Posted in Education

American Beauty: Cogs in the Machine

“The biggest atrocity of all is to indoctrinate our children into a system that does not value their creative expression, nor encourage their unique abilities.” America has a problem. It’s a bigger problem than racism, pollution, and corporate greed. This problem costs more than military spending and the “War on Drugs”.
American children are dumb. The percentage of American kids reading at an above average level, has dropped. Math proficiency in American schools has decreased too. It was already behind the other industrial powers when I was in school. The U.S. Government has spent billions of dollars bombing the Middle East since 2003, but most American students can’t find Iraq on a map. Every time I turn on the TV, I hear politicians and celebrities, extol America’s greatness. How can this country be so great, if its youngest citizens are abused, and improperly educated?

America’s students are behind other industrial nations because there is a ‘prison” culture in the educational system. The Columbine shootings started a “zero tolerance” culture, but that’s a misnomer. Students can go to jail for any minor indiscretion. If a boy kisses a girl, he’s arrested. If someone is bullied, and they defend themselves, they’re arrested. These offenses appear egregious at first, but they don’t warrant incarceration. Poverty is criminalized in public schools. Poor students are treated coldly by their teachers and peers. They’re often suspended because their teacher can’t relate to them. Minority students, especially black students, are given less chances by teachers, because of racism or cultural bias. Black male students are treated like adults. Most teachers are white feminists. They view Black boys as representatives of “toxic masculine” culture. Black girls are seen as defiant by their teachers. Latino students are treated unfairly due to language barriers and racism. Muslim students are harassed because of religious intolerance and racism. Once a student believes theyre being targeted, they misbehave more frequently. This starts the “school to prison” pipeline cycle.

Bullying isn’t helping students either. There two main types of bullying occurring in  classrooms today. The first type is bullying from other students.  Students not  only deal with physical intimidation, they now have to deal with cyber bullying.  The youngest Millenials are experts at destroying lives on the internet. School officials and parents  can’t keep up with their children on the internet. Smart phones have taken cyber bullying to another level. Peer pressure is no longer a secretive thing, it’s school culture now. Social media has made being “famous”, the goal of all young americans. What happens to the kids who can’t afford an expensive lifestyle or don’t want to conform?  Non-conformist kids used to fight their bullies, when I was a kid. Now, they can only complain to a teacher or therapist. Students shouldnt fight in school. However, if they do fight, suspend them, don’t call the police. School shootings and teen suicide are rising, because young americans feel  hopeless. The other form of bullying is from teachers. America is very political and paranoid these days; so teachers are naturally going to reflect that.   Brilliant Muslim students are treated like terrorists. Black students can’t wear natural hairstyles, without teachers harassing them.There’s a racial divide in this country, and our teachers are fueling it.

Corporate culture has ruined the educational system. Teachers have to follow the school curriculum or face termination. Students suffer because their education is no longer adapted to their interests. School administrators are pushing teachers to only focus on standardized testing. The administrators justify this behavior by arguing that schools with high-test scores get more funding. This may be true, but that behavior is short-sighted. Today’s students need to learn how to be creative, resourceful, and adaptable to different cultures. Standardized testing can’t teach them that. Unconventional thinking is prohibited in the educational system. Students are taught to think like drones. If a student questions the teacher, they’re punished. Introverted students are punished for avoiding group projects and group discussions; even if they’re excellent students. Public schools don’t  want unconventional thinkers. They need more slaves to waste their life chasing the non-existent “corporate ladder”.

This is an election year. The two choices offered to America, are polarizing and unpopular. Both political parties have divided the nation. Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie’s divorce, is a more popular story than the Alabama pipeline spill. There are more Americans who know where Amy Schumer’s lives, than where Aleppo is on a map. Colleges are being pressured to treat students like kindergarteners. Perhaps today’s society would function better, if Gen Xers and millenials were educated like humans, not cogs in a machine.

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Author:

I'm a young man trying to live freely.

54 thoughts on “American Beauty: Cogs in the Machine

  1. Excellent post. Loved reading every line of it. Got me really thinking and I sort of share some of your views about encouraging unconventional thinking in schools. The school system is so strict and inflexible that students are now adapting to forge a good result of become experts at cheating…. Kudos for the internet… A very good read. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much. The state of education and the school to prison pipeline have been on my mind a lot.

      I blame my teenage brother. Somewhere in his brain is the brilliance that my mom gave to all of her kids. But because of laziness, indifference, poor teaching, and his age group; he comes across as mediocre. It annoys me to no end.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are not alone in this…. You were right when you said that the school was bringing more people to chase the nonexistent corporate ladder, people are not driven to try new things that could leave their world better than they met it and they are not encouraged to try new experiments and the schools spoon feed the student and most times the schools don’t monitor the progress of a student. They just conduct examination and this is sad because sometimes passing an examination doesn’t guarantee you a great life… It just guarantees you a great certificate. The people who break all records were those who were able to think outside the box and act on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amen. I think youve used all of my talking points. lol

        Youre absolutely right. Cheaters and followers are pushed to the top. Free spirits, bright minds, and innovators have their ideas stolen and then are forced to conform or be broke.

        The main reason is control. The one percent cant maintain their control of this country or world, if they allow unconventional people to flourish.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You are not alone in this…. You were right when you said that the school was bringing more people to chase the nonexistent corporate ladder, people are not driven to try new things that could leave their world better than they met it and they are not encouraged to try new experiments and the schools spoon feed the student and most times the schools don’t monitor the progress of a student. They just conduct examination and this is sad because sometimes passing an examination doesn’t guarantee you a great life… It just guarantees you a great certificate. The people who break all records were those who were able to think outside the box and act on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome Vinny. I find it sad, that the push seems to be towards mediocrity, rather than individuality. I believe you used the word, “drone”. Education has become much like any bureaucracy. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, its sad and frustrating. I was always sent to the office, for day dreaming, questioning my grades, and laughing.

        The workplace has become just like this. Even tech companies and other unconventional spaces are like this or worse.

        I

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think there needs to be a revamping of our entire social structure, sorry to say, the lackadaisical attitudes seems to be everywhere. I think if we look at our history here in the US, we would need to re-evaluate the implications of The Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960’s and go from there. (I believe that this movement is often overlooked, as to the outcome it has had on the structure of society and its norms.)

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Your final paragraph is a spot-on summation. Bravo, and for tackling this discussion. It’s galling, sad, and overwhelming to think of the pervasive superficiality vs. how deep the problems have gotten. I guess we take our creativity and resourcefulness (to borrow your terms) to do our best in our own corners of the world… and hope that millions of others do the same in theirs…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your observation and commentary here, is very sharp.

      I really hoped that my last paragraph wasnt rambling, and that its message made sense.

      What I was trying to say is, America steals and tramples on, its most creative and vulnerable populations.

      The youth, the poor, minorities, free spirits, introverts, etc.

      Thanks for the praise.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Our country is going down the tubes and fast. These problems are so complex! I really believe that people are so busy doing other things that our families are degraded. It started when women went into the workforce…oh yes, so we could make more MONEY. And then companies made more MONEY. So much for staying at home creating a good environment for children and paying attention to what they do. The homework kids are given is so ridiculous. We never had homework at this level yet we were smarter and more well-rounded. We are all so busy pointing fingers at each other and blaming that it’s like a tornado of negativity sweeping across the country. I’m rambling. To me, it seems the bar is so much lower. I don’t know the answers to any of this but thanks for listening and sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Everything you just wrote, is right on the money.

      I wrote a blog post about feminism, and how it ruined society. I agree on all fronts. The sad thing is, Im only 28, and the world is vastly different from when I was a kid. That wasnt that long ago.lol

      I feel like if we paid more attention to our youngest relatives and children, the country would be better by default.

      All I know is, the gen xers, and my group, the millenials, have been led down the tubes..

      Thanks for the brilliant response.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent post. It’s convenient to have a nation lacking critical thinking and no desire for knowledge. I can see it happening in many places. Something is happening to our priorities. We’re getting them wrong. We’re living in times where young people look up to Kardashians.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You indeed fingered most of what is wrong in our educational system. But I would add, lack of funding, lack of emphasis on education, and school schedules that are not conducive to family life or to learning to your list.
    I have many friends who have dedicated their lives to the teaching profession. They are ALL broken-hearted about what has become of their jobs. Teaching to the test and administrative busy work and class size are high on their targets of anger. But so is lack of funding. A friend with over 30 years of teaching 1st graders had to go on strike weeks ago. She did not do this for herself, as she will be retiring soon. She did this for those who will follow her…or not, because there’s no point in going into teaching if you will have to get food stamps to feed your family. She loves and nurtures her first graders as if they were her own grandchildren. I realize not all teachers are as dedicated, but what is it that erodes their dedication? I would guess, unmanageable class size coupled with all sorts of special needs students, and having to supply the classroom with the basics that used to be considered part of going to school.
    Also, I believe the US requires fewer classroom days than any other industrialized country. Germany uses a quarter system with 2 week breaks between quarters. This gives parents and kids the opportunity to actually do something together during the breaks, rather than parents farming their kids out to a variety of camps and summer school activities to keep them busy during the long summer break. Also, kids don’t lose as much ground in 2 weeks as they lose in 2 or 3 months.
    Schools often start way earlier than most kids are able to be awake and functioning. Then classes are out long before parents get home. We have problems on both ends of the day.
    I’m glad you’re raising these social issues. They are dreadfully important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. Youve covered everything that I left out.

      Im sad to hear that your friends aren’t able to enjoy teaching anymore because of budget costs and bureaacratic non-sense.

      My cousins’ wife is a teacher and Im sure she has the same problems as your friends.

      Thanks for reading my blog. Its greatly appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow Vinny you touched on so many powerful topics here that it is hard for me to focus on one without writing a new blog post! LOL!
    Suffice it to say that you are right on the mark. You and I have already chatted a bit about education and children. Both my son and daughter went to Montessori school. I was looking for something TOTALLY different. I wanted my children to be free thinkers. Outside of homeschooling , Montessori was the best option.
    My decision to opt for Montessori schools came when I was working on my Master’s degree in Education (My BS is in Political Science). At that time, I was a single young black mother with a 3 year old black son and there was no way in hell I was going to give your average public or private school my black son so they could turn him into a drone that would be misunderstood, mislabeled and prepared for prison(I peeped the game years ago my love)! NOPE! So I started researching and decided to do something totally different.
    I know there are people who would say, “But it’s too expensive!” Well here’s the thing, I’d much rather cut waaaaay back on my expenses so that I could invest my money into my children rather than wasting it on an expensive house and a bunch of jewelry, clothes and cars.
    My son is finishing his last year at a major University and my daughter is in her 5th year.
    If you want to read more on why I chose Montessori let me know and I’ll send you the link.
    EXCELLENT POST!
    PS. Looks like I ended up writing another post anyway! My bad 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Slow clap to you! You have the mindset that my mom had with me and my siblings. I was in private schools, public schools and i had a tutor.

      Ive attended some of the best public schools in my area as well. My point is, my mom had the same mindset as you.

      Shed only move to areas wiith top schools. She didnt want her children to be drones, brainless or in jail.

      I have no children, so you don’t have to send me the link, but I appreciate the help.

      Congrats to you and your kids. Im happy to hear when children, especially black children, beat the odds.

      Youre completely right. Its better to invest in your children, than spend it on trivial things. The child will more likely to be successful, and kick that money back to you in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I knew your mom was the bomb!
        I could tell by looking at her product! Kudos to her because she did a magnificent job with you Vinny. Kudos to you for being an obedient and wise son!
        The apple don’t fall from the tree!
        Keep telling the truth brah!
        YAAASSS!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Great piece! I agree with you: the American people have been dumbed down, especially the children. The purpose of school is not to raise a generation of critical thinkers who can change the world – it is to raise a generation of people who are just smart enough to do the paperwork and accept the lower wages. Schools are about training children, not educating them. In the inner cities especially, the classroom has become an indoctrination center where kids are sent to be robbed of their dreams. On the very first day of school in kindergarten, kids are taught to stand in a line; then they are taught to color inside the lines; then they are taught to regurgitate their lines via the Pledge of Allegiance (blind patriotism).

    All of this works to the advantage of those in power. Our culture is now about sensationalism : gizmos and bright lights, not critical thinking. I see it in my newsfeed: while the presidential debate is on, people are posting selfies and stuff about the Kardashians. Smh.

    Great work man!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You slaughtered this too. You completed the rest of my argument here,with the parts that I didnt include. I didnt want this mini-article to be 1500 words.lol

      I stopped actively participating in social media, and being friends with certain people; for that same reason.

      Thank you for the positive feedback and for following me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol – I feel you. I had to cut down on my social media usage because the lack of intellect on there is serious. That is why I created a blog, in part … to find a new communit of like-minded people. Glad I found your blog! I look forward to reading more of your work!

        Liked by 1 person

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