Essay on my views on education, titled "Education" 8/9/17:
I am a strong advocate of reforming the United States education system. Alternately, I believe the inner city public high school system needs a complete overhaul. The education is simply not good enough. I can summarize the problem as being comparable to putting a potentially world class runner on a light jogging routine and charging a fortune to do so.
Apparently $11,000 is spent per student per year on average in the US, NYC is double that, and Utah is less. http://www.governing.com/gov-data/education-data/state-education-spending-per-pupil-data.html Salary, benefits, and school administration make up most of the cost according to governing.com. That gives us some money to play with, and it’s just as much as I want, because I am interested in one thing. . I’m building up to a point here, let me throw another number at you, this time the number is the average public high school teachers salary: $57,000.
Sometimes we are confronted with angry hoards of pitchfork and torch wielding villagers demanding more money for education, as they point to countries like Sweden and decry our own system, what usually happens next is that they burn down the American flag on Facebook live and defect to North Korea..
We have a simple task ahead of us: Better prepare the youth for the world after high school. Make them into better stronger, faster, and happier people. Discipline and self control is a huge factor in this, because they need discipline so we can cram more and more information into them. We have to get the information into them faster, because believe it or not being in the professional world does not consist of just reiterating everything you have learned you are not a parrot. A bigger role in the professional world is actually acting, can you believe it? Also, having a set of healthy habits for learning and focus. I would rather assess your work habits and organization than teach you something, because once you dial in a healthy and comfortable ritual for learning you are going to be way more powerful as a force for dominance and innovation in the school and workplace.
Get the kids there own damn computer that they can use for their schoolwork, already, thats $500 max when you buy in bulk. Thats ONLY 5% OF THE ANNUAL MONEY. Maybe another 5% for electricity usage and WIFI. With the kind of education programs you can administer on the computer you can lessen the education requirements for a lot of the school teachers, and pay them less. It’s good to have a masters degree, but why mandate every teacher has to have one when our education system is still only half as good as Somalia’s?
This is the question, how do we build a cheaper, more effective, more attentive teacher? A teacher that hears everything you say, answers every question you have, pays attention to every little detail about your work and compiles advanced charts on your progress in all subjects, including health metrics like blood sugar, blood pressure, metabolism, fiber consumption, hormone levels, focus and heart rate. What if your teacher could do that?
Here’s the thing: When I was in school I never paid any attention, and I never really did that much homework, to be honest with you. I stared off into space, albeit thinking still, I just had some ADD issues, and I was not so much bored as automatically distracted. The teacher might know that I was distracted, but she didnt have the time to refocus me, she had a whole class she was working with. Also, if I was taking a test, of course I would be focused, because I really wanted to avoid that negative feedback of failing, and also because taking tests can be engaging and fun as well. The focus of test taking should be demanded by schools. How do you test a person's focus while they are listening to your lecture, ensuring that they are at their optimal focus-frontier? I want to know the science behind my lack of focus, how long does it take before I’m distracted? How long am I distracted for? What distracts me? What is my response to being accused of the distraction? What is my retention? Then you can start looking at bulding very complex algorithms intertwining things like diet with focus. Did I focus more when I had sufficient vitamin C? What heart rate? What tempature? What teacher? There is a way, and we are wasting a lot of money on having kids shuffle from class to class skating by, in a day job they can’t really get fired from, and which they cannot understand the value of, being the children they are.
Then there is the acting element of education: Godfather: You can act like a man! Stand up, give me good posture, start the conversation properly, manage the flow of the conversation, enlighten me, tell me something about this, about that. Don’t get nervous, give me an update, how have you addressed the issues we discussed previously? Where are you with your goals? Acting is also important for engaging with the opposite sex for schools. This also can be tested, it is a very powerful skill to manage the stress that comes with talking to a stranger, or a girl talking to boys or vice versa. Also, how are you in the work setting? I see kids having little cubicles or just desks, and working with some independance. Obviously there is some banter in the workplace. Do you fit in? Do you spout off too much? Not follow directions? Are you a bully? These practices are not really dealt with in school but these are things that will affect a student's future success in the workforce.
I’ve said this before, your rituals are instrumental in your success. Let me ask you, have you completed your required community engagement quota? And I hope you completed your nutrition and exercise quota, because now we can fail you for getting fat. Be healthy, we don’t want high saturated fat content in your bloodstream, did you know that kids these days are showing artery streaks that are prequels to heart disease? We are not going to pass you through our school if you're severely obese and at high risk of heart disease. Everyone exept Michelle Obama and me are afraid to address the obesity epidemic in this country, for fear that the torch wielding villagers will come banging down the door. Well not anymore, me and Michelle are teaming up and addressing this calamity for the sake of our children, and our great nation, and for Tinder.
The student has quite a busy schedule, and it is theoretically less expensive than traditional education. Not everyone is blessed with parents that spend hours on their personal development, which is why sharp oversight is necessary for youths with troubled familial backgrounds. I believe mandatory after school programs and summer programs should be introduced if the student cannot display the ability to operate satisfactorily independently. The key is to bait the children into being responsible by tempting them with independence, or threatening restrictions of privileges. Say the top performers in the class have optional school hours, work from home options, and bigger more private desk spaces, as well as ability to make money at the school as well.
I’m going to tell you an important observation that will change the way you look at childhood development and be a huge breakthrough much like the theory of relativity.. When I was a kid, I had all kinds of friends, poor friends, rich friends, smart friends, athletic friends etc. At my house my step dad worked at a juvenile delinquent facility and was a Vietnam vet from the Marines, and there was a lot of discipline all the time, but not so much in the way of personal development, like school training and homework, although I am not pointing fingers for the sake of my breakthrough. I noticed that some of my richer friends had it so rough, they did not seem to have any freedom from their parents, they were always on a tight schedule, and only got to have supervised fun for the most part. These kids graduated into a world of high expectations, and they were delivered there from an upbringing with high expectations, and so they were ready for that world. There was personal attention paid to them, so even if they were not eating ice cream sundays all day long they grew up with a sense of self worth.
Others of my friends had an empty house when they got home, roamed at their own free will outside of school, and never really did anything in terms professional or educational development. They didn't have the consultants that people like Goldman Sachs have to direct their time and resource investments. These kids grew into people who are very jealous of their own little realms, won't take criticism very well, won't get locked into tasks which require discipline, won't challenge themselves, often fall victim to drug and alcohol abuse.
I’m going to make a metaphor. If I smoke 5 packs of cigarettes a day, and you look after me for 6 hours a day to make sure I’m not smoking, when am I going to smoke the 5 packs? As soon as I get home from my 3rd grade class I’m going to chain smoke 5 packs of cigarettes and blow all my money on drunken gambling escapades in Vegas. I’m not going to prepare for the next day, and I will feel bad without any of my homework done as I slowly fall behind my peers, and that is going to combine with my fiscally challenged upbringing to promote an inferiority complex that I’m going to have to make up for by acting tough like I don't care. We owe it to these kids to set them on the right track, and we could probably do that through senior citizen community service programs, among other things.
There is nothing wrong with staring blankly at computer screen, the mind is working, organizing, memorizing, theorizing and watching portions of valuable material. Keep the kids attention, build what I call (after I stole it from the US military) “Full Spectrum Dominance” There is way more of a spectrum to professional preparation than is being addressed currently. And that is my point, I know I didnt cover the inner city school thing but I will, and it is going to include elderly grandmas prowling the streets rounding up class skippers, and quasi military training programs. So stay tuned.