School is coming for children. School is coming in the late summer of 2023. Most school families will choose the local public school. These public school families anticipate the familiar yellow bus parade in front of neighborhood schools every morning and afternoon. Don’t ask why there is summer vacation or why it must end. The school year comes every year in a mystery gift bag, a mystery like Daylight Savings Time, Income Tax Filing, jury duty, or Selective Service. Don’t bother to ask why.
It simply is.
by Robert Schwarz in unsplash
School is part of the great cycle of life in America. Schooling is a government requirement for children. Families with children have some options, but skipping schooling is not one. Government school, private school, and in some places home school is a choice, but it is not optional. The family can choose an allowable option, comply with the associated local rules, or face the consequences.
Schooling has four components in most places in the United States. The public school family gets them in the state mandated proportions, table d’hôte. The private school family gets them in a package adjusted to what extra freedoms can be paid for. The home school gets them à la carte. Everybody in the United States gets the package:
Education is the structure of the school day, the school year, and the sixteen or eighteen years that education will continue. Education is the socialization of students around specific ideas to make them into better, more productive members of society. The student learns how to interact appropriately with others. Adult strangers in authority provide direction in the lessons while the children uniformly respond to that leadership. The group participates in projects and often breaks into small teams. As the years of education progress, the children learn to respond to peer influence. They learn to recognize permitted speech and they learn how to speak it.
Learning is the substance most parents expect from school. Learning the basics of reading, writing, mathematics, the skills of logic, reasoning, the physical benefits of athletics, the details of life, history, learning to create art, and mastering public speaking, all the skills needed to succeed in life. Learning is what what most parents expect. Education is what parents get. Most parents may not realize how little learning comes with the education. Public schools proclaim learning and deliver education. They keep it on the Q-T. Parents should know better. Most parents were publicly educated with disappointing results. They accept educational socialization and don’t think too much about learning. It is the cycle of life.
Certification is the stick carried by the state to make families choke down education and settle for a minimum of learning. It doesn’t matter if the child can read well as long as the High School Diploma is awarded. Government schools have a charter, that is, a license from the state to issue certification in the form of degrees. The stick is very real. For those who fail, there is jail. Somewhere between the the diploma and the prison system is Equivalency Testing. This alternative path proceeds through GED testing and into certification. Educators don’t prefer it, but it works. Equivalency is usually the path for home schools. The GED is still a government certification, but it will do for most post-education experiences. The threat of “putting something on your permanent record” ends with college or the first job. Nobody cares about your high school transcripts after your first college admissions officer or first HR professional at a company. Nevertheless, don’t underestimate the power of controlling this one step from education to adulthood. Certification is very important to the state because it puts the individual in a predictable role for life. Prep school graduates go to the Ivy League. Public school graduates go to the state universities and into middle management. High school graduates get a job. GED holders usually get into state college, community college, or trade school. That has been the plan, to train leaders, workers, consumers, or make chaff for the police and social workers to keep them employed. Home school pupils like Tim Tebow tattered the plan a little, but for most families, the terminal certification should be as important as the education.
Compulsion. Like taxes and Daylight Savings Time, the family has no choice with compulsory education. Public, private, or home, the state compels families into education of the young. No matter what your child learns, your family must prove some active, approved education for children under 16. What is certified in the end is that the student has complied with the requirements of the state’s compulsory education, not knowledge.
by Georgy Trofimov in unsplash
Why does the State compel families to educate children within specific guidelines? For a specific period of time? With similar or identical materials? Why does the state certify educators at every level? The state wants educators to train the individual behaviors. Behavior matters more than knowledge or skills. Over time the student becomes socially compliant and politically correct, performs within the stated guidelines, conforms to the rules, and finishes the program. The educators know that it does not matter what is thought, only what is done, behavior, compliance. The educators and the state both want good democratic citizens.
The state’s vision of a democratic society requires a combination of manufactured public consent and education. Children learn what is acceptable and what is not. Graduates should be able to read, but it is better to read material needed for a job, social media posts, and graphic novels, rather than the Classics, Roman and Greek writers, or the Bible, the Torah, or the Koran. The state’s secular curriculum creates pressure on those families who want more control over what their kids are exposed to. Private schools were the traditional pressure gauge for traditional American groups who had needs beyond public education. Affluent families wanted a curriculum to make leaders. Jewish Day Schools served the needs of Orthodox Jews without forcing them into the more secular public schools. Parochial schools tended the flock, but private schools are not free and the family still has to pay public school taxes. Private school is not an option for every family. Home school is a more recent option for families of more modest means who want out of the government schools. Even homeschool is difficult because it usually requires a parent to teach the children, usually resulting in a single-income family. Private and home schools pose a high hurdle, but are still acceptable. If home or private schools created significant challenges to democracy, the state would compel their end.
H. U. Phu in unsplash
The state owns your children. By law. “It takes a village” is not a secret.
School is Coming in 2023. This is a new opportunity. 2020 revealed a troubling majority of adults tumbled over one another to support authoritarians who took away fundamental human rights from millions of people. Americans never saw themselves as those people before. The state trained their compliance. As Americans reevaluate their relationship to authoritarianism, the country is at a crossroad. Parents must decide as school comes back whether they want their children to be in the next generation of compliant citizens, or if this is the time to return them to a society where more freedom, increased rationality, and renewed traditional social values are encouraged. Where resistance to tyranny is an American value. Where freedom is the American way. People are choosing to pay any price and step back from authoritarianism. To step away from from the state;s democratic education. Many more will in 2023.
Should the child go immediately to the yellow bus this summer? Maybe an alternative program like The Ron Paul Home School Curriculum or one of the thousands of other home school programs is the better choice. No homeschool program is required to miss the yellow bus. You can cook your own almost for free using the Internet. You don’t have to go to the yellow bus. The state still allows home school in 2023. This is as close to freedom of choice as the family will get in the public school cycle. You need only register and declare.
by Mark Jones in unsplash
Finally, if unschooling were not illegal everywhere on Earth, that would be the logical recommendation here. It isn’t. Why resist the fundamental compulsion of the state when homeschool is so easy? You can unschool under the cover of a home school. Think about it. Anything you do now is better than sentencing your children to another year at the same progressive government school, filled with ideological teachers, free from learning. Ending compulsory education, Daylight Savings, Income Tax, and the rest of the mystery gift package are battles for the future. Today, teach your children outside the village.
“I’ll tell you what I’ll do (what will you do?) I’d like to go there now with you You can miss out school (won’t that be cool?) why go to learn the words of fools?” – Small Faces (1967)
1967! Why didn’t the Boomers do better?