“How Our Public Schools Make America Great”
Written and Mostly plagiarized by Jehosaphat Wilkes, high school senior, East-Northeast High.
Submitted March 1, 1966 for the Scholarship Competition put on by Succoth Masonic Lodge No. 66b in the Great State of Minneapolis.
Like most highschool students today, I do a lot of complaining about the public school system. The buildings are old and falling apart, badly heated and cooled, making work sometimes impossible because your brain is melting. They are overcrowded and class sizes too large for students to get quality time with a teacher. But that is okay since they are mostly angry and will just whack you with a ruler. Books and supplies are rarely new. In fact the covers are usually taped on with Scotch tape. Our American history text book only goes up to the Spanish American War. Courses offered are often uninspiring and mediocre. Why, my teachers don’t usually even remember my name. Come to think of it, I don’t remember their names either, so I guess we’re even. But all this does not mean that public schools do not perform a necessary function in American society. Consider what we would be like without it.
Maybe we would be lucky enough to attend a private school, but then we would establish relationships only with other people who had this advantage and be part of an elite group and grow up to form an Aristocracy instead of a proper Democratic Plutocracy. Because of the cost of swanky prep schools, many intelligent and creative people would be unable to get an edification and would end up just working in factories. Still, that does weed out painters and poets, who are just a burden on the Welfare State.
Fortunately, our Forefathers believed that the pursuit of hipness was one of our indelible rights and an edufication should be provided to make pursuing it possible to pursue. They knew that an educrated nation is a necescity to Democracy. Take the Ancient Spartans for instance. If we were not aware of all the many past mistakes and horrible blunders — the genocide, extermination of species, slavery, wars, civil wars, the terrible corrupt presidents and governors, gangsters, and miscarriages of justice, we would have long ago fallen prey to dictatorial executives and power-hungry politicians, for power is more easily usurped from the ignorant Masses. Just look at Russia! Commie pinkos!
So, really, complaining is evidence that the public schools in America are working super. It is freedom of thought and freedom of speech, as well as critical thinking, and a revolutionary spirit like that of our Forefathers who said “Down with Everything” and “Up with the New Republic.” They were Republicans. Like the Ancient Romans before they became an Empire with an Emperor. When we realize how far we are from the idea we dream about, we realize where the system has failed. We’ve learned that equality exists hardly anywhere in the world, even within the United States since minority groups have been denied educational opportunities and jobs. If we are going to fix the horrible schools in the slums we need complainers. And anyway, everyone needs to learn that you will never achieve your ideal dreams anyway. Who does? Not me.
Once a grade school education was all you needed to be a president or general or billionaire. Take Andrew Carnegie or Henry Ford. Thomas Edison did not have much in the way of educaution but knew how to steal other peole’s ideas and how to sweat. He was good at sweating. Maybe that is why they keep it 100 degrees in our classrooms. Today, even a high school diploma is not good enough to get a job, but the old high school system does not prepare a student for college, so we end up not getting a very good education even there. It’s like in that Dickens novel Horrid Times. The system is not only bad teaching, but bad administration, and riddled with corruption and racism. Some text books are full of baloney. Dealing with unfairness, injustice, stupidity, authoritarianism, and the dictatorial rule of the incompetent teachers and principals, and then basically being left on your own to figure out how to make a living in an economy that has gone to pot: these are the things that make the American publich school system great because they prepare us for the real world.
They prepare us for the world outside school, the American society in which we have to survive, red in tooth and claw. Even the fact that a lot of graduates do not know math or how to read is good because they make great factory workers and cheap labor for our Free Enterprise system to work. And those who know tons of math will discover that algebra is useless in 99.9% of all jobs in America, so they will learn the important lesson that you should not believe what so-called experts and adults say and be sold a bill of goods. Schools with high standards are important because it weeds out the riff-raff who can fill up the working classes and striaght A students can become the managers and executives of tomorrow. The C students can become the teachers of tomorrow.
And that is what makes the American public school system so great: opportunity for all to fit in at all levels of society and the economy, from the gutters all the way to middle management. One thing you learn when you have to memorize all those presidents is that they mostly went to private schools and were either rich or had rich backers, so go out and get some rich backers, I say. That is real Liberty and the hirsute of pappiness. Amen, one nation under God. Halleluiah.