Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling

by: Heather on 10/12/2010
Posted in: Activism

This past June, Erica Goldson made a bold move. As the valedictorian of her 2010 graduating high school class, she delivered a shattering indictment of an educational system that fails to inspire and motivate in favor of turning out a complacent workforce. In her speech, Erica cites John Taylor Gatto from Weapons of Mass Instruction:


We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness – curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity for surprising insight simply by being more flexible about time, texts, and tests, by introducing kids into truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then. But we don't do that.

Erica goes on to reflect:

We are human beings. We are thinkers, dreamers, explorers, artists, writers, engineers. We are anything we want to be - but only if we have an educational system that supports us rather than holds us down. A tree can grow, but only if its roots are given a healthy foundation.

Watch Erica's speech below, or read the full text on her blog.

Congratulations Erica, on having the courage to speak out and the determination to help make things better. May you indeed help to lead the pedagogic movement that you envision. I feel infinitely better knowing that the "new future" will be crafted by minds such as yours.

Weapons of Mass Instruction


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