose goals are to make sure we get the least amount of education for the most amount of money, but the problems don’t start with them. Just look at the whole system we set up. We have 7.2 million teachers in this country and about 76 million students. Children are taught for 13 years in grade school, and many people want everyone to get at least 4 years of college on top of that. And what exactly do we get out of all this? If someone told me I was going to spend the next 17 years just studying, I’d expect at the end of it all to be Batman — a master of all sciences, languages, and martial arts. We’re lucky if our kids come out of this able to read and with at least one marketable skill.

So what is our goal with all this? It’s like we envision a future where we all just sit around and be all educated and smart while robots or illegal Mexicans do all the real work. But do we really want all of us to be a bunch of educated people who never do anything useful — like the Obama administration but for the whole country? Anyway, it’s not going to happen. The future still needs people to cook, clean, and manufacture goods — and it doesn’t take a decade of education in math and science to be able to do those things. So why are we spending hundreds of billions of dollars to make sure every fry cook at one point in his life knew what a gerund is?

Is there a benefit to educating everybody regardless of actual need? We keep hearing that we’re falling behind the rest of the world in our average math and science scores, but let’s look at some of the countries ahead of us: Finland, Lichtenstein, the Czech Republic. I’m sorry, but did I miss all the huge technological innovations that came out of these countries? China is also ahead of us in test scores, but they haven’t even figured out how not to put lead paint on children’s toys. What exactly are high average test scores worth? If a bank teller can properly identify the parts of a cell, this helps society how? Or do we just think that kids sitting in classrooms throughout childhood makes them better people? Well, Jesus didn’t spend his childhood in a school, but know who did? Hitler.

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