I believe that every single subject taught in high school is a mistake.
. . .
Here are most of the subjects you take in high school, listed one by one, with an explanation about why there is no point in taking them.You can click through to read his reviews of high school Chemistry, History, Biology, Economics, Physics, and French. Here he is on English:
There is exactly one thing worth paying attention to in English. Not Dickens (unless of course you like Dickens.) Not Moby Dick, or Tennyson, or Hawthorne, or Shakespeare (unless of course, you like reading them.) What matters is learning how to write well. A good English teacher would give you daily writing assignments and help you get better at writing (and speaking). By writing assignments I don’t mean term papers. I mean writing about things you care about and learning to defend your arguments. Learning to enjoy reading matters as well but that would mean picking your own books to read and not having to write a book report. Lots of luck with that.He concludes:
So here’s my advice: Learn what matters to you. If you want to graduate from high school, go ahead and memorize a lot of nonsense but don’t expect it to matter a bit when high school is over.Even if you disagree with him, isn’t it true that inertia—“we’ve always done it that way”—explains about ninety-nine percent of the high school curriculum? That inertia is increasingly worse as a result of the devotion to standardization and uniformity: we have to teach Algebra because it’s on the SAT, and we have to teach Chemistry because it’s in the Common Core, and every state has to follow the same standards, so the only way you can meaningfully change the curriculum at your local school is if you get the entire country to change its curriculum, too.
Why not let a school district pursue Schank’s program if it wants to? Is he so obviously wrong that not a single community in America should be permitted to adopt any of his proposed policies? When did we trade in “laboratories of democracy” for “government by groupthink”?
(Thanks to Sheila Stewart for the link.)