education for elites

Grading and testing is a system of ensuring that we manufacture an elite, that we make ways of sifting out some from others, of refining the human capital required by law to attend and be processed.  It may have been a system with a different feel in the context of the times it originated in, it may have been a system that was far less pernicious when the physical infrastructure of schools was new in the 20th century US, but it is a system with fundamental design flaws that are hurting us now.

That there would be tests or requirements for vocations may be necessary.  But that we should use testing and grading on our children, from the youngest ages forward, on children who are forced to attend and pay for the privilege of being told they are less somehow, well, it is an approach that many sciences in the 20th century have proven to be harmful and more importantly, unnecessary.

Our factories are trying to refine and process our human capital by winnowing out a small, less nutritious kernal.  The process isn't healthy and it wastes the valuable resource of human gifts and talents.  This factory approach is unsustainable and backward: new tools like the Internet and newer sciences like psychology provide what will be the way forward.

We may not know how to fully support every intelligence and gift that children bring to schools but we must stop practices that are harmful. We could run schools as a voluntary social service and let children and families be truly involved in the process.

Until we have this basic change in core mission: from a factory in charge of manufacturing children by pouring education into kids heads, to a voluntary social service providing families and communities with the broadest selection of learning services available, well, until that day, we have education for elites only.
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