Perhaps the most important is the health of your family and community. It is no coincidence that the annual flu season directly overlaps the school year, even beginning earlier when the schools extend their year by cutting short the summer recess. It is now commonly accepted that the transmission of various viral maladies is largely the result of crowded classrooms and general lack of personal sanitation on the part of the grubby little darlings in kindergarten to the sexual experimentation of high school. The students, having picked up whichever flu is current, return home, bringing it to their parents and siblings, who in turn carry the bug to work with them, infecting the workforce and creating the epidemic spread that characterizes each fall’s national health alert and its attendant surge in sales of patented medical potions. These vectors for transmission of disease in childhood are well known, but few scientists or school administrators are willing to recognize the problem, much less face the obvious conclusions to be drawn from those facts.
If epidemiologists ruled the world, school would be closed post haste as a public health hazard. The ensuing result would demand a redefinition of education as a social responsibility for each family to perform as they see fit. The great leap forward in information technology and the world-linked communication system make the study of any subject simply a choice of programs, from languages and science, to video studies of other cultures and species in their native context.
Of course, parents, who currently use school as their child care while working, will have to find some solution to the supervision of their progeny, or else re-define work and parenting as co-related activities, at least through the infant years. Perhaps we could establish a stipend for home-schooling parents from the moneys being spent per capita on student-inmates under the present system.
The social health of our society is also not well served by the schools as presently performed. The social stratification and group identity problems of the final five years of mandated incarceration are legion, from fashion fascists and jock dominance to the isolation of the studious as nerds and dweebs, thus diminishing intellectual pursuits in general in the eyes of their peers. Add in the drug distribution at schools and the binge drinking social milieu and the impact of our obsolete educational gulags becomes readily apparent.
The institutions of America, from health care, transportation, energy and education, are no longer functional for the general welfare and need to be totally re-designed for a future that will not forgive failure.
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. "The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views.