School boards are always dealing with maintenance issues—essential to maintaining and expanding the status quo; teaching to retain the present structures, as though those, if done right, could serve us all, evidence to the contrary ... extensive evidence to the contrary.
My campaign is the effort to make available a forum to explore, develop and experiment with ways to use education for transformation, not reproduction of society.
The present social structure is, as we know, deleterious to life, to Earth.
School feeds into that. School cannot correct racism, financial stratification, alienation—disinterest because of the disconnect between society and school. School is a plastic institution, like the excesses of colorful toys, designed to divert real interest, the desire to participate as just a member of society—to work, to study, to play, relax, by young people. Capitalism does not allow the available labor force just to do our work. It separates us using whatever mechanisms become the totems for that segregation. Now it’s by age.
You remember when it was by race.
It’s also by income. While people of different financial means go to the same schools, their experiences differ widely. There is no correction possible for that within the framework of the schools.
In fact, the stratification increases throughout the years of schooling. In high school one’s road is pretty clearly mapped, from drop-out to post graduate degree.
Today, though, the evidence of the place of schooling has become clearer; even doctoral degrees no longer guarantee people of any job, let alone a ‘good’ job.
There is no available structure within the civic bodies that enable recognition that no adjustment, no reform, no amount of increased funding, no extension of union rights, no increase of ‘educational facilities’ are going to change school from an uncomfortable—often hated, enforced requirement.
I propose forming the forum for that discussion within the framework of the conventional body, the school board.
Drawing on the resources of the community, we could expand the advances already being tried and done in the schools, to engage us all to change how study, learning, teaching are done. It’s necessary to counter State and Federal regulations about how public education is to be conducted, so we can examine alternatives instead of trying to abide kindly by the impossible regulations. Such reformation could take until “the revolution.” So could the objective of letting us utilize the truth that we are all teachers and students, we learn and exchange information and ideas all our lives; that the alienation of “being” one’s “job” is offensive and needs addressing, again, to let us bring ourselves toward comfortable relationships with our communities, and with ourselves.
But we need some forum for these discussions, in addition to the continual maintenance efforts. I want to make that space.
Age segregation is a basic pain; leaving our children daily is not a pleasant sensation. It’s wrenching. But if they and all of us mingled in a natural flow wherein we’d do our chores, our food and health care provisions, our building or removing structures as necessary, our meeting and discussing, our working things out in the community, providing us our needs and pleasures, the ages could mix according to interest. Skills would grow as we’d encourage interest by everyone to do what needs to be done to provide for our pleasure, including our needs.
Separating work from play, relaxation from daily activity is a false division. Those intermingle, as should we, with each other. Interest to learn skills—to read, to engineer buildings and water-ways happens because we need those, we want those. We deny such natural developments to us, categorizing them to be done by a few, pretending that only specialized work can be done by properly trained people. But there’s a lot more room for more people, less experienced, to become capable, and to contribute to the process because of their own concern to contribute over one and another project.
School is a series of redundancies, excesses here and voids there. Learning to read can happen virtually overnight. Just being with readers creates readers.
Now comes the argument, well, we don’t all live among skilled, capable, literate people. Yes, that’s the point; it’s why we should mingle—to share our skills. School has become a remediation for dysfunction. The home, the society don’t work. So school is to fix that. Well, while school IS a refuge for people who are besieged elsewhere it is also overly limited in what it can offer. The attacks on homes and families are economic, as you know. Capitalism creates the material deprivations and the resultant human aberrations with which we live; anger, confusion, chaos, street crime, even the automobile accidents—results of loss of self-preservation and inability to care gently for neighbors….
School cannot fix that—unless of course we’re able to use it to teach for the revolution—which’d be great!! That kind of approach can become like church!! ... hopeful!! … delightful in its planning for that new world—that world of economic justice, eradication of profit, of competition for profit. Now, however, school is only able to funnel people into the places already laid out for them, from fitting in to this abusive world, whether joining or working to oppose it, to functioning marginally in it—low paid, irregularly employed, and the consequences of such insecurity; to armed opposition—murder, etc.
The gamut of life as we know it is reflected in the schools. We want to use that to change life so that it can be lived pleasantly, for ALL of us, securely, unto our children’s children, in gentle care of Earth. The constant reproduction of the status quo only undergirds continuation of the system as it stands. I’d like to afford us, the framework for the opportunity to carry forward a struggle for our benefit. It needs the funding of such as measure A, so we can meet and talk and try the efforts necessary, to see what works, to revise what doesn’t, and to enjoy ourselves while we try.