The Problem With American Education

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Americans from across the political spectrum tend to agree that our education system is failing our students. In this episode we’ll take a look at three of the biggest problems the system faces, and consider some possible solutions.

Music by Sam Kužel –

Citations and Further Reading:

Prison/School Architecture

US academic achievement compared

Teacher turnover

History of public education in the US

Public funding for private schools

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  1. Hey friends! I hope you all enjoy this week’s video. Not sure what’s going on with the comments section. It keeps getting disabled, despite me using the same upload default (all comments allowed) as always. YouTube up to their usual nonsense 😒 Anyway, if you’re looking for ways to help support the channel, please consider checking out CuriosityStream! It’s a great streaming service and you’ll also get free access to Nebula.

  2. I remember my Middle School still had a heating system from the 50’s when I went there

  3. I teach in a public school.  I do not agree with every point made in this video.  However, you are correct in saying, public schools are under funded and teach limited curriculum.  We do the best we can with the limited resources we have in school.  For example – I cannot get funding to run an after school flag football program.  I have to pay for snacks, trophies, T-shirts, and donate my time.  But the program is a great incentive to get students to complete their work.  Post Covid, I hope to get back run additional afterschool programs.

  4. Vocational schools also skip exposure to world history, literature, and philosophy which leaves students severely stunted as critically thinking, socially aware and engaged members of a democracy.

    But to be fair, just teaching Friedman, et al, should in no way leave students with the belief that there are no other options to free market worship. In order to explore options, though, students first must be curious and skeptical in their critical analysis of their own knowledge. This is a process based firmly in philosophy and the view that education is about reaching one’s fullest potential rather than just a job. Participation in society should not be limited to or by a job. It’s disheartening to me that so many young people don’t realize the implications of such a cynical view of knowledge and wisdom that they would willingly subscribe to the notion of education as job training.

    There has been a coordinated and very effective campaign against Liberal Arts education as worthless to the degree that students entering such courses of study risk ridicule and derision in school and in the marketplace. But the real effort has been systematically imposed by a power structure that recognizes the intellectual as politically damaging to willingness of future workers to accept their lot and comply with and perpetuate the Capitalist ideology. Elimination of the intelligentsia has always been the first order of power systems that demand compliance — Hitler did it, Stalin did it, Mao did it, and the US, realizing the cost of continued civil and political unrest led by intellectuals on the campuses of universities in the 1960s, set about the creation of a propaganda machine that would accomplish the same thing without resorting to large scale murder and incarceration. They got us to choose to forego the education of ideas in favor of the education of tasks. Nowhere in the current education system is there any longer room for the question, Why? To say the study of literature is a waste of time is to hamper creativity, engagement, understanding, and the development of critical thinking. Stripping away everything but the courses related directly to employment leaves students grossly under-prepared to adapt in changing work environments and easily susceptible to the conservative Kool Aid of success as a dollar figure at the expense of all else. So today’s MBAs are heartless miscreants with no ability to see the hypocrisy and tenuous unsustainability of their own world. They wear blinders focused on profit and performance one quarter at a time. And then demonize the intellectuals that dare to expose them, using their accumulation of wealth as proof of their superiority. Why do we ask Bill Gates for his opinion on climate change or economics? Because he’s rich. Wealth has become the only measure of intelligence, supplanting logic and values (because these are much more slippery, less concrete, and frankly require a great deal higher intelligence to engage). What we’re left with is an increasing number of ruthless corporate leaders pushing the boundaries of corruption further and further in the name of a greater, faster accumulation of wealth. The ends increasingly justifying any means.

  5. Bro these problems aren’t left vs right or socialism vs capitalism. The center goes to the left, what else do you want?I agree with everything else

  6. Why do you have to blame everything on capitalism? You are too biased. Please curb your bias. Good video though.

  7. As a lawyer I guessed Latin since the fancy prep school kids knowledge of the language had the advantage when it came to legslese. But yes, I imagine Home Ec is more useful than 99% of the population.

  8. Well America needs workers to pay off the Feds Debt so we cant have intelligent people in this country or they will sabotage that plan

  9. When I was in elementary school I stopped standing for the pledge of elegance. I’m 27 now and the world looks really ugly.

  10. George Carlin pointed this out a decade and a half ago in his “Life is worth losing” comedy special:

    “The United States wants people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to ignore how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.”

  11. something that I think is worth mentioning in relation to stat- I say public education. The type of indoctrination done there depends on the “ideals” of the current government. In China, it would not be a total surprise that young people are conditioned to be completely loyal to the CCP. In Brazil (my country of origin), it is virtually common sense that there is a considerable focus on spiking left-wing ideologies in the students. The danger lies in allowing the act of teaching to stop being to transform someone to be a full human being is confused with the act of turning him into a drone faithful to an ideological booklet.

  12. Yo second thought you get really annoying sometimes always saying the “government” or “we” do this or that please replace that phrase with the ruling class. Other than that absolute banger of a video

  13. Let”s get this shit trending. Voters, please. We need something done. This video was made better than most of my classes, and I’ve learned way more from it. #AmericanEducationReform