Re: the right to pursue excellence

Deborah Bartle (
Fri, 02 May 1997 07:26:10 -0700

> On Thu, 1 May 1997, Deborah Bartle wrote:
> > Real education is not a very expensive venture. Real knowledge can be
> > obtained quite cheaply.

> Charles relies:
> `Real knowledge' about what? Some kinds of knowledge are neither cheap
> nor easy nor quickly attained.
Real knowledge. The kind that isn't memorized to make someone else
think they are learning. Like, learning for a 'test' in childhood.

I worry myself all the time about not 'doing' enough for my kids, but
they're perfectly happy without expensive gizmos & gadgets. Other than
the cost of having their mother home with them, the cost of their learning
from babyhood to age 11 has been insignificant (not considering my lost
income). Children don't need all the fancy stuff that we think they do.
Less is more.

> This is true. Illiteracy rates have never again been as high as they were
> prior to forced schooling. This means the exact opposite of what you
> thought it meant, but it is quite true.
Ooops! Thank you.

> There is much to be said against compulsory schooling in its present form.
> But in every nation where it has been introduced, it has dramatically
> enhanced the literacy rate.
Not in America, according to John Taylor Gatto in "Dumbing Us Down".
(I hope that is a correct reference)

It is also very evident to me, by observing my boys, that the current
'method of schooling' ie, age seperations, classroom assignment, etc.
would have been very demeaning to their spirit. They no doubt would have
experienced 'behavior problems' along the way, according to some expert.
But, of course, I could have drugged them into submission, since that is
an a acceptable recourse today. (sorry, I got carried away) ;-)