It’s Time to Blow Up The Public School System

"As Ken Robinson pointed out in his book The Element , school has come to follow the “fast food” model of standardization. It’s a top-down, industrial approach that results in a guaranteed level of quality. The problem of course is that the level of quality is hardly impressive."

"In school, helping each other get the right answer is called cheating , in the real world it’s called teamwork."

"Maybe it has something to do with taking them away from their play time, putting them in a classroom, telling them to sit still, and then lecturing them on a subject that someone somewhere thought it would be important for them to know."

"We’ve gotten to the point where school is responsible for the creation of new disorders.

I’m talking about a disease that I call school attendance disease, but which everyone else knows as ADHD.

"Attention deficit and hyperactivity “disorder” is a supposed pathology that can only be defined against environments that are themselves pathological.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Take a look at this symptom of hyperactivity that comes straight from the National Institute of Mental Health:
Getting up and moving around in situations when staying seated is expected, such as in the classroom or in the office

Here’s the fact that should stick out like a sore thumb: many of the most problematic symptoms of ADHD can only be defined in the context of school (or the equally unnatural environment of the office).

I agree with this general premise: if you have two people, one telling the other to sit still for eight hours and the other saying they’d rather move around, one of these two individuals is deeply pathological. Unfortunately in our world, they are also the majority."

"In the most viewed Ted Talk of all time, Ken Robinson shares the powerful story of Gillian Lynne, the dancer who choreographed “Cats” and “The Phantom of the Opera”. When she was a child she had such trouble sitting still in school that she had to go see a specialist. If she had gone today you can bet that she would have been diagnosed with ADHD.

Instead of prescribing Gillian medication, the doctor recommended that her mother take her out of school and put her into a dance school.

Because of that decision, she ended up being part of the royal ballet, choreographing musicals that have been seen by millions of people, and she has ended up a multimillionaire."

"If failure is not an option, then neither is success. The only source of innovation is the artist willing to be usefully wrong." ~ Seth Godin

"Forcing kids to wake up early isn’t going to fix their natural circadian rhythm, it’s just going to deprive them of sleep. It should be obvious that the last thing anyone wants to deal with is a group of chronically sleep deprived, hormonal teenagers."

"Lastly, according to Walker, sleep deprivation is one of the biggest risk factors for suicide, and suicide is second only to automobile accidents for teen deaths."