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Maybe it’s Time to Make Some Hard Choices About Education

Have you seen this?!

Yesterday I came across a post on Facebook that listed out all the “precautions” that the CDC is recommending schools implement before reopening. I’m not going to lie… I assumed that it was exaggerated, or that someone had taken some liberties with it or maybe just had bad information to base it on, so I started poking around on the CDC website in the hopes of finding some source info. And yeah—it’s actually this bad. This is an accurate (albeit simplified) representation of what the CDC thinks should be done in order for schools to reopen this fall.

Apparently in the last couple of days, the CDC quietly published a whole lot of information detailing their vision for a phased reopening of the United States. The document is about sixty pages long, with the information about schools beginning on page forty. It’s worth taking the time to read and share.

My first thought was that this sounds exactly like a prison.

I’ve joked before that schools remind me of prisons because of my own experience with public school, and of course because schools are often concrete monstrosities with few windows, and long corridors with people walking quietly in single file lines while being closely supervised by the few in “power.” But these new recommendations would make public schools exactly like prisons.

The CDC is essentially recommending that schools do away with every single thing that could have been considered a somewhat positive aspect of public education—and replace them with isolation, fear, and a conditioning to accept total authoritarian control of absolutely every aspect of life.

No more playgrounds.

No more field trips.

No more sitting at the lunch table with friends trading snacks.

No more hugs. No more touch.

Just sitting in isolation, totally void of human contact, being made to fear germs and the touch of others, for several hours a day. Scratch what I said before—this is worse than prison.

I talk often about the problems with the public education system. The Tuttle Twins and the Education Vacation is based on John Taylor Gatto’s work and goes into a good bit of detail about the reason the model our education system was based on was even created to begin with (hint: it had everything to do with teaching children to be loyal servants to government and nothing to do with creating critical thinkers and entrepreneurs).

It’s not a secret that I’m a big advocate of homeschool and other alternative education options that remove children from a system foundationally based on creating cogs in a machine, but I have to believe that this latest stunt by the CDC is going to force a lot of parents to seriously reconsider how much more they are willing to take.

Just like the passage of Common Core led to an increase in homeschooling, the CDC’s list might prompt more parents to take the jump and never look back.

Every place I’ve seen this information posted, I have read through the comments to get a feel for the way parents are responding. A ton of people are responding with initial disbelief—saying that surely this isn’t accurate—only to come back after reading the CDC document to comment that they are simply going to have to find a way to homeschool because they can’t allow their children to be subject to this type of environment. Pretty much every comment I’ve seen has been from parents saying that they won’t participate in this. That’s really encouraging.

I’ve wondered a lot over the last few weeks of this national forced “homeschooling” experiment how many parents would choose to keep their kids out of government school once everything opened up again. I think that in light of this new information, a lot of people who were on the fence about what educating their kids was going to look like after everything goes back to “normal” are going to see this as the final nudge that pushes them away from trusting the public education system and into finding an alternative path that meets the needs of their family.

Maybe that’s the silver lining in all of this madness. Maybe people will finally decide to trust their own instincts when it comes to what their children need in order to learn and thrive—to stop putting their trust in the government and start putting it in themselves.

Here’s hoping.

— Connor

 

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Textbooks don't teach this; schools don't mention it.

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