Will You Embarrass Yourself?
Are you anxious to look foolish in front of others?
Will you happily submit yourself to ridicule?
Are you willing to do a thing badly until you've learned to do it well?
Probably not, unless you're the one in five hundred who has what it takes to succeed.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
The lone pioneer plunges ahead and discovers a world while four hundred and ninety-nine settlers whine for maps and roads.
America was founded by pioneers.
How might we dull a glistening nation?
1. Pay the dullest and least impressive to educate the children.
2. Create a system of teaching that judges everything as “correct” or “incorrect.” This will allow the dull and unimpressive to easily grade the children's tests.
3. Discourage exploration.
4. Reward conformity. Teach that inside the box is good.
5. Celebrate sports. Make sure the children understand that taller, stronger kids have natural advantages that cannot be overcome. Build stadiums and hire announcers to shout the names of students who display physical dominance.
6. Minimize school concerts and science fairs and art shows. Treat them as though they're for losers. Have them in the school cafeteria.
Follow these 6 Simple Steps
and you can expect:
1. Drop-Outs. Currently, 38 percent of America's children are dropping out of high school and that number is rising.
2. Cloned Repetition. Have you noticed that every mall has exactly the same stores as every other mall and that every city has all the same restaurants?
3. Death of Industry. The cars of once-mighty GM and Ford no longer excite us. We want cars designed by the children of foreigners.
4. Street Gangs. If school taught us anything, it's that physical dominance is the key to reward.
An outsider, observing how we educate our children, would be forced to conclude that we value:
1. Efficient mediocrity, and
2. Going in circles
But do we really want to become a nation of Wal-Mart shoppers and NASCAR fans?
Jeffrey Eisenberg told me that last line would horribly offend you. I hope he was wrong.
Princess Pennie said that bright, motivated school teachers would feel marginalized and attacked. This certainly wasn't my intention. I know that every school has two or three dazzling teachers who are committed to doing all they can within the current, flawed system. These teachers know they could earn twice the money in the private sector but they're selling their lives just as surely as any other missionary, and they deserve our respect and admiration. But such teachers are the exception, not the rule.
America's school system needs a major overhaul. My goal today is to remind you that, “If we don't change direction soon, we're likely to arrive where we are headed.”
GOOD NEWS: Wizard Academy is now recognized by the government of the United States as an official, non-profit educational organization. Thanks to the tireless efforts of board member Corrine Taylor, we've been granted our 501c3.
Unleash the hounds.
Roy H. Williams
I was really torn. Should I feature Clay Campbell's audiobook Escape from Mediocrity as the featured item in the panel on the right of today's memo, or should it be Steve Rae's Exercising Your Imagination? I guess you've already figured out what I decided to do.