Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Quote of the Week

With all of the ridiculous legislation that education is facing in the United States, I cannot foresee this country turning out many more great thinkers.  If we do, they will be privately educated where those institutions have the ability to truly challenge students' thinking.

The aim of public education is not to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. ... Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim ... is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States... and that is its aim everywhere else.
 -H.L. Mencken
This actually makes me think of an anecdote from a teacher.  When one of her students failed to complete his homework consistently, she phoned the child's mother.  She explained the situation that this young pupil was failing to complete assignments and she was seeking the mother's help in getting the work finished.  The mother in turn called the principal to complain that the teacher was harassing her and that her child did not have to do homework if he did not want to!

When the teacher had the student in class again, the student remarked that he wasn't doing the homework but he knew she would pass anyway.  Why?  He brought up that the teacher will not get a raise unless her students pass the class (welcome to Indiana!).  Her response?  "I don't care, I'm leaving after this year."