[FoRK] The rise of the stupid?

Ken Meltsner meltsner at gmail.com
Sun Feb 27 19:28:59 PST 2005

On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 16:50:13 -0500, zuzu <sean.zuzu at gmail.com> wrote:
> just want to throw this out there:
> http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/
> particularly the online book 'underground history to american education':
> http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/index.htm

I'm not sure about this guy.  I mean, American public education has
strong Taylorist roots and other questionable ancestors, but he seems
to be a more than a little off his rocker.

As a contrast to the overwhelming mediocrity of most US public
schools, my son and I attended a dinner organized by the Fathers' Club
of Marquette University High School.  Bill will be attending MUHS next
year -- an unexpected choice given that we're a mostly non-observant
Jewish family -- because the school's focus is on "reaching your
potential" while serving the community.

It surprised us that Jesuit views were so much in accord with ours,
but that's apparently the way it is.  In contrast, another local
private school (secular) pushes a flavor of elbows-out capitalism that
I'm not comfortable with, and sadly, the highly-rated public high
school nearby is filled with students and teachers who seem too
willing to achieve less than they are capable of -- being the best is
OK if it isn't too much trouble....

I'm both glad that my son could find the right school (for him), and
sad that even a top public school doesn't offer what he needs. 
Twenty-five years ago, I graduated from an excellent public high
school that somehow gave me an education as good as nearly any school,
public or private, in the U.S.   Everyone told us that the local high
school was one of the best around, but there was simply too large a
gap between it and MUHS.

Is this true elsewhere?  I remember certain schools, like Alhambra HS
or New Trier East, that sent students to the National Talent Search or
the National Forensics League championships every year -- do public
high schools like still exist?


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