Sunday, August 01, 2010

Best Speech Eva!

I realize I am a little late in sharing this, as I hear it is all over facebook and such already, but some friends here had not heard about it, so here ya go!

http://americaviaerica.blogspot.com/2010/07/coxsackie-athens-valedictorian-speech.html

Here is a taste :

I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told
to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great
artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While
others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading
about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were
creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I
never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned
it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I
be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my
life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I
excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning.

And, quoting John Taylor Gatto, she wrote:
H. L. Mencken wrote in The American Mercury for April 1924 that 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."

I have just finished reading John Talyor Gatto's newest book, Weapons of Mass Instruction, and have all things school-y on my mind. My question to those whose kids go to school is do you even know what you are doing? There is probably nothing I have spent as much time researching and thinking about as how to educate my kids. I knew nothing of what was in this book when I decided to keep them out of school. Now that I do know, all I can say is thank heavens I did! Anything to save them from the type of experience that young woman spoke of in her speech. At least she woke up and now knows what happened to her.

Oh, and if you think college is any better, check this out:

http://www.academicevolution.com/2009/01/dear-students.html

Oh, oh, and here is a blog post by an unschooling mom who had a chance to have a conversation with Erica. She links to the audio on the blog:

http://kelly.halldorson.com/blog/?p=1454

So cool!

2 comments:

loveroferic said...

my son just started first grade..i worry about what they are teaching him..if they are trying to create a robot out of my child. Is it hard to home school? I worry I am not smart enough myself to teach him. Can my son be successful in the system without playing into the system? perhaps I am missing your point?

Miranda said...

Hi! Thanks for commenting. It is not hard to homeschool, even easier to unschool. You can handle a first grade curriculum, no problem. You do not have to be the only source of education for your son. The whole world is his classroom, if you get him out of the usual one and let him live and learn in freedom. I do not think it possible to be in the system and not be effected by it, especially at such a young age. I am glad my kids did not want to go to school up till now, and if they did now or in the future I feel they are strong enough to resist. Anyway, I don't even know you and I can tell you you are smart enough to homeschool! Don't let fear stand in your way. You can't do any worse than public school! Good luck!