This blog is about school, but it will not teach you why your child can’t read, write, or do math. You won’t discover why he or she can’t pay attention, stay off drugs, or get to school on time. You can’t learn these things from a blog.
If you want to know why your child is failing, look at your child, your family and your school. Observe them with patience and imagination and you might learn something worth knowing. Even so, your insights will apply only to your own children. School failure, like most social failure, is personal.
But not to worry. Your child probably isn’t failing. Children rarely fail. Mostly they succeed, sometimes miraculously, against insanely long odds. They do fail tests, or perhaps tests fail them. Their schools fail society, or society fails the schools. Of these four— the child, the test, the school, and society— the child is the smallest and most defenseless. The child is the easiest to blame. But we are well ahead of our argument. The point is, if you want to know why certain children cannot seem to pass certain tests, do not read this blog. You will find no answers here.
Also, this blog does not explain why individual schools fail. Sometimes a school will collapse spectacularly, generating bonfires of ill will and ferocious press, while a nearby school gently rots away. The result is the same. But again, these are individual stories, and they are uncommon. Most schools accomplish what they set out to do. It is the position of this blog, however, that what they set out to do is for the most part deeply misguided. Even if they meet the municipal, state and federal standards, even if they achieve all their goals, they cannot educate because their goals are non-educational and occasionally even anti-educational. Quietly, without much ado, a tragedy is afoot.