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Horner 1 Devin Horner English 1101X Dr. Rieman April 7, 2010 Was K-12 Really Worth It?

If you are going to rely on somebody’s word of whether our current schooling system is crooked it’s going to be the words of John Taylor Gatto. Not just because his essay “Against School” simply sounds convincing, but because he personally taught in schools in Manhattan that were in both the highest and lowest performance ratings for thirty years. He knows what he is talking about when he describes our current schooling systems as a boring, useless system that makes children into children. They are kept as children because they are not taught the twelve aspects of life Gatto explains that a REAL educated person knows. I remember countless times in high school falling asleep in pointless classes that I have yet to recall back upon for information. Or, even classes that could have been helpful to me, I don't remember anything because the teacher never made a life application with it. Our schooling is constantly drilling us to follow senseless rules, how to “not” live for ourselves, and how to “not” put our work to maximum output. Administration is just setting low goals for each and every student to get to but doesn’t actually get the students to their full

Horner 2 potential. The goal that is set is to get though twelfth grade, and how to get achieve it is whether or not you get a good grade in each class. Since a grade is all that is needed, students don’t aim for actually learning material, but memorizing it instead. Then, when the final exam is over, all that was supposedly “learned” material is plainly erased and never looked back upon. This is what Gatto is saying that modern day schooling is making it impossible for one to make him/herself able to make it in the world without rules from a higher level of authority. Gatto isn’t the first person to speak up about this. Jean Anyon also went into the schooling system to observe the classrooms, and these exact topics came up. Deeper into her study, she found that in connection with Gatto’s theory a student is plainly taught to stay in his/her economic environment, and never amount to what he/she is really capable of. Further on, in correlation to both Gatto and Anyon, Gatto gives an explanation of what a REAL educated person knows in a list of 12 different aspects of real life concepts. One being, “Always ask: Who am I? Where are my limits? What are my possibilities?” A student is not taught these concepts in ordinary K-12 schools, but learns through his/her real life situations they encounter. Simply, these 12 things are ways of how to get around the distraught schooling system that we currently have. It describes that you need to know yourself, know what is around you, and understand how everything

Horner 3 works to be able to succeed. You need to know how to make your own choices instead of being told what to do. You need to “want” to succeed, instead of being “forced” to succeed. Gatto not only knows what could be researched facts of what our current schooling system is like, but he personally taught in different performance level schools for about thirty years, so he knows exactly what is going on. I believe he is dead on with the fact that our schooling is just a boring place for us to learn how to stay children. And, even stated by Jean Anyon, we get limited education in order for us to stay in our environmental status. Because there are no life applications with the things that we’re supposedly taught in our schools, I would say most people, including myself, don't even remember half of the material we “learned” in our K-12 school years. All this plainly narrows down to the fact that independent thinking is thrown out the window and replaced with repetitive rules to make us baby adults that in effect cannot make real life decisions without a higher level of authority holding our hand.

Horner 4 Self-Assessment With this paper I rearranged things and added parts to make it sound more convincing. My first draft was all right I suppose, but I thought it needed a better feeling of confidence for the reader. I added better details, and tried to tie everything together well. I don't have any quotes in this draft, but would they make this paper for effective? And, do you think I need to break it up a little more?