This article is about the real school curriculum. If you want a different curriculum, find a private school or home school your children.

As a teaser:

Look again at the seven lessons of schoolteaching: confusion, class assignment, dulled responses, emotional and intellectual dependency, conditional self-esteem, surveillance — all of these things are good training for permanent underclasses, people derived forever of finding the center of their own special genius. And in later years it became the training shaken loose from even its own original logic – to regulate the poor; since the 1920s the growth of the school bureaucracy and the less visible growth of a horde of industries that profit from schooling just exactly as it is, has enlarged this institution’s original grasp to where it began to seize the sons and daughters of the middle classes. . . .

School is like starting life with a 12-year jail sentence in which bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned. I teach school and win awards doing it.

I should know.

For the nerd in your life, this article may be useful. Another teaser:

It’s important for nerds to realize, too, that school is not life. School is a strange, artificial thing, half sterile and half feral. It’s all-encompassing, like life, but it isn’t the real thing. It’s only temporary, and if you look, you can see beyond it even while you’re still in it.

If life seems awful to kids, it’s neither because hormones are turning you all into monsters (as your parents believe), nor because life actually is awful (as you believe). It’s because the adults, who no longer have any economic use for you, have abandoned you to spend years cooped up together with nothing real to do. Any society of that type is awful to live in. You don’t have to look any further to explain why teenage kids are unhappy.

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