I ran across this quote while reading Revolutionary Wealth by Alvin and Heidi Toffler. The authors are known for their thoughtful evaluation of big cultural trends. Of all the cultural factors they evaluated (business, family, government, etc…), the American school system was the second slowest in being able to adapt to all the changes that we are facing. What does this mean for our children, the future of our society?
“Is it possible it costs $400 billion to maintain this broken heap? The answer is yes, every year. The American school system.
Designed for mass production, operated like factories, managed bureaucratically, protected by powerful trade unions and politicians dependent on teachers’ votes, American’s schools are perfect reflections of the early twentieth-century economy. The best that can be said of them is that they are no worse than schools in most other advanced countries.
While businesses are driven to change by high-speed competition, public-school systems are protected monopolies. Parents, innovative teachers and the media clamour for change. Yet, despite a growing number of educational experiments, the core of U.S. public education remains the factory-style school designed for the industrial age.
Can a ten-mile-per-hour education system prepare students for jobs in companies moving at a hundred miles per hour?”
That also raised an interesting question in my mind (and one of the main reason I am homeschooling) = what is the stated purpose for public education? Are we truly trying to prepare children for future work? Or to be well-rounded individuals? These questions are always have before me as I consider what my children are presently needing.