Wendell Berry on School Consolidation

berry_conversation_wendell_portrait“There can be no greater blow to the integrity of a community than the loss of its school or the loss of control of its school — which always means loss of control of its children.  The breakdown of discipline and academic standards in the schools can only originate in, and can only cause, the breakdown of community life.  The public school, separated from the community by busing, (for whatever reason), government control, consolidation and other “advances”, has become a no-man’s land, a place existing only in reference to itself and to a theoretical “tomorrow’s world”.  Neither teachers nor students feel themselves answerable to the community, for the school does not exist to serve the community. “


wendell-berry.png.662x0_q100_crop-scaleMy own children were bused to school from the first grade on.  Their daily bus ride to and from school took about two hours of every day. This meant that they were under school discipline – expected to sit still, etc. – about a third again as long each day as their schoolmates in town.  It also meant that they were under home discipline two hours a day less than the town children; that they had much less time for chores, homework and free play.  In my opinion, all this bus travel was damaging to the lives of my children both at school and at home.  Moreover, the grade school that my children attended was nine miles, and their middle and high schools twelve miles, from home, well beyond the range of close or easy parental involvement.  School consolidation thus involves a great expense of time and money that might be better spent in the education and upbringing of children.”

3 responses to “Wendell Berry on School Consolidation

  1. Amen!!!


  2. Pingback: “Winter Crops” | Timbered Classrooms...

  3. Reblogged this on Timbered Classrooms… and commented:

    The decisions facing the RSU are high-stakes, and defy our assumptions. “Timbered Classrooms” is focused, for the moment on the issue of consolidation. “Understanding of the world is the best defense against the ravages of it.”… (Who said that? ..anyone remember?)


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