Public education is based on the simple principle that education is something that everyone should have.
It is also however, based on the notion that everyone should have at least one article of brand name clothing, everyone should have an opinion, everyone should do homework, everyone should be ‘in tune’ with “cultural” trends, everyone should be able to quote rap artists and cite football stats, and most importantly everyone should be an individual.
Yet, there is great danger in all this public educating, because minds that aspire towards higher pathways know well to possess more than opinions, usually do not consciously own brand name clothing, do not feel the need to quote rap artists, and most importantly define individuality not as something to be learned and imbibed, but rather something to be felt and expressed.
These are those that possess what one would call “intelligence”.
What is intelligence? One of the keynote definitions Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary furnishes us with is ‘Comprehension’.
Comprehension involves rising above the mere aspiration towards “individuality” and above everything else that is submissive to the arbitration of exploitative mechanisms of immediate desires, surface reasoning, and fast gratifications.
In comprehension lies the power of mortal clairvoyance: The power to discern patterns and the power to understand them. Long term planning, remedial measures, augmentative agendas, progress: these are all qualities that rest mightily upon the power of comprehension.
Yet those amongst us that possess them are ostracized, and forced into excluded existences, where their comprehension, instead of being a regenerative element within the community, become a painful and frustrating sentience struggling to coexist with deafened, muted, and deadened society, anaesthetized by heavy doses of double speak, groupthink, vacant courtesies, and rusting rhetoric.
What is supposed to be a hope for the lesser endowed and the misguided, become vindictive and angry reservoirs of hate.
“The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force” alleged Adolf Hitler in the infamous Mein Kampf.
When the higher endowed is placed amongst the lesser endowed and treated on equal terms, as he is in mixed-ability classrooms across american public schools; frustration and disillusionment creep in.
“..mixed ability classes preclude precisely what helps the more-able students most: accelerating their curriculum, allowing them to interact with their intellectual peers, and making them work hard. Accelerated and compacted curricula can double the speed at which highly able students advance, but such differential treatment is decried as elitist and exclusionary. As targeted instruction for Gifted children is reduced in the public schools, their parents must increasingly rely on opportunities outside regular school settings” asserts Linda S. Gottfredson, a professor of education at the University of Delaware, in an article she published through Wilson Quarterly.
Cooper Dukes, a precocious freshman at Eastern Regional High School in Southern New Jersey with a perfect grade point average was invited to a ceremony in which he were to receive an unspecified award.
Cooper rejected the award in a signed letter that he deposited to the public relations office of his school. An excerpt:
“..these grades were given to me for mechanically memorizing the differences between coccus, diplococcus, staphylococcus, and streptococcus bacteria, without imbuing within me any pervasive appreciation its subtleties. Grades granted, for writing “persuasive essays” that I knew to be substandard on topics that carried very little practical significance, and for doing wonderfully on my French tests when I cannot speak a word of the language.
“This I realized is what I am being awarded for. It may be the ambition of the school system to have their charges excel at these asinine rote tasks, but it is something that I take no pride in. For this reason, as an epitaph to my first nine years of learning and, hopefully, a prologue to newer, proper education, I decline this meaningless “award.””
As insinuated by Professor Gottfredson, Cooper Dukes invariably has gone on towards opportunities ‘outside regular school settings’.
As an accredited candidate within an ambitious and pioneering program called “The Alternative Pathway Program” (www.alternativepathway.com) developed in Southern New Jersey’s Voorhees Township by a fellow comrade-in-arms, Cooper is currently pursuing excellence through a route of entrepreneurship towards an accelerated threshold designed to instill accountability, micro-engineering, and progressive principles amongst our Gifted youth.
“The Greatest form of equality is to attempt to make unequal things equal.”-Socrates.
“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” George Bernard Shaw.
“Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance.” James Bryant Conant.
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