The Failure of Public Education Essay

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As John Taylor Gatto explains in Against School, the American public education system has failed its students. Our education system is based off the Prussian system of the early 1800s. Their education system was designed to yield submissive, manageable, and average citizens. My personal experiences with public education range from mediocre to miserable. I attended public school for twelve years, and I do not remember any inspiring, influential or memorable moments. I do however remember quite a few unpleasant ones. As Gatto stated in Against School “...a considerable number of well-known Americans never went through the twelve-year wringer our kids currently go through, and they turned out all right.” Many influential Americans such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln never attended a secondary school. Modern compulsory schooling has repeatedly failed to properly educate me both academically and psychologically. The main reason public education has failed is motivation. Not once has any teacher motivated me to become my personal best. Since elementary school I was always ahead in my classes. Because of the size of my school, there is only one section of honors courses. These courses offer more comprehensive and fast paced learning than normal. In eighth grade, your teachers either recommend you for honors classes or you are excluded from them for the next four years. I was excluded. Although I believed that I was able to perform in an honors course, my teacher did not. So I entered high school in all regular classes. I immediately became entrenched in a world of boredom. All the classes were easy, I had straight A’s, but I was not motivated to learn. This event showed me that faculty members are not interested in the academic interests of their students, but following the system. At the time I did not realize that I was just part of a system, I thought that

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